Nick Cafardo's column in Saturday's Boston Globe certainly gave Red Sox fans something to think about.
The premise of the piece was for the Red Sox to make a move to acquire Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, a move that would give the team an ace to lead their pitching staff. 26-year-old ace pitchers do not come cheap and Cafardo writes that Hernandez would probably cost the Red Sox at least Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury, two natives of the Pacific Northwest that would help ease the pain of Mariners fans for losing King Felix.
It may sound a little wierd but I don't think that Lester and Ellsbury would be enough to pry Hernandez away from Seattle. Lester is 28-year-old with a career record of 81-39 and a career ERA of 3.63 but he's not comparable as a pitcher to Hernandez and can depart as a free agent after 2014. Ellsbury, also 28, emerged as an MVP candidate last year but has had trouble staying healthy and is due to be a free agent after next year. Yes, for Hernandez the Red Sox would need to pay a little bit more than just Lester and Ellsbury.
Would the Red Sox part with either of their top shortstop prospects, Jose Iglesias or Xander Bogaerts? What about pitcher Matt Barnes? Outfielders Ryan Kalish, Jackie Bradley, and Bryce Brentz would also be of interest to the Mariners if they decided to deal their franchise player.
If I was Ben Cherington, I would be calling Jack Zduriencik, his general manager counterpart in Seattle, every day with an offer of Lester, Ellsbury, Kalish, and Iglesias in an attempt to do what Dan Duquette did for the Red Sox back in December of 1997 with his trade for Pedro Martinez - add a pitcher who can carry a team and give it a chance to win every single time he takes the mound.
My pick of Germany to win the 2012 European Championship did not pan out but it was a fun tournament to watch and was also historic.
Spain became the first team to win consecutive European championships and coupled with their 2010 World Cup championship, have now won three major tournaments in a row. These accomplishments immediately put them into the discussion about the greatest soccer teams of all time and make them the team to follow in the 2014 World Cup.
It will be a few months before the puck is dropped in Boston but three scenarios have me excited for the 2012-2013 Bruins season:
1. The possibility that Tyler Seguin and Tuukka Rask will emerge as stars and lead the Bruins to a second Stanley Cup in three years.
2. Dougie Hamilton's rookie year with Boston and the opportunity for him to be the puck moving defenseman that this team has tried to add for years.
3. Another season with Zdeno Chara in a B's uniform, the big guy is a force of nature and will have even more responsibility this season as he takes Hamilton under his wing on the blue line.
I'm hoping that the Red Sox lone All-Star, David Ortiz, skips the Home Run Derby. If Big Papi is even thinking about it he should look at Adrian Gonzalez' stats (see below) for the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012 and then decide against participating.
2011 (70 games after the All-Star Game): .317/.404/..489, 10 HR, 40 RBI in 312 plate appearances
2012 (79 games through yesterday): .272/.323/.407, 6 HR, 43 RBI in 344 plate appearances
I can't prove that Gonzalez' participation in last year's Home Run Derby began his decline in production at the plate but why would Ortiz even want to mess with the great season he is having at the plate?