A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Clay Bucholz

Winning 2 games in a weekend series against the Yankees is cause for celebration UNLESS you come out of the weekend 2and7. Then, you still need to assess the failings and contemplate the future without some of the dead spots in the lineup. Sure, the first week of the season isn't reason to hit the panic button, but you can lose a season in April even if you can't win one before the final stretch run winds to a complete standstill and playoff tickets are truly punched (ask the 2010 San Diego Padres). So what do the Red Sox and their anemic pitching staff do: They give Clay Bucholz a mega contract. (according to ESPN) The contract calls for Buchholz to be paid $3.5 million in 2012, $5.5 million in 2013, $7.7 million in 2014, and $12 million in 2015, according to the source. With a modest signing bonus and buyout language, the contract guarantees him $29,945,000, a major league source said. Both option years call for a salary of $13 million, although there is an escalator clause that could push the second option year to $13.5 million. So let's see what exactly he's being rewarded for - 4 runs in 3.2 innings (Nolan Ryan would not be proud) and a 7.20 ERA for the season. Sure, the first game was close, but this game... not so much as the Yankees won a laugher 9-4. Then again, let's look at the Boston Red Sox great sewer of waste that makes the US budget debate that sees America wondering if our governmnet will be shut down AGAIN seem tame by comparison. After crapping the bed at the beginning of last year, Josh Beckett got 4 years and $68 million. Of course, this is because the rapidly imploding John Lackey stol $82.5 million over 5 years. Jon Lester is signed through 2013 with an option for $13 million in 2014 with $30 million over 5 years. The great waste of a green card that is Daisuke Matsuzaka convinced the Red Sox to shell out $52 million for 6 years. This doesn't include the $51,111,111 negotiating fee that Theo Epstein and crew paid to negotiate with his agents to bring his ink to the contract. But it's all about the cause for celebration at the moment... and last night, the Red Sox got 16 base runners in a 4-0 win against the Yankees on a great game by Josh Beckett. Never mind that they teed off on CC Sabathia's lard ass (9 hits, 4 walks over 5.2 innings) in a way that managed to scare more fans than Matsuzaka ever could, but yeah... a win is a win, even if the game was still 1-0 at the end of the 6th and required opening a can of whoop ass on Joba the Hutt's rapidly waiver ready self. Fortunately, the Red Sox come out of their weekend of rescuing their worst season since Harry Truman was in the White House with a series with the Tampa Bay Rays, who are now 1-8 and in no position to do much with Evan Longoria out and the promise of Manny Ramirez up in smoke (or PEDs). With any luck, that might help them move up the list as they chase after a hot Baltimore team (even if they did lose 2 of 3 to the RED HOT Rangers who are 8-1 and looking to avenge their failing to win the World Series last year). And so continues week 2 of the season.

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