Friday, December 19, 2003

ARod Reality

Keep this in mind: the only that Bud Selig disallowed on Thursday afternoon was the Red Sox negotiating directly with Alex Rodriguez. Boston can talk to Texas, Texas can talk to Boras, Boras can talk to the Union. The contract can still be restructured. In reality, not much has changed.

Next time you're thinking about attending a "Let Alex Go" rally in front of the Player's Association headquarters, don't do it. It doesn't work out well for anyone.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Another Quick Shot

Sorry this site sort of stinks right now, but time has been tight. A few quick notes:

  • Sox have signed Mark Bellhorn for 2004. He's an infielder with pop, and can play 2B, 3B, 1B, and some outfield. He had a lousy year last year, but two years ago had around 25 HR's. Probably won't start, but a good guy for the bench.

  • Peter Gammons recently reported that Alex Rodriguez would be on the Red Sox in less than 36 hours. Impossible to know who to trust at this point, and Gammons has jumped back and forth on this one over and over. The Ninth predicted it over a week ago. No one calls us the commissioner.

  • WWZN in Boston is reporting that the Celtics have acquired Ricky Davis from the Cleveland Cavaliers. You know Ricky Davis, he's the guy who shot at his own basket on purpose to try to get the 10th rebound of a triple-double. Ouch. The deal is Ricky Davis, Chris Mihm, and Michael Stewart (pukety pukety) for Tony Battie, Eric Williams, and Kedrick Brown. At first look, this trade seems a little odd. Davis can really score, but he's crackers. The other stuff they got is essentially cap fodder. Eric was playing big minutes this year, and was very effective. He wasn't going to resign, but he was a quality player. This trade makes sense if Ainge can convince anyone that Davis is a vital piece for the future. So, who's convinced? Wait, where's my wallet?
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    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    My Hands Are Burning

    Gentleman and ladies, some serious stuff is going down. While this is still in the "maybe" stages, it is imperative that you read this story about Andy Pettitte going to the Astros. Reports since 3pm on Wednesday have wavered from doubt to certainty, but the consensus seems to be that this is extremely close. Like "what uniform number do you prefer?" close. Not done yet though, and you can imagine that if there is even the slightest window, Georgey Fats will step in. The Ninth is a bit under the gun at the ol' 9 to 5, so there isn't much chance for analysis - but consider this: when's the last time the Yankees weren't able to acquire the precise player they wanted? The correct answer: Juan Gonzalez. The corollary: he's totally nuts.

    Second, but equally important, is Nomar Garciaparra. Peter Gammons recently posted this piece, that is certainly worth a read, but a little, uh, behind the eight ball. I adore Gammons, but isn't it clear to everyone that Nomar's days in Boston are like whicked few? According to Gammons, since John Henry went Good, Bad, and Ugly all over Arn Tellem, Nomar has gotten upset, and is going to stick to his contract demands more than ever. Well guess what? Nobody cares. If the Sox don't acquire Arod, Garciaparra is still going to be traded. Why else would Henry make such inflammatory remarks? Both Lucchino and Henry have stated in several locations that Nomar has presented himself as unwilling to sign with Boston, and they've moved on. So Nomar might not even take the 4 years/60 million offer now? That'll really be sad when it never gets offered. That deal is off the table, and so, most likely is #5's future in Beantown. He's priced himself out of this city. It's too bad, but he's got no one to blame but himself. And Carlos Reyes, sort of.

    In closing, Gammons has noted that he feels neither Arod nor Foulke will end up in Boston. The Ninth happily agrees on the latter, but thinks Arod in Fenway is too right to be wrong.

    Friday, December 05, 2003

    More Loosey Goosey

    It's not my fault nothing requiring more than 200 words is going on.

  • Having just listened to my third Curt Schilling interview in the last week, I will admit that he's a bit of a jabberhound. Frankly, it's rather exhausting. Less talky, more pitchy.

  • The Diamondbacks learned a great lesson from the Marlins: dismantle your World Series team slowly and no one will notice. BK, Tony Womack, Erubiel Durazo, Reggie Sanders, Damian Miller, Craig Counsell, Schilling, Brian Anderson, and Miguel Batista all either have or likely will be moved for salary reasons. That's more than one third of the team folks. I guess that's what happens when your team is in debt. What's surprising though is the subtlety with which it's being done. First Garagiola Jr. moves Durazo, a solid young 1B because of a potentially difficult arbitration case (he made all of 1.065 mil in 2003), for some prospects, but left a whole in the heart of the order. One year later, Arizona sends Schilling to Boston for another handful of young players, turning the best of whom around to Milwaukee for Richie Sexson. Big bat in place, D'back fans rejoice. But you know what, it's a trick. Sexson is a free agent next year, and Arizona won't resign him. So they'll be left with nothing, when they could have had a cheaper Durazo or a good prospect from Boston. Instead, Garagiola Jr. wants the crowd to keep showing up, so he gets a good player that won't get them to the playoffs and won't be around the next time they do. Good thing all the D'backs fans are asleep or they might be pissed.

  • What's the chance of Bobby Valentine not having an Asian fetish?

  • Does anyone else think it's a little strange that Vladimir Guerrero's name has hardly come up at all? He may actually end up staying in Montreal. Hard to believe the Sox couldn't get Mo Vaughn to stay in Boston, but the most laughable franchise of the last 10 years can retain the league's best player when they have no money.

  • Nothing says the holidays like three flavors of popcorn in a large tin can decorated with puppies.

