Boston Globe baseball writer Gordon Edes check in every Thursday or Friday with his take on the Red Sox. Ask your question now, and come back next week to see if it was answered.
I gotta ask about Manny. Last weekend was one of the most surreal weekends I can remember at Fenway. As someone who was there, have you ever seen anything like it? And can you believe he was cheered two days after he was booed? What does that say abut Red Sox Nation? Finally, will Manny be traded at the end of the season?
Stan - Medford
A: Stan, The weekend was definitely one for the scrapbook. Sunday was absolutely electric, no doubt, which is what makes Fenway so special. There are several times in the course of a season you get that feeling, but the explosion of emotion for Manny on Sunday was something to behold. Does it surprise me that it went from boos to cheers in 48 hours? Not at all. Fans wanted to let Manny know they didn't approve of him insisting on his day off last week, but at the same time, it's pretty clear the fans didn't want to see him traded. Something about 40 home runs and 140 RBIs being hard to say goodbye to.
I assume Theo will be aiming for a lefty reliever before the 8/31 waiver deadline. If they can't get someone they want, do you they would bring up Jon Lester as a 2nd lefty in the pen? They don't seem to trust Lenny DiNardo, yet. Also barring some new injuries occurring and Bellhorn being ready by Aug 10-15, don't you see Adam Stern having a "tight hamstring" in the next week, so they can put him on the DL and a rehab assignment until rosters expand 9/1. If memory serves me, DiNardo has some minor injury in 2004.
JK - Syracuse, NY
I think you're correct in assuming the Sox are still in the market for lefty relievers. There were the JC Romero talks with the Twins, and on Sunday I thought they had something done with the Giants for Scott Eyre, but that didn't happen. Lester is pitching extremely well, so that's not out of the realm of the possible, but I think they'd prefer a veteran down the stretch. It will be real interesting to see what they do with Bellhorn, because Graffanino and Cora are both playing well. Bellhorn is really having a rough go of it on his rehab assignment, going 0 for 12 with 5 K's. His rehab assignment began Aug. 1, and he has 20 days, so they have time to play with before making a decision. People are inclined to bury him, but let's not throw away too easily his contributions to this club.
The one thing that I noticed when watching Jon Papelbon's first start was that his breaking ball and his off speed stuff were mediocre at best. Can you can be a successful pitcher with a 94-95 mile an hour fastball and mediocre breaking ball and change up? As Remy pointed out, Papelbon throws about 75% fastballs; any major leaguer can hit a fastball. I don't think we should starting calling Papelbon the reincarnation of Roger Clemens just because he only gave up two runs, those two runs were against a offense as lousy as the Twins.
Also who is going to be a better major league player, Lastings Milledge of the Mets or Hanley Ramirez?
Nate Nickerson - Sanford/Maine
A: Nate, I don't think anyone has yet anointed Papelbon the second coming of Roger Clemens, but I, for one, am not prepared to make a judgment on his breaking ball and off-speed stuff on the basis of one big-league start. As for Milledge or Ramirez, I haven't seen Milledge play, and I know he's tearing up Double-A, but there are a lot of variables that will determine which guy proves ultimately successful in the big leagues. They both may become stars, they both might wash out, for any number of reasons. What we do know is that both guys are rated highly around baseball for their potential, which in both cases appears enormous.
Could you explain why Theo chose not to "trade" Embree but designated him for assignment? Many teams showed interest him. Yet because of the route taken, he ends up with the Yanks, and the Sox will foot the bill. How absurd. Was there some urgency to clear a roster spot? Couldn't they have waited a week? This seemed incomprehensible, though not half as bad as booting Payton (who we may also see in the playoffs) while questions lingered about Nixon's health. Thanks.
Paula Silberthau - Chevy Chase, MD
A: Paula, Embree had a clause in his contract which stipulated that he get an extra million if the Sox traded him. Designating a player is one way to gauge other teams' interest in him; no team was that anxious to get Embree that they stepped up to make a deal to make sure they got him, which is what left Embree free to sign with the Bombers. Kind of hard to imagine, no, Embree facing Ortiz in October?
