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Monday, January 27, 2020

Class action lawsuit filed against MLB, Astros, Red Sox on behalf of DraftKings players

I’m not a law guy so I don’t know if this suit has any standing, but it’s interesting and funny.  It’s relying in part on the official ‘partnership’ between MLB and DraftKings.

BillWallace Posted: January 27, 2020 at 03:43 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, draft kings, lawsuit, lawsuits, red sox

Friday, January 24, 2020

Bloom: Red Sox won’t rush to have manager by spring training

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox are still hoping to have a manager in place by spring training, but chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Thursday it’s possible they won’t hire someone before pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12.

“It would certainly be ideal” to have replaced Alex Cora by then — but not at the cost of rushing the process, Bloom said. “Nobody wants to be at this point in a year without a manager, obviously, so that would become even more important once we get to spring training.”

The Red Sox let Cora go last week after Commissioner Rob Manfred identified him as the ringleader in a sign-stealing scheme when he was the bench coach with the World Series champion Houston Astros in 2017. Major League Baseball is also looking into whether Cora engaged in similar shenanigans after taking over the Red Sox in 2018; the team has declined comment pending the results of the investigation.

The Astros fired manager AJ Hinch, and the Mets fired new manager Carlos Beltrán — before he managed a single game for the team — because of his connection to the cheating. The Mets stayed in house and quickly hired Luis Rojas to replace Beltrán, and the Astros have already conducted several interviews for their opening.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:13 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: chaim bloom, managerial search, red sox, spring training

Red Sox, Padres have reportedly discussed Mookie Betts trade that includes a surprising name

Tonight, on As The Mookie Turns:

Coming into the offseason, the Boston Red Sox were expected to make a blockbuster trade in order to get underneath the luxury tax. With two months remaining until Opening Day, the most obvious trade candidates—outfielders Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., and left-handed starter David Price—all remain in town. It’s anyone’s guess as to how much longer that stays true, as the Red Sox continue to monitor the market and explore potential deals.

For evidence of that, consider how the Red Sox and San Diego Padres recently engaged on talks centered around Betts, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic. Lin notes that while a deal has been characterized as unlikely, the talks have included a “significant amount of prospect talent” heading to Boston, as well as outfielder Wil Myers, who would serve as salary ballast.

Betts, 27, recently agreed to terms on a one-year pact worth $27 million for what will be his final season of team control. He’s expected to earn even more through free agency, as he’s hit .299/.389/.535 (141 OPS+) over the last three seasons while playing high-grade defense in right field. Betts has so far resisted the Red Sox’s attempts at signing him to a long-term extension, preferring instead to test the market at year’s end and receive a contract fitting of his true value.

As always, my apologies for not linking to an item behind a pay wall.

 

QLE Posted: January 24, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, padres, red sox, trade rumors

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dustin Pedroia suffers ‘significant setback’ with left knee, Red Sox confirm

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered a “significant setback” while rehabbing his left knee injury, a team spokesman confirmed.

“As a result, his status for spring training is uncertain,” said Kevin Gregg.

Gregg did not elaborate on the nature of this setback, which exacerbated an injury that has plagued Pedroia for several seasons.

The 2008 American League MVP’s knee troubles began in 2017, when his left knee was injured in a play involving Baltimore’s Manny Machado. Pedroia underwent surgery in October of that year.

Oh, mama
Could this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Boston
With a busted knee again

 

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, knee, red sox

Monday, January 20, 2020

J.D. Martinez says Red Sox are innocent. Now what?

SPRINGFIELD—The next shoe may not have officially dropped Saturday, but a toe was dipped into the water. For the first time, a member of the 2018 Red Sox flat-out said his team was innocent.

Up until J.D. Martinez stepped before the media at Winter Weekend there had been a series of coaches and players leaning on “it’s an ongoing investigation” when asked about Major League Baseball’s investigation into The Athletic’s report that the Red Sox had illegally used their video system to help relay sign sequences during games. But Martinez took things to another level.

“I’m excited for the investigation to get over with, just so they can see there was nothing going on here,” Martinez said.

When pressed on if he believed no wrongdoing would be found in the investigation he added, “I believe that, yes.”

