Monday, January 4, 2010

Red Sox Searching for Last Piece of Their Rebuilt Triple-A Infield

The Boston Red Sox remain quietly engaged in discussions for free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, according to an industry source.

The Beltre talks, expected to resume after the New Year, have been complicated by the voiding of the Mike Lowell trade to Texas.

The Sox remain engaged in discussions on Beltre, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, even though his signing could put them over the luxury tax threshold. The market for Beltre seems to have collapsed somewhat, the Red Sox thinking that maybe they can get him at a much more reasonable price than Beltre was originally seeking. In mid-December, Beltre was believed to be looking for a five-year deal worth $13 million-$16 million per season.

Beltre, who is widely regarded as one of the best defensive third basemen in the majors, hit .265 with eight homers and 44 RBIs for the Seattle Mariners last season. (story courtesy of The Worldwide Leader in Red Sox Fans)

I couldn't say it any better myself after reading this story when I got home from work today.  Once again Theo Epstein is just proving his genius over every other GM in the game by entertaining the thought of spending money on a former juicer who had his only productive offensive season in a contract year and since has had his play at the plate erode so dramatically that he's barely even an average MLB player anymore.  Never mind the fact that his team would be better off with Casey Kotchman at first and Youkilis back at 3rd, but Theo's still got Mike Lowell's rotting carcass on his hands and now he wants to continue to clog up the corner infield with MORE underachievers?  Brilliant, fucking brilliant.

And not for nothing, but how can you say you're "quietly engaged" with somebody when the story about that negotiation makes it to the top news link collection on the homepage and is the only story to be reported for MLB on the ESPN Bottom Line scroll?  I know ESPN is under the covers with Fraud Sox Nation, but if they were looking to keep this quiet, don't you think ESPN would help them in that effort rather than plaster the story all over their multiple media outlets?

And how shitty does it have to be to be Mike Lowell right now?  The Sox are so desperate to keep this guy off the field that they're seriously considering going over the luxury tax threshold for Adrian Fucking Beltre!!  And not only that, the fact that they couldn't trade Lowell is "complicating" their efforts to bring in Beltre.  It's like Lowell has a combination of H1N1, ebola, and rabies all at the same time.  Don't forget that despite his injury issues and the fact that he runs the bases like James Caan after he got hobbled in "Misery," Lowell still hit .290/.337/.474 with 17 HRs and 75 RBIs last year in just 119 games.  For the sake of comparison, Beltre hit .265/.304/.379 with 8 HRs and 44 RBIs in 111 games.  Who would you want on your team?

Hey Mike, if you're reading this. why not make like Nick Johnson and come back home to the Yankees where you got your start?  I doubt the Sox would make a trade with the Yanks since they're in such a desperate panic to catch up to them, but you're a vet; you've got some pull, make it happen.  I'm sure Joe could find a use for you: backup 3rd baseman, late-game pinch hitter off the bench, ball boy, something.  And if not, the stadium crew can cut a crawl space under the bench in the dugout and you can put your uniform on and hang out there and just come out when Joe tells you to.


AB4AR's Week 17 NFL Wrap-Up

Week 17 Recap

Buffalo 30 Indianapolis 7

Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts starters didn't play very long, just long enough to get Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark 100 catches for the season. After that, they kicked back and thought about what could have been again while the Bills beat up on their reserves to the tune of 3 Ryan Fitzpatrick passing TDs on their way to what seems like their 17th 6-10 finish in a row. Resting or no resting, if you're the Colts and your lead rusher for a game is Mike Hart for 28 yards, you know you're in trouble.

Cleveland 23 Jacksonville 17

Cleveland completes the season on a 4-game winning streak after discovering the "Get the ball to Tucker"-style offense revolving around feeding the rock to Jerome Harrison and letting him do his thang. Harrison picked up 127 yards and a TD on 33 carries and Josh Cribbs made a case for starting QB next year as he ran one in from the Wildcat formation. Their strong finish could be enough to save Eric Mangini's job for next year, which of course guarantees a shitty start to next season.

Chicago 37 Detroit 23

Jay Cutler turned in his second consecutive unCutlerish performance to end the season with 276 yards, 4 TDs, and no picks as the Bears finished the season strong with a win over the Lions. Matt Forte even decided to show up after a 4-month sabbatical, running for 101 yards as da Bears helped complete another wildly unsuccessful season for the Lions. On the bad side, they came one win too many from securing the #1 pick in the 2010 draft, which means they lose out on the Suh Flu. On the good side, they don't have to worry about Matt Millen fucking up their first round pick this year.

San Francisco 28 St. Louis 6

The '9ers finish the season at .500 for the first time in ages behind the dynamic duo of Alex Smith (222-1) and Vernon Davis (6-89-1). Keith and the Rams offense was Null and void (kudos to me for the Rick Reilly-esque joke), gaining just 107 total yards against a less than dominating defense. St. Louis now moves to the war room where they can begin to construct their draft plan to boost their team up to 3 wins in 2010.

Pittsburgh 30 Miami 24

The Steelers got shut out of the playoffs despite the win yesterday, giving all the shitty teams that beat them this season a little extra fuzzy feeling in their stomachs. Roethlisberger threw for 220 yards and 3 TDs and Rashard Mendenhall solidified himself as the feature back for next year as the Steelers are left to wonder what went wrong. Miami might have to look for yet another QB in the offseason after Chad Henne left with a sore pussy/eye injury and Pat White got JACKED UP by Ike Taylor in the 4th quarter.

