I love me some Jarrod Saltalamacchia. In a totally safe, asexual, not-creepy, not-hiding-in-his-bushes type of way.
Happy leap year extra day or, uh, something.
Quick link time!
The big news in Red Sox Nation is still the retirement of Jason Varitek. You remember him, the one who beat up Alex. SI.com's Joe Sheehan has a remembrance on The Captain's career and place in Red Sox lore. At WEEI.com, Alex Speier looks back at the deal that brought Varitek and Derek Lowe to Boston from Seattle in 1997. Incidentally, here at OTM, we've been covering and will continue to cover Varitek's retirement. Check back today and tomorrow for more.
Over at Steal of Home they've compiled the consensus 185 best prospects in baseball. Guess how many Red Sox are on it! All of them!
Baseball Nation Red Sox-ed it up yesterday. Grant Brisbee wrote about Josh Beckett and how important he is to the Red Sox chances this season. Hint: Very. Rob Neyer noted that Bobby Valentine might be pushing some buttons of a certain team 200 miles to the southwest of Boston, one that rhymes with "New York Yankees." Not the Yankees per say, just one that rhymes with them. I'm tired.
Also at Baseball Nation, the excellent Jon Bois (I'm not calling him that, it's his legal name) wrote about the journeyman, which would be a great name for a band, or a movie starring Nick Cage. Anyway, The Excellent Bois asks some questions that you don't often hear asked: Who is a journeyman? What is a journeyman? Why is a journeyman? OK, not so much that last one.
Writing at Baseball Prospectus, Dustin Palmateer analyzed the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and players. It's set to drastically alter the draft as we have known it, and will likely do so in ways we can't foresee even now. In any case, Mr. Palmateer did a nice job of looking at the deal and explaining it.
Over at Sox Prospects, Chris Mellon reports on a diverse set of four players at different levels in the minor league system.
Finally, at Not Graphs, Enno Sarris wants to give you his Derek Jeter watch. All you have to do is "amuse" him. I can come up with a few ideas myself, but please, feel free to give your thoughts in the comments and/or send them directly to Mr. Sarris himself. Should any of you win the watch, I'll publish your video of it's inevitable destruction here at OTM.