This isn’t his way to get Red Sox management to keep him and dump Mookie, is it?

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: bullshit, dirty rotten cheaters, j.d. martinez, red sox

Saturday, January 18, 2020

MLB Rumors: Here’s where investigation into 2018 Red Sox stands

For those curious as for the state of round 2:

Boston Red Sox fans may have to reserve judgment for quite some time.

Major League Baseball may take “a while” to determine punishment for the Red Sox as it continues to investigate the 2018 team, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons reported Friday morning.

Gammons added the league hasn’t even interviewed former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, whom the club parted ways with Tuesday.

MLB is investigating the Red Sox for allegedly using a video replay room to illegally relay signs to hitters during the 2018 regular season.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:31 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, red sox, shame and scandal

“Hire ’Tek!”: Red Sox fans make pitch for Varitek as manager

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have a list of characteristics they want in their next manager, but they haven’t yet landed on a name.

Their fans have one in mind.

Three days after the Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora for his involvement in a cheating scandal, supporters pleaded for Boston’s front office to hire former catcher and team captain Jason Varitek at a town hall event Friday during the team’s winter festival.

Members of the team’s leadership group were hit with “Hire ’Tek!” chants throughout the night, and principal owner John Henry was interrupted several times by fans voicing their support. Henry paused and nodded in acknowledgement, and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom used the opportunity to appease the crowd.

Given how this week has gone so far, something tells me this could end up backfiring rather quickly…..

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:08 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, jason varitek, managerial search, red sox

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Yes, more teams than the Astros and Red Sox stole signs, but that doesn’t excuse them

There’s an element to all of this Astros and Red Sox news that keeps coming up that I want to dig in to. Indeed, it’s a thing that comes up every single time a team or a player gets in trouble for something. It’s the “hey, they weren’t the only ones doing it! They were singled out!” defense, almost always mounted by fans of the teams or players who get busted.

First, let’s be 100 percent clear about something: the Astros and the Red Sox were not — not by a long shot — the only teams stealing signs. To suggest that they were is to live in fantasyland. Tom Verducci reported the other day that the investigation of the Astros led to at least seven or eight other teams being mentioned. Last night Michael Baumann of The Ringer linked to stories over the past couple of months in which sources said they believed that the Diamondbacks, Indians, Rangers, Cubs, Blue Jays, Nationals and Brewers have engaged in sign-stealing shenanigans as well.

And hey, from the “it takes one to know one” department, let us not forget this little thing from last summer when, after the Yankees pounded the Red Sox in London, Alex Cora said that the Yankees’ biggest offseason addition was Carlos Beltrán, complete with a wink:

He follows that with “we have to clean our details,” which is an obvious reference to signs. If you think he’s not talking about the Yankees engaging in some sign-stealing, you’re deluding yourself. Which, of course, becomes the jumping off point for that “no fair, we were singled out!” sentiment so many Astros and Red Sox fans have shared in the past few days.

A consideration of a certain kind of commentary- might as well have it in mind now, as I anticipate seeing it deployed shortly…..

 

QLE Posted: January 16, 2020 at 12:21 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, red sox, sign-stealing

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Will the Red Sox use Alex Cora’s dismissal as a pretext for a teardown?

When Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch were fired yesterday, someone asked me what it all means for the Astros. My gut reaction was “not that much, at least in the short term.” Losing your manager and GM is not great and the loss of the draft picks will be a big blow down the line, but in the short term the team is still stocked, with Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke going 1-2 in the rotation, Alex Bregman, José Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer in the lineup and a farm system still pretty loaded with talent. They may not win 107 games again, and the rise of the Astros may be over, but they’re not likely to fall too far too fast.

The situation with the Red Sox strikes me a bit differently, though. And with Alex Cora getting fired this evening, I’m wondering if, perhaps, we may see some major changes for Boston, and if we see them quickly.

As Bill noted earlier, the Red Sox are at least trying to shrink payroll. They’ve equivocated on that at various times this offseason, first saying that they wanted to get below the Competitive Balance Tax threshold and that doing so while keeping both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez would be difficult. They backtracked on that more recently, saying that winning, not getting under that threshold, was the priority. Still, it’s hard to separate the stated goals from the P.R. considerations. One gets the strong feeling that, yes, the Sox’ front office would love to cut payroll below $208 million if they can, but that doing it without trading Mookie Betts would be close to impossible. And, of course, trading Betts would be a huge blow to fan morale, would likely lead to a big backlash, and might sink the Sox, competitively speaking.

