Thursday, January 31, 2013

In Honor of my 1000th Post…

Here’s a special List of 36:

Red Sox Players with Last Names Beginning with M

1. Mike Maddux
2. Wade Miller
3. David McCarty
4. John Marzano
5. Mike Myers
6. Kevin Morton
7. Gene Mauch
8. Bob Montgomery
9. Carl Mays
10. Pedro Martinez
11. Doug Mirabelli
12. Jim McHale
13. Daisuke Matsuzaka
14. Stuffy McInnis
15. Sam Mele
16. Mike Menosky
17. Jamie Moyer
18. Mike Meola
19. Ron Mahay
20. Cla Meredith
21. Lou Merloni
22. Willie McGee
23. George Metkovich
24. Kent Mercker
25. Kevin Mitchell
26. Josias Manzanillo
27. Kevin Millar
28. Bill Mueller
29. Buster Mills
30. Vince Molyneaux
31. Franklin Morales
32. Freddie Moncewicz
33. Matt Murray
34. Alex Mustaikis
35. Orlando Merced
36. Doug Mientkiewicz

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One Week left in the Scavenger Hunt!

The Beatles may have had Eight Days a Week. But, you only have seven more days to enter the 2012 Section 36 Scavenger Hunt!

Don’t forget that you don’t need to own the items. You only need to find them. Many a person has submitted a strong entry just by going window shopping. A quick trip to the mall, or sporting goods store, or collectibles shop should let you stumble upon many of the items on the list. You’re probably going to be at one of those places in the next week anyway. I’ll even bet that you’ll be carrying a phone with a camera in it at the time. So, you really have no excuse not to snap a few entry pictures.

However you do it, get out and take those pictures!

Monday, January 28, 2013

When Did PR Become a Four-letter Word?

Remember when the Red Sox traded for Alex Rodriguez? The trade sent the second highest paid player in the game away in exchange for the highest paid player. It was going to cost the Sox a bit more to have ARod on the team than it did to carry Manny Ramirez. That was OK, though, everyone told us. It wasn’t as bad as it looked, because ARod was willing to play along. In the past, the team would have events with sponsors and other high rollers. They occasionally asked Manny or Nomar Garciaparra to come to the events to schmooze with the deep pockets, and were turned down. So, while they were both talented players, they weren’t making money for the team. (I never heard about Pedro’s willingness or lack thereof in these situations. Probably because the Sox weren’t trying to trade him.) Rodriguez would be the exact opposite. Not only would he be willing to attend these events, he practically sought them out. So, sure ARod had a higher salary, but for the front office he was a cash cow. It made the deal at worst a wash. Everybody agreed. It was worth taking on ARod and his money because the good-looking, PR friendly star was an asset that made the team better. Every dollar that ARod brought in by hamming it up with potential advertisers was another dollar they could spend on a fifth starter. It all made perfect sense to everyone.

So, why are we all suddenly surprised that the Sox are concerned about image and PR?

And why are people so upset about it?

Now, let’s be clear. I don’t want the Sox giving a terrible infielder $20 million a year, and handing him the starting job because he’s easy on the eyes. I’ll leave that to the Yankees. But, if the Sox target good players who can also help them in other ways, why is that a problem? Adrian Gonzalez might be a good-looking guy who probably helps with the minority fan base. But, the guy would be a superstar if he looked like a white toad. The Sox front office may have thought Carl Crawford was a better investment because he appealed to the ladies. But, he was a multi-time all-star in his prime. The fact that he’s also a good PR move is somehow a bad thing?

Isn’t that the job of the front office? To keep an eye on the bottom line? Isn’t it their job to see what they can do to make the team more profitable? Isn’t it a good idea to ask people what would make the team make more money?

I think the Sox know that the best way to make money is to win games. They haven’t done anything that would suggest to me otherwise. But, if a focus group tells them they would make more money by selling polka-dotted hats, go for it.

Boston isn’t the biggest media market in the country. It’s not the second biggest. So, how have the Sox been able to have one of the highest payrolls in baseball? Because of all the extra stuff they do to make money. It’s that stuff that allows them to spend money on payroll.

So, why wouldn’t the Sox do polling? Or conduct focus groups? Or, do whatever they want to gather opinions. It’s a bad thing to give people what they want? Remember when they realized that people actually liked wider concourses and better food selection? Remember when they decided that people would actually like to try watching a game from on top of the Monster?

