Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Backing Up the Greek God of Walks

It may be one month and 6 days until pitchers and catchers report for the 2006 season, but damn it’s been a slow news week.  Jim Ed missed on his 12th try to get into the Hall earlier today.  It’s disappointing because I feel, as a Boston fan, that he should get in, but I don’t really have any scientific basis for my feelings and I’m not about to do an analysis now.  Suffice it to say that Rice has 3 more years before he’s past the point of no return.

On Saturday, the Sox filled the hole at first base by signing J.T. Snow to a 1 year, $2 million deal.  I like this deal for two reasons:

  1. It gives the Red Sox depth at first – depth in the form of a 6 time Gold Glove winner, no less.  He’s no Magic Helmet at the plate and his official picture makes him look like he’s 12 (come on, there’s no way that guy is 37), but he’ll make a good defensive replacement, be able to take over at first if Lowell gets hurt, etc.  The Sox continue to migrate towards a pitching and defense dominated team.

  2. It’s $2 million for a year.  Not only is that a tiny financial burden for the Red Sox, but they don’t have to re-sign him for 2007 if things don’t work out this year.  More importantly, he can teach Youkilis a thing or two about playing first base which could pay the Sox dividends for years to come.  I see it a bit like the transfer of responsibilities from John Wetteland to Mariano Rivera in 1995 – this season will give Youkilis more experience without putting all of the pressure on him to perform and, assuming he does well, make him the starting first baseman next year.