Outskirts of Red Sox Nation

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Patchwork Quilt

When the winter is cold (as it is apparently, finally going to be here in Connecticut) and when there are few scraps of material to do anything with, you simply need to do what resourceful yankees (that's yankees with a small "y") have done for centuries- you make a patchwork quilt to keep yourself warm.

The long weekend has yielded but few little nuggets of news and analysis about the Red Sox, but we'll see if we can take them and stitch them together into something to keep the fires of the hot stove burning just a little longer:

-Pedro Martinez has a son? Pedro, even in the hot-to-trot media market of Boston, kept a very low personal profile. The only thing that I think I even heard about his personal life when he pitched in Boston was that he had a big, expensive condo where his mother stayed and various family members came and went. This weekend, we learned that not only does Pedro have a son, but this son is 19 years old! Pedro, I believe, is 35, which by my math means that...Pedro was a teenage stud. Here I believed all the stories of Pedro of this shy skinny kid sitting under the mango tree in San Pedro de Macoris, when meanwhile he's actually behind the mango tree gettin' busy with some Dominican doll...at any rate, his son (Pedro E. Martinez) is also a pitcher, who held up pretty well in the Dominican winter league. Hopefully young Pedro (the "E") can do a better job at following in his father's footsteps than some other high-profile, similarly-named legacies we've dealt with lately...

-Wily Mo Pena and Brandon Donnelly have both been offered arbitration by the Sox. This takes care of the only two (the only two?) arb-eligible players in the Sox roster, and, for the most part, starts to close out the money situation for the 2007 roster.

-...but not so fast. J.D. Drew is still a giant question mark. He of the 5-year, $70 million contract is still nowhere to be seen, and his contract has still not been signed, some 41 days after the preliminary deal was announced. I know this is maddening for Sox fans, and probably for Terry Francona as well, but from the front office's standpoint, there really isn't much hurry. If you're generally ok with the contract and the condition of Drew's health, waiting is a good thing. The longer the Sox wait, the less leverage that Boras and Drew have, because fewer and fewer teams will be trying to keep the window cracked open for Drew to slip through if possible. Of course, there's always the possiblity that the Drew deal doesn't get done, but that just means the Sox may have to go with a combination of Pena/Hinske/Nixon in right field next year which is both far from idea AND far from the end of the world as we know it.

-Mike Lowell did some interviews over the past couple of days in which he discussed how unsurprised and pleased he was that Manny wasn't actually traded, and also the state of amphetamines in baseball. The substance of the interview was less interesting to me than the tone and intelligence of Mike Lowell. He's a quality guy, a worthy successor in many was to Bill Mueller at third base. It also reminds me of Bill James' comments that third basemen are some of the nicest guys in baseball- Paul Molitor, Mike Schmidt, Brooks Robinson, Ron Santo, Bill Mueller, Mike Lowell- princes all. It's utterly unsurprising that Shea Hillenbrand couldn't hack it at third base for too long.

So there are some of the scraps we had to deal with. I wish I could say that I brought them together with some unifying principle that makes this an amish-quality pattern. Somehow I don't think my "Pedro's a stud and Shea Hillenbrand sucks" literary quilt will fetch top dollar at the Lancaster County Craft Fair...


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