Room For Two?
Terry Francona yesterday expressed his feelings about the prospect of heading into the 2008 season with two centerfielders- Coco Crisp AND Jacoby Ellsbury. Here is a little bit of what he had to say, and then I'll be back with my two cents, whatever that's worth (two cents?)...
"I have no problem with that," Francona said yesterday before the Boston Baseball Writers dinner. "I told Theo [ Epstein] that early on. I know the players might not be the most thrilled, but I have no problem with that. I think that would be just fine. If you had an outfield of [J.D.] Drew, Crisp, Ellsbury, and Manny [Ramírez], pretty impressive.
"I'd have told Theo if I did [have a problem with it], not necessarily that means he's going to make a change, but I told him I have no problem with this."
"They both [Crisp and Ellsbury] are on our team, so it's a little easier to talk about that than if somebody was traded," Francona said. "Those are the things we always do, though. When something's not perfect for somebody, we talk to them. We explain to them what we're going to do, then we go out and try to do it the best way we can. We're going to play the best team we can. If there ends up at some point being some competition, I'm not sure that's so bad."
Peter here, and as we all know, during the course of a six month plus season, injuries always come into play, hopefully not on a widespread scale. So I see no negatives in carrying Drew, Crisp, Manny and Ellsbury. But Coco HAS expressed his opinion, loudly and clearly in fact, that he does not want to be the number four outfield guy. He might have to live with exactly that, however. Time will tell. Of course, if the Johan Santana trade comes to pass, one of the two will be playing centerfield in the midwest. We'll find out about that soon enough.
In other news, Javier Lopez has been signed to a one year deal worth $840,000. That's a nice bump in pay for Lopez, more than doubling his 2007 salary of $402,500. Only Kyle Snyder and Kevin Youkilis remain on the arbitration schedule. So the team is almost complete. Other than the Johan Santana possible deal, Tito Francona and Jason Varitek need contracts and the bullpen can use another reliable set up arm. Other than that, all is hunky dory in the land of the Boston Red Sox, and anticipation from members of both Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International will slowly and deliberately build until it's time to "PLAY BALL!" And then we'll come out ROARING, with Josh Beckett kicking off the '08 marathon.
Click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's Rob Bradford's article all about the arbitration situation. I wish you, my Constant Readers, a great Saturday and a wonderful weekend to come. Tomorrow is "Football Sunday" in America, as the NY Giants take on the Green Bay Packers up in bitter cold Wisconson and the warm weather San Diego Chargers invade the Patriot's home turf in cold Foxboro. Both games will take place in temperatures ranging from the teens in Massachusetts to five below zero in Green Bay. And those are ACTUAL temperatures, with no wind chill factored in. Anyone for a sideline heater? I'm sure they'll be going full force.
OK, that's enough from me...I'll be back if there is any further Red Sox news today, or, as always, tomorrow morning by 7AM. Those early morning posts are something you can always count on. Every day, about anything and everything Boston Red Sox. I wouldn't have it any other way. Would you? Your comments are always welcome and will always be responded to promptly. BE WELL.