Red Sox

Sean McAdam's chat transcript: Eyes on the future

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Sean McAdam's chat transcript: Eyes on the future

Here's the transcript of Sean McAdam's chat from earlier this afternoon. He hit on the possible replacements for Bobby Valentine, what steps he would take to fix the Sox, and the future of players and the organization.

Is there a feeling within the clubhouse that this season is officially over? the players have to know they are donezo, right?
by brooks

I don't think that you're going to hear players voice that sentiment, but yes, I think they can do the math. For the time being, you'll hear a lot of "Still xx games left, you never know what can happen.'' But the last few days, I've noticed a subtle shift in the way they talk about the next six weeks. I think reality has set in.
by Sean McAdam

hi sean do you think the red sox would go after gabe kapler to manage the so for 2013
by jeff

I don't know that Kapler is interested in managing. He did manage a year in the minors for the Sox, then decided to resume his playing career. There's little doubt that he has the apttitude, but I know he's been working with a social media business that he's helped start and I'm not sure, with young children, he wants to get back into the game now.
by Sean McAdam

Any chance sox would consider Dice-K on a one year deal next year or is enough, enough.
by oskar

Don't see it happening. After 32 wins in his first two seasons, Matsuzaka hasn't given the Sox much, with nagging injuries interrupting every season. His health and availability aren't likely to get better as he gets into his mid-30s.
by Sean McAdam

What 3 major moves do you think the Red Sox do this winter?
by jeremy

1) Determine a real chain of command in the organization so everyone knows who's in charge of what. 2) Avoid quick-fix, big-ticket free agents. They're not the solution. 3) Exhaust all energy in finding a true No. 1 starter through trade, with no one off limits in terms of what has to be given up to get one.
by Sean McAdam

Not that it matters at this point, but do you see the Red Sox making any waiver wire deals before the deadline next week?
by glen

The only moves they should be thinking about is moving some veterans, not acquiring anyone. Subtraction, not addition.
by Sean McAdam

Sean, why is Ellsbury getting a pass from the media? Hitting 250 1 HR & 11 RBI's in about 50 games very dissapointing!
by mike

Good point, Mike. I've written about this (and talked about it on TV) the last few days. He's had virtually no impact since coming back from the DL. Not sure why this is. Valentine hopes that dropping him to third in the order will help him regain some aggressiveness at the plate. We'll see.
by Sean McAdam

what do you think are the chances the sox bring Ciriaco back next year ?
by projo warren

Excellent. At the very least, he's shown he can be a valuable utility player at the big league level, with speed and versatility. I don't know that they'd consider him as the everyday shortstop if Iglesias isn't ready next spring, but it's hard to believe he won't be part of the 25-man roster next April.
by Sean McAdam

Lots of questions in the Sox outfield next year. I've heard you say Ellsbury will be traded. Assuming that happens, what does the outfield look like next year? Crawford won't be ready. Do the Sox roll the dice with Kalish and use Podsednik as insurance? They have to bring back Ross right? Even though he doesn't look like a full time player as he did in the first half.
by mike

Talked to Ross over the weekend in New York and he said Boston is "100 percent'' his first choice as a FA. I know they value his RH power and his presence in the clubhouse, so I've got to believe that something will get worked out. Kalish is still viewed as part of the future, so he'll get a shot in CF is Ellsbury is dealt. And yes, I think Podsednik could come back and play LF until Crawford is ready.
by Sean McAdam

Sean, Do you think Jose Iglesias will ever become the starting shortstop for the Red Sox? Or will they move on from him if he doesn't make any progress within the next season?
by suzanne hanrahan

They still like him a lot, especially his defense. I haven't seen him in Pawtucket this season, but reporters are, that in the last few weeks, he's figured out some thing offensively. It's important to remember that he's just 21-22 and has had less than three seasons of pro ball in the U.S. My guess is that he's the starting SS on Opening Day in 2013.
by Sean McAdam

Any chance sox would consider Dice-K on a one year deal next year or is enough, enough.
by oskar

Don't see it happening. After 32 wins in his first two seasons, Matsuzaka hasn't given the Sox much, with nagging injuries interrupting every season. His health and availability aren't likely to get better as he gets into his mid-30s.
by Sean McAdam

Could Bob McClure have been fired because he was the "leak" regarding info getting to the press?
by vinnie

