Ortiz presents unique arbitration case for Sox


Ortiz presents unique arbitration case for Sox

David Ortiz, like Jacoby Ellsbury, presents the Red Sox with an interesting potential arbitration case.

In December, Ortiz -- who just turned 36 and is a 15-year veteran -- elected to accept arbitration rather than opting for free agency. Last season, he hit .309, with 29 home runs, 96 RBI, and a .953 OPS in 146 games.

Compare those to his 2010 numbers: .27032102.899145; and his career-average numbers (based on 162 games played): .28335118.922.
The approach for a team going through arbitration with a player like Ortiz with a lengthy career and body of work to consider -- can be different than it is for a player like Ellsbury, who is still early in his career.

Because of his seniority and his long career, there may be more emphasis on what can be expected of this player now, said Tal Smith, the founder of Tal Smith Enterprises, which has handled more than 150 arbitration cases since 1974 for teams.

Hes already been rewarded over his career for what he has done. Now he could have been a free agent. What would that value be? If its a free agent without arbitration, clubs dont bid or negotiate on the basis of what you have done. Theyre going to negotiate on what value they think youre going to have for the club in the coming season or seasons. And I would, frankly, take that approach in arbitration.

In Ortizs case his 2011 is going to be, I think, more indicative of what his value should be, given age and so on and the fact that he was a free agent. Because free agent values are not determined as much on past history as they are on expectation. In arbitration a player is banking on what he has done.

So, from that standpoint there is a distinction, I think, and a fairly significant one. There are not that many free agents like Ortiz that go. We did one a few years ago with Mark Loretta and that was after he left the Red Sox. We basically argued that Loretta had been a free agent and he signed with Houston, for 2.5 million. And then after that year he again was a free agent and filed for arbitration and his season was relatively comparable to what he had done the year before. We argued: Look, that was his value a year ago. Thats his value today. He agreed to that. So from Ortiz standpoint its not quite the same thing but I think hes going to have to expect that its going to be more on what an arbitration panel thinks hes capable of doing this year.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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