What should the Red Sox do with Jacoby Ellsbury?


What should the Red Sox do with Jacoby Ellsbury?

The winter for the Boston Red Sox will be an interesting one. One of the interesting shorelines is, what do the Red Sox do with Jacoby Ellsbury? Do they trade him or try to hang on to him?

Lou Merloni thinks it will be tough to trade him because no one really knows his value as of right now.

Dan Shaughnessy makes the bold statement that Ellsbury will not be with the Boston Red Sox by 2014.

What happens? Red Sox fans will have to wait and see.

McCourty addresses challenge of life without Brady for Patriots

McCourty addresses challenge of life without Brady for Patriots

Nobody is under the impression that being without a future Hall of Fame quarterback is a real positive for the Patriots.

Still, we’ve encountered resistance from Patriots over the years when it comes to acknowledging obvious adversity.

On Quick Slants Monday night, Patriots safety Devin McCourty said in reply to a viewer’s question that life without Brady is going to be a challenge. 

“Everyone’s going to talk about Tom, obviously. Starting quarterback, obviously our leader for the last decade-plus not being able to play in the first four games,” said McCourty. “We understand that. It’s been something that’s been over our head the past two years. Past that, we’re like every other football team. Guys have to come out and earn spots and compete.”

I asked McCourty if a silver lining to Brady accepting the suspension is the team being able to mentally move on from the uncertainty. 

“I would have rather had last year’s turnout because he wound up playing, but I think we know what we have to do,” said McCourty. “Obviously we support him and all the decisions made towards it but this is what it is now and we have to prepare and go out there and play.”

Camp opens on Thursday but all players are due to report on Wednesday. McCourty, Matthew Slater and all of the Patriots’ assistant coaches are scheduled to meet with the media on Wednesday.


McAdam: Red Sox should pass on this Sale

McAdam: Red Sox should pass on this Sale

BOSTON -- I'm not sure what the Red Sox would have to give up for Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale.

For that matter, I can't say definitively that the two clubs have actually discussed a trade for Chris Sale, though it's logical to assume they have, even in a cursory way.

The White Sox, mired toward the bottom of the A.L. Central and with just one playoff appearance in the last 11 seasons, are said to be "open'' to listening for offers on Sale. That's both their right and their duty.

As for the Red Sox, given that they're a big-market club with plenty of resources and an expectation from a loyal fan base to compete for a championship every season, they're similarly smart to inquire.

Who knows? Maybe the White Sox have had their fill of Sale and ,in a fit of pique, might be desperate enough to take less than full value to rid themselves of a pitcher who's developed into quite the clubhouse lawyer of late.

But my guess is that the White Sox are demanding a lot for Sale. That makes sense, since, beyond his raging sense of entitlement, Sale remains one of the handful of best starters in the game and is under club control for another three seasons after this one.

Whatever the asking price is, however, it's almost certainly too much.

Sure, the addition of Sale might, on paper, make the Red Sox the favorites to win the American League pennant.

Again, on paper. Ask the New York Mets, who owned the best starting rotation in the game when the season began and now sit, uncomfortably, in third place in their own division.

So much for the best-laid plans.

But the focus here is on the cost, however unknown, to obtain Sale.

If obtaining Drew Pomeranz cost the Red Sox Anderson Espinoza, how much more would Sale cost?

Let's assume that the Red Sox consider Yoan Moncada essentially untouchable. That would mean Boston would have to essentially clean out the rest of its prospect inventory. Think: a package like Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Michael Kopech, and perhaps more.

Or maybe the White Sox want more established young talent, and have their eyes on Mookie Betts and more.

Argue, if you wish, that pitching is more important than offense, but giving up a leadoff man who's shown indications he could become a five-tool superstar? No, thanks.

There's also the matter of need. Unlike at the beginning of the season, the Red Sox can now lay claim to having a rotation in which every one of the five starters gives them a solid chance to win.

Yes, David Price has underperformed in a big way. But that's likely the result of adjusting to Boston and new surroundings. What are the odds that, at 30, Price has almost overnight permanently devolved into a mediocre starter after finishing second in the Cy Young Award voting just last fall?

Steven Wright has emerged as a consistent starter who's under control for the forseeable future. Rick Porcello, though not flashy, is pitching like the Red Sox envisioned he would when they dealt for him a season-and-a-half ago. Eduardo Rodriguez has overcome injury and delivery issues to fufull the promise he showed as a rookie. And Pomeranz could be an afforable middle-of-the-rotation for years to come.

