It had been a slow first month of the free agent season for the Sox – including a non-event at the winter meetings in Indy – but the stove is heating up now with one trade in the works, another on everybody’s minds, and two big free agent signings formalized yesterday. The Sox make a nice warm place to start off this week.
With all the chatter and controversy surrounding the week’s moves, Fire Brand Of The American League figures no one in New England likes Theo Epstein right about now even though there’s still much work to be done. I’m Just Sayin’, however, has the 2010 roster looking nearly complete with the signings of John Lackey and Mike Cameron. Red Sox Monster calls the signings Theo’s biggest shocker since his gorilla suit days. Nuggetpalooza serves up nuggets that put Lackey on the same platter as Johann Santana and tell you why Cameron should be taking on 3-0 counts.
Toeing The Rubber loves the way Theo signed Lackey right under the noses of the Boston media, who never had a whiff of this deal. The Crowe’s Nest says it’s no coincidence the Lackey signing went down on the same day as the three-way involving Roy Halladay. Sox Space News says Theo has awoken this winter to what could be his best signing ever. Tom Caron calls this the best starting rotation in baseball with Lackey. Joe Haggerty says that, with one stroke, Theo built the best rotation of his administration and obliterated last year’s bargain-basement missteps. However, Surviving Grady doesn’t like extending five years to Lackey, whom they call the J.D. of pitchers. Boston Dirt Dogs has Krista Lackey the Leigh Teixeira of baseball wives – and then some! Utility Lou thinks Lackey makes Josh Beckett disposable by next season’s trade deadline.
38 Pitches says that, even after the Lackey signing, Boston has the money to put either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday in left. The Mighty Quinn Media Machine assumes the Cameron signing means a farewell to Bay and an end to Holliday speculation, but The Bottom Line suggests Cameron might have been brought in to replace Jacoby Ellsbury, who is presumably a chip in dealing for Adrian Gonzalez.
Sporting News MLB says Padres GM Jed Hoyer better get on the phone with Theo, because waiting longer to trade Gonzalez isn’t going to help him. ESPN Boston’s Boston Red Sox Blog says the Sox aren’t going to package Clay Buchholz and Ellsbury for Gonzalez, and Hoyer doesn’t want them anyway. Fenway West thinks it’s more likely that Nick Johnson will push Kevin Youkilis to third than Adrain Beltre keeping him at first.
Question: can the purchase of a single World Series title now characterize these as days of Yankee dominance? Subway Squawkers thinks so and calls out Theo as a penny-pincher in the process. However, Hit And Run With Dan Roche has no doubt the Sox put their money into the baseball product – when it’s justified. Eric Ortiz considers whether the Sox have enough on the field to now dethrone the Yankees. And after this week’s spend, John Chandler says the ball is in the Yankees’ court. Hey, do we really want to challenge the Empire to a shop-off?
Simply the hottest product in the Boston market this Holiday Season, the C’s made it eight straight away from TD after concluding a 3-0 road trip in Memphis on Monday night. Celtics Central calls Monday an ensemble win with the C’s mixing multi-part harmonies and solos in all the right places. Green Street has the C’s noticeably better than the Grizzlies at point guard.
Neil Keefe has Rasheed Wallace and Eddie House having impactful Decembers. A. Sherrod Blakely says Danny Ainge is feeling no buyer’s remorse after signing Sheed this summer. ESPN Boston Celtics Blog considers Sheed for Sixth Man and Kendrick Perkins for Most Improved Player awards, respectively, but doesn’t see an MVP candidate coming out of this balanced attack.
Celtics Stuff Live equates the C’s lack of rebounding to a pimple on Natalie Portman’s face. Red’s Army has the C’s getting butchered on the boards.
And the fate of a young boy’s allegiance to his dad and the home town hang on every word as Lex Nihil Novi reads to his son. What’s it gonna be, boy: Bird or Magic? Green or yellow?
And now for the not-so-hot. Despite their win against Carolina in Foxborough on Sunday, Patriots Gab says the Pats have forgotten how to play like a team. First And Ten From Foxborough says it still didn’t look like the old Pats. PatsFans calls the team that took the field in the first half of the Panthers game the most lifeless we’ve seen all season. The Boston Score was happy to see the Pats scrap complicated offensive schemes and get it together in the second half to pull out a two-cylinder win against Carolina.
Thanks For Playing says you can’t bench Randy Moss and you can’t give him tough love, so throw him a bone on the opening series and just hope for the best. Michael Felger will not be nominated president of the Randy Moss Fan Club anytime soon, but Pats Pulpit won’t even consider joining Felger’s fan club as they come to Moss’s defense, calling him classy and a leader.
It Is What It Is is trying to find a defensive lineman that can play this Sunday – or, for that matter, one who can even say whether he’ll play. Jeff Howe has Bill Belichick relating to the position Bills interim coach Perry Fewell finds himself in this Sunday. Extra Points is weirded out by the similarities between the 2009 Bills and the 1976 Detroit Lions, whose coaching staff included Belichick.
We’ve hit another ebb in the ebb-and-flow of the 2009 Bruins, as they’ve dropped two straight winnable contests and head out on a three-game road trip this Friday. The second of those losses came in the third period against Philadelphia Monday night. Something’s Bruin tries to figure out what went down during that second Flyers intermission. The Bear Cave has it a frustrating loss for goalie Tim Thomas, his sixth this season after giving up two goals or less.
The Hockey Blog Adventure looks at some numbers at the 30-game milestone. Caveman Strong isn’t handing out much hardware to the B’s based on the first quarter of this season.
Without much wing support, Bruins Blog has Marc Savard’s dishes going to waste. Hey, the Savard line is due for a shakeup says ESPN Boston Bruins Blog, which notes that Byron Bitz is lethal at finding mesh – but only in vacant goals. Hub Hockey considers Dennis Wideman’s rightful defensive pairing on the ice.
Finally, Kathryn Tappen‘s worlds have collided this week as an outdoor hockey rink is being constructed and Norm Abrams comes to Fenway.
The Holidays are coming, and the next two Thursdays are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I’ll be juggling things around to get in blog links over the next couple of weeks so look for advance notice on Twitter at @BobEks.