The Winter Classic. Boston likely made the move of the winter by trading for Curt Schilling. However, the Yankees are making their own, albeit less flashy, countermoves. They resigned Aaron Boone and Enrique Wilson for 2004 and have agreed to terms with reliever Tom Gordon and RF Gary Sheffield. In the rumor mill, they are eyeing Kenny Lofton and proposing a Jeff-Weaver-for-Kevin Brown trade with LA. Boston lost out on possible 2B Luis Castillo, who resigned with Florida. In San Diego, Kevin Towers downplayed any Nomar talk.
Pedro: "For me, it would be a pleasure to negotiate with Boston. In baseball there are no guarantees, but obviously we are a better team with Schilling. Boston has the option of negotiating with me. It's something that I will leave up to them, but if it doesn't happen, I will go into my last season and I'll do my job." Back on November 7, Martinez said: "I have to understand that if I don't put up the same numbers that I did in '99 and 2000, and from '97 on, I'll probably get a little bit of decrease in salary. But it's still pretty good money in the market. I'll just settle for whatever the market has to offer and enjoy the game."
Tom Boswell says the Red Sox and Yankees are battling it out in the Winter Classic. But a few hundred words after he writes "In the [Schilling] trade, the Red Sox barely lost anything" he asks: "Have the Red Sox mortgaged their future to grab a power pitcher just as he goes over the hill?" ... So which is it? Boswell doesn't answer the question; he merely notes that getting Schilling as he begins his decline "would fit Red Sox history." Pfft. A disappointing piece.
BlogWatch: Ed Cossette agrees with me re players sidestepping the media and using the internet to communicate directly with fans. ... Similarly, Tim Daloisio namechecks the Cluetrain Manifesto ... Dirt Dog has a transcript of Monday's lengthy WEEI Schilling interview. ... John Henry doesn't like the adult language sometimes used at SoSH, but he admits fans "cannot get a better, more informed or timely discussion of important Red Sox issues anywhere."
In the coverage of Bush's Thanksgiving Day Photo-Op, there was a story about a British Airways pilot who spotted what he believed was Air Force One. He radioed, "Did I just see Air Force One?" Col. Mark Tillman, AF1's pilot, responded, "Gulf Stream Five" (a much smaller plane). After a long silence, the British pilot replied, "Oh." ... Since the secret trip likely would have been called off if any news leaked out, this added a bit of suspense. But now the story is falling apart. ... A British Airways spokeswoman said yesterday that two BA aircraft were in the area at the time, but neither pilot made radio contact with AF1. So who is lying here, and why? How could the White House benefit from this fabrication? Does it make Bush look more daring? It's baffling. You wouldn't need much tinfoil to think Bush didn't even go to Iraq, but based on comments I have read on other internet boards, I believe he did go to Baghdad (though if the "liberation" is going so swimmingly, why did Mr. Bring 'Em On have to sneak in the back door?). ... Wouldn't an aircraft have to be fairly close to AF1 to see its markings and be able to distinguish it from a commercial 747? (And if it had no markings, why would he suspect it was AF1? If true, he must have seen something specific.) And doesn't AF1 have strict rules about distance between it and other planes, making a physical ID impossible? And why would the AF1 pilot make a laughable claim that it was actually a Gulfstream 5? Any experienced commercial pilot would never confuse the two; in fact, post-9/11, wouldn't that only add to his suspicion?