Is Sale better than each one of them right now? Of course, Price included.

But is the Red Sox rotation so troubled that it must upgrade now or else? No. Is their an obvious weak link begging to be immediately replaced? No.

And this is not Chris Sale, free agent. This is Chris Sale, incredibly expensive trade piece.

What if they stripmined their minor-league system for Sale, and didn't win? Then what? What if they tore up their core of foundational players for Sale, only to find him incapable of surviving Boston?

As I confessed earlier, I'm don't know what the White Sox would want for Sale.

What I do know is that it would, by definition, almost certainly be too much.

Curran: A laughable double standard in Manning vs. Brady cases

Curran: A laughable double standard in Manning vs. Brady cases

Reading the NFL’s breathless release Monday afternoon that the investigation of St. Peyton came back clean as a whistle and that, hell, ol’ Pey-Pey couldn’t have been more accommodating to the investigators (wink, nudge), the words of Elvis Costello occurred to me.

Oh, I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused …

Nobody in their right mind ever believed the NFL would get taint all over Manning post-retirement. Having just spent 18 months dragging Tom Brady’s through the streets, they were going to let him loose and hitch up Manning? Please.

But you figured they’d just slip a note to one of their many media friendlies that the investigation into Huge Head’s alleged HGH use was concluded and move on. Instead, it got “MAN LANDS ON MOON!” treatment complete with a neener-neener subhed that read: “Mannings Fully Cooperated with League Investigation into Allegations in Documentary.”

If they could have used the “in tears from laughter” emoji, they would have. They just can’t help themselves.
But I’m not dog-whistling for the anti-Manning crowd to get up in arms. I’m definitely not inviting a renewed parsing of the Deflategate facts, the Ideal Gas Law or Article 46.

I just don’t think that using HGH – particularly in the realm of recovery – is a mortal NFL sin. The job demands unnatural things from the body, it invites unnatural recovery methods. I’ve always regarded the league’s foot-dragging on HGH testing to be partly because they don’t want to know.

Conspiring to spirit game balls away after they were checked by the officials and let the air out of them does seem a bit more nefarious.

But wasn’t it Roger Goodell himself that equated deflating footballs to PED usage? I’ll answer that. Yes. Yes it was.

That being the case, I need to point out the lack of apparent intensity in going after Manning compared to the never-say-die, multimillion- dollar, league-hijacking, shield-tarnishing witch hunt conducted by the NFL when it came to Brady.

Did anyone in the Manning camp – from Tom Condon to Ari Fleischer – ever have Mike Kensil growling, “You guys are in big f******* trouble!” Was anyone at the Guyer Institute summoned for 14 hours of questioning by guys like Jeff Pash or Ted Wells?

Did Manning ever have to fend off league-leaked misinformation to reporters that the NFL allowed to stand even when the NFL knew the information was a lie?

Of course he didn’t. Manning is a friendly. The Manning family is the NFL equivalent of the Kennedys. And the people Manning was closest to during his time in the NFL – Tony Dungy, Bill Polian, even the repulsive Jim Irsay – aren’t people the league would want to alienate by subjecting Manning to the same kind of public cavity search Brady was.

Again, not that I expected or even believed the league should have done that. The guy is retired, after all. He got out of Dodge.

But it was Goodell that invited this comparison when he handed down his appeal ruling last July, stating that, “In terms of the appropriate level of discipline, the closest parallel of which I am aware is the collectively bargained discipline imposed for a first violation of the policy governing performance enhancing drugs; steroid use reflects an improper effort to secure a competitive advantage in, and threatens the integrity of, the game. Since the advent of our testing for steroid use in the 1980’s and now, pursuant to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, the first positive test for the use of performance enhancing drugs has resulted in a four-game suspension without the need for any finding of actual competitive effect.”

So, if the violations were created equal, why wasn’t Manning dealing with the same presumption of guilt Brady did and the same level of fact-finding?

You already know but I’ll answer it anyway. “Getting” Peyton Manning was the last thing the NFL wanted to do. The Patriots have been the Moby Dick to the NFL’s Captain Ahab for nearly two decades.

One last thing to note on this. It’s actually sad that it seems implausible the NFL did a full and exhaustive investigation and a fully cooperative Manning was able to conclusively prove he never used HGH.

Not because of Manning’s lack of credibility. Because of the NFL’s.