John Tomase has a long feature on Terry Francona. In his initial interview, Francona sat in front of a television and managed a simulated game created by Epstein and his advisers. Not only did Francona "tell them what he wanted to do with the situation in front of him, he mentioned relievers he had warming up in the bullpen for matchups that were three or four moves away." Me likey.
Scott Boras: "Now we're at a place where clubs are getting $20-22 million in revenue sharing, teams like Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Plus getting $17 million [per team] from the TV packages. These clubs are making close to $40 million off those two elements alone, yet not even projecting payrolls that exceed that. Milwaukee is projecting a $30 million payroll, same thing in Tampa. There's not even an attempt at parity." ... Derek Zumsteg on Rule 5 Shenanigans. ... BP on the Vazquez/Johnson+2 trade.
For a cold winter's day, here is the 2004 Red Sox spring training schedule:
March 4: Minnesota @ Ft. Myers, 7:05 p.m. March 5: Boston College, 1:05 p.m. Northeastern, 7:05 p.m. March 6: Minnesota @ Ft. Myers, 1:05 p.m. March 7: New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. March 8: Minnesota (ss), 1:05 p.m. Philadelphia (ss) @ Clearwater, 1:05 p.m. March 9: Cincinnati, 7:05 p.m. March 10: St. Louis @ Jupiter 1:05 p.m. March 11: Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. March 12: Los Angeles, 1:05 p.m. March 13: Toronto @ Dunedin, 1:05 PM March 14: Florida, 1:05 p.m. March 15: Cleveland @ Winter Haven, 1:05 p.m. March 16: Cincinnati @ Sarasota, 7:05 p.m. March 17: Cleveland, 1:05 p.m. March 18: Off Day March 19: Pittsburgh, 1:05 PM March 20: Toronto, 1:05 p.m. March 21: Baltimore @ Ft. Lauderdale 1:05 p.m. March 22: Los Angeles @ Vero Beach 1:05 p.m. March 23: Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m. March 24: New York Yankees @ Tampa 7:15 p.m. March 25: Minnesota, 1:05 p.m. March 26: Pittsburgh @ Bradenton 1:05 p.m. March 27: Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m. March 28: Florida @ Jupiter, 1:05 p.m. March 29: Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. March 30: Tampa Bay @ St. Petersburg, 7:05 p.m. March 31: Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. April 1: Minnesota @ Ft. Myers, 1:05 p.m. April 2: Atlanta @ Turner Field, 7:15 p.m. April 3: Atlanta @ Turner Field, 1:15 p.m. [Home games in Ft. Myers]Headline: "US commander gives new toll for Samarra clashes, admits no bodies taken away." One of the soldiers who took part in the attack says: "Most of the casualties were civilians, not insurgents or criminals." ... For months, the parents of tens of thousands of troops have had to buy jackets with bullet-stopping ceramic inserts and mail them to their children in Iraq because they have only Vietnam-era flak jackets. The US Army is now promising to rush new body armor to Iraq by the end of this month. ... Arizona restaurateur Mike Lopercio is in Iraq and is "stunned [by] the differences between the Iraq seen on the television news and the Iraq he sees by walking the streets. 'The town is barricaded up, tanks rolling down the street. Visually, it's arresting. It's shocking.'" ... James Baker, whose law firm is representing the Saudi government in the $1 trillion lawsuit filed by the families of 9/11 victims, is back in the news.