So I've got the Red Sox rss feed on my cell phone. It's been conspicuously quiet for some time now. I've been watching anxiously all summer to see how they'll rebound from last year's late season disaster.
I'm still waiting.
The rotation stands at three starters -- Lester, Beckett, and Buchholz and after that . . . well, it gets interesting. They're planning on platooning the number four starter and hoping that failed closer Daniel Bard can be the number five guy.
They traded away their starting shortstop to save $7million and are planning to platoon shortstop now as well! Papelbon's gone, though losing him and his 5 year/$50 mil salary might not have been a bad idea.
So when did they get so cheap? Both Lucchino and Cherrington swear they're not budget watching. CBSports reports that the Sox ownership group has sunk $179 million into their Liverpool soccer club. And there's only so much money to go around. Right now, it looks to me like the Sox are playing for the wild card berth in the post season.
And what's up with soccer?!
The Bucs ownership, the Glazers, own Manchester United, and sink tons of money into that club. The U.S. football team . . . not so much. In fact, the Bucs payroll is so far below the league's salary cap, that it is below the league minimum! We, as fans, have gotten what the owner's have paid for -- a lousy team that just fired it's "never should have been hired" head coach at the end of last season. Rumors locally are suggesting that the Glazer's are hoping to sell the team before the NFL forces them to increase payroll. At least in that context, cutting team costs to the bare minimum to make it an attractive sell, makes sense.
Meanwhile, the on-the-cheap Rays have their rotation, one of MLB's best, locked up in multi-year contracts. They brought in free agent slugger Luke Scott, and resigned local favorite Carlos Pena, to a one year, $7 million contract. My personal belief here is that the team, which is fighting the city of St. Pete and The Trop, are hoping to get into the series once again. Whether they win or not, another high profile post season and Rays ownership will go to MLB and beg them to get the team either another stadium here or relocate where they can survive financially.
MLB can ill afford another debacle like what's going on with the Dodgers and would likely find a way to force the locals into giving the team what it wants.
And finally, my Lightning. *sighs* So much offensive talent on a team with no goaltender. Garon's playing better now that some of the defensemen are off the ir, but that horrid losing streak showed that Garon's not the money goalie they need. My boy Rolo, seems to have burned himself out carrying the team into the playoffs last season. He doesn't look to have anything left now. Without a great goalie, this team's going nowhere. And I'm sure that Stevie Y knows that. But they don't have the cash to drop on a big name guy. So what? Trading for a starting goalkeeper will likely cost the team one of the big names on offense. And if this team trades away one of the big 3 -- Vinnie, Marty, or Stammer, the fans will burn the Palace down to the ground.
What a mess!
I'm not sure I'm gonna be liking the upcoming sports year at all.
And on a sort of related sports note -- it appears that swimsuit model extraordinaire Kate Upton scored the coveted cover of this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
I don't have a pic of the new cover, which reportedly has been leaked already, so here's a pic from last year's issue:
Oops, spoke too soon, here it is: