Shaughnessey had a column in the Globe about Jack Roush that was somewhat infuriating for me to read. Shaughnessey knows little about NASCAR, but like every other subject he knows little about, he decided to formulate opinions with his mole hill of knowledge. He insinuated that Roush was somehow anti-Japanese, or anti-global because he opposes the introduction of Toyota to NASCAR. Shaughnessey then went on to say that this attitude was contrary to the Red Sox and their endeavor to assimilate themselves to Japanese culture.
Here's the thing, Roush is against Toyota, not because Toyota is Japanese, but because Toyota is a competitor to his Fords. If you want to know the truth, I think Roush hates Chevrolet much more than he hates Toyota, but Chevrolet has been in NASCAR forever, so there's no way he's going to drive them out.
A little side note, I watched the Daytona 500 this weekend, and only once did they refer to the Roush cars as being owned by Roush-Fenway. In the pre-race, post-race, and during the race, there was little to no talk about Roush selling half his team to John Henry. It seems like the transaction is a much bigger deal to Red Sox Nation than it is to NASCAR Nation. What does that tell you? It tells you that Red Sox Nation is loaded with xenophobic, overreacting, ignorant elitists, and NASCAR Nation isn't. Surprising, eh?
DICE-K'S WORKLOAD NOT CHANGING
Daisuke Matsuzaka will train for the season in similar fashion to the way he trained in Japan, by throwing a lot more than anyone else is throwing. He played long-toss the other day on what was supposed to be an off-day. Francona reported that he threw as long as about 220 feet, which is quite long, and the longest long-toss Francona had ever seen. I can't believe I just wrote a paragraph about a guy throwing long-toss. But it's Matsuzaka, so it is news.
SCHILLING NAMES HIMSELF OPENING DAY STARTER, FRANCONA AGREES
When Curt Schilling said "I'll be ready to start Opening Day," he essentially said that he was starting Opening day. The "Ace" of the staff will probably start the season as the #1 pitcher, with Beckett coming off an inconsistent season, and Matsuzaka adjusting to MLB. But if I were Curt, I wouldn't get so high and mighty. The job of best pitcher on the team is still wide open, and let us not forget that Curt ended last season with strings of inconsistency and bad performance. He may chalk up some of the lack of 2nd half wins to being up against other Number 1 pitchers, but HE IS a number 1 pitcher, so he will inevitably go up against other #1s.
Curt already has his stats ready, he intends to win 25 games over the next 2 seasons. This unimpressive number seems to fly in the face of the money he is asking for. He's getting about $13M to pitch this season, and wants a similar amount for 2008. And he wants it right now. I'm sorry, Curt, but I think we could find better than a 12 win pitcher for $13 million, or at least, we could find a younger one with more of a future.
MORE REPORTS TO THE FORT
This morning JD Drew, and David Ortiz reported to Fort Myers. Today is physical day for position players and it is mandatory for everyone not named Manny Ramirez to be here for that. Wily Mo Pena also reported yesterday, after erroneously arriving at City of Palms Park only to be the only one there. The club was exercising elsewhere.
When asked about Manny, Francona remarked essentially that he wasn't going to comment on speculation. He insisted that he would wait until he was in communication with Manny or his agent. He wouldn't comment on what Manny's "publicist Julian" had to say.