But . . . maybe Alex Cora getting tossed aside changes that calculus? Maybe the team’s top brass — including new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, who has no connection whatsoever to that which happened in Boston before this winter and who has more leeway right now to build the team the way he wants to than he will ever have going forward — sees this crisis as an opportunity? Maybe they decide to cast Cora’s dismissal and whatever other penalties Major League Baseball visits upon them when the investigation is over as the straw that broke this iteration of the Red Sox’ back and decide to tear it up and start over?

 

 

QLE Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: chaim bloom, dollah dollah bills, y'all, mookie betts, red sox, the sky is falling

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLB sign-stealing investigation turns to Cora, Red Sox

Round two…..

BOSTON (AP) — Alex Cora could be the next World Series-winning manager sent home for stealing signs.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Red Sox skipper was “an active participant” in the sign-stealing scandal that cost Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs Monday. Cora was Houston’s bench coach when the team used electronics to illegally steal signs en route to a World Series championship in 2017.

The commissioner said Cora was among those who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme, in which the team used a center field camera to decode catchers’ signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.

Manfred is withholding discipline for Cora until concluding a separate investigation into allegations that Boston used electronics to steal signs in 2018, when the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 regular season games and a World Series in Cora’s first season as manager.

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 01:16 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, red sox, sign-stealing

Red Sox should fire Alex Cora to save face in baseball’s cheating scandal

There’s a good chance Alex Cora won’t be managing the Boston Red Sox in 2020 — and perhaps not ever again.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced his punishment Monday for the Houston Astros in their sign-stealing scandal and the harshest penalty yet might be looming for Cora, who was the Astros’ bench coach when the cheating scheme happened in 2017.

Cora was spared for now, as Manfred noted the league’s department of investigations was next turning its attention to sign-stealing allegations against the Boston Red Sox that surfaced last week. Those involve the 2018 season, when the Red Sox won the World Series with Cora as their first-year manager.

The Red Sox are alleged to have, according to The Athletic, used their video-replay room to decode signs and pass them along to teammates. This wasn’t as sophisticated as the Astros’ system, but it was still illegal, particularly after MLB issued a warning to teams against doing this very thing.

And, should John Henry have concerns about appeasing the fan base, there’s a gentleman in Cleveland he may want to get in touch with, and my home team might offer someone who’d be an instantly beloved player in exchange for some considerations on players in return…..

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, dirty rotten cheaters, red sox

Sunday, January 12, 2020

John Henry says Red Sox focused on competitiveness not salary cutting

About that whole Red Sox cutting payroll thing?

Sox principal owner John Henry told the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy that the team is focused more on being competitive rather than getting under baseball’s luxury tax - a.k.a. competitive balance tax - threshold of $208 million.

“But this focus on CBT [competitive balance tax] resides with the media far more than it does within the Sox,” Henry, who also owns the Globe, wrote to Shaughnessy in an email. “I think every team probably wants to reset at least once every three years — that’s sort of been the history — but just this week…I reminded baseball ops that we are focused on competitiveness over the next 5 years over and above resetting to which they said, ‘That’s exactly how we’ve been approaching it.’

Mind you, this would mean a lot more if there weren’t the sense that Henry could fire CHB if he were to ask any impertinent questions….

 

QLE Posted: January 12, 2020 at 01:25 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: chb, dollah dollah bills, y'all, john henry, red sox

Friday, January 10, 2020

Red Sox, Mookie Betts avoid arbitration with a 1-year, $27 million deal

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 10, 2020 at 02:03 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: c.r.e.a.m., mookie betts, red sox, wu-tang 4ever

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

MLB’s sign-stealing controversy broadens: Sources say the Red Sox used video replay room illegally in 2018 – The Athletic

Before the 2018 season, after years of barely enforcing its broad rules regarding replay rooms, the league made it crystal clear: Replay rooms cannot be used to help steal signs. The newly clarified rules, in combination with the fines the league levied on the Red Sox and Yankees and warnings it issued in ’17, were intended to end the replay-room chicanery.

