Alomar is officially out. Technically Lovullo is still in contention, but a second interview has yet to be scheduled, and that appears unlikely since Lamont is coming back for a second interview. And of course we have Valentine to deal with. Something of note is that Ben and the front office introduced Sveum to the brass. Ben and the front office did not introduce Valentine to the brass. The brass introduced Valentine to Ben and the front office. Obviously that says something about who’s in the driver’s seat when it comes to Valentine.
Ben made some internal promotions, although obviously none to manager quite yet. Mike Hazen, who’s run our farm system since 2006, is now Ben’s assistant GM. Brian O’Halloran, a veteran of the organization, was promoted to Assistant VP of Baseball Operations last spring and is now the other assistant GM. There were also several promotions in the departments of player personnel, Major League operations, player development, and scouting.
Ben also offered arbitration to Papi and Wheeler.
Justin Verlander stole Ellsbury’s MVP award. Make no mistake. Verlander may have the hardware, but Ellsbury was really the Most Valuable Player in every sense of the phrase. He was absolutely brilliant. I don’t care if the writers voted him in second place. He finished the season with a .321 average, thirty-two home runs, 105 RBIs, fifty-two walks, thirty-nine steals, and a perfect fielding percentage of 1. In fact, he hasn’t made an error since 2009. That sounds like an MVP to me. At least he was the top position player on the ballot.
Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association have signed a five-year deal. It includes mandatory HGH testing, an even fifteen teams in both leagues by the 2013 season, more Wild Card teams and playoff rounds, expanded instant replay, and a worldwide draft by the 2014 season. Everything seems good to me except the playoff and Wild Card expansions, which seem iffy. The playoffs are already enormous, and the playoffs are supposed to mean something. Do I wish that we made the playoffs every single year? Absolutely. But I don’t want to increase our probability of losing and exhaustion if we do. Plus, aren’t the playoffs supposed to mean something?
In other news, the Pats absolutely buried the Chiefs under their copious badness, 34-3. It was a cakewalk. The B’s had to eke out all of their wins this week. We squeaked past the Habs, 1-0, and we bested the Sabres, 4-3, in a shootout. The Red Wings snapped our winning streak at ten in a shootout, but we ended on a high note by besting the Jets.