Truth & Rumors: Oct. 28, 2004
Posted: Thursday October 28, 2004 11:59AM; Updated: Thursday October 28, 2004 4:10PM
Was winning the World Series the last hurrah for Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek and more than a dozen teammates, including Derek Lowe and Orlando Cabrera, who are eligible for free agency? The Sox could acquire a front-line pitcher via the free-agent market (Florida's Carl Pavano and Minnesota's Brad Radke rank among the candidates) or a trade.
Don't be surprised if left fielder Manny Ramirez, the MVP of the 100th World Series, finds himself back on waivers.
The first order of business for the Sox will be determining whether to pick up a 2005 option on third baseman Bill Mueller.
Although Martinez sounded like a man saying goodbye following Game 3, Sox GM Theo Epstein said, "He wants to come back [in 2005], and we want him to come back. That said, we're going to build the '05 club the same way we have the '04 and '03 clubs -- and not put one individual ahead of the team."
One fascinating bit of gossip circulating at the World Series envisions Martinez signing with the Giants...as the closer.
At George Steinbrenner's urging, the Yankees plan to pursue a trade with Arizona for Randy Johnson. The Tampa contingent of the organization favors free-agent left-hander Eric Milton. Tampa and New York both agree that the team should not pursue Martinez, but Steinbrenner is pushing his executives to look into it. The Yankees also will make a big-money free-agent pitch to center fielder Carlos Beltran.
In a move that could have a big impact on whether Beltran stays in Houston, Astros ace Roger Clemens said Wednesday he is "99 percent retired."
Texas, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, and St. Louis have all been mentioned as prospective destinations for Lowe.
To get another crack at postseason play, the Cardinals will have to make all the right moves. First, sign Edgar Renteria, a player that can help the franchise every single game.
Bob Watson turned down the chance to become GM of the Expos franchise relocating to Washington. One potential candidate is Pat Gillick.
The Marlins are receptive to guaranteeing the 2006 and 2007 seasons of Mike Lowell's contract to keep him from becoming a free agent.
The Rockies have mailed thank-you notes to outfielder Jeromy Burnitz and shortstop Royce Clayton, signaling the end of their time in Colorado.
Jim Leyland is a go for his Phillies interview Monday. On the day they interviewed Pirates third-base coach John Russell for their managerial vacancy, the Phillies learned they don't need permission from the Rockies to interview Leyland.
Leyland has indicated that he is interested in managing again. He just might not be interested in managing the Mets.
Willie Randolph has told the Mets if he got the gig he'd like to have Don Zimmer as his bench coach, and Zim, though perfectly content in his senior adviser role with Lou Piniella in Tampa Bay, is said to be mulling it over. The leading candidate to succeed Randolph as Yankee bench coach is Joe Girardi.
There is little chance Dodgers bench coach Jim Riggleman's candidacy will move beyond yesterday's interview with Minaya. Of greater interest is today's interview with former Met Wally Backman, who is gaining some momentum.
The Orioles re-signed Rafael Palmeiro to a one-year contract with the intention of making him the full-time DH in 2005. Executive VP Jim Beattie indicated that the club remains in the market for a regular first baseman. The list of free agents includes Carlos Delgado and Richie Sexson.
Dodgers left fielder Jayson Werth probably won't need a surgical procedure on his injured right elbow.
Vikings owner Red McCombs backed away from some of the comments he made to SI. Contrary to what he told SI, McCombs said he has made no decision regarding the 2005 option on coach Mike Tice's contract. McCombs also said that he now doesn't consider moving the team to L.A. as "an option."
The Packers listed quarterback Brett Favre as probable for Sunday's game against Washington with a hand injury.
Wide receiver Terrell Owens disclosed yesterday for the first time that alleged comments made by Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome during negotiations were a major factor in his decision to play for the Eagles instead of Baltimore. Newsome reportedly told Owens' agent that "he was a black man from Alabama just like T.O.," and "that sometimes a black man's gotta be slapped."
Running back Brian Westbrook -- who suffered a small rib fracture Sunday at Cleveland and also has a chest bruise and a muscle strain in the chest area -- is listed on the Eagles' injury report as questionable for Sunday's game against the Ravens. That's blind optimism hard at work.
Dolphins defensive tackle Tim Bowens, out for the rest of the season with a herniated disk in his back, he has told teammates that he might retire.
Sports fans in Australia have been reading that Ben Graham, a popular player in the Australian Rules Football League, is on the verge of signing a contract to punt for the Jets. Graham came in for a tryout two weeks ago, but the Jets have no plans to sign him.
