Sunday, December 16, 2001

Belt tightening

The past couple of days I've been walking around and questioning myself regarding my baseball wisdom. First there was the recent Bob Ryan test that humbled me. Then there was my overall good feeling regarding how the Red Sox approached the wheelin' and dealin' at the winter meeting. No, they didn't sign a Jason Giambi type, but they didn't do anything ridiculous either. And they were able to unload Carl Everett.

However, it seemed like I was well in the minority. The tenor, from friends and family to the media, was one of utter despair in most cases. Duquette failed. Red Sox failed. Another season down the toilet.

Yet here I was writing generally optimistic postings for the past week.

Today, at least, I feel like I got a big self-esteem boost from Gordon Edes:

This is one winter where the Sox will not spend as if operating with a bottomless Trust. Duquette said he expected the team to slash its payroll as much as 12 percent, which would drop the club into the mid-90s . . .

That may not sit well with fans frustrated at the sight of the Yankees reloading. But those fans are often the ones complaining most bitterly about gouging ticket prices and overpaid players. Throwing money at another big name isn't going to close the gap between the Sox and Yankees. Spending money wisely, along with the return to health of the Big Three - Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Jason Varitek - could (Edes, The Boston Globe).

Exactly. Let's not forget we had the core of team down to injury last year. Can you imagine signing Martinez, Garciaparra, and Varitek? Assuming they all come back healthy, that's just what it will be like. And get Manny doing his thing, too? Oh, yeah, that'll work.

No, if I'm going to be hang my head doom and gloom about anything right now, it's not over signings or lack thereof but over fear that Pedro may have peaked a few years ago and that Nomar will never be the same player again after his wrist injury.