Free Agents and Experts

With the Sox off last night, not a whole lot newsworthy in the papers. Michael Silverman continues his look at the Sox free-agents-to-be today with a look at Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek, two clients of Scott Boras, who has a policy of making sure his clients get to the free agent market. The series of articles, yesterday and today has been pretty enlightening by Silverman. He’s gotten quotes from people around baseball regarding these players, and while we don’t know who these sources are, the articles make you at least wonder if the media and fans have overrated the players on the Red Sox and the importance of re-signing them. For instance, about Varitek, the article today says:

"He's the guy I'd let walk,'' said a major-league executive. "People rate his intangibles so highly, he's bound to be overrated. I'm sure he's great in that department but he's got a lot of mileage on those legs, and catchers tend not to age well if they remain catchers. Offensively, he hasn't had that great a career. I think he's a guy who's destined to be overpaid, but not by the Red Sox.''

Interesting. Yeah, there are rumblings about the age of Varitek here and there, but it’s notable to hear it from an outsider. About Lowe, Silverman’s article on him states:

"Lowe's a lot like Millwood -- he's a guy with an ace-type reputation but he's not that good,'' said the executive, comparing Lowe with fellow free agent and Boras client Kevin Millwood of the Phillies. "He's a good No. 2, but nothing more. He does have more market value than (Chicago Cubs' Matt) Clement or (Seattle's Freddy) Garcia, and he's probably looking at three or four years at $9 or $10 million. If he gets four years, $48 million, I'd be floored. That would require an over-reaction on the part of the team, which is something that Boras specializes in.''

There are other quotes in the article which are very supportive of Lowe, but the general feeling seems to be that someone will overpay for his reputation as an ace. So the question is there…do the media and fans over value the players on the Red Sox? I’d say without question. Fans because they’ve rooted for the players and have been through a lot with these guys and the media because Lowe and Varitek are two of the more accommodating and accessible members of the club.

Most “experts” say the Red Sox have been something of a disappointment thus far. I emphasis “experts” because I’m not sure what the definition of an expert is. Just because someone covers the team in some capacity or is on a media outlet that talks about the team, I’m not automatically going to label them an “expert”. That’s where the “fan website” term eats me up. It’s used as a note of dismissal by traditional media members. Yet I would say that some of the people on these sites qualify as “experts” on the Red Sox moreso than some of the “traditional” media members do. Especially radio & TV commentators and personalities. The line between these folks and the average fan is pretty vague. Most of these guys aren’t in the locker room or around the players and management any more than the average fan. So why should their opinion count any more? Just because they have the “credentials” or have attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting?

I have respect for people like the beat writers. They are around the team everyday. They do the grunt work. Their role is much less glamorous than the talking heads of radio and TV, and they get less recognition. In general, they’re the ones whose information I’m more likely going to trust. Rant over.

Back to links. Sean McAdam is one of the media members whom I’d lean towards putting in the expert category. He does tell us that the Red Sox have been less than advertised this year. He examines the team as we approach the first quarter mark of the season. Bob Hohler and Jeff Horrigan look at the defensive woes of the Sox thus far, noting that this trend could be dangerous over the long haul of the season. Tony Massarotti (Noted Internet hater) says the Sox need to step things up and not use injuries as an excuse. Jeff Sullivan reports that Nomar could be ready to join the PawSox on a rehab assignment as early as Friday. I didn’t see that reported anywhere else. Steve Buckley has a pay column saying that Kevin Youkilis should stay in the majors and develop as a player at this level. Alan Greenberg has a feature length article on Pittsfield’s claim to being the birthplace of baseball. Hohler’s notebook looks at the financial state of the Devil Rays. Horrigan’s notebook has a look at the versatility of Keith Foulke.

Jon Couture takes Jim Donaldson to task for bragging about not watching the NBA, but still having an opinion on it. He says the NBA is getting a raw deal. Peter May looks at the revival of the Lakers, and gets his obligatory shots in at Danny Ainge and the Celtics.

Bob Ryan looks at former BU and Holy Cross football coach Dan Allen, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 48. A truly tragic story since right to the end, the doctors couldn’t fully figure out what was wrong with him. Lenny Megliola and John Connolly also remember Allen. Mark Blaudschun has his obituary for the Globe.

Bill Griffith says that we really didn’t learn much from Steve Burton’s sitdown with the Postons.

Oh yeah, the Spring mini-fund-drive will start tomorrow…

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Heat/Pacers at 8:00. ESPN2 has Lightning/Flyers at 7:30.

