17 December 2004

Chopper Signs, Zeke Agrees, Hudson Gone, Falun Gong- Drama Queens?



It's official, and the press conference was held today- Chopper's a Red Sox. Word is he'll wear the #16, unofficially ending the Ricky Gutierrez era in Beantown. The Broseph's favorite Red Sox cheerleader.

Anyway, I'm really glad to have pulled down such a solid shortstop. He's a great all-around player, and while he needs to hit a bit more like 2003 than 2004 (and I think, in Fenway and the AL, he will), he's an excellent addition- speed, defense, great contact hitter, 2B hitter in 2Bs heaven. Seems like a nice guy, too.

And maybe Edgar can get a Red Sox player their first Gold Glove in ages.

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Matt Clement agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox tonight, and will sign a 3-year, $25.5 million dollar contract upon passing his physical.

I like this deal- it appears that Clement (with apologies to Odalis Perez) may have been the best remaining starting pitcher available, and with our offseason luck thus far regarding pitching, for Clement to choose us over a host of bidders, including our potential competition in Anahem, was huge. What was GIGANTIC were the terms- in a market where Russ Ortiz has commanded 4 years, $33- 3/$25.5 for a FAR better pitcher is a great deal.

In fact, looking at the numbers, Clement and Pavano were very close- and we have his production for a ton less money. Here are some pertinent Clement numbers...

Clement
________H/9___R/9___BB/9__SO/9__K/BB__HR/9__WHIP__Strand__DIPS
2002____7.1___3.7___3.7___9.4___2.5___0.79__1.20__72.1%___3.53
2003____7.6___4.5___3.5___7.6___2.2___0.98__1.23__69.0%___4.10
2004____7.7___3.9___3.8___9.4___2.5___1.14__1.28__75.6%___4.01


Stats/ formatting courtesy of Red Sox Stats/ Sox Scout (via SoSH)- thanks!

So now our rotation is more or less set off the bat, and the money saved on Clement gives us wiggle room for a solid trade for a good SP at the deadline if we can offer the best package. What it also now gives us is leverage with Florida if, in fact, they're still interested in dealing Burnett. In that scenario, we could easily walk away from the table if Florida won't deal Burnett for Arroyo/ prospect not named "Hanley Ramirez."

One more thing on the roster- obviously we need to sign a catcher, and we still need to do the following:
  • Tender Bobby Kielty a contract as Trot Nixon's platoon partner and 4th OF after the non-tender deadline.

  • Trade Dave Roberts

  • Trade Doug Mientkiewicz or Kevin Millar. I'd keep Millar if only because he has a bit more power and keeps us from becoming too lefty-dominant (though if we keep Brodder, I'm not complaining)

  • Find another bullpen arm. Candidates: Steve Kline, Ron Villone, Danys Baez.

  • IF utility man.


  • The moral of the story? Matt Clement's OppBA is 50 pts lower than Pavano's. If Matt Clement gains some control and cuts down a bit on the walks... he'd be very, very, very good.

    Also, due to the very Amish goat, Clement looks like an Ezekiel, or... "Zeke."

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    Tim Hudson was traded to Atlanta for young OF Charles Thomas, LHP Dan Meyer and RHP Juan Cruz. In other words- the A's didn't want to trade him to the AL, much less the Red Sox. I don't know Baltimore's mL system too well, but I know they have a bevy of young LHP they could have offered that would have trumped this deal- and Boston surely could have beaten it.

    It's not that it was bad- Thomas is a VERY promising young OF, and Meyers is a decent prospect- but Cruz has been a bust since being considered a prospect on Prior's level for the Cubs. Without a doubt, some combination from Boston of H Ramirez/ B Arroyo/ J Papelbon/ J Lester/ A Alvarez/ K Shoppach would have gotten it done if this did. But, of course, the Red Sox are very likely to battle the A's heavily on a few fronts, and trading their best pitcher to them would be... counterproductive. Yes. That's it.


    Sox SS prospect Hanley Ramirez

    I'm going to say it here and now so I can take credit later... Tim Hudson, in the NL with Leo Mazzone as his pitching coach and a decent lineup producing runs for him, pitching against an awful division?

    Yeesh. 23-6, 2.88 ERA, Cy Young Award winner. Deck's stacked in his favor...


    In other news, Adrian Beltre signed a 5 year, $64 million dollar deal with Seattle, further fortifying a lineup that had just added Richie Sexson. For a guy starting to blossom at a shallow 3B talent pool at the age of 25, this is a really, really great deal. When you consider it was Scott Boras' client- it's a fucking highway robbery. I have NO idea how the Mariners pulled this off, but bravo to them. Good deal all around.

    It still doesn't make them very good- their defense is deteriorating (though Beltre now rivals Eric Chavez as the best defensive 3B in the AL) and their pitching is fairly woeful. Eddie Guardado's career is in trouble after a torn rotator cuff last year, and outside Ichiro/ Sexson/ Beltre, they're flat bad through the lineup (though Ibanez is decent on the road, and Olivo could end up being a Paul LoDuca type- but they'd have to get REALLY lucky there). Consider Glaus signed for $11.5 million per, and Beltre got ~$12.8. STEAL.

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    I don't pretend to know/ understand the plight of the Falun Gong. BUT- one thing is pretty obvious... they're kind of being drama queens.

    On Broadway near Wall St. there are a particularly demonstrative group of Falun Gong-ers (they're more or less a group, made up of what I have no idea, being persecuted by the Chinese- they say). Lining the side of the road, many are practicing Falun Gong style meditations, etc. The worst/ best/ worst part though is the end of the procession of demonstrators- there, two Falun Gongers sit bound by handcuffs in fairly graphic blood-and-guts makeup. One is actually in a little wooden box made up to look like a jail cell, replete with a "guard" in what appears to be black pajamas and a plastic badge, dangling handcuffs from a cheap vinyl belt. The best part? Easy- the nightstick nearly pulling the weight of the pants down. For oppressed people, they're pretty good makeup artists. For oppressed people, they're awfully theatrical.

    Anyway, the other day I was ambling by and noticed someone bump into the "jail cell." The top of it, not very well secured, popped off, sliding along the top until the opening was large enough where the- ahem- oppressee could have made a clean run for it. She hurriedly grabbed the top and closed it before anyone could notice. I burst out laughing in the middle of Broadway. Fuck, it was so funny.

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