These guys aren’t idiots. I haven’t read Tito’s book yet. But, I’m guessing that when the front office mentioned that it would be nice if the Sox could win game in a more exciting manner they didn’t follow up with, “So, could you let the other team catch up so the Sox can win it in the bottom of the ninth?” I bet that if a focus group said they’d prefer the Sox play without their shirts on, they’d ignore that suggestion. But, if they can increase revenue by making a few tweaks here and there, that helps the team.

How is that a bad thing?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Scored!

June 20, 1999

What a big game this was. The Red Sox had made the playoffs in 1998 for the fist time in a few years, and were hoping to do it again in 1999. The Rangers were a good team those years, making a habit of getting swept by the Yankees in the playoffs. The Red Sox were in for a dogfight on this day.

Oh wait. I see that Pedro Martinez is listed as the starting pitcher.

Sox win.

Pedro was his usual dominating self, even against a good team. The Rangers line-up that day featured Ivan Rodriguez (who would end up stealing the 1999 MVP award), Juan Gonzalez (a two-time MVP including the previous season), and Rafael Palmiero. How did Martinez do against that power-packed group? Take a look for yourself. Eight innings, six hits, no walks, one run, ten strikeouts.


Pedro was actually responsible for a quirk in my scoring, which unfortunately shows up on the Rangers side of the card. Rueben Mateo was at bat in the top of the second. With two strikes, Mateo swung at an inside pitch and managed a dribbler back to Pedro. Martinez calmly threw the ball to first to end the inning. Another example of a player being overmatched by Pedro. But, then Mateo didn’t take the field in the bottom of the second. Weird. He got hurt grounding out? A few innings later, I notice that the people hanging K’s around the park seem to have different numbers. The people in the bleachers had one less K for Pedro than the people in the luxury boxes did. (Yup. Hanging K’s in the luxury Box. It was Pedro.) Hmm. The people with access to TVs have an extra K. It turns out that Mateo didn’t ground out. He was so far ahead of the Martinez pitch (gotta love the change-up) that the way inside pitch actually missed the bat and drilled him right in the chest. It bounced out to Pedro, who threw it to first. But, since Mateo was swinging at the pitch he went down on strikes. That’s why he left the game.

What about the Red Sox card? Looks like a nice effort. Five runs were more than enough with Pedro on the mound.

The hero for the day? I’m going to the bottom of the order, and Trot Nixon. Three for four, scoring two runs and driving in two more. He accounted for four of the five Sox runs. Not a bad day.

The goat? Three starters went hitless on the day. I’m going to give the horns to Mike Stanley. He did draw a walk, but he also struck out twice. A good case could be made for Damon Buford, but he at least scored a run.

But, the goat didn’t hurt. The Sox had all they needed. Pedro kept the collection of MVP’s in check, as he always did. He was in the middle of one of the best seasons a pitcher has ever had. We were just enjoying every minute of it.

And the scorecard shows how it happened.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

From the Pedro Binder

2001 UD Vintage All-Star Tributes

Pedro Martinez was an appropriate selection for an All-Star tribute card in 2001. Not only was he coming off what may have been the two best seasons by a pitcher in baseball history. But, he was injured when the time came for the 2001 All-Star game, so he wasn’t (couldn’t be) selected. But, he was still named on every coach’s ballot that Joe Torre handed out to help select his staff. So, they asked MLB for special permission to put Pedro on the team as a tribute member of some sort. That’s when you know you’re good. When your league can’t imagine an All-Star team without you on it. So, why not an All-Star Tribute card? Sounds reasonable.

What about the card itself? I like it. It’s clean and simple. I prefer full photos, but understand the need for variety when you’re making a set. The size of Pedro seems about right. Last time, when discussing the 2003 UD Top 40, I felt the picture was too small. If you had a page of those cards of different players, it would be hard to tell they were different. I think in this case, the picture is just the right size to keep the consistency in the design, while still allowing Pedro to be an individual. Speaking of the picture, does anyone else think it’s odd that Pedro still slit the sleeves of his jersey, even though he was wearing a long sleeve shirt underneath it? Wouldn’t that be at least as constrictive as a short sleeve?

