Sunday. Tony Massarotti claims the Red Sox are looking for a closer this winter. He makes reference to Billy Wagner and Keith Foulke, but doesn't quote any team officials. He also mentions the "now infamous closer by committee." First, I was under the impression that Williamson would close in 2004. And second, assuming the Red Sox hire a manager with a fully functioning brain who can understand the concept, the "new" bullpen theory, which is actually an old pre-LaRussa theory, can be put into use for first time next spring.
Gordon Edes probes a bit into Joe Maddon, who is being interviewed for the manager's spot this week. Edes describes Maddon as "bright, organized, honest, innovative, personable, communicative, with a broad background as a minor league manager, hitting instructor, player development executive, and big-league coach." (He also read books!) Maddon: "My good training in different positions in the past has given me specific ideas about what I like to do offensively, defensively, and with a pitching staff. ... I've been using [a computer] since 1990. I use it as an organizational tool. I like looking at numbers, but I like making them simple. For me, the most important thing is to take a lot of numbers and simplify them. Players can't hold onto a lot of stuff during a game. There's a fine balance between giving them information and still allowing them to play unobstructed."
Edes also notes that during his press conference, Pedro Martinez acknowledged that his salary in his next contract may be less that it has been in recent years. ... The East Valley (Ariz.) Tribune reported that Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was shot execution-style, with his hands bound with plastic handcuffs and his feet tied together with shoelaces. Police arrested a third man in connection with the killing.
"Angry about a leaked Democratic memo, the Republican leadership of the Senate yesterday took the unusual step of canceling all business of the committee investigating prewar intelligence on Iraq." Well, isn't that convenient? ... "Army reservists, pulled from everyday life to serve in Iraq, are suffering from a sharply disproportionate share of nonhostile injuries -- which include accidents, illnesses, and mental breakdowns -- as they adjust to the rigors of a long and unexpected tour in a hot, strife-ridden environment." ... Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years who worked with Presidents Nixon and Reagan: "Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably ... The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything." (Also)