Bowlshit From Burkett? John Burkett believes if Grady is not retained as manager, "there's going to be a lot of pissed-off players in that clubhouse next year. This is going to fire up a lot of guys in the wrong way and this would not be a good start for them. They are making a mistake." Teams change managers all the time. Was Grady Little so unique, so special, so gol'dang dreamy that seasoned major league players will revolt? I don't think so. These are the strongest comments to date about Grady's clubhouse support and because Burkett has likely thrown his last major league pitch, he isn't trying to curry favor with anyone with his comments. Then again, Burkett got the benefit of the doubt on the mound from Grady more than any other starter, so I can understand why he's in Gump's corner. Once the announcement comes (Monday?), I imagine we'll be hearing from other players.
Michael Silverman also reported (same link) that "a source close to Little said the manager and Epstein spoke at length ... the conversation was termed 'awkward' by the source." It appears this source listened in on the conversation between Grady and Theo, since the source also relayed some of the conversation (Little getting in a pointed jab at Epstein's authority) to Silverman. It sounds like Grady is the source.
Gump is still scheduled to sail on the annual Red Sox Cruise on January 18. Organizer Ken Nigro said: "One guy called about dumping Grady overboard." ... Tim Daloisio begins his "2003 Organizational Report Card" ... Eric Enders looks at pitching performances in elimination games... Baseball Primer's 2003 NL and AL RoY ... Dirt Dogs reports that Bud Black signed a contract extension as Anaheim's pitching coach, thus taking himself out of the manager search. ... Rob Neyer, in his Friday ESPN chat, said he knows first-hand that Larry Dierker would like the Red Sox manager's job. Also: "Tim McCarver would have Jeter's babies if he could."