The rest of the card works. The Player’s name and team are clearly written. It would be nice if the “vintage” logo were a little less prominent. But, the color hides it somewhat. The simple star design fits with the theme of the set. I have a hard time finding something I don’t like about the card.

Other than a “vintage” set from a company that’s 12 years old.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do You like the 2004 Red Sox?

Did you like that team? Did that team excite you? Did you collect everything you could get your hands on relating to that team? Of course you did. After 86 years, you needed everything you could find with a World Series logo on it. I bet you managed to find a ticket to one of the World Series games on eBay. You went to the sporting goods store, and gobbled up as many of the official World Series baseballs as you could. You made sure you had a banner proclaiming the championship displayed in your living room. You’ve been hanging onto all those items since then.

Now, it pays off.

Those are three of the items you need to find for the 2012Section 36 Scavenger Hunt!

There are only TWO WEEKS left in the contest. So, take those pictures and send them in to me. Don’t forget what’s at stake. Worldwide fame and adoration! The wonderful book, Game Six by Mark Frost! 200 Red Sox baseball cards! (Not only that, if you happen to be a fan of one of those “other teams” I can try to get you 200 cards of that team instead of Red Sox ones. No promises though).

So, grab your camera and start taking those pictures. Send them to the section36 gmail account. Have fun!

Before time runs out!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Five Years? Five Years!

5 years - The wood anniversary

Many moons ago, I was planning to attend a Red Sox game. Unfortunately, I had used the last blank scorecard in my book the previous game. So, I needed a new one. Since I realized I didn’t like any of the cards I could buy in stores, I decided to make my own. I put in all the features I thought I needed. When I was done I had a small square left blank. I couldn’t think of anything else I needed to add to the card, but didn’t like the look of the empty space. So, I figured a fancy logo would make the card look better, and more professional. Since the ticket for the game I was going to was in Section 36, that’s what I used for the logo. I threw a “Section 36” in front of a trapezoid and added a made-up website. It added a little something to the card. Perfect. While we were at the game, my brother noticed the logo, and asked if I owned the website. Of course, I didn’t. I would have no idea what to do with a website domain. I’m not a web designer. I once had a homepage on AOL when I was trading cards through one of their forums. But, that’s not even close to the same thing. I mean, it was AOL for crying out loud. He countered with the idea of a blog. Hmm. I could do that. It might even be fun. So, five years ago today, Section 36 was born.

Because of a blank space on a scorecard.

Thank goodness.

It’s been more fun then I ever could have thought. I’ve been able to interact with so many fantastic people. I’ve gotten back into trading, which I was sorely missing at the time. I’ve found a place to get things off my chest. Sometimes when the Sox trade all their talent away, you have to scream at somebody. Somewhere. Over the years, this little spot has grown. I doubt anybody was even reading this thing for the first six months or so. Now, people seem to actually be checking in every day. Who would have imagined?

So thanks to everyone who has been around these past five years. Thanks to everyone who has submitted pictures from Section 36. Thanks to everyone who has sent me completed scorecards or pictures of the logo. Thanks to everyone who has commented on posts, to let me know you’re out there. Thanks to everyone who has entered contests. Thanks to everyone who has completed trades with me, or simply sent cards just because.

Most of all, thanks to everyone for reading!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Red Sox 1-36: 19 is for...

Record 19 K’s in a game by Sox opponent

The record number for strikeouts by an opposing pitcher against the Red Sox in one game is 19. It has been accomplished twice. By the same pitcher. In the same season.

I can understand if Red Sox fans were tired of seeing Nolan Ryan during the 1974 season. Ryan struck out 19 Red Sox batters on June 19, and then did it again on August 12. Dominating.

To be fair, this isn’t Chris Bosio no-hitting the Sox. Nolan Ryan struck out plenty of people that year. 367 of them, in fact. But still, that can’t be fun to watch.

There are some players who just seem to do well against the Sox, for one reason or another. Whether it’s real or imagined. Sometimes it’s because they’re talented players. David Price tends to shut down the Sox. Or, sometimes it’s unexplainable. In either case, it’s simply deflating every time the other player does his thing.

So, imagine you’re back in 1974 watching this happen. Sure, Ryan is a good pitcher. He won 21 games in 1973. But, aren’t you still in disbelief? Can’t these guys do something with the bat? Anything? A groundout even? Just put the ball in play! It must have been beyond frustrating.

