Happy Sunday, everyone. It’s the last day of the 2009 regular season. Mixed emotions abound… a dark winter is foretold, but the most exciting time in baseball is well within our grasp.
Let’s check out what’s going on in Red Sox land…
- Josh Beckett was the Sox’s best pitcher up until August, gaining dark horse candidacy in the non-Grienke Cy Young race. Then a flu sapped him of his ability to pull off a curveball. He started flashing his old dominant stuff until back spasms derailed him. Now we learn that the spasms, which were a major part of his poor 2008 postseason, necessitated three cortisone shots. He got off to a rough start in the game Saturday, but settled down near the end. (Boston Globe)
- The BoSox will have to do with Jed Lowrie or Chris Woodward as the backup shortstop for the ALDS. Nick Green is still dealing with his ‘dead leg’ — a nerve issue in his back is the culprit — and hopes to be ready for the ALCS. Lowrie is still dealing with lingering effects from left wrist surgery. (Boston Globe)
- In the same article, we hear that Rocco Baldelli is suddenly in question for the ALDS roster as well. He suffered a strained left hip flexor running to first base Friday. He’s gonna have a MRI to figure things out. If he can’t go, look for Brian Anderson to serve as the fourth outfielder. While it’s not ideal to have two important bench players out for the series, at least they aren’t starters and won’t be out long. Don’t forget about Joey Gathright, by the way — expect Boston to carry him as a pinch-runner.
- Poor Tim Wakefield. Looks like he’s done for the year and won’t appear in the postseason. This is is third straight year ending the season with injury issues. We’ve never seen Wake this little: this was his shortest innings total ever in a Sawx uniform. He’ll undergo surgery to repair his herniated disk. Have we seen the last of No. 49? (Providence Journal)
- Jim Bowden echoes a list of young GM candidates that could get a job this offseason: Available jobs: San Diego and Toronto for now. You’ll be hearing about Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington this and in future years for job openings. If you’ll recall, the duo were co-GMs when Theo Epstein walked back in October 2005. Boston is getting to the point where they’ll start being picked off en masse thanks to their success. Josh Byrnes was the first to go (to Arizona as GM) a while back and there’s been a few moves here and there, but with Hoyer/Cherington gaining steam in popularity and Tim Bogar, Brad Mills and DeMarlo Hale all getting serious consideration as managerial candidates, the next couple years could result in quite some overturn. (Twitter: Jim Bowden)
- Speaking of GM openings, if you haven’t heard, Toronto GM and Worcester, MA native J.P. Ricciardi was fired. Can’t blame the ownership. He was the one that did the Vernon Wells and Alex Rios contracts. Despite Peter Gammons’ accusation he was not allowed to deal Roy Halladay in-division, he still blew that sweepstakes. And Ricciardi thinks it’s okay to lie as long as you’re the one that knows the truth. Okay… (Boston Globe)
- For you John Farrell fans, it looks as if he will be staying in Boston. A year after he turned down a chance to interview for the Pirates and Mariners openings, he’s passed on his hometown Indians gig — and he would have gotten it if he wanted it. Farrell is quite possibly the highest-paid pitching coach in the game and seems to be quite loyal, but there’s really no rhyme or reason for his declining of the gigs — unless you believe, like I do, that he was promised the Red Sox’s manager’s job once Francona decides to hang them up. Terry signed an extension in February 2008 that keeps him in uniform through 2011 with club options for 2012/’13 that I would expect — hope — are picked up. Three more years is a long time to wait for an up-and-comer like Farrell, so there’s got to be something behind his refusal to even interview for manager jobs. I’m certainly happy that Farrell is committed to staying with Boston and hope he is indeed the manager-in-waiting, but at least come out and say it. (ESPN)