December 20, 2003

Red Sox Holding Firm. Gordon Edes has an excellent article in today's Globe about the status of the Rodriguez deal. As it stands now, Hicks wants Ramirez, prospect Jon Lester and $13 million in exchange for Rodriguez. Hicks and Boras have apparently worked out a restructuring of A-Rod's contract that the union would approve. But the Red Sox have told everyone involved that $13 won't do it, they need a $28 million reduction (which is not the same as deferred money) to maintain competitive flexibility. Boston argues that Hicks is saving close to $80 million by swapping Rodriguez's contract with Manny's and that should be incentive enough. ... Rodriguez is scheduled to return home to Miami tomorrow. ... Bud Collins meets with Marvin Miller. ... Gary Huckabay looks at the contractural obligations involved and Joe Sheehan explores the union's position.

I'm a one-sport guy -- baseball is a 12-month-a-year obsession -- so I just found out about Joe Horn's touchdown celebration for the Saints against the Giants last Sunday. After crossing the goal line, Horn began clawing at the bottom of the goal post, found a cell phone hidden there and began pushing buttons, pretending to have a conversation. Horn was fined $30,000. ... Now I don't know what the majority of football columnists thought of this (several fans here seemed to like it), but I started wondering what baseball scribes would say if these sorts of celebrations happened on the diamond. Can you imagine the level of indignation if Barry Bonds capped off a home run trot with a hip-swinging dance with his bat before going back to the dugout? The level of indignation would be off the charts, it would reach apocalyptic proportions.

Box of Soap: Two transcripts of 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean's CBS interview. ... Connecticut governor John Rowland (R) "has rejected calls for his resignation over corruption allegations, saying he is in direct contact with God." Oh dear. ... Buried on page A42 of the Washington Post: "Rumsfeld went to Baghdad in March 1984 with instructions to deliver a private message about weapons of mass destruction: that the United States' public criticism of Iraq for using chemical weapons [i.e., Saddam gassing his own people] would not derail Washington's attempts to forge a better relationship, according to newly declassified documents."

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