Julio Lugo, on Red Sox fans booing him for not making enough plays defensively:
If you try to make a play like that and you get destroyed by you
[media] guys the next day, it’s not fair. You guys can say whatever you
want. I can take it. I can [expletive] take it. I’m a human being, I’ve
got feelings, but I can take it. It’s tough. Nobody wants to be booed.
Not me, not anybody. At the same time, I’m not making excuses. I’ll
tell you the truth. I think the fans have been fair to me.
Sometimes you deserve the boos. Sometimes you don’t, but I love it
here. I work my ass off. I go to sleep feeling good every night that
I’m trying my best. I’ve got that best job in the world. I get paid a
lot of money. You’ve got everything you want–money, fame, a bunch of
girls looking at you. What more can you want? I love Boston, man.
There’s nowhere else you’d want to play. I love it.
Since signing a four-year, $36 million contract in the winter of 2006,
Lugo has hit .248/.316/.343 while sitting out one-third of the Red
Sox’s games. And his defense at shortstop, which is drawing most of the
fans’ ire of late, has rated 3.2 runs below average during that time
according to Ultimate Zone Rating.
Add it all up and Lugo has been about 13 runs better than a
replacement-level shortstop while being paid about $20 million (thus
far), so suffice it to say that his love affair with Boston isn’t
exactly mutual. On the other hand, he makes a pretty good point with
the whole “money, fame, and a bunch of girls looking at you” thing.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.