For the Red Sox, and possibly other clubs, it did not.[emphasis added]

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2020 at 10:38 AM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sign stealing

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The All Decade Team

Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros

Hey, another six-time All-Star and a former MVP. But unlike Posey and Votto, who have faded of late, Altuve’s still a high-end performer. The diminutive 29-year-old’s fresh off his sixth straight outstanding season after beginning his career as a fairly non-threatening hitter. Between 2014-19, Altuve hit .327/.380/.497 with 114 dingers and helped his team to a championship. He ranked fourth in the majors in fWAR (32.4) and fifth in stolen bases (179) during that span.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 01, 2020 at 10:44 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, free agents, giants, indians, pirates, red sox, reds

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees reportedly must pay luxury tax bills for 2019

The final bills for those teams exceeding the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT)—known as the luxury tax—threshold for 2019 have arrived. According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, the Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs are the only teams that will owe for this past season.

The AP reports that the Red Sox owe a team-record $13.4 million tax. The Cubs are next with a $7.6 million bill, and then the Yankees check-in with $6.7 million owed. The Red Sox this past season led MLB with a payroll of $228 million, but they managed just 84 wins and a third-place finish in the AL East. The Cubs also missed the postseason 2019, while the 103-win Yankees stand as the only taxed team to make the playoffs last season. The champion Nationals were tied for fourth with a luxury tax payroll of $205 million, but wound up just under the limit.

The CBT is levied on average-annual-value payrolls above a certain dollar figure—$206 million for 2019. A team over the tax for the first time has to pay a 20 percent fine on the overage. A team over the line for two years in a row must pay a 30 percent fine. And three or more years in a row entails a 50 percent tax on the overage. The CBT also includes additional surtaxes for exceeding the threshold by $20 million (12 percent); $40 million (42.5 percent); and repeating over $40 million (45 percent). A team that goes more than $40 million over also has its highest draft pick moved down 10 spots provided it isn’t picking in the top six.

Given all the discussion of how important the luxury tax has become, a review of the figures is of interest.

 

QLE Posted: December 19, 2019 at 01:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, red sox, yankees

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Boston Red Sox’ front office relaxed, loose as Winter Meetings open in San Diego | Chris Cotillo - masslive.com

I’m glad everybody is getting along. Of course, maybe they are just laughing at the idea they will be able to clean up the Red Sox budget mess.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Friday, December 06, 2019

Scar Tissue - By Bobby Jenks

She snapped some pictures with her phone and then showed me that the bottom of my incision, about three-fourths of an inch of it, had burst open. That’s where the fluid was coming from. And it was just flowing out, too. It was constant — almost like a faucet that had been opened just a tiny, little bit. When we were able to get a look, we saw that it wasn’t blood. It was this weird clear liquid.

Neither of us knew what to do at that point. We couldn’t get ahold of the doctor who’d performed the surgery, so we just kept bandaging me up. But we needed to change the dressing on my incision a bunch of times because it just wouldn’t stop leaking fluid. I had to wake up three or four times that night to switch out the gauze, and the next morning I decided I needed to get looked at by a doctor.

I drove over to one of those little medical clinics they have everywhere now, and as soon as the doctor in that place saw me, he took immediate action. It was like, “I’m calling the hospital right now. Go home and pack some things, and then I need you to get to the emergency room….

“Mr. Jenks … you’re leaking spinal fluid.”


Thursday, December 05, 2019


Sunday, December 01, 2019

Red Sox among five teams under pressure for MLB hot-stove splash

Red Sox: They won it all in 2018, missed the playoffs in 2019, fired Dave Dombrowski (head of their baseball operations), have a manager in Alex Cora who might be tied up in the Astros’ electronic pitch-stealing scandal from when he was their bench coach in 2017, owners calling for major pay reductions, and a great, popular homegrown player in his prime in Betts, who has given no indications he will re-sign in Boston before free agency.