I've heard the same speculation and asked around on this and was told it wasn't the case. That doesn't mean it wasn't; but I think there were other issues, headed by his poor relationship with Valentine and the poor performance of the starters.
by Sean McAdam

Curious - any word on why the Sox gave up on Mark Prior? He had a good number of K's in AAA, but I know the walks were a concern. Just seemed like a low risk experiment to continue given that this season is more or less a write off. Thanks Sean, your work is awesome!
by brian g

Prior has been trying -- without success -- since 2006 to get back to the big leagues and kept running into physical issues. He had some minor setbacks with health in Pawtucket, but I think they finally decided that the command wasn't good enough to succeed at the big league level. And thanks for the kind words, Brian.
by Sean McAdam

Do you thing Cherington & Lucino are capable of making the bold moves like trading Ellsbury in the winter & letting Ortiz test the market?
by louie

Without question on Ellsbury; less certain on Ortiz. The owners have a soft spot in their hearts for Ortiz, and emotionally, it would be tough to walk away from him. If he's ready to take another one-year deal at very good money, it's a no-brainer. If he sticks to his demand for a multi-year, it could get interesting.
by Sean McAdam

Sean, Do you believe the Red Sox get rid of Beckett andor Lackey next season? Or give one more try? Thanks.
by trey

I believe they will be open to anything reasonable on Beckett this winter. It will be almost impossible for move Lackey this off-season until teams see him throw after TJ surgery, but once he shows he's healthy, they would certainly listen on him as well.
by Sean McAdam

Any chance of Brad Mills as manager?
by billy ray

I don't think so. Brad didn't have much to work with in Houston, and with a new GM and a new owner, it seemed inevitable that they would make a change. I'm told by someone who would know that ownership views Mills more as a good coach than managerial material.
by Sean McAdam

If Cherington becomes the true boss of baseball operations, does Bobby V survive? I agree on spending sprees, those have done nothing to help. What No. 1's do you see as potentially available via trade?
by jeremy

Any decision on whether Valentine is let go will be made in conjunction with ownershipLucchino. As for the No. 1's, there aren't many. They'll need to get creative. No matter what the Mariners say about Felix, it's worth a shot.
by Sean McAdam

I know you dont agree, but I believe Larry Lucchino has done a great job bringing this franchise out of the dark ages and I believe he will be here as long as he wants to be. Do you really think Henry and Werner would fire him?
by john run

I have never said that Henry and Werner will fire him. To the contrary, I think he can stay as long as he wants to stay. And I agree, that from a business-marketing standpoint, Larry has done a good job. But the problem is his insistence on getting involved in baseball matters, which, you'll have to admit, have been far less successful.
by Sean McAdam

is Pedroia an untouchable? I think he once was...but I'd let him go in the right deal now.
by projo warren

Untouchable? No. More available than he's ever been? Probably. But it would have to be a deal that knocked them over.
by Sean McAdam

Hi Sean- How are the Sox going to proceed with Doubront for the rest of the season?
by matt- fenwaywest.com

Carefully -- obviously. He could well start Sunday, but they might limit his innings the rest of the way, or shut him down altogether as we get deeper into September.
by Sean McAdam

Ha, did you see Cherrington's comment about how Beckett is part of their core pitchers? That's funny. Oh wait. He wasn't serious was he?!? And then he said they're not sure if Bard is going to be a starter or reliever?! Pitchforks, Sean, will be sold out everywhere if this team comes back with the same rotation they went into 2012 with.
by forsyth

I wouldn't read too much into what a GM says on the record about the future of some big salaried players. It's not like Cherington is going to say: "We'll take a bag of balls for Beckett this winter.'' That wouldn't be smart business. I believe they will certainly be open to moving him. As for Bard, I think they've learned their lesson on the starting thing. The best they can hope for is to salvage him as a reliever.
by Sean McAdam

Hi Sean, in your opinion can the SOX realistically put a package together to get King Felix befire he become a FA? I mean a true package of say Ellsbury, Lester or Buckholtz and maybe Pedroia or Middlebrooks?
by c u in 2013

Not sure. It would take a truckload, obviously. Felix is the one thing that the Mariners can market and they had a huge crowd at Safeco yesterday in his first start since the perfect game. But you never know until you try.
by Sean McAdam

Do you think the Red Sox will have trouble attracting free agents after two drama-filled seasons?
by suzanne hanrahan

