Before moving to Oregon I had heard it rained a lot. It has been, roughly speaking, raining for the last three months. But I’m fine. And not only that, I’m proud of myself for being fine. I can handle this. Then I had a conversation with a native Oregonian yesterday who said something along the lines of ‘well, only five more months of rain’. He said it like, ‘Phew, dodged that bullet’, too.
On the off chance wondering who the Red Sox starting shortstop will be this coming season was giving you a sleepwalking problem, I have good news. You can finally stop urinating in the fridge and head back to bed. Red Sox manager Terry Francona is giving the nod to Marco Scutaro which saves Scutaro the trouble of having to rochambeau Jed Lowrie for the job. Sure, I could have gone with Rock/Paper/Scissors but it just isn’t as funny. Anyway, Francona’s shortstop decision is a perfectly understandable and completely rational one considering Scutaro’s veteran-ness, the fact that he played through pain during most of last season, and the injury history of his challenger. And after all that, it is important to remember these two things: 1) the best player is going to play the most, and 2) it is currently late January.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com has a two part interview with Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish (Part 1/Part 2). Kalish comes across as an intelligent, hard working player, points that all accounts I’ve read agree on. Something I’ve never heard before when discussing Kalish came from Part 1 of the above pieces. Pawtucket Red Sox manager Tory Lovullo insists that when all is said and done, Kalish will be a ten time All Star.
Anyone have a long pair of tongs? Still with underwear firmly in a bunch over the Yankees brass overruling GM Brian Cashman’s recommendation to avoid signing Rafael Soriano, the New York media promises to return them washed. I’d bleach ‘em anyway though. To that end (sorry), Allan at Joy of Sox has a nice compilation of New York media opinions on the Soriano/Cashman kerfuffle. My favorite part is the following anecdote from Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, which took place during Game 5 of last year’s American League Division Series: “After throwing a tantrum in the bullpen in front of all his fellow relievers, Soriano trudged into the game and promptly gave up a single to Nelson Cruz and a game-breaking homer to Ian Kinsler.” Shocking Cashman didn’t want to give up a first round draft pick for that.
According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, the Red Sox have not spoken with Clay Buchholz about a contract extension. This is entirely unsurprising as the Sox have Buchholz under team control for the next four years anyway. Considering the fact that it took Buchholz three full years of starts and stops before he figured out how to pitch in the big leagues (his no hitter was back in 2007), I imagine the Red Sox are looking to see how Buchholz’s 2011 season goes before they back up the Brinks truck on his front lawn.
Much like my two year old son after he runs full speed into a door, the hot stove has slowed down considerably. But, that doesn’t mean all the signings are done. Two AL East teams were active yesterday. The Yankees led off by giving the dessicated remains of Andruw Jones a one year, $2 million deal. Randy Winn is totally jealous. Jones fills the roles of platoon partner for Curtis Granderson, who couldn’t hit a lefty if Dennis Kucinich stood in front of him and insulted his mother, and dust jacket for Joe Girardi’s binder, and fifth starter. Not to be outdone, the Rays are closing in on a contract with former Red Sox center fielder and ex-Yankee Johnny Damon. During the course of the season, Damon will certainly fall in love with Tampa, proclaim the Rays as the team he’s always wanted to play for and publicly proclaim them as the team he hopes to sign with next season. He will then sign with Anaheim. Or Tokyo. Whoever offers the most. Rinse, lather, repeat.