A few random off-day thoughts:
• David Ortiz would like a two-year deal, which makes perfect sense for him and little sense for the Red Sox. Maybe John Henry’s affection for the big lug will mean the team picks up his $12.5 million option.
But the Sox might be wise to let Ortiz test the open market. Because there won’t be any two-year deals or $12.5 million waiting for him out there. He’ll come back happy to take $7 million for one year.
• It’s an interesting exercise to rank the Red Sox free agents in order of importance. I’d go Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre and then Ortiz.
Martinez is first because he’s a switch-hitting catcher with power and durability. Replacing him with a comparable player would be close to impossible. Beltre is a magnificent fit in Boston. But with Kevin Youkilis able to play third, his loss would be less damaging. Ortiz is last because DHs are easy to find.
• The Red Sox have three home games left. Is there going to be any sort of ceremony for Mike Lowell?
• Is anybody else surprised the Red Sox haven’t taken a better look at Jarrod Saltalamacchia since trading for him? He has had 19 at-bats since they picked him up and caught only 43.2 innings.
• Rich Hill makes the team next spring.
• In the end, it probably makes more sense to keep Jonathan Papelbon. The last thing the Red Sox need is another bullpen slot to fill.
• It would be a big mistake for the Red Sox to be fooled by what Hideki Okajima is doing in September. He has been in a steady, unmistakable decline for several years and pitching well against expanded rosters in meaningless games doesn’t change that.
• The crowds at Fenway have actually watched baseball lately. The Wave is less frequent and there are no beach balls being batted around. It’s telling that the hard-core baseball fans still want to watch and the poseurs stay home.
• Johnny Damon has hit .241 for the Tigers since turning down the opportunity to rejoin the Red Sox.
• Roy Halladay has thrown 241.2 innings and has two starts left for the Phillies. That seems a little crazy.
• He may not be here to stay quite yet. But once Ryan Kalish gets in the lineup, he’s going to be there for 10 years and make the All-Star team a few times.
• Casey Kelly is going to make five starts in the Arizona Fall League and pitch 30 innings or so.
• The Ted Williams statue was moved down Van Ness St. when the Red Sox installed the “Teammates” statue earlier this year. The Splendid Splinter should be in a more prominent location, perhaps on Yawkey Way.
• Daniel Nava told me yesterday that Victor Jose Martinez, who is 6, has a better-looking swing than some of the players on the team. No, he wouldn’t say who.
• Is Marco Scutaro the shortstop next season or can Jed Lowrie compete for the job?
A few non-baseball thoughts:
• Saw The Town the other night. It was entertaining. But Ben Affleck’s character is basically the same guy he played in Good Will Hunting. Once Will went to California to chase down Skylar, Chuckie turned to a life of crime. That’s the movie. I kept waiting for Sean to show up and tell Doug it wasn’t his fault that he robbed banks.
It’s not exactly a postcard for Charlestown. The movie portrays the neighborhood like the Wild West, only with Oxycontin, assorted tattooed skanks and a skating rink.
• Finally saw the last episode of Hard Knocks. Why does Jets owner Woody Johnson always wear sunglasses and that skinny white tie? He looks like a retired music video director.
• If you enjoy military history, here are two book suggestions: “With Wings Like Eagles” by Michael Korda and “Tears In The Darkness” by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman.
• Good luck to friend of the blog and devoted Red Sox fan Peter King, who will run the New Hampshire Half Marathon on Oct. 2 to raise money for charity. Check out his site for information on how you can help.
• At what point will sports editors remind their writers that they don’t work for Twitter.com? Twitter is fun and it’s a great way for sportswriters to publicize their work. But isn’t giving away information what got newspapers in trouble in the first place?
• I’d feel better about the Patriots if Tom Brady went to a barbershop and got his hair cut.
• My head tells me to wait for Wall Street 2 to come on a movie channel in a year. My heart keeps saying you want to see what Gordon Gekko is up to now.
Finally, a quick thank you to everybody who has been e-mailing to say nice things about Extra Bases and our coverage this season. Maybe during the winter I can get the Globe to organize some sort of Hot Stove function at Game On and we can get together to talk ball and have a beer or two.