Curt Schilling, arguing that the Red Sox should sign Josh Beckett to a contract extension right now:
Here’s why, barring some freakish medical issue which I assume he
doesn’t have or there would be bigger problems, you sign Josh now. The one worry, other than health, you have when signing ANY player
to a long term contract is the player themselves. Are they going to
keep grinding, working, wanting it?
That’s where this becomes a no brainer. I know Josh as well as
anyone knows Josh. There is not a sliver of a chance that you get
anything less than his total focus, concentration and effort for every
day he’s under contract, no matter who that is with.
Schilling-the-blogger is most associated with the Red Sox. I’m guessing a good 80% or more of his readers are Sox fans. I’m guessing a good 80% of them know that the Red Sox front office under Theo Epstein doesn’t give a diddly durn about how bad someone wants it. Dave Roberts wanted it bad and worked hard. Nomar wanted it bad and worked hard. So did Pedro. So did Jason Bay. And the front office cut the cord on those dudes because they make a point of signing guys who not only work hard, but who play well, stay healthy and who won’t cost radically more than the Red Sox think they can be expected to be worth over the course of the deal.
If Beckett wants Lackey money or better, the Sox will probably let him walk. If he’ll take something shorter or cheaper-per-year and he has a good season in 2010, he’ll stay. It’s pretty simple really. It doesn’t matter how hard Beckett works. It doesn’t matter how bad he wants to win. It ain’t personal. It’s just business.
1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.
Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:
“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’
Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.
I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.
The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.
Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.
Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:
It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”
At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.
I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .