Signings and Such
Hee. Baby Tito. Hee.
So none of these things can be considered breaking news but I've yet to weigh in on them, so focused was I on recovering from the surreal experience of Dougie Night. So here goes. The way I see it, the three signings/discussions happening in the AL East right now break down thusly:
The Good (or Super Excellent if we're being honest):
The Sox have given manager Terry Francona an extension that will keep him on the Sox bench through 2011. Fantastic. It is as it should be. Look, we all rag on Tito every now and then and we will continue to do so because we're fans, and that's our job. We all second-guessed the deployment of Eric Gagne at certain points last season - and I'm willing to bet that in retrospect, Tito is all, "Yeeeeeeeeah, sorry about that" - but the fact remains that were most of us faced with the daily challenges and insanity that Francona deals with, we would have run naked through Kenmore Square bellowing about the voices in our heads about three seasons ago. As it stands now, the most likely candidate for that behavior is Jonathan Papelbon (or perhaps Kevin Millar when the O's are in town). My point being, Tito has the perfect mix of baseball know-how, a feel for his players and self-deprecation to make it as a manager in this town. Many have failed before him (we do not speak of Grady). But Tito's doing an excellent job.
What did his contract negotiation look like anyway? Did he just slap down fifteen pictures of Manny doing his Manny things - braiding his hair in the outfield, wearing David Wells' uniform, hugging Wally during a crucial play, disappearing into the Wall - and a video of Paps doing his celebratory jig and say "I manage the inmates from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' here. Pony up, gentlemen." I see no reason why that wouldn't have worked.
Apparently the Sox have signed former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract which...okay. I guess I've not been paying attention to the fortunes of Bartolo Colon if he's willing to settle for a minor league deal. I suppose Colon and Schilling can try to out-rehab each other or something and attempt to wrest that fifth spot in the rotation away from Lester/Buccholz but what I'm really concerned about here is twofold: 1) There is no way Josh Beckett is not going to make with the fat jokes, like ALL season. And that's just not going to be helpful. And 2) I am worried that Colon and Dougie might enable each other with the emotional eating. One bad outing and it's straight into the Entemann's for those two. And then no one's happy.
The Truly, Truly Bizarre But Actually Maybe Great:
The (no longer devilish) Rays are considering signing Barry Bonds. Hee. Oh, baseball. According to Joe Maddon and His Tragically Hip Glasses, discussions are mostly just out of curiosity at this point but you sort of have to love the possibility of this, right? Can you just imagine the Rays' brass sitting around all, "Okay, the thing is, we're terrible. Like, we're really bad. And despite our pleas to Major League Baseball, they're not letting us switch divisions with the Pirates or form our own miniature golf league. So we have to get people to come watch us play. And Raymond isn't doing it. What would work? What can we...wait a second! How about Barry Bonds? He's available, right? People really hate that guy so maybe they'll pay money to come to boo him? We can have Barry Bonds Incarceration Night and Perjury Tuesdays. This is genius!"
Oh, baseball. I'm so glad you're back.