Santa has been working overtime to make all the good little girls and boys of Red Sox Nation happy this month. First, he made sure that Adrian Gonzalez wound up in Boston. Then he gave us another gift in Carl Crawford. It eased the sting of losing Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre, no doubt. I was fantasizing about a lineup that would include V-Mart. Unbeatable, right? I was speaking the other day to a friend of mine who posed that very question to Terry Francona. Tito, who has to be thrilled about the upcoming season was philosophical. It was after they got Gonzalez, but before they landed Crawford. His message was that the Sox were on their way to becoming very good. They would put a powerful lineup on the field every night. The Sox are happy to have Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their catcher and the “Captain” Jason Varitek as his mentor. They have always liked “Salty” and have high hopes for him. Tito felt that you didn’t necessarily need to get a ton of offense from the catchers’ spot. In the short time Saltalamacchia was with the PawSox I saw glimpses of power. Playing everyday and being amongst so many great hitters in the lineup, he could thrive. But Boston is going to content with his defensive contributions.
The “bow” on top of the package, though, was not something that the Sox got, but something the Yankees didn’t get. Cliff Lee, courted by New York and Texas, spurned his American League suitors and signed with Philadelphia. What great news for Boston. The Yankees didn’t get Cliff Lee. That’s 15-20 wins that they won’t get, or have to come up with elsewhere. I can’t wait until the Sox get to Yankee Stadium and take advantage of the short porch in right field. So, there’s no Cliff to worry about until October. Seems clear that the Phillies and Red Sox are destined for a showdown in the World Series. As formidable as the rotation of Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Lackey and Matsuzaka is, the Phillies send out Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels. What a potential Series that would be. Do we even need to play out the regular season?
I imagine George Steinbrenner had to be rolling in his grave. He left the Yankees to his sons, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Seems that Brian Cashman has never been more important to New York. They mishandled the Derek Jeter deal. Jeter has been vocal in his displeasure with New York.and that can’t bode well. Just another reason to be happy this holiday season. Things are good right now. Spring Training is a couple of months away. There are “t’s” to be crossed and “i’s” to be dotted. Minor deals to be made. A bullpen to be replenished. But, for now, thank you Santa. You’ve done a great job.