Actually, more like calculators and checkbooks. As a rabid fan of all things New England sports, I am a little stressed over the Vince Wilfork, Jason Bay and Phil Kessel contract situations that are hanging over our beloved sporting landscape like ominous stormclouds. I firmly beliee the Patriots will get Wilfork inked to a deal sometime before the season starts.
Jason Bay is an interesting situation. He has been nothing short of spectacular since he arrived. Playing the role of the anti-Manny wasn't going to be easy, but Bay has been a great clubhouse high-character guy, and performed at an All-Star level in left field. Left field at Fenway is a position revered by Sox fans, being the home to Duffy Lewis, and on down to Teddy Ballgame, Yaz, Jim Rice, Mike Greenwell and Manny Ramirez. Bay is on pace this season to have 584 ABs, score 121 runs, have 162 hits, 46 homers with 159 runs batted in, steal 14 bases, 115 walks while batting .280 with a .400 OBP and .594 slugging, making for a .994 OPS. Got to love those numbers right?
I know we Sox fans do not want to see this guy playing left in the Bronx, donning those evil and ugly pinstripes. And the Yankees will have the cash, despite rocking a half-filled stadium so far this year. Hideki Matsui will not be back next year for them, and also Damon and Swisher may be gone as well.
Bay NEEDS to be resigned, and if he goes into this coming offseaon anywhere near those on-pace-for numbers, he will be a huge commodity. The Sox need to lock him up now before the bidding war starts. The concerns over the economy are making the signing hard to configure, but Theo and Co. need to sort it out. We cannot afford to lose this guy, esp. with Ortiz not a power source any longer.
I would not be that surprised to see the Sox get a big bat at the deadline or sooner, but that should not preclude the signing of JayBay.
On the Bruins note, a great regular season and beating the pants off our rivals from Montreal wasn't enough. The bitter taste in our mouths from a heartbreak of a series loss to Carolina has people already forgetting what a spectacular step forward our young players took this year. The core of Krejci, Lucic, Wheeler, Bergeron, Bitz, Hunwick, Stuart, etc. made great strides. Kessel is still only 21 years old, and 36 goals, 24 assists, 60 points and was plus/minus +23. He made $850K last year and deserves a new contract. Keep this kid!!! You let him get away and it will be one of those that come back to haunt the Bruins. They got Krejci got for $11.26 mil. over the next three years, not bad at all. The offseason will be an interesting one with Montador, Yelle, Recchi, Axelsson, Hnidy all free agents, and Hunwick and Bitz needing new deals as well. Who stays, who goes?
The Bruins will be good next year with a healthy Sturm and Bergeron, they need to get some more D, a guy who can skate, hit and movew the puck. But I see another 50 win season. GO B's.