With nothing going on in Red Sox land but excitingly colored pocket squares and festive iPads, I thought this might be an opportune time to regale you all with Daily Links! Yay!
You can't stop Alex Speier. I mean, you could probably feed him so much ice cream that he'd get one of those cold headaches, but beyond that, dude is unstoppable. Exhibit 8,472 on that front: Jacoby Ellsbury as defensive giant. Ellsbury's new gold glove will look magnificent on his mantle, but the gold glove awards are slightly suspect in terms of actually identifying the best defensive players. In other words, just because you won doesn't mean that A) you play baseball, B) you are a person, or C) you are alive. On Twitter I proposed a Hamster Gold Glove awards wherein all the winners would be hamsters (except Derek Jeter) because that would be about as accurate as the actual gold gloves. It's funny because it's true. Still, Ellsbury's improvement as a defensive player is noticeable. The man has made himself into one of the better defensive center fielders in baseball. That's worth a gold glove, hamster or otherwise.
Mike Andrews of Sox Prospects (but writing at ESPN Boston) takes a look at some of the youngsters who could impact the 2012 Red Sox from down on the farm. "Bring yer carrots, boys! It's mov'n day!"
Avert your eyes as Bill Petti from Beyond The Boxscore takes a look how teams fared in at last year's free agent pool. It won't surprise you to hear a certain team with a certain more darkly colored color socks did pretty lousy due almost entirely to a certain player who... aw hell, Carl Crawford, OK? Crawford's awful season deep-sixed the Red Sox on the free agent value front. That said, and I really can't stress this enough, Crawford just finished the first of seven seasons on his contract. While he hasn't gotten off to a good start and it will be incredibly difficult for the deal to ever look like a good one for the organization over all, that doesn't mean Crawford can't and won't be a productive player for the team going forward. No that's not praise, but that's where we are now.
The Sox managerial search is proceeding. The team has cordoned off the area, closed the airports, blockaded the highways, and blown up the bus station. You just can't be too careful nowadays. That manager is around here somewhere, by gum! WEEI.com's Alex Speier has more on that and some other topics in a notes-ish column, perhaps the most interesting aspect of which is, at least to me, reading Ben Cherington's comments. It seems our new GM is well spoken and maybe more expansive with the media than Theo Epstein has been in the past.
Over at the Providence Journal, Brian MacPherson examines the strategic tendencies that potential managers Pete Mackanin and Dale Sveum might have. Mr. MacPherson culls some quotes from both Sveum and Mackanin which speak to their level of comfort with statistical analysis and certain strategies that maybe statistical analysis has revealed to often be bad plays. Like stupid dumb bunting*.
*Please, whomever manages the Red Sox next year, don't bunt. Like ever. Say someone comes along and offers you a chance at $1,000, or they say you can have a slightly higher chance to win $100. Bunting is taking that second chance. It's wimpy, stupid, lame, often doesn't work, and I hate it.
Finally, I'm doing a chat with Matt Warden of Yankee Analysts today here at Over The Monster. We'll be discussing the seasons just past and prospective off season moves and ideas for our Sox and the Yankees. Drop by, throw some questions our way. We'd love to chat with ya.