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Monday Rest

Monday Links while thinking how much I hate the term “fan website”. It’s almost used like a dirty word these days…

If a team ever needed an off day, it’s your Boston Red Sox. After finishing up their trip to Toronto with a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays, the Sox have today off to prepare for the Juggernaut that is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Yesterday, Pedro Martinez was outdueled by Roy Halladay, as the Sox offense continued it’s struggles. Jeff Horrigan says that the Sox quiet offense is cause for concern. Sean McAdam says the Sox appear to be just treading water these days. David Heuschkel says that Pedro would have no talk of a personal duel with Halladay. Bob Hohler says that the off day today is desperately needed for a team running on fumes. David Borges looks at the Petey/Doc matchup. Tony Massarotti wonders if the 2004 Boston Red Sox are a dull club. Dan Shaughnessy says the club is haunted and tells ghosts stories from Tampa. Michael Silverman looks at the Sox situation with Pedro, and gets quotes from around the league as to whether the Sox should sign him up now or later, or at all. Massarotti notes that yesterday was Pedro’s third strong outing in a row. Silverman also has a piece on Fernando Cuza, the agent for Pedro. He also takes a look at the odds of David Ortiz re-signing with the Sox. Rumors had flown in recent weeks from a Dominican newspaper that Ortiz was close to a new deal with the Sox. Nothing has been heard since that time. McAdam’s notebook looks at the Sox getting their breather today. Borges’ notebook has Johnny Damon hoping that recent trade rumors involving him aren’t true. Hohler’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis enjoying his rookie hazing. Horrigan’s notebook says that Youkilis might end up sticking around. Heuschkel’s notebook ponders if the Sox miss Trot Nixon more than Nomar.

Kevin McNamara has a look at some of the faces and names we’ll be seeing and hearing about in preparation for the NBA draft next month.

David Scott looks at the Nomar/Dirt Dogs situation, Sunday Night shows and the Sports Guy in his Monday edition of Scott’s Shots. He comes down pretty hard on Bob Lobel for not accepting the new media that is the Internet. I’m not sure I agree…Lobel has actually been one of the very few media types in town who will talk with the Internet people, who will get involved with website chats, (even without moderators) and even have them on his programs.

John Molori looks at the end of “Sports Sunday”, NECN blocking Mike Giardi from moving to channel 7 and the Hot Dog Safari.

Right below this post is the transcript from the Poston Brothers appearance on Sports Final last night. At the end of the script is a hilarious parody clip of the Poston’s in action.

ESPN has White Sox/Indians at 7:00 and Flames/Sharks at 10:00.

Transcript of Poston’s visit to “Sports Final”

(Thanks to poster “Tiki” for compiling this.)

WBZ Sports Final Interview with Ty Law’s Agents The Postons May 16th, 2004 Conducted by Steve Burton

Steve Burton=SB
Carl Poston=CP
Kevin Poston=KP

Steve Burton (Intro): They are black, they are brothers, they are attorneys. They’re also two of the top Sports Agents in the world. Meet the Poston Brothers. These two represent Ty Law. They are a dynamic duo, not to be taken lightly. Especially when it comes to contracts.

Carl Poston: Bill Belichick was in the same situation with the Giants. He was uncomfortable with the contract situation and filed a lawsuit and ended up with the Patriots. Ty’s in the exact same situation. But Bill’s on the other side of the fence this time. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Bill. I don’t have anything against the Patriots. But, when you cross my client, you cross us.

Kevin Poston: We represent over fifty clients. Ty Law’s at the top. Ty will give you everything he’s got. But he wants to be treated fairly. Everyone does. You do.

SB: You guys come out and say “fair treatment, fair treatment” and people can’t relate to what you’re saying. I’m telling you back home they’re saying “51 million dollars? Is that not fair enough?”

KP: You know why? You know why? Cause you’re looking at the money. You say 51 and you’re like wow (SB: Yeah anyone would) but let’s look at it this way: let’s look at it in simplistic terms. Let’s look at five dollars. Because it’s all relative. OK? It’s all relative. Why? It could be a hundred million. It’s about what your fair market value is.

SB: People back home think you guys are giving Ty Law bad advice. They’re thinking you changed Ty Law. He’s greedy, he’s a greedy player, he’s a selfish player and it’s all coming from his agents. You two.

CP: Ty Law is 30 years old. The Patriots had no intention of letting him go. Know why? Because they know he’s worth a lot more. Even though Ty said I will take a pay…I will take less to play for the Patriots than I would to play for another team.

SB: Did Ty say that?

CP: Ty said that.

SB: Ty has said, we have quotes of Ty Law saying ‘I played like the best cornerback in the league. I want to be paid as the top cornerback in the league.