It’s probably what other fans felt like whenever Pedro was on the mound.

19 is for 19 strikeouts by Nolan Ryan against the Sox.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

From the Pedro Binder

2003 UD Top 40

My scanner did a number on this card. But, I’m sure you can get the general idea. The card has a graphic design of…the number 40.


Once again, all the information I want in a card is there. There’s a picture of Pedro. His name is there along with his team and position. It even lists his uniform number. Of course, it would be better if that information wasn’t in that annoying foil that card companies make you read.

But what about the design? I’m conflicted. It’s actually a pretty clean look. The picture of Pedro doesn’t have to compete too much with banners or graphics. I think my main problem with this card is that the picture is just too small. If I had a whole bunch of these cards of different players in a binder, I think it would look too much like I had the same card over and over. The size of the picture wouldn’t draw me in. Now, some people might actually like that part the best. There would be a consistency there. But, for me, the focus should be on the picture. I don’t collect cards with graphics on them. I collect cards with Pedro Martinez on them. He should actually be prominent on the card.

Despite that, I think I’ve decided that I like this card. (As if you really cared.)

OK Jere…I’m waiting

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three Weeks To Go!

Time is sneaking up on you, isn’t it? You only have three weeks to go before the end of the Section36 Scavenger Hunt.

Keep taking those pictures!

If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry. Not all of the items will take forever to locate. I’m guessing it won’t take too much effort to find a male or female Red Sox fan. Right? Everyone knows where to find a Section 36 scorecard…there are even some used ones there. By definition, you should be able to find a homemade Section 36 t-shirt in your house. The drawing of Wally doesn’t need to be done by a professional, does it?


Put those items on a together for a picture, and you’ve got four items in an entry. Without even leaving the house.

Don’t forget to include at least one of the three options in any entry picture…you, the Section 36 logo, or the Section 36 web address. That way I know you found the items in the real world, and didn’t just steal an internet picture. Then just send those pictures in to the section36 gmail address. It’s that simple.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Collecting the Sox: Pocket Schedules

I’m going to start this off with a few questions about collecting pocket schedules. I have several pocket schedules. I don’t pay any money for them. I don’t actively seek them out. I just don’t throw them away after the season. Is that collecting? Is that hoarding? Do I have a problem?

On second thought, don’t answer that last one.

Pocket schedules are a fun little item. They meet most of my requirements when it comes to collecting something. They’re not expensive. They’re really cheap. In fact, the new ones are usually free. They’re not rare. The Red Sox practically beg you to take as many as you can. I like things that I can make a small collection of easily, like that. They have a ton of variety. That always adds visual interest to a collection. Some of them have players on the front. Some have pictures of Fenway, or other Red Sox related subjects. I even like looking at all the ads that are crammed onto the schedules these days. Lately, the Sox have even produced several versions each year, as the schedule becomes more concrete. So, technically, you could collect the entire 2012 set! As I mentioned in my Jacoby TTM post, I’m a bit concerned about the different style of schedule I was sent. While the schedule is a sturdier material, and can be viewed without having to unfold it, it’s dull and boring. For the collection, I hope they bring back the fold outs with colorful graphics.

The schedules are nice for storage purposes too. That’s important to me as collections grow. If you don’t have the space, or a method, to enjoy them, what’s the point? That’s not a problem with the schedules. They’re small, if they are folded. You might say that they’re pocket-sized. So, I keep mine in 9-pocket sheets. That makes it a breeze to flip through and enjoy them.

As with anything I collect, I love the historical aspect to schedules. You can see stars from the past on the front. There’s Mo Vaughn taking his cuts, or Johnny Pesky giving a wave. Naturally, they celebrate world championships and important anniversaries. As with the magnet schedules, the schedule itself can be fun to look over. I can travel back to 1999 and see how brutal the month of September was. Imagine. Time travel, available in your pocket. What else could you ask for?

Anyone else have a pocket schedule collection?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

0 for 37 Isn’t a Slump

Nobody. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

The BBWAA decided yesterday that nobody was worthy of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. For the first time in a long time, they may have actually gotten it right. I didn’t do this before the election, so why not do it now. How did I feel about the candidates?

For the sake of this part of the entry, let’s just pretend we have never heard of the word PED. It’s just easier for now. We can break the candidates into a few different categories.

