Thursday, February 08, 2007


Translation: The Dominican Republic wins Caribbean World Series.

Winter baseball ended with its annual bang. The DR finished the CWS with a 5-1 record, only losing to Puerto Rico on the last day.

Two members of the Red Sox were featured in the CWS. Alex Cora started at third base for Puerto Rico and hit leadoff in all 6 of their games. Puerto Rico finished 2nd in the CWS with a 4-2 record. Julian Tavarez started in the Dominican Republic's 7-1 victory over Venezuela.

Cora went 8 for 22 (.364 average) with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. He had a few extra basehits and slugged .455.

In Tavarez's start, he pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just 1 earned run off 3 his and a walk. He threw 75 pitches, 47 of which were strikes. That's a 1.69 ERA in that start and a WHIP of 0.750. Tavarez also sustained a mild ankle sprain during the game, but it is not believed to be serious. He remained in the game and did not require X-rays.

Just a few notes as Spring Training grows closer.

The Red Sox are still in disagreement with Wily Mo Pena about his salary. Pena is requesting his salary be raised to $2.2 million, a raise of about $1 million over last season, while the Red Sox have offered as high as $1.725 million. The matter appears to be heading into arbitration, where a "neutral" third-party will determine which amount Pena should be paid this year. If this does go to arbitration, it will be the first arbitration for the Sox since Theo Epstein has been the GM.

Pena will probably end up as our 4th outfielder, but will probably see a good deal of playing time as a right-handed power hitter both off the bench and against tough left-handed pitchers. Also, with JD Drew's injury history, Coco Crisp's lack of consistency in '06 in Manny Being Manny, having a good 4th outfielder will be important for the long season ahead.

Matt Clement has yet to throw a baseball in his return from shoulder surgery. It is very likely he will miss the entire 2007 season, his last under contract with the Red Sox.

Jon Lester has already reported to Fort Myers in order to get ready for Spring Training. He will most likely begin the season at AAA Pawtucket, but I wouldn't be shocked to see him up in Boston for spot starts during the season. He is currently listed at 6th on the Red Sox depth chart for starting pitchers.

Curt Schilling seriously needs to shut up. This whole "sign me by Opening Day or I'll file for free agency" crap is really aggravating. Curt, you signed a contract, it expires at a given time. You're old and you're mediocre now. You're not going to get locked up for another season at $13 million just because you say so. If you honestly think you'll get that $13 million on the free market at the end of 2007, I think you're being a tad delusional. And if you do pitch well enough to deserve such an investment, then I'm sure the Red Sox would be more than happy to pay you. So have some patience, and some respect. Remember, this team is trying to win World Series rings, not keep you happy. They're not going to shell out $13M, or about 9% of what will probably be this year's total player salary, on a hunch that a 40 year old pitcher will be worth it. Does Curt's childish behavior remind anyone else of Nomar?

Just a quick question, why do the Boston Globe and Boston Herald each have different Spring Training countdowns on their web-sites? The Herald has Spring Training about a day before the Globe has it. What's with the confusion?

Here is a list of 18 non-roster invitees to Red Sox Spring Training:

Abe Alvarez
Adam Bernero
Mike Burns
Bryan Corey
Runelvys Hernandez
Travis Hughes

Dusty Brown
Kevin Cash
Alberto Castillo

Jeff Bailey
Luis Jimenez
Joe McEwing
Ed Rogers
Bobby Scales
Chad Spann

Jacoby Ellsbury
Alex Ochoa
Kerry Robinson

There is still extremely little word coming out of the Manny Ramirez camp. Manny hasn't been heard from since December and his agents are pretty hush-hush about his "state of mind" whatever that means.

Francona seems to think that "He's OK." But would terry ever say anything other than that?