February 2, 2004

The Anti-Gump. When he gets to Ft. Myers later this month, Terry Francona will be prepared. "By the middle of January, he and bench coach Brad Mills had mapped out every day of spring training to the point where Francona knows which batch of hitters he is throwing batting practice to on the first day of camp. This offseason, Francona has been spending time in the Red Sox front offices, getting to know staff, poring over written analyses of Red Sox players, and trying to contact all the members of the 40-man roster and many minor-leaguers as well. ... There are not many key roster spots to be won this spring training, outside of some utility player jobs. ... Francona seems particularly excited about the upside of pitchers Ramiro Mendoza and Bronson Arroyo."

Aaron Gleeman: "Doug Krikorian, in a column about the Los Angeles Dodgers in last Thursday's Long Beach Press-Telegram: 'The other person being mentioned as [LA GM Dan] Evans' possible successor, Oakland's Billy Beane, has done a terrific job with modest funds with the A's, but he's also a shameless self-promoter who wrote a book about his imagined genius and is despised by scouts around baseball.' ... This is absolutely mind-boggling to me. [Michael Lewis is the actual author.] ... [I]t is apparent Krikorian didn't bother to actually read Moneyball. I suppose that is fine, although I think a California sports writer might have thought about picking up a book about the Oakland A's. However, if you haven't read the book and you don't even know who wrote the damn thing, at least don't make a complete mockery of yourself and your column by commenting on it."

Many Red Sox fans also like the Patriots (among them Ed, Sarah and PSF), but for me (and maybe Big K), the only thing the Super Bowl means is that spring training is very, very close.

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