No, I don't. There will always be players who would shy away from big markets (BOS, NY, PHI), where there's a lot of scrutiny. The Sox are in a down cycle, to be sure. But that can turn around relatively quickly with some smart moves. There's still a lot to like about playing here, starting with the fact that ownership spends money, the park is full every night and the team usually contends.
by Sean McAdam

Sean; who do you see coming up from the minors next season and challenging for an opening day spot?
by brien pierson

I would say three players have a crack at making the lineup: Iglesias, Lavarnway and Kalish. As many have noted, the best prospects -- Barnes, Bogaerts, Bradley -- are probably another year away.
by Sean McAdam

Hi Sean, one thing that stands out to me about this year's team is the glaring lack of plate discipline by the hitters. When the Sox were good, their teams were always characterized by hitters who worked the count and drove up pitch counts. Have reporters questioned Magadan about this? and if so, what has he said?
by tom

Good question, Tom. I wrote about this very issue about a month ago and talked to Magadan, who expressed great frustration that this team was not nearly as patient as the Sox have been in past years. He noted that the walks were way down -- a big issue with Gonzalez in the first half -- and they weren't working the count as they had in the past. He's preached it; not sure the message is getting through.
by Sean McAdam

Sean, could you please clarify something for me involving Waivers? If Sox put Beckett on waivers and some team puts in a claim, couldn't we just let them obtain him outright without negotiating a trade? They would just pick up his salary, correct? This for us would be addition by subtraction and we could use Beckett's money in the off season to obtain Free Agents....
by nick

In theory, yes, Nick, that's the case. But most teams KNOW that's the case and probably understand that the Sox would be willing to pick up at least some of the money remaining (about 31 million for 2013-14) in a deal this winter so they won't claim him.
by Sean McAdam

If the Red Sox elect to let Big Papi go in free agency this offseason, who is the best option to have in the DH spot? Or will they platoon? My vote goes to Cody Ross! (if he re-signs)
by reggie jefferson

Ross could be a candidate, although, if Ellsbury is traded, they'll be short of OFs. They could go any number of ways on the DH, including what the Yankees --a nd others -- are doing: rotate the spot to give position players some rest.
by Sean McAdam

Hi Sean.. do you think the redsox will give me...i mean roger clemons a shot at a comeback?
by the rocket

I'm afraid not, Rog. I do find this whole exercise fascinating. I tend to agree with people who think Clemens will try to pitch for the Astros for a few games in order to re-set the clock on his HOF eligibility, hoping that the longer he can wait before going on the ballot, the more people might be willing to overlook his PED historyallegations.
by Sean McAdam

Love your comprehensive and professional coverage, Sean. The Sox seem to go downhill when the business and baseball ops are in conflict. Any chance Henry sees this and hires a powerful GM who can go toe to toe with Larry and hold his ground? I think this is their biggest need.
by bobp

I don't think there's a need to hire a new GM. If they believe that Cherington can do the job -- and I think they do, and I think most people in the game do, too -- then just have Lucchino let Cherington operate independently.
by Sean McAdam

how is it possible that the red sox seem to always "cycle" good years and bad years yet the yankees continually play so well that they are on top of the standings seemingly every year since 1998? I dont get it. all I hear is the red sox are in a cycle. well the yankees havent seemed to cycle in 20 years. come on now.
by dj woods

There's no question the Yankees have avoided those downturns far better. I think a key has been depth and the kinds of signings that give them insurance -- Chavez, Ibanez, Jones, Soriano, etc.
by Sean McAdam

Who do you see the Red Sox targeting via FA this offseason? And I wouldnt give up Pedroia or Middlebrooks for King Felix. Great work as always. Keep doing what youre doing! Thanks!
by dan

As I mentioned earlier, they'll be smart to avoid some of the bigger names in free agency this winter, like Greinke or Hamilton. I think you will see them go after some depth starters to provide some insurance in the rotation
by Sean McAdam

at this point, who is the least expendable on the team?
by cam

Would start with Buchholz and Middlebrooks, because they're both young and controllable. Then, go to the best prospects (Barnes, Bogaerts, Bradley) as they're the future. Finally, the guys in the prime of their careers -- Pedroia, Lester, Gonzalez. But the last group shouldn't be considered 100 percent untouchable.
by Sean McAdam

That will wrap it up for today. Join us next Wed., when I'll be in Anaheim, for another chat. Thanks to all who took part.

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.