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Question the answers

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  December 30, 2009 09:31 AM

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More questions. Maybe some answers.

Jason Bay to the Mets? The Mets? What is he thinking?

Put yourself in Bay's shoes for a moment. If Team A, a perennial World Series contender, is offering $60 million for four years, but won't budge on a fifth, while Team B, an increasing laughingstock of a franchise that plays in a ballpark where Bo Jackson would have some difficulty popping one out to left, is offering $1.5 million more per season, plus a "vested" option for a fifth...well...yeah, what the heck is Bay thinking?

Still, once Bay rejected Boston's only offer, his time here was all but finished. Theo Epstein and Co. never really seemed married to Bay. Whether that was because of his less-than-average defense, his physical condition, or the complete failure to remember what exactly his defining moment was here, it seemed fairly obvious since the start of negotiations that this was a player the Red Sox could either take or leave. While it turned out to be the latter, it still doesn't diminish the fact that the Red Sox need another big bat, whether that comes today, tomorrow, or July.

So, when does Adrian Gonzalez get here?

Look, I'm all for this offseason fairy tale of the Padres slugger coming to Boston, but if Gonzalez is in Fort Myers come February, I will personally go door-to-door to show you my universal health care card. Yes, maybe the deal makes some sense for San Diego if they can nab a couple guys like Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, and Casey Kelly to build around. But you're telling me Jed Hoyer's first major trade is going to be surrendering his cost-effective, native San Diegan All-Star slugger to his former employer? How well do you think that would go over? During the season, maybe he has some leverage to pull off a deal. Before spring training even starts? There's more of a chance Billy Jo Robidoux is manning the first base bag than Gonzalez.

Going to the Winter Classic?

Are you going to bring me?

What was the best moment of 2009?

Not as easy to say as in previous years, is it? The year that was 2009 was the first since 2006 that we didn't have a rolling rally in these parts, and only the third overall since the first Patriots parade in 2002. The Bruins finally getting past the hump of the first round in the NHL Playoffs is up there, as is BU's win over Miami in the NCAA title game. But the series between the Celtics and the Bulls is a notch higher. And Game 6 of that slate is easily the best game of the year. Not sure anything else even comes close. If it weren't a first-round series, it might have gone down as one of the all-time greats.

Give me five guys we've yet to see the best of.

Not really a question, but OK.

1. Daniel Bard
2. Sebastian Vollmer
3. Jon Lester
4. Tuukka Rask
5. Lars Anderson*

*A year ago, he was the slugger of the future. After one down year, everybody is writing him off. We do realize the kid is only 22, right?

Who goes to the Super Bowl?

I want to say Green Bay, though I'm a little skeptical should they have to go play in domes at Minnesota or New Orleans. Arizona can probably take down either of those squads on the road, but I think the Packers would have to utilize Ryan Grant a bit too much for their liking. If they play at Philadelphia in the NFC title game, I like their chances. In the AFC, I'm not sold on the Chargers, but I like the potential road they have set up for them, particularly if they're playing the Colts in the AFC title game. If they're playing the Patriots in the title game, it's a tossup, but it's still a lot to ask of the Patriots to go on the road and beat Indy and San Diego in consecutive weeks.

So because this prediction has no bearing on anything whatsoever, let's stick with my preseason pick. Patriots-Packers.

James Taylor and the Dropkick Murphys are going to perform at the Winter Classic? Are you bleeping kidding me?

I really hope every time the Dropkick Murphys get a gig it's because Dickie Barrett and Co. turned it down.

Ilya Kovalchuk?

Yes, please. Though listening to Cam Neely on The Sports Hub (Boston's Rookie of the Year) yesterday, he brought up some good points about how the team can't be completely sure about how he'd show up in the playoffs considering that he's played four whole postseason games. Still, I'm willing to take that chance.

New Year's Plans?

Who needs Miami? Just a bottle (or two) of Trader Joe's Vintage, some family, the Wii, and plotting the best powder points for the weekend. The only amateur hour in my house will refer the folks schooled in the bowling tournament.

Who brings home titles in 2010?

In order of likelihood:

1. Celtics
2. USA Hockey
3. BU hockey
4. Patriots
5. Red Sox
6. Bruins

Which local announcer made the most ridiculous reference to the Revolutionary War during a hockey game in 2009?

Gee, there are so many to choose from, but let's just go with this one:

 

 

 

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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