Davey Johnson had it made. The former All Star second baseman and World Champion manager was living the high life. Playing some golf, managing Team USA and basically, having a well-deserved good time. I had the pleasure of watching Game One of the recently completed World Series with Davey and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt at a bar in Portsmouth, RI. I had asked Johnson if he had a yen to get back into the game. He was adamant. No way, no how! He was dabbling in real estate, teeing it up and loving life. It looks lke he’s sacrificed all that for a trip into baseball torture. He was introduced this week as the senior baseball adviser for the Washington Nationals. The most incompetent, futile, “who cares?” organization in all of sports. Quick, name three members of the Nats. Can’t? Don’t feel badly, no one can. Resting their hopes on number one pick Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are also relying on some of that Davey Johnson “magic” to help the struggling franchise. The Nationals had to open their purse for Strasburg, the hard-throwing righthander and apparently had enough left over for Johnson. Already, the hyperbole is flowing as Johnson claimed the San Diego State product was “a little more advanced at this stage than Dwight Gooden was.” I really like Johnson and I wish him well. It gives the Nationals some personality in their front office and a small, very small reason to care about Washington.
The George Kottaras “era” is over in Boston. The Canadian-born catcher was released this week by the Red Sox. Almost immediately, the Brewers picked up Kottaras off waivers. George came over to the Sox in the trade for David Wells a couple of years ago. In 2008, he platooned with Dusty Brown in Pawtucket and had a great year. In 2009, he served as Jason Variteks’ backup until Boston dealt for Victor Martinez. As I predicted earlier in this blog, the signing of Varitek to a deal spelled the end for George in Boston. Kottaras has improved greatly in the last few seasons. With Milwaukee, he has a chance to make the Brewers roster. Jason Kendall (.241, 2, 43) will be 34 on opening day. He caught 134 games in 2009 and is the incumbent. 33 year old Mike Rivera was the backup (.228, 2, 14). As manager Ron Johnson pointed out many times, Kottaras has a “pop” in his bat that a lot of other guys don’t have. The release of Kottaras (he was out of minor league options) will likely mean that Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown will share duties in Pawtucket in 2010. I wish George all the best. He’s a cool guy.
Good news if you’re looking for a place to live. Curt Schilling has dropped the price of his 11,000 square foot, 7 bedroom home in Medfield, Mass. Originally on the market for 8 million, it has dropped to 5 million and now to 4.5 million, the same price he paid Drew Bledsoe in 2004. Such a deal!!
One last thought that has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. Has there ever been a bigger political “lightweight” than Sarah Palin? Check out this weeks’ cover of Newsweek. I’ve only been to Alaska once, but I’m quite sure they’re better off without her.