Those who follow baseball probably already know: The Boston Red Stockings just offered up $51.1 dollars to talk to a player who has never thrown a Major League pitch. There’s a lot of speculation as to why General Manager Theo Epstein would do this, especially considering last year’s talk of “rebuilding the farm system” and how they can’t afford to spend big money on free agents so they can “win every year” and a lot of other completely reasonable nonsense from the head of the second largest payroll in North American sports. Either Epstein has blown up the “we’re not big spenders” plan of action, or that plan never existed in the first place. Or, of course, the plan could be so nuanced that Mr. Thursday’s obsessive following of baseball hasn’t yet picked up on it.
Regardless, the Crimson Stockings spent a ludicrous amount of money to sign an excitingly unproven player. The Curious Mechanism is already giddy anticipating the Japanese wunder-baller’s first time getting lit up, in Fenway, by the Yankees, and hearing Bill Simmons and others lose their minds–don’t forget, Boston is the center of the sports universe, or at least ESPN thinks so, so that kind of excitement will not be lost under a bigger story.
There’s a conspiracy theory circulating that this is all a canard and, throttling the Genius Switch, Epstein and his merry band of pitching evaluators and check-writers are doing this merely to keep Matsuzaka away from the dreaded Yankees. They’re going to offer a joke of a contract, Matsuzaka will take it and get paid very little, or he’ll go back to Japan and Boston and New York still can’t pitch. This theory is delightfully insane, but if there’s a kernel of truth to it, Mr. Thursday has a number of suggestions for future Boston actions:
- Spend only 48.83 million to get: Johan Santana, Brandon Webb, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, Scot Shields, Joel Zumaya, Aaron Heilman, Scot Linebrink, Juan Rincon and Felix Rodriguez. (from ESPN)
- Give the Phillies, Tigers, and Giants 17million dollars each to NOT trade Cole Hamels, Justin Verlander and Matt Cain to the Yankees. (from Goose)
- Have “Rolex Night” for all fans 14 and up, at Fenway.
- Have “Free Beer” night at Fenway on the first Friday of every month.
- Give the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Devil Rays $17 million to tank their games against Boston, but play “extra good, and stuff” against the Yankees.
- Buy 127,753 XBox 360’s to test the managing acumen of half the fans the Boston simultaneously.
- Get some really good anti-blister cream for Josh Beckett.
- Get David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez on effective diets.
- Replace all the seats in Fenway with ones that face the field.
There’s certainly a great deal more that the Red Sox could spend money on in their on-going to justmiss the playoffs every year, and stealing all the attention for it, when the Phillies have really mastered this art–being eliminated in the final weekend 3 of the past 4 seasons. So here’s to you, Boston Red Sox, enjoy coming up short when Curt Schilling’s age catches up to him, Papelbon’s shoulder blows, Josh Beckett leaves 35 more curveballs hanging, and Matsuzaka, though fine, is not Jesus Christ with a gyro-ball.