KP: I’m sure he does. But remember one thing Ty also did. And in all my years in this business, fifteen years, I’ve never had a client say ‘You know what? Let me find out exactly what I have to do. I will buy out my contract. Forget trade. Buy it out. I’ve got so much money that I will write you a check because all I want to do is be treated fairly. Now that’s a heck of a statement.

SB: How in the world..how in the world can Ty Law go back and play for the Patriots now after he just called his boss a liar.

KP: Difficultly. He can do it. He can do it. Ty’s the man. He didn’t say that to belittle Bill. It may have belittled Bill. But he said it because in his mind, that’s the truth.

SB: Belichick lied to him?

KP: That’s the truth. According to Ty Law.

SB: And you believe your client?

KP: Without a doubt. There’s no issues about Ty’s truth. Or his integrity.

SB: What about the trouble Ty gets into? Ty got arrested recently. Rolls-Royce. He was running from the police.

KP: Oh, he was running from the police? That’s what they say.(SB:That’s what they said.) (CP: I don’t believe those things.) (SB:I don’t know what he did) If he was running from the police, I don’t think they would’ve caught Ty.

Laughter.

CP: Also, if you’ve ever been to South Beach on a Friday night, I don’t see how anyone could flee. It’s bumper to bumper traffic, about ten miles per hour. Ty’s not going to leave his Rolls-Royce sitting there. Now, I think there was some other issues that took place there.

SB: Have you talked to Ty about it?

CP: Oh yeah. I talked to him that night. He called me. And he said ‘Carl, this stuff is not true. I don’t know what they’re trying to do to me.’ Some of the stuff is just very stereotypical. In that light, an officer, an overzealous officer is trying to make a name for himself.

SB: Belichick talk to you?

CP: No.

SB: Why? Why not, I should say.

CP: That’s his problem. I would call but I’ll get a call back from Scott Pioli.

SB: Are you willing to talk to Bill?

KP: I’m willing to talk to anybody.

CP: I was in Boston for the draft and I tried to talk to Bill. I tried to talk to Scott. They told me they were too busy. Ty was willing to charter a private jet if they’d agree to have met. To fly into Boston. To meet. They didn’t want to me. They said there’s nothing to discuss.

SB: Do you think they’re hurt by what Ty said? Calling the coach a liar?

KP: They may have been.

CP: I’m sure they are.

SB: But you’ve got to see the Patriots’ side of things. Ten million dollars against the cap. For one player. Your player. They’re saying, hey what is that, one eighth? Your player’s costing this team, great player but one eighth.

KP: Okay.

SB: Okay what?

KP: You can trade him. That’s the business. You got a great player, you get a big cap number.

SB: Do you see their side of it?

CP: Of course. I just wouldn’t have made the decision they made.

There is also an alternative edition that you can watch, Here.

First Things First

Bronson Arroyo is back in the rotation and the Sox are back in first as Arroyo shut out the Blue Jays for eight innings and Kevin Youkilis hit his first home run giving the Sox a 4-0 win. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Sean McAdam have game stories.

Neil Swidey has feature story in the Globe Magazine, Being Nomar as “the famously tightlipped shortstop opens up on everything from the angst of his off-season to his relationships with his family, his bosses, and his fans. Oh, yeah, he talks about that little contract squabble, too.” Karen Gueregian tells us that “Manny being Manny” is now a good thing. Tony Massarotti tells us that David Ortiz is not just a hitter. He is a slugger. Art Davidson looks at Pokey Reese, the quarterback of the Sox infield. <a href="http://redsox.bostonherald.com/redSox/view.bg?articleid=28072&quot; target="_blank

Back on Track

The Red Sox bats exploded in the eighth and their bullpen returned to form as they beat the Blue Jays 9-3 at SkyDome last night. Jeff Horrigan, Sean McAdam, and Bob Hohler have game stories.

Dan Shaughnessy tells us these Red Sox are struggling in the field. Tony Massarotti has a look at Alan Embree who put out the fire in a tie game with the bases loaded in a disastrous sixth inning for Derek Lowe and the Red Sox. David Heuschkel has a more in depth look at Embree and the decision to go with a more experienced reliever early in the game. Many in Red Sox nation have been critical of Tito

Midday Update

A couple things going on today worthy of creating a second post for the day. First, the Nomar/Dirt Dogs story. During the Dale & Neumy program on WEEI, Nomar’s uncle, Victor, cited on the BDD’s page called into the radio station to deny the story as it appears on the web page. Stay posted…

Update Eric Wilbur on Boston.com says the Nomar story actually originated as a post on the Red Sox Nation website. This has been a topic of discussion on WEEI today and Steve Silva, who runs the Dirt Dogs website was on with Dale & Neumy (and Dennis and Callahan) Silva has since posted an update on his own site, standing by his story.

