The Little Rookie That Could
Some things haven't changed since Dustin's college days.
I was in New York over the weekend and so watched precious little in the ways of sporting events. I did, however, see a tiger shark suspended in blue-tinted formaldehyde at The Met which is not something one sees every day. And so I missed the Colts/Chargers game, though I hear tell it was absolutely *cough*six interceptions*cough*missed 29-yard FG*cough* delightful.
Apparently I've also missed the announcement that the Sox have re-signed Mike Lowell, right? I mean, they did, didn't they? They just opened the vault and gave him whatever he wants, money or years or both, right? There's no way they'd let him get away, is there?
No? You mean to tell me no such announcement exists because an agreement hasn't been reached? Say it ain't so, Theo!
Actually, if I'm being honest, I didn't expect a deal to get done during the exclusive negotiating window the Sox enjoyed with Lowell. Aside from A-Rod who has priced himself out of nearly every other market, Lowell is going to be the top free-agent prize this offseason. It makes sense for him to entertain other offers and thus drive the price up on the Sox. I guess I don't really begrudge him that. Doesn't mean that I didn't want him to pull a Schilling, fire his agent and be all, "I love you guys, I'm gonna stay forever and ever just because you're so nice and also, you smell like flowers and kittens." I mean, that would have been stellar, but I really wasn't expecting it.
What I am hoping is that the Sox have some kind of wiggle room in this apparent "very firm" deal they've offered him. Let's say they end up giving him a four year deal and during the fourth year, he breaks down and becomes an expensive paperweight. Well, the Sox are one of the only teams who can weather that kind of thing financially. Hell, JD Drew was an expensive paperweight for most of this season and while we surely complained about it (I personally bitched about it on more than one occasion), the bottom line is that we won the World Series with JD Drew as our starting right fielder so really, it didn't hurt us that much. Worst case scenario, I see Lowell having that kind of impact - or non-impact - in four years. So if I'm in charge, I'm giving him the years. That's the luxury of being the kind of team the Red Sox are. I wouldn't exploit it to sign A-Rod for all of the money for all of the years, but there's a huge difference between $15 million per for four years and $30 million per for eight years. That would seem insane to me.
Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about is Dustin Pedroia and how our wee little Second Basemen That Could overcame a dismal April, huffed and puffed and "I think I can, I think I can-ed" all the way to the American League Rookie of the Year award. No one is more self-deprecating than Dusty, which is probably some sort of self-preservation tactic since he's roughly the size of your average fourth grader and has probably been mistaken on more than one occasion for the bat boy. Of course, we have to give credit to Tito too while we're at it because he had the foresight to stick with Pedroia when he wasn't hitting his weight in the early goings and people (myself included) were clamoring for a stop gap second basemen while Pedroia got his shit together in Pawtucket.
I'm sorry, Dustin, I was wrong. You da man. Guess this means Youkilis will have to find another wheelbarrow buddy. If I were Buchholz, I'd look out.
And because it is possibly the greatest thing I've seen in, well, maybe forever, I thought I'd pass along this link to Josh Beckett's ranch, emailed to me by reader Christine:
Herradura Ranch, operated by Beckett Ventures, Inc. you see. Yes, it's everything you've hoped for and more. There are pictures of Josh Beckett with varying dead animals. There's lots of camo. There are smiling children standing with feral pigs they've presumably shot in some kind of bizarre rite of passage. It's the kind of thing I would have made up, except I didn't have to. Seriously, go peruse that site and imagine what life will be like for Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz shortly. Wow.