The one and dones. Really can’t argue with not electing the nineteen players who were taken off the ballot. They’re former major league players. That’s just going to have to be good enough.

The before my times. There were five or six players on the list who I wouldn’t have voted for…but would be willing to let someone who is older than me say they really do deserve it. Those guys are Morris, Raines, Smith, Trammell, Murphy, and maybe Mattingly. I wouldn’t give any of them my vote. But, if someone who was big into baseball from 83-88 wants to tell me that Tim Raines was a superstar just like Rickey Henderson, I’d defer to that judgment.

The Hall-of-Very-Goods. There were ten of those. Nothing wrong with being not quite good enough for the Hall of Fame. But, they’re not quite legends. Rafael Palmeiro never entered any conversations I ever had discussing the greatest players in the game. I never said, “Boy, you have to see that guy Biggio play…what a talent!” Sosa’s great years were too short. Mark McGwire was Dave Kingman with more power. McGriff and Bagwell were great players…but is anyone mistaking them for Jimmy Foxx? Edgar Martinez was a great, consistent hitter. But, other than being the best DH, does he find himself atop any lists? Piazza too. Can you go into the Hall as a great hitting catcher, if you can’t catch? What if David Ortiz played shortstop? If he made 35 errors every year and had range almost as bad as Jeter. But, he hit 50 home runs. Does that make him a Hall-of-Fame shortstop? If I ever heard anyone refer to Piazza as a “great hitter” instead of a “great hitting catcher” it would be different. If Carlos Delgado stayed behind the plate, does that make him a legend? And, sorry Curt Schilling. Thanks for 2004. And 2007. But, when Schilling was on the mound I thought to myself that the Sox had a good chance to win the game. When Pedro was on the mound, I thought to myself that the Sox already had the game won. That’s the difference.

Legends. That leaves Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. The only two players on the ballot who would get my vote if PED wasn’t a word.

But, PED is a word. So, what does that do to Clemens and Bonds? Well, I can certainly see punishing them by not voting for them the first year. I probably would have made them wait too. Would I ever vote for them? I’m going to take my cue from Mark McGwire. I’m not here to talk about the future.

I’m just here to say the writers got it right.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ellsbury TTM Response

I’m still not quite ready to call this a TTM success. After all, when I sent the request out, I only asked for one thing. I didn’t get it. So, I have a hard time labeling this as a success. But, take a look at what I did end up with.

This is my haul from a Jacoby Ellsbury request. This was a total shocker to me. Best as I can tell, I sent this request out a few years ago. Spring Training 2010. So, it’d been a while.  But, it was probably worth the wait. The thing that pops out in the middle is the preprinted “autographed” photo card. As I’ve mentioned, this seems to have become the standard Red Sox response to TTM requests since it’s about the fifth one I’ve gotten. I don’t know if they only do it for the stars, or if David Ross would also send one out. I’ll have to try and find out. Looking at the signature on the card, I can’t think it’s real. It just looks preprinted to me. Interesting signature too. Just the first name. You’d think that if you were signing something to be reprinted thousands of times, you’d go the extra mile. The printing of the name also catches you off guard. I will say, though, that the flowing loops of the J and the y do make for an interesting visual.

I’m fairly certain that the card in the upper right is the one I sent. Like I said, it’s been a while. But, it looks like one I would have chosen.

I’m wondering if the schedule card is the official replacement of the standard pocket schedules. Has anyone seen a 2013 version of the pocket foldouts? If this is the new direction, I’m not a fan. Granted it’s nice to not have to fold open the schedule to read the games. But, from a collectable standpoint, it’s absolutely blah.

The red circle is a Red Sox bracelet. You know, those livestrong-style bands that are popular now. I probably won’t be wearing it.

There’s a logo sticker too. I’m sure that Jere will be thrilled to see that they’ve used the correct primary logo on the giveaway. Although, since they used the hanging sox, they avoided the confusion of picking the correct secondary circle logo.

They also included a little bag of Fenway dirt. That’s pretty cool. I’ve had the chance to be on the field at Fenway a couple times. Each time I managed to grab a pinch of dirt from the warning track in front of the Sox dugout. This dirt seems to be smaller grained, and redder. Could this be infield dirt then? I wonder how many TTM requests I would have to send out before I could cover my front yard in Fenway dirt.

