The Red Sox lineup could look something like this on Opening Day:
McDonald or Ross LF
Five All-Stars, then you fall off a cliff. (Although in fairness to Salty, he's a better hitter than most catchers out there). Don't be alarmed. The lineup will get deeper once Carl Crawford gets back. The Sox also will get much more out of a Ryan Sweeney/Cody Ross platoon in right field then they did out of the position last year.
Right fielders hit a grim .233/.299/.353 for the Sox last season. The offense will be fine.
* The Red Sox have yet to announce their signing of Ross. In other news, the Sox have a full 40-man roster. Perhaps Ben Cherington is looking to work a trade before officially signing Ross.
Stomly Pimentel, Junichi Tazawa, Oscar Tejada, Lars Anderson, Luis Exposito, Che-Hsuan Lin, and Michael Bowden for Felix Hernandez and Ichiro.
* Don't laugh. I'll get an e-mail saying it makes sense.
* Here are the best remaining free agent shortstops: Alex Cora, Edgar Renteria, and Ryan Theriot. Cora is 36 and hit .224 for the Nationals last season. Renteria moves like he's 56 and Theriot is a much, much better second baseman than he is a shortstop.
So unless Cherington has a sneaky plan up his sleeve, it'll be Aviles and Nick Punto.
* This is your chance, Jose Iglesias. You may never get a better one.
* Sounds like ESPN's Jenny Dell, the pride of UMass, is NESN's choice to replace Heidi Watney. Globe colleague Chad Finn mentioned her as a finalist last week.
* The Yankees did right by Jorge Posada on Tuesday when he announced his retirement. The owner, GM, and manager were there along with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, and Andy Pettitte. The World Series trophies he helped win were on display and Posada had his family alongside.
The team issued a release that included praise from teammates, managers, opposing players, and others.
You couldn't help but wonder whether Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield were watching. Will the Red Sox say a similarly proper farewell to their two veteran icons sometime soon or will their departure be a tortured one?
It is rare that a prominent Red Sox player leaves the organization without some acrimony. But hopefully some sort of solution is found for Varitek and Wakefield.
Then again, they have every right to continue playing somewhere else if that is what they want. It's their legacy, not ours.
* Then there's this: Would you rather have Wakefield as the No. 5 starter and Alfredo Aceves back in the bullpen or Aceves in the rotation and somebody like Vicente Padilla in the bullpen?
* The Red Sox have invited Chorye Spoone to spring training. That sounds like a character in a Carl Hiaasen novel. Turns out he's a pitcher.
* If you're Roy Oswalt and you're willing to take a one-year deal to try and rebuild your value, why go pitch for the Red Sox in the American League East? Go pitch in the emasculated National League and build up great stats.
* Excellent point by Peter Gammons on Twitter. Now that the Tigers have dropped a Price Fielder-sized bomb on the AL Central, might the White Sox further cut costs and drop their price on Gavin Floyd?
* How about if you're Aviles? They send you to Puerto Rico for a few weeks to learn to play the outfield then trade the shortstop. Now you're a shortstop again.
A few non-baseball thoughts:
* My boss, Joe Sullivan, asked me to go help cover the Super Bowl and I'll be leaving on Sunday for a week. It should be a lot of fun. Then it's home for a few days and off to Fort Myers.
Maybe I'll bring a baseball and ask Rob Gronkowski to spike it. Why is it a football player can celebrate a touchdown as much as he wants, but if a baseball player celebrates a home run, the pitcher will throw at him the next time?
* Only in Boston can you flip on the radio and hear a debate about whether Tom Brady is good enough.
* So Tim Thomas was American enough to play in the Olympics and reap those benefits but too committed to his principles to visit the White House? Can't have it both ways. If you don't respect the man, respect the office. Respect your teammates, too.
* Here's my Joe Paterno story:
In the summer of 2002, I was sent to Penn State to write a feature story on Jimmy Kennedy. He was a big defensive tackle from Yonkers, N.Y.
I spent a few days with Jimmy and talked to a bunch of his teammates and his position coach, Larry Johnson. They all spoke at length about how Paterno helped set Jimmy on the right path after a troubled childhood.
But getting an appointment to see Paterno was tough. I was finally given a time and escorted up to his office. Coach Johnson introduced us and I was told I would get only a few minutes.
Paterno answered some questions about Jimmy and then reminisced a little about being from Brooklyn. He also asked me if there were any other players from Westchester he should recruit. "You newspaper guys have all the info," he said, laughing.
The story ran about a week later. Because it seemed like the right thing to do, I mailed Paterno a short note thanking him for his time and enclosed a copy of the story. He sent my letter back, writing back in the margins that he enjoyed the piece and wished me well.
Trust me when I tell you, big-time coaches don't usually do that sort of thing. I was a nobody from a suburban paper.
I have no idea to what degree Paterno was culpable in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. From afar, it looks like he should have done more. But I believe everything I've read about all the good he did in his life. That counts, too.
* Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be touring this summer. Heard from a good source they'll be playing Yankee Stadium. Hope they drop by Fenway Park again.
Bruce's new single, "We Take Care of Our Own," is excellent.
* Thanks to those of you who suggested watching "Homeland." Great show. I also love "Shameless" on Showtime.
* Reading "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahnman. It's about flawed human reason and is really fascinating.
* It's a little embarrassing to admit that I've only seen two of the nine films nominated for Best Picture -- "Moneyball" and "The Descendants" -- so far.
* Kyle Williams, whose fumble directly led to the San Francisco 49ers losing the NFC title game, is the son of White Sox GM Kenny Williams.
Two alarming postscripts to his miscue: Cretins on the internet sent Williams death threats and there's a report the Giants targeted him for head shots because he has a history of concussions.
* Thanks as always for reading. I'll be sure to check in from Indianapolis with tales of a baseball writer covering the Super Bowl.