Minnesota 44 NY Giants 7

It was 31-0 at half, 44-0 midway through the 3rd, and could have been 60-0 by the end if the Vikes didn't remove everybody and their mothers from the game. To say the Giants laid down the last 2 weeks of the year would be an insult to NBA teams that tank every year in hopes of getting the first pick. Favre was 25-31-316 yards- 4 TDs and cut through the Giants' D like a Manson Family member's knife through Sharon Tate. After last week's walkthrough against the Panthers it became a foregone conclusion that Bill Sheridan was out in New York; after yesterday's game, Tom Coughlin could be right behind him.

Atlanta 20 Tampa Bay 10

Matt Ryan tossed for 223 yards and 2 TDs that helped the Falcons win as well as 2 picks that helped keep the Bucs in the game. Despite finishing a respectable 9-7, the Falcons are left to wonder what could have been as injuries to their major offensive players caused some problems in the middle of the season. The Bucs, on the other hand, don't have much to hand their hats on other than the fact that they beat the Saints and still have awesome-looking uniforms.

Carolina 23 New Orleans 10

New Orleans rested their starters with nothing to play for and treated us all to the comedic event that is a 39-year-old Mark Brunell playing QB. Brunell was as bad as you would expect him to be, tossing for just 102 yards and a pick. After 2 straight ineffective weeks and a third with the starters on the bench, the once mighty Saints' offense needs to make like Stella and get its groove back on the bye week while Carolina is set for next year with Matt Moore at QB and Jonathan Stewart (16-125-1) carrying the rock.

Houston 34 New England 27

Losing Wes Welker to multiple knee ligament tears in the first quarter was bad enough, but losing a game that they led 27-13 with 10 minutes to go is even worse for the Patriots and their playoff chances. Matt Schaub carved them up with 303 yards and 2 TDs and some guy named Arian Foster lit them up for 119 yards and 2 TDs on the ground while Tom Brady continued to look very ordinary in big game-deciding moments. Maybe it had something to do with Bernard Pollard; last year he wrecks Brady's knee, and yesterday he recovers a fumble for a TD early and picks off Brady late to set up the game-winning drive for the Texans.

Dallas 24 Philadelphia 0

That smell invading your nostrils is the big wet fart that the Eagles dropped yesterday when they had a chance to secure a first-round bye and just flat-out did not show up against the Cowboys. Tony Romo continued to not allow me to make fun of him by going 24-34-311 yards-2 TDs and leading Dallas to 474 total yards, more than doubling Philly's output of 228. With the way they're playing right now and the way the rest of the conference is playing, the Cowboys actually look like the best team in the NFC right now. That will only make their inevitable first-round meltdown next week that much funnier.

Kansas City 44 Denver 24

A fantasy footballer's dream, this game had a total of 1,036 yards between both clubs. Jamaal Charles ran for a team record 259 yards and 2 TDs for the Chiefs while Kyle Orton threw for 431 yards, 123 of it on 14 catches for Jabar Gaffney, for the Broncos. More critical than his yardage total, however, was Orton's 3 INTs, which helped the Chiefs pull away late and shovel the last bit of dirt on Denver's playoff hopes.

Baltimore 21 Oakland 13

Willis McGahee had a throwback night to before his knee first got destroyed in college last night, running for 167 yards and 3 TDs on just 16 carries. That's not just good, that's Bo Jackson-in Tecmo Super Bowl-good. Charlie Frye was good enough to keep the Raiders in the game (18-25-180-1), but in the least surprising storyline in NFL history, Jamarcus Russell came in to relieve an injured Frye and his 2 turnovers helped seal the Raiders (and probably Tom Cable's) fate. Too bad Vegas doesn't set prop bets for Russell's suckiness; otherwise I'd be writing this column from a beach in Maui getting blown by some hula girl right now.

Green Bay 33 Arizona 7

Aaron Rodgers was solid (21-26-235-1), and the defense was dominant (safety and a TD) for the Pack as they sent a message to the Cardinals with their win yesterday, that message being: "Our #1 guys can beat the shit out of your #2 guys and if you play your #2 guys next week in the Wild Card game we will fucking kill you." I doubt that message will carry over to next week, but you never know. Maybe Ken Whisenhunt will throw Matt Leinart out there for a few series just to change things up. Injuries to Charles Woodson and Anquan Boldin could factor big time into next week's game.

San Diego 23 Washington 20

When a team with nothing to play for's backups beat up on your starters, that's a sign that you suck and your coach is getting fucking fired. That was the case yesterday for the Redskins and to nobody's surprise today, Jim Zorn is already gone. Billy Volek will look to carry the momentum of his good performance (19-30-216-1) into next week's duties of making fake signals to Phillip Rivers and wearing his Chargers hat backwards.

Tennessee 17 Seattle 13

With their playoff chances dashed last week, the Titans focused all their efforts on getting Chris Johnson some records and it paid off. Johnson racked up 134 yards on 36 carries to become the latest member of the 2,000-yard-rushing club and scored the game winning TD, all but guaranteeing himself to be the first pick for me in my fantasy draft next year (yeah, my team sucked that bad that I have the #1 pick). Tennessee should be dangerous next year with Johnson in the backfield and Vince Young back under center for a whole year. Seattle probably won't be dangerous next year no matter who's under center or in the backfield.

NY Jets 37 Cincinnati 0

They didn't try too hard for too long, but when they did early the Bengals were still outclassed by the Jets yesterday, setting up a very interesting matchup for next weekend. The Jets ran at will all night, getting good yardage from every back except Freeman McNeil, and held Carson Palmer to 0 yards passing on 1-11 before he left the game. No word yet on whether or not Chad Ochocinco will be expedited from Revis Island before next week's game.

***Check back on Friday for my Wild Card Weekend Predictions. With the killer job I did on my MNF picks (11-6 for the season), I figured it was the least I could do to help people win a little more money in the playoffs. And with that in mind, we're picking against the spread for the postseason. Go big or go fucking home.***