Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble....
But if I stay it will be double
So darlin' you've got to let me know....
Should I cool it or should I blow?
There is pretty much only one truth that I can cull out of this whole mess - particularly the mess involving our very own Pedro J. Martínez - the Sox aren't going to play games with these people. (Unless it's EA Sports' MVP Baseball 2005, whose cover-boy will be none other than our very own Manuel A. Ramírez, but that's a different story.) Plans are in place. Value has been set. There isn't going to be any backing down. And perhaps we should be preparing ourselves for the inevitable: a brand new Boston Red Sox in 2005.
Varitek is still trying to work something out with the Sox, although unless he drops his insistence on a no-trade clause his effort can't be called serious. There is no way in hell Theo gives a 33-year old catcher a no-trade clause on top of a 5-year deal, no matter how durable said catcher has been. Who does Boras think we are, the Mets? There are already alternate plans being made, one of which involves the signing of Damian Miller of the A's, who ended the 2004 season at .272, 9 HRs and 58 RBIs. The Sox have also made it possible for Kellie Shoppach to play for the Escogido Leones in the Dominican League, getting him ready for a chance to try-out for a spot on the team in spring training. (By the way, Escogido sucks. Bad.) Shoppach is probably still at least a year away from being able to handle big-league pitching, and Damian Miller is, well, old, but could fit in nicely for a year or two while Shoppach catches up...particularly if Theo is able to land one of the Oakland A's pitching trifecta. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The situation with Pedro is, predictably, a lot more complicated. However repugnant I find the idea of Pedro flirting with the Yankees (and I find it very, very repugnant,) you have to give the guy this: he is one crafty, manipulative little mothafucka, and if I may quote Hannibal Lecter: "Aaaah, Clarice...It would really be something to know you in real life." So Pedro made the appointment with Steinbrenner, not the other way around. Which makes all the rumours of Pedro's lack of contract offers ring true. One minute Pedro is saying that he promises never to go to the Yankees right after he wins the World Series, which is vaguely like telling some chick that you love her after a particularly good lay, even though you've only been dating for two weeks. The next minute he goes and tells George Steinbrenner how much he would love to be a Yankee, which is vaguely like getting really bitter at the same girl for not calling you for a week and thusly hitting on her best friend or sister. What Pedro wants is for the Sox to sweeten the pot for him, or, more specifically, a guaranteed third year. And it wouldn't surprise me to see the Sox give into this request, although Pedro will have to make some concessions of his own, probably monetary...although a clause stipulating a ban on midgets might be in order as well. (Speaking of which, I had a nightmare about Pedro and Nelson the other night which was really fucked up and will be reserved for another post when I really have absolutely nothing to talk about.)
In any case, Pedro got together with Theo, John Henry and Larry Lucchino yesterday in a previously scheduled meeting. Word is that ownership is trying to get a feel for how serious Pedro is about remaining with the team before Theo returns home to have a meeting with Carl Pavano. The Sox are also keeping an eye on Brad Radke as well as feeling around for the possibility of trading for Barry Zito or Tim Hudson. (Think Damian Millar catching. Now it all makes sense.) Plans are in place. However smart Pedro and his agents think they are, they aren't going to catch Theo and Co. off guard.
The maddening thing about the whole Pedro-to-the-Yanks idea is that no one in their right mind (excluded from this category obviously is George Steinbrenner) wants this deal to go down. No one in the Yankees front office is interested in Pedro. No one on the team likes the man, no matter what Dumbo the Chinless Wonder has to say. Pedro doesn't really want to leave. The Sox don't want him to leave. But what if it really happened? What if Theo calls Pedro's bluff....What a fucked up scenario that is.