Thursday, February 26, 2009

Irony is funny and other thoughts...

So the Dodgers look like they have finally found a solution to the soap opera that is the Manny Ramirez situation.

As every Sox fan knows, Ramirez pulled every trick in the book in order to engineer his exit from Boston because he believed he could make more money if he was out from under the Sox's onerous two option years at $20 million per. Reportedly Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, told Man-Ram that he could potentially land a four-year $100+ million deal. It looks like he's going to get a one year $25 million deal with a player's option for a second year at $20 million.

That means, in essence, that Ramirez landed a raise of $2.5 million (once you take out Scott Boras' commission) only if Ramirez doesn't exercise his option year. If he does, then all he's done is engineer a $500,000.00 raise spread over two years, but he's managed to pay Boras $4.5 million for pretty much the same money he would have made anyway had he stayed with the Sox.

Gotta love the irony.

Over on the gridiron I've been wondering what the Pats brain-trust has planned for the off-season in regards to rebuilding. I know that what I might see as an issue, or as the most important needs are not necessarily what Bill Belichick sees as the team's greatest needs.

Biggest need -

For whatever reason, last season the pass rush was horrible. Brutal might be the best word. Had the pass rush actually existed, the Pats probably would have beaten the Jets in the overtime game, might have actually made a game of it against the Chargers, and probably would have won the game against the Colts. Part of the issue was Ty Warren playing the season with a pulled groin, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them grab another defensive linemen in the middle rounds in an effort to add depth to the ends. I think it's more likely that they will try to find the solution, however, with an outside linebacker in the early rounds.

Second biggest need -

Defensive back would appear to be the next biggest need on the Pats radar. I put this behind the pass rush because a solid pass rush can cover for all sorts of sins in the defensive back-field, and lord knows that the Pats didn't have a solid pass rush last season. Also, due to injury, the team was forced to play a lot of young players that really had to learn on the job, some of whom may turn into solid DB's. However, I still think this is an area that they will address through free-agency or the draft in an effort to find a starting caliber corner.

Other places -

Depth on the offensive line - last season protection was an issue for two reasons; one - Matt Cassel had to get up to game speed after playing little since high school and often, early in the season held on to the ball too long and took the sack rather than throwing the ball away. Unfortunately, this issue was compounded by the fact that half the starting offensive line was injured for half the year.

I figure the team will, like in every year since Jabar Gaffney got there, look for a third receiver to slot in behind Randy Moss and Wes Welker.

The team will also draft or sign a free agent quarterback to compete with Matt Guttierez for the third string QB slot once the team trades Matt Cassel.

Other Patriot thoughts -

No, the team will not bring in Marvin Harrison.

I think Laurence Maroney is running on borrowed time.

I'd like to see the team bring Heath Evans back.

I'm curious to see if Larry Izzo is hit with a suspension for his admission to using performance enhancers provided by Greg Anderson.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Rosevelt Colvin back in camp with the Patriots. I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't either - but I can see him being given the opportunity to make the team as a bench player.


Chris Stone said...

isn't Izzo's contract up? thought it was. if not, he probably will get suspended. *I so wish the NFL would get serious about drugs. It really hurts the game.*

the overtime loss to the Jets was very close after loosing Thomas. i think it was the next game after Thomas got injured. the LBs in particular got hit with injuries. plus with Warren and Green playing hurt, i think that all combine for an abysmal pass rush. i wonder if they need to re-evaluate their conditioning program!

i liked how whittle (sp?) and wheatley played. and i think once they put L. sanders in the safety slot, their backfield started to gel. i'm actually less concerned about their backfield than some (by how they were playing in the last couple of games), but they do need more help back there.

Kevin Smith said...

I believe Izzo's contract is up, but would have to double check that. My guess is that he gets a four game suspension. If not, the NFL I think sets a bad precedent.

I think the DB's played reasonably well given the lack of a pass rush, but I still think that's the number two place that needs to be addressed - although, if they don't solve the pass rush issues (which I do believe cost the team two games and the division last year) addressing the DB's is an exercise in futility.

Suldog said...

I couldn't love the Manny situation any more than I do. Just loads of fun to watch it when it doesn't affect your own team.

Kevin Smith said...

Not a whole lot of analytical thinking getting done in that camp, is there?