Attention, conspiracy theorists: This is right up your alley.
CSN Chicago's David Kaplan wonders if Mike Maddux pulled out of the running for the Red Sox managerial job because he's learned he's Theo Epstein's No. 1 choice to manage the Cubs. That would go a long way towards understanding why Maddux said no thanks to Boston, but is still willing to interview in Chicago.
Having been around Theo Epstein for 10 years, it's an easy theory to dismiss. If there's one thing we know about Theo, he never enters anything with a set of preconceived notions; were that the case, Terry Francona never would have managed the Red Sox. (Tito, thought to be a second- or third-tier candidate when he walked in the door, blew the Sox away in their face-to-face meetings.) It's unfathomable that Epstein would have picked a winner in the Cubs' search without having conducted a single interview.
Still, it does sort of explain the unexplainable . . .
Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.
Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.
In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:
Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal.
Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016.
The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.
More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.