  • The Red Sox closer situation is getting complicated fast. Keith Foulke is still waiting to decide, but if he liked Boston so much, wouldn't he'd already be there? If Keith stays in Oakland the Sox would go to number two on their list, which by all accounts is Eddie Guardado. Problem is, the deadline for arbitration is Sunday, and now that Minnesota has loosened up some salary they'll probably offer it to Todos Los Dias. If Boston waits too long for Foulke then, they could end up losing out on both their primary and secondary options. A bit of a mess, especially with Gordon already off the market. As always, I hope they just stick with Williamson. We'll know a lot more by Monday.

  • The Alex Rodriguez story should have stopped. Why hasn't it stopped? For those living in a cave, but with internet access, read this. What Texas just did, unwisely, is make clear that they need to get rid of Arod a lot more than Boston needs to get him. Why make this story public? It doesn't help them at all. The Sox are not going to be giving anyone any money to take Manny, but the Rangers seem desperate enough that they might change their stance. The beauty of it is, Boston can wait it out. They don't need to move Manny. Ha Ha Texas. The hardest part of this might be finding a good deal for Nomar. Boston can't risk getting "stuck" with both of them, and Matsui and Tejada being available doesn't increase the demand any. The Ninth is going on easily-altered weblog record and saying this trade.....will happen. Taaa daaa. If anyone knows of any trade in history that contained two bigger players, please email it in.
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    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    Loosey Goosey

    When you have a lot of thoughts on a lot of different topics, but not enough on one in particular, you get lazy and write a Loosey Goosey column. There are more bullet points than transitions, and you feel rather guilty, but no one reading it seems to care. You then begin to question the point of your charmingly well-written but wildly underviewed web-blog, and you think it's not too bad to drink on Monday night after all. After a little while, you start prank calling past girlfriends and unfriendly neighbors until you run out of those and just start arbitrarily dialing. You finish off the booze and ask your roomate to go buy more, but won't let him back into the apartment because of "unforseen border restrictions". Two days pass and you consider treating the Oodles of Noodles noodles and Flavoring Packet as seperate meals. Before you know it, you've renamed your bedroom "Tijuana", and have sworn off underwear as a burden of the upper-class. All because you wrote one Loosey Goosey article. Oh well, at least you're getting paid. Oh wait.

    • Sean McAdam of the Projo seems certain that Keith Foulke will ultimately end up with the Red Sox. Today's Boston Herald suggests however that the A's are offering the closer 4 years at around 25 million. Don't see how or why the Red Sox will beat that. Is anyone else not that thrilled about watching Keith Foulke close games for three years anyway? His numbers are great, but there's something uninspiring about him. You could sign Williamson for two years right now for like 6 million. What's wrong with that?

    • If this Alex Rodriguez-Manny Ramirez deal happens, it will mark only the third time two future Hall of Fame players were traded for each other. That statistic is completely made up.

    • The Celtics are simply unwatchable. Paul Pierce is irritated that he's the only good player on the team. Apparently he had trouble with the math equation of Two Good Players Minus One Good Player Equals Only One Good Player. And you know what no one is saying? Jim O'Brien is stinking it up. This offense is terrible despite having a world-class two guard and an all-star power forward (shocking but true: Vin Baker). The point guards make me want to shoot myself, and Jiri Welsch and Kedrick Brown make my Dad look Larry Legend (note: my Dad is not Larry Legend), but our centers are adequate. The point is: O'Brien is making a decent team into a bad one. He claims he wants them to run, then lets Mike James Manny-Ramirez the ball up the floor. He won't put in any offense for Pierce, forcing him to get the ball at the arc in a double team fifteen times a game. And this is not "two steps back, one step forward" - it's "two steps back, two steps back". No one is learning a thing from this nonsense. It's just disgusting. The Celtics have lost to the Bulls and twice to the Knicks. Unreal.

    • Someone visited The Ninth as a result of a Google search for "Dave McCarty Trade Rumors". Uh, guy, I do earnestly appreciate the visit and I hope you like what you read, but I don't think there's much in the way of McCarty rumors. Anywhere. What's the chance that wasn't Dave McCarty?

    • No matter how thrilling a Patriots' win gets, and last week was quite a doozy, the articles on Monday just aren't that fun to read. And I think Boston has pretty good writers (although the only thing worse than a daily Kevin Mannix article is a daily Nick Cafardo article), there's just something about the sport that doesn't lend itself well to reporting. When the Red Sox win, I get a special kick out of knowing there will be good reading to do at the "office" the next day. Not so with football. I have no thesis. Any ideas?

    • Just saw that Bonzi Wells got traded to Memphis for Wesley Person. Amazing that Bonzi's stock has fallen so low. Well I guess it isn't actually. Is there a more hilarious pair in NBA history than Hubie Brown and the Bonzinater? I would make jokes, but they would all be stolen from Bill Simmons. Sports Guy, get on this immediately.

    • Quietly, well sort of quietly, the Yankees have put together an unreal bullpen. Rivera, Gordon, Quantrill, a healthy Karsay, and Heredia and White on the way. Is every single member of this group being over-paid? Absolutely. Does Georgey Fats care at all? No. That Luxury Tax thing is working out exactly as planned.

    • Mike Adams really has no business being on the air.

    • I think the Blue Jays are going to be a bit of a problem next year. Their frightening offense is essentially the same as 2003, but with a healthy Eric Hinske. Their rotation at this moment features Roy Halladay, Pat Hentgen, and Ted Lilly. They have no closer and they did just sign Bruce Chen, but those 18 games are going to be tough.

    • Curt Schilling is in for a surprise when he realizes that people in Boston don't use the phrase "when we win the World Series" all that often.

    • By far the scariest game left on the Patriots schedule, in my opinion, is Week 16 at the Jets. Chad Pennington gunning for the playoffs is not something I want to go up against. They could very easily win the other three though.