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News, Notes, and Links: August 2nd

  • Amalie Benjamin from the Boston Globe has a terrific article on Boston's third baseman Bill Mueller. Mueller is my favorite player for all the reasons Benjamin describes in this article. He isn't flashy like David Ortiz, or loud like Curt Schilling. He just goes on the field and does his job day after day. He shows you how good he is, not tells you.
  • Guess who's back! El Guapo!

    The Red Sox signed Rich Garces recently, and he made his first appearance back in the organization last night. He pitched a perfect inning for the Gulf Coast Red Sox, striking out one. Will he be as good as his old self? That's a long shot, but it's still a possibility.

  • The Red Sox are receiving a lot of heat after pulling back from the Larry Bigbie-to-Boston trade. According to this article by Chris Snow, the Eric Byrnes-to-Baltimore trade was finalized, but ownership vetoed the trade to get Bigbie because they wanted to drop everything off the table while the worked on a Manny Ramirez trade.

    Rockies owner Charlie Monfort had these strong words to say:

    "I will talk with the commissioner, believe me. World Champions? If that's what it takes to be a World Champion, then people are right, we may never be one, because we don't operate and treat other organizations like that."
  • Jose Cruz Jr. will be activated for the Sox today. The big question is who's roster spot will he take? The four choices are RHP Jon Papelbon, RHP Manny Delcarmen, RHP Jeremi Gonzalez or OF Adam Stern.

    If they decided to drop Stern, then they pretty much lose him for good as he is offered back to Atlanta because he is a Rule-V draft pick. We also lose Stern's speed off the bench, which has been pretty valuable recently.

    If they drop any of those three pitchers then the staff will only have 11, and no one knows if they would want to do that or not.

    I believe Delcarmen is safe. He apparently is doing and saying all the right things to be in Boston. Papelbon might stay because the team is unsure about Wade Miller and Matt Clement's health. If they miss a start, or if David Wells ever gets around to being suspended, Papelbon will be needed.

    Gonzalez is an option that would make sense, because Papelbon can fit into to long relief role in a couple days. But I'm not sure if Terry Francona and the team will do that, because they seem to like Gonzalez a lot. Remember, it was down to either him or John Halama to be designated for assignment, and it ended up being Halama, the bigger name free agent.

  • Mark Bellhorn began his rehab assignment last night in Pawtucket. He was the designated hitter, and was not impressive at all, going 0-for-5 and striking out twice. Maybe he can pull it around like Gabe Kapler did, or maybe not. It will be interesting to see what we do when Bellhorn is healthy, because the roster is a bit jammed right now. I don't even want to think of the possibilities at this point. Roster shuffling hurts my head.