No player has been unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame. Knowing that some voters apparently have personal policies not to vote for anyone in his first year of eligibility, Bob Ryan writes: "I cannot begin to comprehend the depths of such idiocy."
Ryan shakes his head in disbelief at the number of voters who ignored Ty Cobb (4), Babe Ruth (11), Ted Williams (20), Willie Mays (23), and Hank Aaron (9) in their first years on the ballot. Ryan then names five dozen players he believes should have been elected without dissent.
Pitching coach John Farrell: "I don’t think we're at the point of just anointing a closer. But I think there are candidates that will emerge as we get to the middle of spring training. From that group of four right-handed relievers, we feel they're going to be pitching the bulk of the innings late in the game." He adds: "We have to plan to get eight starters stretched out."
Gordon Edes looks at the bullpen choices. ... The Red Sox avoided arbitration and signed Brendan Donnelly to a $1.4 million deal for 2007. ... The Globe's Amalie Benjamin has a feature on Julio Lugo.