Whether the story is true or not, it seems neither “old” media nor “new” media has distinguished themselves in this affair. It doesn’t reflect well on the Internet sites, as now people like Glenn Ordway have more ammo to use to belittle and mock “Internet geeks”, while at the same time his own station began the broadcast day fawning all over the report, treating it as legitimate and using it to further one of their own agendas. (The anti-Nomar agenda.) This whole thing has given me one massive headache.

Elsewhere, Bill Simmons announced in a Page2 Mailbag today that he has left the Jimmy Kimmel show and is back with ESPN.com:

Two weeks ago, I left Jimmy's show, and I'm signing a new contract with ESPN. When it came right down to it, I missed writing my column and wanted the chance to pursue some additional opportunities with ESPN (none of which I'm allowed to mention yet -- although sadly, the launching of ESPN6 isn't one of them). Between working 60 hours a week for a TV show and trying to keep my column alive, there just wasn't enough time in the week. And I felt like my writing was starting to slip -- I just didn't have enough time to work on columns or even think about them (which is three-fourths of the writing process). So something had to give.

A new contract with ESPN sounds like he’s not a candidate for the Globe columnist position, which he probably didn’t have a chance at anyway because of some hurt feelings by decision makers there… In any event. it’s my position that the Globe will not hire a columnist…they’ll likely just add another staff reporter/writer.

Schilling Shelling

Alright, what’s up with this team? We turn to the media for all the answers. Well, maybe not. Sean McAdam says mistakes and a faulty bullpen were to blame for the 12-6 thumping the Sox suffered at the hands of the Blue Jays last night. David Heuschkel says that Curt Schilling pitched much worse than his line would indicate. Bob Hohler says that the Sox once again feel behind early, a disturbing pattern that has now extended for a couple weeks. Jeff Horrigan looks at the struggles of Schilling last night. David Borges looks at the Sox falling out of first place. Dan Shaughnessy lauds Schilling for his preparation, despite the results last night. OK, nice of Dan to be positive, but let me ask you this….what if that was Pedro on the mound last night? Pedro throws a stinker, he’s “done”. Schilling throws one, and it’s ok, because it wasn’t because he wasn’t prepared…Tony Massarotti says Derek Lowe knows he needs to come up big tonight. Art Martone says there are many reasons for the hit and miss offense of the Red Sox. Neil Swidey has part of an extensive interview with Nomar Garciaparra, the full story can be read this Sunday in The Boston Globe Magazine.

Speaking of Nomar, Dirt Dogs has an exclusive that says the Sox shortstop actually tore the sheath around his Achilles tendon, a much more serious injury than just a bruise. On WEEI, Dennis and Callahan reported this news, citing the Dirt Dogs site as their source. If true, what does it say about the quality of reporting that we get from the newspapers? Shouldn’t they have this information first? Perhaps they have it already and for some reason have chosen not to report it. Wouldn’t be the first time. Back to your regularly scheduled programming… Massarotti says that the Sox are in need of some serious first aid. Steve Britt looks at Lowe trying to straighten himself out. Michael Gee has a pay column ranking baseball movies. He lists them as “hits”, “outs” and “errors” two of his “outs” are Field of Dreams and The Natural. He calls the latter “this dismal piece of claptrap.” Under his “Hits” he has listed “The Naked Gun”. Gerry Callahan has a pay column going after Barry Bonds for his “arrogance” in playing the “race card” recently. Hmmm, nice. A guy suspended from his job for making racially insensitive comments feels like he has the right to call a black man arrogant for suggesting that all things are still not equal in the matter of race in sports. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Terry Francona made the wrong call to the bullpen last night. Borges’ notebook looks at Lowe. McAdam’s notebook says that Lowe will try to turn things around in a park he’s never had much success in. Hohler’s notebook has Lowe trying to reduce the walks that have haunted him this year. Horrigan’s notebook says the Sox are looking forward to the day off on Monday.

Mike Reiss has a Question and Answer session with Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

David Scott had forgotten how much he actually hates the Lakers. Peter May looks at Derek Fisher and the Lakers stunning the Spurs in the final second last night.

Bill Griffith looks at NBC’s Donna Barton, who made the transition from rider to reporter covering this weekend’s Preakness. Boston Radio Watch reports that Bob Rodgers, formally of NESN is back among the gainfully employed:

Former NESN studio host Bob Rodgers took over as the regular host on Norm Resha's 'Calling All Sports' on WTKK 96.9FM (Sundays 4-7pm) last month. Rodgers replaces Gary Tanguay who was with the show since it landed on WTKK in 2001(BRW 11/29/01).

UPN-38 has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. TNT has Nets/Pistons at 7:00 and T-Wolves/Kings at 9:30