January 30, 2005

One To Nine. As was the case in 2004, the Red Sox will head into spring training in a few weeks with their 25-man roster just about set. The Herald's Tony Massarotti proposes this batting order:
Damon, cf
Renteria, ss
Ramirez, lf
Ortiz, dh
Millar, 1b
Nixon, rf
Varitek, c
Mueller, 3b
Bellhorn, 2b
Last Wednesday, the Sox traded Doug Mientkiewicz to the Mets for minor league first baseman Ian Bladergroen. Before the 2004 season, Baseball America listed Bladergroen as one of a dozen breakout players in the minors and the 22-year-old batted .342-13-74 in 74 games at Capital City (A) before a ligament tear in his left wrist ended his season in July.

Tony Massarotti (Herald): "The bottom line is the bat of Kevin Millar is worth more than the glove of Doug Mientkiewicz ... In 2005, Mientkiewicz is due $3.75 million, while Millar is slated for $3.5 million. ... The Red Sox can find someone to do what Mientkiewicz does, which is why David McCarty already has been signed to a minor league contract. ... Seriously, people, was this even a decision?"

Millar's streaky bat has always annoyed me (and his adventures in the outfield make Manny look like Willie Mays) and I absolutely loved Malphabet's glove work (and expected his bat to rebound from last season), but this is still probably the right decision. The salaries are relatively the same, so I assume that wasn't a factor. Still, that lineup will hit like a motherfucker, so perhaps sparing some offense at first in favor of defense wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Ah well, Kentucky Fried Kevin it is.

At the same time, the Sox and Snook agreed on where the World Series baseball will be for the next year. It will be encased in a special plaque and join the trophy on its victory tour.

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