Gordon, In hearing about the Larry Bigbie flack with the Rockies, does ownership have to sign off on every trade? I thought GM's were it, unless of course they were taking on a large contract? and do you think Barry Bonds unplugged 2005 on the same day Palmerio was suspended was a bit obvious? Thanks,
Joe Moniz - South Dartmouth
A: Joe, First, the Bonds-Palmeiro thing. It was a rather remarkable coincidence, wasn't it, that Barry told Barry Bloom of mlb.com that he was done for the year on the day of the Palmeiro suspension, though he has reversed field yet again, posting on his website later in the week that he still is optimistic about coming back. What a farce, and the lack of information has really compromised the Giants. Definitely a case of a guy acting bigger than the game.
I'm sure Theo keeps Lucchino informed of everything he's doing, and what appears to have happened in the Bigbie case is that the Sox may have assumed that the deal would be rubber-stamped, but because of the various possible permutations involved in Manny talks, Lucchino put the kibosh on the Bigbie swap for Kelly Shoppach, which really left the Rocks in the lurch. Theo came out Thursday and took the rap for the fiasco, but that doesn't do the Rockies much good, does it?
Hi, Gordon. I always enjoy reading your pieces. Thanks for the good work. How does the steroids testing program work in MLB? Jason Giambi looks puffed up again. 14 homers in a month? That is Barry Bonds type of numbers. For example: if he was tested earlier in the year and the results turned out to be clean, do they just leave him alone for the rest of the year? Thanks, Gordon.
Jay Na - Seattle, WA
A: No, Jay, under the major leagues' stricter policy for steroids and other drugs agreed to in January, every player will be tested once, without warning, from the start of spring training through the end of the season, and all players are subject to additional random testing. First-time offenders are suspended for 10 days, with longer bans for subsequent offenses. Giambi can be tested multiple times, which is why I seriously doubt he's "juiced" again.
Gordon: You get it right more often than most! Congratulations! Going further on Millar, do you think Francona can now see the value to Olerud and is Olerud signed for next year? Why is he not in the lineup all the time? The guy is a professional hitter and a great glove man. Millar is a nice guys but as the old saying goes "nice guys don't win ball games"!
Leo Gullage - Rockport
A: Leo, Thanks for the good word. Would love to slip up to your beautiful town for a weekend, but that'll have to wait till after the season. No, Olerud is not signed for next season, and he's really not a guy who projects as the team's everyday first baseman in 2006. His career is winding down, though that doesn't rule out the possibility the Sox might approach him about staying as a part-timer. Millar's contract is up after this season; I think he understands he'll probably be playing elsewhere in '06.
Hey Gordon, with the tread deadline passed and no moves (other than Jose Cruz Jr.) made, can we expect Theo to make some significant moves in August. Also, could you explain what the difference is between trading before the deadline and trading after? Thanks.
Mike Sarmanian - Stoneham
A: Mike, I do expect Theo to pick up a complementary piece or two (another reliever, possibly a starter), but it will be tough to make a big move, because waiver claims are made in reverse order of standings, so the Yankees would have first crack at any player the Sox might have interest in. Before the deadline, a player does not have to clear waivers first. After the deadline, a player must be placed on waivers first. If another team claims that player-say the Sox put Curt Schilling on waivers-the Sox could pull Schilling back. If the Sox don't pull him back, he becomes property of the team making a claim. If a player clears waivers, that is, no team places a claim, he can be traded anywhere.
Gordon, I just wanted to say I enjoyed talking with you for a few minutes during the Sox game in Tampa on Wednesday. My wife and I are both fans of your writing and we got a real kick out of it.
I am also glad to see that Theo passed on trading Hanley Ramirez today. My theory is that the Red Sox know that by winning the World Series they bought themselves some time from us Red Sox fans. They are much better off keeping all of their top prospects in the minor leagues and getting ready for the 2006 season. I don't see them repeating this year anyway because they don't have the dominant bullpen that they did last October. Do you agree that the Sox will wait 'til next year?
Bob Walton - North Andover
A: Bob, It was nice meeting the two of you as well. I think the Sox will try to win it again this year, but not at the expense of losing their top prospects, unless the deal was absolutely too good to pass up. Aubrey Huff/Mike Cameron wasn't that deal. They really do have an eye to the future as well.