So I've been hearing things.
Things about the Red Sox.
Things I would really rather were not happening.
It's like this, as I've explained before: I really try my best not to pay attention to the hot stove rumors and speculation; during most of the baseball offseason, there is football to think about rather than things like, say, Alex Rodriguez to the Sox (I'm still not over the mental image that particular idea conjured in my mind).
But now there is very little football to think about, because there has been a week already between the championship games and the Super Bowl, with another week to go. And because Peyton Manning, and not Tom Brady, is in the Super Bowl this year. Le sigh.
So I've started paying attention to the Sox again, and I have been unpleasantly surprised by a few items in the news.
Such as the fact that we signed J.D. Drew. I reiterate my breaking-down-while-test-driving-a-car-and-still-buying-it analogy. It makes no sense to me.
Globe fluff pieces aside, I still cannot bring myself to like Julio Lugo. I still cannot fathom why we let Gonzo go for that wife-beating scumbag (my dad and I had a protracted argument yesterday about whether or not the fact that Lugo's wife recanted abuse charges midway through a trial means Lugo should be given the benefit of the doubt. I tend to side with the woman 99.9% of the time, regardless of whether or not she successfully presses charges, since the successful pressing of domestic abuse charges in our society tends to be a rare thing indeed; my dad thinks that nobody can really know what happened, and that Lugo's technical acquittal means he should be given a clean slate).
And then there's this news--still speculation, mostly--that we might be about to give up Julian Tavarez and Mike Lowell (!!) and maybe even Julian Tavarez, Mike Lowell (!!) and either Manny Delcarmen or Craig Hansen (!!!!) for...Todd Helton.
I do not understand.
As Chad Finn put it:
Helton is 33, has a bad back, is coming off a season in which he hit 15 homers with a career-low .476 slugging percentage playing half his games at Coors Field, and is due $90.1 million over the next six seasons.
God. Nightmare. Although after seeing the Sox go through all those machinations with JD Drew and then sign him anyway, I guess I'd believe anything. But I mean...give up young arms, to say nothing of Mike Lowell, for that?!?!? Guess we'll have to hope this is one of those deals, a la Jose Contreras, that ends up mercifully falling through.
I guess finding perfect balance on a baseball team only happens, oh, once every 86 years, but why did we spend last year suffering under an utterly anemic offense while our infield put on a Gold-Glove-caliber show, only to let go our defensive mastermind at shortstop and look to trade our all-around excellent third baseman as well as--I cannot italicize this enough--young pitching talent for some shaky sluggers? I mean...can anyone tell me what's going on here?
Do we have a closer yet? Anyone? Bueller?
Whenever someone starts trying to argue the ostensible 2007 squad's upside to me, the number of "ifs" are bothersome indeed. If Drew's shoulder doesn't fall off; If Lugo doesn't start beating the Ball Girl with his glove; If Matsuzaka isn't stampeded by a herd of photographers before making his first start; If Beckett can figure out how to mix his damn pitches already; If Schilling is "The Horse" for another year (or two); If we didn't break Jonathan by putting him into the closer's role last year...
I guess that's what baseball's always about this time of year. If. What if. How about if. Maybe if. For some people it's fun to speculate, but I hate the uncertainty. I just want them to play ball already--let's start Spring Training early.
Like, say, before the Super Bowl.