So, while not quite a success, this was a great package to get in the mail.

Thanks Jacoby!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What Can You Make With Wine, Ice Cream, and Salsa?

If they have Red Sox players on them, you can make an entry in the 2012 Section 36 Scavenger Hunt!

There’s only one month left in this year’s hunt. Don’t be left behind! You don’t want to miss out on a great book, and some great cards!

Only one month left to take that last trip to Yawkey Way for a picture. One month to run to the grocery store to see if they have any Red Sox Coke bottles left.

So take those pictures. Send them in to me!

Let your entry count!

Friday, January 4, 2013

From the Pedro Binder

2002 Leaf Certified

So Shiny.

Sometimes, a card is just busy for the sake of being busy. I understand that there are only so many ways you can dress up a rectangle with design elements. But, do you need to use all your options on one card all at once? We have circles, lines, foil, and polka dots.


Some of my issue with this card is that I will always prefer a good picture to a good design. I would like it more if Pedro wasn’t cut off at the knees. But, frankly, the card has all the requirements I look for in a card. The team name, player name, and position are right there on the front. They’re all tough to read, though. The “Boston” on the side is excusable since it’s the least important of the three. The card even has the bonus of a team logo, and player number on the front as well. That’s a pretty informative card. But, to put the player name in small print over a spotted background? That’s just mean. The position they place in a clean white circle. The player’s name? You’re on your own.

The picture itself is even really nice. Zoomed in close to focus on Pedro, staring in at the batter before embarrassing him. The card has a ton of stuff going for it.

I just can’t get past all the distractions. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Money for Slots

You may have heard that the Red Sox are having a bit of trouble finalizing a deal for Mike Napoli. For whatever reason, the talks are taking a while to get all in order. There’s a valid question out there as to whether or not the talks should be finalized in the first place. Adam LaRoche is still on the market. He’s better than Mike Napoli. Better in just about every possible way. But, because he’s better, he’ll cost you a bit more. Not so much monetarily. The fact that they’re overpaying Napoli so much takes care of that. No, LaRoche will cost the Red Sox a draft pick. As if that weren’t bad enough, he would also cost the Sox the slot money that goes along with that pick. Oh, the horror!


I’m not a baseball draft expert. Nor do I want to be. But, apparently the new deal is that teams have a certain amount to spend on each draft pick. $2 million for one pick, $1 million for another one. That adds up to a total amount a team can spend on their picks from the draft. So, if the Red Sox pick is slotted to be paid $1.5 million, and the Sox can sign the sucker for $1 million, the Sox can use that money to spend on another pick who is holding out a bit. If the Sox were to sign LaRoche, the money slotted for the pick they give up would also be removed from the total they’re allowed to spend. Basically, the Sox can’t sign every free agent out there, then pool all the money they would have spent on the ten picks they lose, and give it all to their first round pick. That makes sense. But, here’s something people seem to miss. There’s another way the Sox could lose that slot money.

They could actually draft someone in that spot, and sign him.

So, if the Sox sign LaRoche, they really just lost the pick. They would have spent the money for the slot in either case. Even if they could con the 44th pick in the draft to sign below his potential, they have to give him something. So, they may tie their hands and not have an extra $500,000 to give to another player. But, they’d have a better first baseman for the next three years. Sounds reasonable to me.

Especially since the Sox seem to think they’ll compete in 2013. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gotten Hanrahan or Drew. Right? So, if you’re going for it…don’t you want the best first baseman you can get? (Well, at least the best first baseman you can get other than the one you got rid of for no reason last year.)

Besides, the Sox will still have their first pick…since it’s protected somehow. So, they’ll still have their best shot at getting a star. Can you get a stud at the 44th pick? Of course. Dustin Pedroia was a second round pick. But, you can also find a stud in other rounds. Will Middlebrooks was a fifth rounder. Kevin Youkilis was from the eighth round. So, maybe the Sox shouldn’t hurt themselves just to save one pick. You can find talent anywhere. You can find busts anywhere. Why are the Sox stressing over this one?

Is it really just the half million? Who are they scared of losing? What if they draft this kid at 44 and he insists on signing for more than his slot? So, they’ll have to overpay for this kid, and hurt themselves somewhere else anyway. And they would have a poor first baseman in the meantime.

That doesn’t make sense.

What people are reading this week