So Chaim Bloom, who replaced Dombrowski, has a full plate at what feels like a pivotal moment for the organization to try not to get so caught up in maximizing this year’s team as to mess up the near future. Can Bloom trade Price or Eovaldi? What can be gotten for Betts, whose value is hurt by having just one year of control and a 2020 salary that will at least approach $30 million?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, phillies, red sox, twins

Friday, November 08, 2019

Report: Red Sox trading Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘all but certain’

Chaim Bloom will be put to the test right away this offseason as the Boston Red Sox’ new Chief Baseball Officer.

The Mookie Betts contract situation is enough to give any front office executive a headache, but one under-the-radar storyline in Boston this offseason will be what Bloom and the Red Sox brass decide to do about center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley is set to hit free agency after next season and will make $11 million in the final year of his contract. As the Red Sox look to shed payroll, they could look to deal their Gold Glove center fielder and find a more cost-effective replacement. In fact, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic believes it’s “all but certain” Boston will look to trade Bradley.

Will he be taking the Jackpot Wad with him when he goes?

 

QLE Posted: November 08, 2019 at 12:46 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley jr., red sox, trade rumors

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Mookie Betts, Red Sox have not discussed contract extension

With J.D. Martinez not opting out of his Red Sox contract, all eyes now are on Mookie Betts.

Martinez’s commitment to Boston for 2020 adds to the speculation the Red Sox could choose to trade their superstar right fielder if the two sides can’t come to terms on a contract extension. Betts is set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, and Sox president Sam Kennedy has admitted “it will be difficult” to keep both sluggers on the roster.

On Wednesday, Kennedy said the two sides have not discussed a possible extension yet this offseason.

“I’m sure we’ll have conversations at the appropriate time,” Kennedy said according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

It’s always something to watch a train wreck in slow motion, isn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:22 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

J.D. Martinez doesn’t opt out of contract with Red Sox

J.D. Martinez did not opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox.

By remaining with the Red Sox, Martinez can earn $62.5 million over the next three years: $23.75 million for 2020 and $19,375,000 for both 2021 and 2022. He also has the option to opt out after each of the next two seasons, as long as he does not spend a lengthy period on the injured list.

“J.D. has advised me that his decision is about assuring that he plays for a competitive team and wanting to continue to play in a place where he knows that he can be highly productive,” Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent, told The Boston Globe.

Over the past three seasons, Martinez leads the league in home runs with 124 and is second in RBIs at 339, batting average at .313, slugging percentage at .619 and OPS at 1.007 over that span.

This should make the Red Sox’s financial planning,,,,interesting, to say the least…..

 

QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, opt-outs, red sox

Monday, November 04, 2019

Castillo declines to opt out of Red Sox contract

BOSTON (AP) — To the surprise of no one, outfielder Rusney Castillo declined to opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox and will remain in their minor league system.

Castillo agreed to a $72.5 million, seven-year contract in 2014 and has not appeared in a major league game since 2016. He could have voided the final season of his deal, which calls for a $13.5 million salary, and become a free agent.

And one of baseball’s strangest games of chicken continues onward.

 

QLE Posted: November 04, 2019 at 12:41 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: opt-outs, red sox, rusney castillo

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Chaim Bloom’s Rays pioneered the opener — could it be a regular sight for Red Sox in 2020?

Baseball purists shudder at the mere mention of the “The Opener,” the concept of using a reliever for an inning or two before handing the ball off to the rest of the bullpen. It was pioneered by the Tampa Bay Rays during the tenure of new Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, and to great success.

Of the 14 pitchers to make a start for the Rays last year, 11 of them also pitched in relief. All-Star Charlie Morton, defending Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, and breakout candidate Tyler Glasnow were the only Rays used exclusively as starters.

The results have produced some statistical oddities. Former Red Sox farmhand Jalen Beeks pitched over 100 innings despite making only three starts last year, right-hander Ryan Yarbrough has more wins (27) than starts (20) over the last two seasons, and right-hander Ryan Stanek accounted for only two decisions despite making 27 starts in 2019. But there’s no arguing the bottom line, with Tampa cracking 90 wins in each of the last two seasons.

With Bloom taking over in Boston, a natural question is if we should expect to see more openers. He’s not going there, yet, though he may not have a choice.

Notes on a continuing pitching trend.

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 01:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chaim bloom, opener, red sox

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