Tracking the top 111 free agents

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Here’s the rundown to date of the contracts received by my top 111 free agents. The list below doesn’t include free agents signed before the end of October (most notably, Ted Lilly) or non-tender free agents such as Russell Martin.

111. Dave Bush (Brewers – Age 31):
110. Carlos Delgado (Red Sox – Age 38):
109. Craig Counsell (Brewers – Age 40):
108. Gerald Laird (Tigers – Age 31):
107. Joe Crede (FA – Age 32):
106. Adam Kennedy (Nationals – Age 35):
105. Jason Varitek (Red Sox – Age 38): Red Sox – one year, $2 million
104. Melky Cabrera (Braves – Age 26): Royals – one year, $1.25 million
103. Pedro Martinez (FA – Age 39):
102. Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers – Age 28):
101. Kyle Farnsworth (Braves – Age 34):
100. Jerry Hairston Jr. (Padres – Age 34):
99. Justin Duchscherer (Athletics – Age 33):
98. Gregg Zaun (Brewers – Age 39):
97. Chad Qualls (Rays – Age 32):
96. Cesar Izturis (Orioles – Age 31): Orioles – one year, $1.5 million
95. Jose Contreras (Phillies – Age 39): Phillies – two years, $5.5 million
94. Andruw Jones (White Sox – Age 33):
93. Felipe Lopez (Red Sox – Age 30):
92. Chad Durbin (Phillies – Age 33):
91. Jorge Cantu (Rangers – Age 29):
90. J.C. Romero (Phillies – Age 34):
89. Nick Johnson (Yankees – Age 32):
88. Trevor Hoffman (Brewers – Age 43):
87. Bengie Molina (Rangers – Age 36):
86. Kevin Correia (Padres – Age 30): Pirates – two years, $8 million
85. Rick Ankiel (Braves – Age 31):
84. Nick Punto (Twins – Age 33):
83. Brandon Webb (Diamondbacks – Age 31):
82. Ty Wigginton (Orioles – Age 33) – Rockies – two years, $7.5 million
81. Freddy Garcia (White Sox – Age 34):
80. Edgar Renteria (Giants – Age 35):
79. Xavier Nady (Cubs – Age 32) :
78. Takashi Saito (Braves – Age 41):
77. Rod Barajas (Dodgers – Age 35): Dodgers – one year, $3.25 million
76. Jose Guillen (Giants – Age 34):
75. Scott Podsednik (Dodgers – Age 35):
74. Dan Wheeler (Rays – Age 33):
73. Rich Harden (Rangers – Age 29):
72. Yorvit Torrealba (Padres – Age 32): Rangers – two years, $6.25 million
71. Erik Bedard (Mariners – Age 32): Mariners – one year, $1 million
70. Doug Davis (Brewers – Age 35):
69. Cristian Guzman (Rangers – Age 33):
68. Russell Branyan (Mariners – Age 35):
67. Miguel Olivo (Rockies – Age 32): Mariners – two years, $7 million
66. Orlando Cabrera (Reds – Age 36):
65. Arthur Rhodes (Reds – Age 41):
64. Troy Glaus (Braves – Age 34):
63. Ramon Hernandez (Reds – Age 34): Reds – one year, $3 million
62. Miguel Tejada (Padres – Age 36): Giants – one year, $6.5 million
61. Jason Frasor (Blue Jays – Age 33): Blue Jays – accepted arbitration
60. Lyle Overbay (Blue Jays – Age 34):
59. Octavio Dotel (Rockies – Age 37):
58. Jhonny Peralta (Tigers – Age 28): Tigers – two years, $11.25 million
57. Kevin Millwood (Orioles – Age 36):
56. Bill Hall (Red Sox – Age 31):
55. Matt Guerrier (Twins – Age 32):
54. Pat Burrell (Giants – Age 34): Giants – one year, $1 million
53. Koji Uehara (Orioles – Age 35): Orioles – one year, $3 million
52. Hideki Matsui (Angels – Age 36):
51. Jesse Crain (Twins – Age 29):
50. Jim Thome (Twins – Age 40):
49. Kevin Gregg (Blue Jays – Age 32):
48. Chris Young (Padres – Age 31):
47. Jon Rauch (Twins – Age 32):
46. Aaron Harang (Reds – Age 32): Padres – one year, $4 million
45. Frank Francisco (Rangers – Age 31): Rangers – accepted arbitration
44. John Buck (Blue Jays – Age 30): Marlins – three years, $18 million
43. Pedro Feliciano (Mets – Age 34):
42. Brad Penny (Cardinals – Age 32):
41. Mark Ellis (Athletics – Age 33): Athletics – $6 million option exercised
40. J.J. Putz (White Sox – Age 34): Diamondbacks – two years, $10 million
39. Vicente Padilla (Dodgers – Age 33): Dodgers – one year, $2 million
38. Grant Balfour (Rays – Age 33):
37. Juan Uribe (Giants – Age 32): Dodgers – three years, $21 million
36. A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox- Age 34): White Sox – two years, $8 million
35. Brad Hawpe (Rays – Age 31):
34. Joaquin Benoit (Rays – Age 33): Tigers – three years, $16.5 million
33. Jeff Francis (Rockies – Age 30):
32. Coco Crisp (Athletics – Age 31): Athletics – $5.75 million option exercised
31. Kerry Wood (Yankees – Age 33):
30. Lance Berkman (Yankees – Age 35): Cardinals – one year, $8 million
29. Adam LaRoche (Diamondbacks – Age 31):
28. Orlando Hudson (Twins – Age 33):
27. Johnny Damon (Tigers – Age 37):
26. Scott Downs (Blue Jays – Age 35): Angels – three years, $15 million
25. Derrek Lee (Braves – Age 35):
24. Manny Ramirez (White Sox – Age 38):
23. Brian Fuentes (Twins – Age 35):
22. Magglio Ordonez (Tigers – Age 37):
21. Jon Garland (Padres – Age 31): Dodgers – one year, $5 million
20. Aubrey Huff (Giants – Age 34): Giants – two years, $22 million
19. Javier Vazquez (Yankees – Age 34): Marlins – one year, $7 million
18. Vladimir Guerrero (Rangers – Age 36):
17. Jake Westbrook (Cardinals – Age 33): Cardinals – two years, $16.5 million
16. David Ortiz (Red Sox – Age 35): Red Sox – $12.5 million option exercised
15. Rafael Soriano (Rays – Age 31):
14. Carlos Pena (Rays – Age 32): Cubs – one year, $10 million
13. Andy Pettitte (Yankees – Age 38):
12. Carl Pavano (Twins – Age 35):
11. Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies – Age 29): Rockies – three years, $32 million
10. Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers – Age 36): Dodgers – one year, $12 million
9. Paul Konerko (White Sox – Age 35): White Sox – three years, $37.5 million
8. Victor Martinez (Red Sox – Age 32): Tigers – four years, $48 million
7. Mariano Rivera (Yankees – Age 41): Yankees – two years, $30 million
6. Derek Jeter (Yankees – Age 36): Yankees – three years, $51 million
5. Adrian Beltre (Red Sox – Age 31):
4. Adam Dunn (Nationals – Age 31): White Sox – four years, $56 million
3. Jayson Werth (Phillies – Age 31): Nationals – seven years, $126 million
2. Carl Crawford (Rays – Age 29): Red Sox – seven years, $142 million
1. Cliff Lee (Rangers – Age 32):