Todd McBride signed a one-year contract with the Rams in the team's latest effort to help its dime package and its special teams.
The Dolphins claimed center Jason Ball off waivers from the Chargers and released defensive end Ronald Flemons.
Phil Jackson revealed he will never again coach in the NBA. He didn't exactly say he won't coach again, didn't offer percentages or warnings about never saying never. But you can read between the lines while you are reading The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul. Jackson wants to leave with his records and reputation untarnished so he can speak with the authority of the ultimate winner. It wouldn't be surprising to see him on TV, or perhaps as a consultant like Chuck Daly has been for Memphis. On the sideline? As a GM? No.
Jackson didn't rule out someday replacing Lenny Wilkens on the Knicks' bench. Wilkens said he hasn't even paid attention to it.
With five days left to extend Tony Parker's contract before an NBA deadline, the point guard's agent said he has ended talks with the Spurs after team officials declined to increase their six-year, $64 million offer.
Paul Pierce crossed a behavioral line Monday night, and yesterday he felt the effect on his bottom line. The NBA came down hard, fining the Celtics captain $15,000 for "spitting at the Cleveland Cavaliers bench" during their exhibition game in Columbus, Ohio.
The Wizards will begin the regular season without three starters. Center Brendan Haywood and guard Larry Hughes were suspended for their involvement in a preseason altercation. Point guard Gilbert Arenas was suspended in August for a handgun violation in 2003. Plus, reserve guard Anthony Peeler will serve the second game of a two-game suspension he received while playing for Sacramento during the playoffs.
Former Bull Ron Artest said he never was worried about summer trade rumors that had the Pacers negotiating a trade with several teams, including the Kings in exchange for All-Star Peja Stojakovic.
Orlando could be on the verge of solving their logjam at the shooting guard position by trading either DeShawn Stevenson or Keith Bogans before Wednesday's season opener.
If the Knicks want to buy out Shandon Anderson's contract, they can expect to pay full market value. Otherwise, he will accept the $24 million he has coming to him over the next three years to warm the bench, but he won't accept assignment to the injury list. Several teams, such as Miami and Houston, would offer him at least two years for the veteran minimum.
76ers president and GM Billy King doesn't think anything will get done right away regarding a new contract for center Samuel Dalembert. King also said the team will exercise the fourth-year option on the rookie contract of guard John Salmons by tomorrow's deadline.
The Nets and Lawrence Frank continue to try to work out a new contract that could pay the coach about $10 million over four years.
NHL executive VP Bill Daly reportedly met with Players' Association senior director Ted Saskin for two hours in New York on Tuesday on other matters, sparking hope that substantial Collective Bargaining talks may follow. Daly and Saskin spoke again by phone after the face-to-face meeting. However, there is a big difference between talking and negotiating. Neither side appears to have budged from its stance regarding the lockout and possible solutions.
Flames defenseman Mike Commodore said he'd accept a salary cap to solve the NHL lockout. "There's different kinds of caps and it's got to be a realistic one. You can't cap it up at $30 million, we're over that. It's got to be realistic so both sides are making money," he said.
Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur believes the NHL should declare bankruptcy and start over again. Lafleur contends that 30 teams in the league are too many. "I really believe they should cut back to 24 to make hockey better," he said.
Hockey Canada is already preparing to have journeymen and minor leaguers replace NHL stars for the 2006 Olympics in the event the current lockout continues.
Devils coach Pat Burns is making progress in his battle against colon cancer but says the fight is still not over.
Another day, another FA inquiry -- this time into a battle which saw 11 arrests last night at the Chelsea-West Ham United match. Chelsea goalscorer Mateja Kezman was forced to leave the field for treatment to a head injury caused by a missile, believed to be a coin, which appeared to have been thrown from a section of West Ham fans. Police in riot gear were then confronted by West Ham supporters in a corner section of the ground 10 minutes after the final whistle and they fought with officers and Chelsea fans. It took 15 minutes for order to be restored. It was the second successive night that trouble had flared in London, with violence erupting at Millwall's League Cup defeat to Liverpool.
David Dein, Arsenal's vice-chairman, yesterday visited Manchester for a meeting with Manchester United's chief executive David Gill in an effort to arrest the deteriorating relations between the two giants of English football. Arsenal is worried about being painted as the instigator of hostilities in the tunnel area outside the dressing rooms, which culminated in soup, sandwiches and pizza being thrown over United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson.