Bill Hall’s Expiring Contract

In this article about the Red Sox’ recent moves, Alex Speier touches on their trade of Casey Kotchman for Mariners’ utility man Bill Hall. It’s been said this offseason that the Sox are especially concerned about the luxury tax and are doing everything in their power to remain under the $170 million salary threshold. This threshold is determined based on the average annual value of a contract, Bill hall’s 4 years at $24 million for instance would be a cost of $6 million against the luxury tax threshold. However, since his contract was structured differently, and since the Brewers were paying the Mariners almost the full amount of the contract, Bill Hall’s expiring contract is actually worth around -$1.5 million against the threshold.

Expiring contracts have a significant trade value in the NBA, but I’ve never heard of any baseball trades being made for this reason. Bill Simmons goes so far as to suffix Expiring Contract onto the end of any player in the last year of a contract, so at the very least, we should refer to Bill Hall as Bill Hall’s Expiring Contract for this season, right?

Hall is in the last guaranteed year of a four-year, $24 million deal that will pay him $8.4 million next season. The Mariners, according to a major-league source, will pay $7.5-8 million of his salary — essentially sending the Sox the same money that was given to Seattle by the Brewers when the M’s acquired Hall last summer.

Hall’s contract is evaluated for luxury tax purposes as being worth $6 million in 2010, based on its AAV. But the full amount of the cash transfer — call it $7.5 million — will be deducted from the Sox’ payroll as determined for luxury tax purposes. That being the case, Hall will actually reduce the Sox’ payroll in calculating the competitive balance tax by roughly $1.5 million dollars. Overall, then, the Sox were able to sign Beltre and add Hall and a player to be named at a cost (for CBT purposes) of roughly $2 million in 2010.

Via Dave.

Bill Hall’s Expiring Contract

Feeding the Monster by Seth Mnookin

The thing about sports books, especially those from the recent past, is if you’re a fan of the team, you’re already going to know most of what’s in the book. Feeding the Monster reads like a long form magazine article, mostly interminable, except for the beginning documenting the sale of the Red Sox and the end about Theo Epstein leaving and then coming back. The 250 pages in the middle detail the 2003, 2004 and 2005 season, seemingly and unnecessarily game by game.

Feeding the Monster by Seth Mnookin

Rudy Giuliani Loves the Red Sox Says Topps


I know, I know. I already posted a sports/politics post today, but I just couldn’t resist this. In response to Rudy Giuliani’s sports bigamy regarding his support for the Red Sox in the World Series, Topps is going to make some baseball cards that feature Rudy celebrating with the Sox after their World Series win.

(Via Bostonist (via Gothamist))

Rudy Giuliani Loves the Red Sox Says Topps

Congrats to the Sox

During the game tonight, a friend and I were discussing who would win if the New England Patriots played the Boston Red Sox? Hard to say.

I just saw Theo getting interviewed on the field. The interviewer said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Theo, you just watched the team win the 2nd world series on your watch. I know you don’t want to stroke yourself here, but how does it feel.” Theo said, “Haha. That comes later, huh?”
Channel 7, 1 AM. Wow.

Congrats to the Sox

ALCS Game 5

Top 1:
Ugh. Nice start, Pedroia.

Yoooooooooooooooooooooouk! Momentum? Is this it?

Guess not. Thanks, Papi.

“Keys to the game for the Red Sox: it’s win or see you in Fort Myers. That’s their spring training facility.” Don’t explain your “jokes,” McCarver.

McCarver’s unhappy that no one’s going to throw at Manny for admiring his homer. I kinda want to see him throw his hands in the air on second base right now, as he’s just tied Pete Rose’s LCS hitting streak. Anyone want to mention that? Tim? Joe? No? Ok, that’s cool.

Oh. My. God. I kind of want to die now. Was Manny running slow? Or was that just a good throw? Not an auspicious start. Somehow it doesn’t feel like we’re up 1-0.

Bottom 1:
Casey Blake is considerably more entertaining reading the lineup than Kielty was. Nicknames! G-Size! Scroobs! T-Pronk!

This double by G-Size does not bode well. Three guys run for the ball, no one catches it, and one of them kicks it into foul territory. Oh, good, and a base hit for Scroobs.

Double-play! But the game is tied. Seems like a good trade at this point, especially if Beckett’s going to give up another hit. Oh, look at that.

Strikes out Garko to end the inning. Nice! Now, if only Fox would stop playing the theme to the damn Drew Carey show.

I have some questions about the Taco Bell Nachos Bel Grande commercial. Presumably the younger brother was visiting the older brother at the latter’s home; doesn’t it seem unlikely that little brother wouldn’t have ever met his brother’s girlfriend? And if he had never met the girlfriend, mightn’t she take some notice of the newcomer when she brought the dog in? I’m having trouble with the whole scene. Kinda want nachos now, though.

Top 2:
OK, Bobby Kielty. Your job here is to be better than J. D. Drew. Can you do it? No. You can’t. (In fairness, the ball looked inside to me, too.)

This would be a good time for Coco to come up big. Come up big, Coco!

God damn you, Coco. Aaaaand a pop-up from Lugo. 6-9 are really just not showing up for this series, are they.

Oh! Hi, Dane Cook! I tell ya, I can’t wait for the second October this year—oh. Just the one?

Bottom 2:
I’m amused that Joe Buck described Gutierrez’s flailing hack at a 3-1 pitch well out of the strike zone as, “Chased it a bit.”

Top 3:
Rachel’s calling a lead-off double for Pedroia. I like that kind of optimism. According to Ken Rosenthal, Pedroia has defiantly claimed that he’s “swinging the bat good.” It’s “well,” Dustin. You’ve been swinging the bat “well.” Which you haven’t.

You know what, I apologize, Dustin. Nice single. Of course, Youkilis hits into a double play. I think the Fox producers lost track of how many outs there were, and started playing the “end of inning” music. Ha.

Big Papi walks, and here comes Manny. What the hell happened on that one? Ortiz scored, but did that ball go out? McCarver is in disbelief, and confused about physics—but no, that ball was gone. This call by the umpires is bullshit. I don’t understand why McCarver and Bank are focusing on the carom. The ball was over the yellow line. In fairness, McCarver is right that Manny needs to run out of the box on hits like this. Shameful base-running in an elimination game.

Lowell strikes out, and that’s all we get.

Bottom 3:
OK, we’re back. It’s possible that I was wrong about Manny’s ball being out of the ballpark.

Strikeout, and a nice play by Pedroia for an exciting 4-3. Beckett’s fifth K, and Boston’s still up 2-1.

Top 4:
Two on with nobody out! True, Coco and Lugo are not the two guys we want coming up right now, but I still don’t like Coco bunting here. Why give up the out? Also, he seems to suck at it. If Tito doesn’t replace Coco with Ellsbury before the end of this game, I’ll whine about it. Right here. On this very blog. Just you wait.

Julio, you’re killing me.

Bottom 4:
That was quick. Nice!

Top 5:
Two quick outs from Pedroia and Youk, and then Papi singles to the opposite field, which I love. Then bases loaded, and nuffink. Which I don’t love, so much.

Bottom 5:
Tim McCarver: baseball player, sportscaster, rock and roll aficionado. Shut up, McCarver. And sit down, Kenny Lofton. Don’t start nothin’.

Oh, look, it’s the Bad News Bears in the infield! Why the hell was Lugo even going for that ball?

Ah, just put your trust in Beckett. Strike three, Scroobs.

Top 6:
You know, I love “Sounds of the Game” and I really enjoyed Gary Cederstrom’s brawl-avoidance. “Josh, not a word. Not a word, dude.” I think it’s awesome Cederstrom calls Beckett “dude.”

Oh, were Varitek, Crisp, and Lugo batting?

Bottom 6:
What is there to say? Beckett is undisputedly the man.

Top 7:
The montage starting this inning was unnecessarily treacly, I think. Pedroia’s gapper, however, works for me. 2B!

Yoooouk!!!111! Gotta love a run-scoring triple that knocks out Sebathia. Well done, Sweatiest Man In Baseball.

Hey, you know what? I am officially sick of the Miller High Life commercials.

Ortizzle with a sac fly RBI! I’m staring to unclench a little about this game.

Bottom 7:
Holy crap, with one out in the seventh, Beckett just threw his 86th pitch. That’s… not a lot of pitches. Of course, on the 87th, Lofton reaches on an E1.

Called third strike! My favorite way to end an inning. (I guess.)

Top 8:
Welcome to the game, J. D. Drew! A lead off walk is not the worst you could do. (By the way, Fox, I wouldn’t mind a camera permanently focused on the Red Sox bullpen. The Lester/Delcarmen drum corp is cracking me up.)

Wow. E1, everybody’ s safe! And then a bunt for a base hit by Lugo loads the bases! This is shaping up to be the kind of exciting inning where the Red Sox catch a couple of breaks and then piss it all away.

Hey, a passed ball! 5-1! And a walk to re-load the bases for Youk! Look at how excited I am! Count the exclamation marks!

Mastny walks in a run, and now the bases are loaded for Big Papi. This is starting to feel awesome. Eh, RBI sac fly. Kinda disappointed, actually.

OK, so here’s a question. If Beckett comes out for the 8th at 96 pitches with a 5+ run lead, is that a pretty clear sign that Tito’s lost faith in the bullpen? Also, McCarver seems to think that “mantra” means “philosophy.” (Beckett won’t come back on short rest to pitch game 7 because that’s not Boston’s “mantra.”)

Bottom 8:
OK, Beckett does start the 8th, but Jeemer and the Bot are warming. Let’s hope Francona’s got his walking shoes on if things start to get hairy. Rachel and I agree, however, that taking him out and keeping his arm available for emergency relief in Game 7, would have been the better call.

Hey, that worked out!

Top 9:
Bill Simmons neatly summed up J. D. Drew’s schtick of getting a nice looking base-hit when it doesn’t matter, such as, for instance, leading off the ninth when you’re leading by 6.

Bottom 9:
First and third, but I’m not worried.

Rock. Beckett + Papelbon = bring on game 6.

ALCS Game 5

Welcome to Our World, Nicholas Hagadone

And with the 55th pick in the 2007 Amateur Draft, the Boston Red Sox select University of Washington LHP Nicholas Hagadone.

“After spending last year starting behind Tim Lincecum, Hagadone became Washington’s Friday night starter to begin the year. he was moved to the bullpen after two starts because of team need and has been outstanding for the Huskies, showing the ability to save games and pitch multiple innings. With a chance to have a good three-pitch mix, some teams may want to move him back into a rotation once drafted, but worst-case, they’d have a pretty good lefty setup man on their hands.”

What do you guys think about the pick? Crickets…

Here’s an article, talking about one of the main reasons some teams may not always pick the player with the most potential.

In other news, I may be responsible for breaking up Curt Schilling’s no hitter with two outs in the ninth. I wondered over to a co-worker’s cube who was watching on MLBTV and as soon as I got there, the no hitter was toast. Sorry about that, Curt.

Welcome to Our World, Nicholas Hagadone


In baseball news today, Kevin Youkilis becomes the second Red Sox player with a blog. So far he’s mostly focused on the “who’s faster” feud with Dustin Pedroia, but I’m holding out hope for the future.

Via King Kaufman I see that Norris Hopper has confessed to cheating by rolling the ball into the glove of an unconscious Ryan Freel — the very same Ryan Freel who is doing my fantasy team no good at all by being in a hospital. Wuss.

King’s thoughts on Barry Bonds are worth reading, too.