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.
Do you think that the Red Sox could pursue Aubrey Huff either before the Aug. 31 deadline or in the offseason? He can play RF or 1B, two
positions that the Sox have questions at. Maybe he can be a long term fix
at first base, seeing that Millar will probably not be in Boston next year.
If not Huff, who do you see as being the first basemen next year?
A: Dan, yes, I think the Sox have a good deal of interest in Huff -- he's relatively inexpensive ($6.75 million) -- but they're not going to give up two of their best prospects, if that's what it takes, in a waiver deal. But yes, I would expect that the Sox will try to interest the Rays in a deal this winter. Of the free agent options, Paul Konerko is the best, but the White Sox slugger will be commanding big bucks.
Simple question: When Keith Foulke comes back, does Curt Schilling
go to the rotation? And if so, on what timetable? I know the Sox haven't
made up their minds, just asking for your hunch. Also, will we see Jon
Papelbon in the Sox bullpen this season? Thanks!
A: Liam, it seems simple, but it isn't. If Foulke comes back and is effective, then I expect Shilling back in the rotation. Foulke should be back by the end of the month; I think Schilling could be in the rotation in the first 10 days of September -- if Foulke is getting people out. Yes, I expect Papelbon to be a September callup.
After the trade deadline passed it was the general consensus that there were no "big" deals made this year. However, since the Sox acquired Graffanino he has done nothing but impress. In my mind the Gaffanino trade was a big deal: you replace a guy with troubles at the plate with a guy who is hitting .300 and getting big hits when it counts (something Bellhorn hasn't done since the playoffs last year), and who has good speed. What do you think Terry Francona will do when the Sox have the option to take
Bellhorn off the DL? Will we see a full-time starting 2nd baseman in Graffanino?
A: Tom, you make a very good point, and I would add that Alex Cora should not be overlooked, either. These are two very solid players you're adding to your team down the stretch. Bellhorn is scuffling in Pawtucket on rehab assignment; I can envision the Sox trying to find some procedural thing that would buy them more time with Bellhorn, but I suspect Graffanino will get the majority of playing time in September.
I just finished reading Carl Yastrzemski's wonderful autobiography, "Baseball, the Wall, and Me." In the book, Yaz describes his close personal relationship with former owner Tom Yawkey. Do any of the current Red Sox players have that kind of friendship with owner John Henry?
Trevor, St. Peters, Mo.
A: Trevor, the players all rave at the first-class treatment they get from the new regime -- Henry and Tom Werner, especially, who have gone out of their way for the players and their families. I don't know of John having such a tight relationship with any one player as Yaz had with Yawkey, though he makes a point of making personal contact with the players, and you've got to think he's gotten more than one late-night e-mail from Schill!
From a Sox fan's perspective, you have to be thrilled with what Theo & the
gang have done for this organization. However, after hearing about this
latest ordeal involving the Colorado Rockies I wonder if they are starting
to get a bad reputation around the league. I recall Florida was not too
pleased with how they interfered with them trying to send Millar to Japan.
Also, the Pirates had an issue with the Sox when they traded for Brandon
Lyon only to find out he was injured. I know in that case the Sox took him
back but it seems to me they have had issues each year with another
organization. Is this just standard stuff that happens with every team or
do you see a trend?
KC, New Jersey
A: KC, that's a good question, and in certain circles, fair or unfair, I think the Sox are developing a bit of a rep. Theo showed he wasn't afraid to stretch the envelope in the Millar deal -- everything Theo did was on the up and up, though filing a waiver claim when he did violated so-called protocol. The Sox say that they've been unfairly accused of stiffing the Twins of another prospect in the Nomar deal last summer, and the Rockies thing, admittedly not pretty, was something Theo accepted the hit for.
As a fan of your writing (and honest opinions) may I ask if you see a future for Rich Garces in the majors this season? The word is that El Guapo is throwing some seroius heat in Fort Myers! Any legit chance of a return to Boston happening?
A: Joanie, the word I hear out of Fort Myers -- and remember, I loved having El Guapo around -- is that if he was as big as a house the last time he was here, he is now the size of a city block. I'd say the 280-pound range would be a conservative estimate. Rich was throwing OK, touching 89 miles per hour, which is something less than serious heat, but I know his weight is an issue and I consider him a long shot at best.
With all the talk about Manny, along with all the talk about how trades take place after the deadline, I've been wondering how a Manny trade would work post-deadline. With Manny's salary as high as it is, it's obvious that no team would take on his salary (as we found out it 2003, was it?). So, if Theo can put together a deal he's happy with now, isn't it true that at least Manny would be safe in that deal? We would still have to worry that the team dealing with us would have their players blocked by waivers though, right?
David, Hallowell, Maine
A: David, let's make one thing clear at the top: The Sox aren't going to do a waiver deal for Manny. His annual storm has passed -- for now -- and he's mashing the ball. He's not going anywhere. I expect his contract would allow him to pass through waivers, but you're right -- any players the Sox might want in return would also have to clear waivers, and those players probably would be blocked.
I haven't heard any commentary one way or the other regarding the new playing surface at Fenway. Has the flat field made a difference? Do the players notice it at all?
Mark, Mount Airy, Md.
A: Mark, it doesn't come up in conversation much, which is a good thing: If the players have gripes, we'd be hearing them. The early returns were uniformly positive -- Francona was thrilled to be able to see the game now from the dugout. The surface is excellent, it drains very quickly and how much it has affected play, I can't really say other than the Sox infielders say they're very pleased.
Jay Payton seems to have found new life in Oakland especially with his bat. I thought he should have played more during his brief stay in Boston. Did the Sox move him too quickly?
A: Derek, given how well he's playing in Oakland, the easy answer would be yes, the Sox should have held onto him. But Payton was miserable as a part-timer and admits he forced a trade by confronting Francona and creating a scene in Texas. Now, of course, with Trot Nixon hurt, obviously Payton would be playing, but Gabe Kapler is a more than acceptable alternative, and is happy to be here.
Why is Adam Stern continued to be used as a pinch runner? His speed
is negated by his poor base-running.
Michael, New Braunfels, Texas
A: Michael, I would agree with you that young Mr. Stern has not distinguished himself as a base-runner. Terry Francona uses him because as a Rule 5 pick, Stern must remain on the major-league roster or be returned to his previous team, which in his case was the Atlanta Braves.
Last night (8/9/05) in the top of the 9th inning in a game against the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox fielded all three of their Jewish players at the same time: Gabe Kapler, Adam Stern, and Kevin Youkilis. Given the relatively small number of Jewish players in baseball historically, isn't this some kind of interesting (and happy) record?
Steve, Sandgate, Vt.
A: Steve, it certainly hasn't happened before in Sox history, but I can't say for certain whether it is without precedent in the big leagues. The number of Jewish major leaguers all-time is approaching 200, and includes such great stars, of course, as Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg, both Hall of Famers, and such active players as Shawn Green of the D-Backs, Brad Ausmus of the Astros, and David Newhan of the Orioles. For a list of Jewish big-leaguers -- and I'm in no position to vouch for its completeness and accuracy -- I refer you to: http://www.jewishmajorleaguers.org/all_time/roster.html