I have a few minutes before class this morning, and thought I would post a quick rundown of recent events:
1.) The Oakland Atheltics have reportedly made a five-year, $64 million dollar offer to Adrian Beltre. According to the Globe's Nick Cafardo (as reported by Pete Abraham), the Sox are willing to go up to four years, $52 million. In fantasy land, Agent Scott Boras is claiming that the third baseman is worth five-years, ninety million dollars. So what is Beltre worth to the Red Sox? And what is being in a competitive, passionate city worth to Beltre? Last year, he turned down bigger money from the A's to come to the spotlight in Boston, but he was also looking to be showcased so he could get a big deal this year. Players don't hire Boras because team loyalty means a lot to them, so this could be interesting as it unfolds. Stay tuned.
2.) Tom Werner is looking to appease fans who were under the impression that the 2010 Sox were based on spare parts so he could fund his little soccer venture in England. [Pretend for a second that statement isn't ludicrous, that the Sox didn't have the second highest payroll in MLB last year, and that they didn't sign the biggest pitching free agent in the '09-'10 offseason. Theo said BRIDGE YEAR, so they obviously weren't trying.] He has gone on record as claiming the Sox will make a significant splash in the free agent market: “I think that we are going to sign, I won’t promise, but we’re going to sign a significant free agent. We are going to make a trade to improve ourselves,” Werner said. “I want to assure everybody that there is no bridge year here this year. [In] 2011, we’re committed to win.”
3.) The Red Sox were just honored by Major League Baseball for their charitable endeavors as an organization. From a release by MLB, via the Boston Globe Extra Bases blog: "Major League Baseball and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig have named the Boston Red Sox as the inaugural recipients of the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created to recognize the charitable and philanthropic efforts of an MLB Club." Obviously, the Red Sox encourage their players to both be active within the Red Sox Foundation, and to support their own charities, and it seems like that work is getting some recognition. The really cool part is that this comes just week after Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield received the Roberto Clemente Award. It makes this organization easy to support.
4.) Ron Gardenhire (Twins) was named the AL manager of the year yesterday (the Padres' Bud Black took home the honor for the senior circuit). I was holding out some hope for Tito, who placed fourth, and if the Sox could have scraped a playoff berth, I really think he would have made it. People around here are constantly screaming about "Fran-coma" and how terrible he is, and how they could do his job so much better. To those people I say: SHUT UP. Terry Francona led a bag of beleaguered major leaguers and spare minor league parts to 89 wins last season. Do you honestly think you would have done any better?
5.) I would like to point out that the offseason coverage by the team over at boston.com has been spectacular thus far. Of course, I have come to expect a certain degree of excellence from the Globe, but the amount of info that they're giving us on a daily basis is more than you could expect from any other team in any other market. In particular, I would like to extend a shout-out to Pete Abraham, who is constantly updating the Extra Bases blog, and also because he's a generally nice guy (last spring, I had to do a project on athletes as role models, and Pete Abe was nice enough to answer the email I sent him, asking for imput). So, thank you Mr. Abraham, and thank you to your fellow writers on the Sox beat: without you all, we'd be even more starved for baseball.