Red Sox owner John Henry “haunted” by Tom Yawkey’s racist past, wants to rename Yawkey Way

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The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman reports that Red Sox owner John Henry is “haunted” by the racist past of previous owner Tom Yawkey and wants to rename Yawkey Way, the tw0-block street that runs from Brookline Avenue to Boylston Street.

Earlier this year, the Red Sox renamed an extension of Yawkey Way after David Ortiz.

Yawkey refused to promote black players from the minor leagues during the 1950’s despite exceptional performance. The Red Sox became the last major league team to integrate in 1959 when Pumpsie Green was added to the roster. Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947, called Yawkey “one of the most bigoted guys in baseball.”

This comes days after racial tensions in Charlottesville, VA where protesters and counter-protesters clashed over removing the statue of Robert E. Lee. A member of a white supremacist group drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. While President Trump has done little in the way of disavowing these hate groups, various city leaders have taken the initiative to remove Confederate monuments and the various other ways in which those people have been glorified. Baltimore, for example, removed four Confederate monuments early Wednesday morning.

Renaming Yawkey Way has been a long time coming and with the current political climate, Henry has finally been motivated enough to take action. He said, “I discussed this a number of times with the previous mayoral administration and they did not want to open what they saw as a can of worms. There are a number of buildings and institutions that bear the same name. The sale of the Red Sox by John Harrington helped to fund a number of very good works in the city done by the Yawkey Foundation (we had no control over where any monies were spent). The Yawkey Foundation has done a lot of great things over the years that have nothing to do with our history.”

Henry added, “The Red Sox don’t control the naming or renaming of streets. But for me, personally, the street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can – particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully. The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.”

Henry says if the decision were entirely up to him, he would dedicate the street to David Ortiz, calling it “David Ortiz Way” or “Big Papi Way.”

Though racism is a problem throughout the U.S., racism has been a particular problem in Boston at least when it comes to baseball. Earlier this year, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had peanuts thrown at him and was called racist slurs by fans at Fenway Park. Red Sox starter David Price said he has been on the receiving end of racist taunts from Boston fans as well. After the Jones incident, other players — including CC Sabathia, Barry Bonds, Mark McLemore, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. — spoke up and said that they had been treated similarly at Fenway Park.

Henry’s sensitivity to the issue is quite understandable. And he deserves kudos for doing the right thing in pushing to rename Yawkey Way, but one has to wonder why this hadn’t been done much, much sooner.

The Cardinals believe they are going to get Rally Cat back soon

Associated Press
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The saga of Rally Cat continues to unfold.

To remind you, Last Wednesday the St. Louis Cardinals were propelled to victory via the magic of the Rally Catn. We were calling it “Rally Kitten” then, but now it’s Rally Cat, as we’ll explain in a moment.

Then, as soon as he appeared, he was gone, lost by the groundskeeper who captured him when he went to go tend to his numerous claw and bite injuries. Then he was found again and given to the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach center! Yay! Now the Cardinals say they’re going to get him back. The Post-Dispatch reports:

The St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach organization has assured us they will be returning our cat to us after a mandatory 10-day quarantine period,” said Ron Watermon, the team’s vice president of communications, who added later that Rally Cat would be “cared for by our team, making the Cardinals Clubhouse his home.”

The Feral Cat Outreach center actually named him Rally Cat. Which, well, fine. But if good, smart people with better taste than them want to start calling him Yadier Meowlina, none of us will stop them.