Buckner enthused over 'Curb' experience

354698.jpg

Buckner enthused over 'Curb' experience

Bill Buckner's appearance on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Sunday night is drawing rave reviews, but it wasn't a culmination of a lifelong dream.

In fact, Larry David -- the producer and star of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', and also one of the driving forces behind 'Seinfeld' -- had to talk him into coming on the show.

"Larry called me," the ex-Red Sox first baseman said Wednesday in an appearance on 'The Dan Patrick Show'. "To be honest, I wasn't a big 'Seinfeld' fan, or 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', so I didn't know that much about it. But I talked to him on the phone for quite a while one day, and he sent me kind of a script. And I said, 'Let me think about it, call me back.'

"I talked to my wife about it, and seemed like it was something that might be positive."

The show was, of course, a takeoff on Buckner's error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. But it was done gently, and it put Buckner in a good light.

"I thought it was fun," he said. "Most people that I know who watched it thought . . . it was hilarious. It was a good experience."

And in the end, he was the hero of the episode by making a leaping catch of a baby who was dropped from the window of a burning building.

"That took 10 hours to do that scene," he said. "About six hours of dropping that baby to get it to land in the right spot."

Buckner is currently finishing his first season as manager of the independent Brockton Rox, and hopes to land a job in organized baseball next year.

"I'm going to try to see if I can manage in the Cubs' organization next year," he told Patrick. "They have a team in Boise (Buckner lives in Idaho) . . . I've had preliminary conversations with the Cubs."

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.