We have to start somewhere, so it might as well be here: the Red Sox introduced Ben Cherington as their new General Manager yesterday. I don't know much about Cherington, but by all reports, he was hand-picked by Epstein to replace him and groomed for the last year, so I fully expect him to be competent and smart. Shucks. I was personally hoping they'd go with Omar Minaya or Steve Phillips, but it was not to be.
In unsurprising news, the Yankees have almost signed C.C. Sabathia to an extension, and will supposedly reach a deal with him before he chooses to opt out. This is a no-brainer for the Yanks; I'm more interested to see who else they pursue for their rotation.
Espstein is already busy over in Chicago, and he's hired Jed Hoyer to be his Executive VP and GM, luring him away from San Diego. Hoyer is also bringing Jason McLeod, who will be the Cubs' VP of player development and scouting. Josh Byrnes is now the GM for the Padres.
The baseball CBA negotiations continue to go well, and the last major issue to be ironed out is draft pick compensation. Selig wants a hard slotting system, while obviously the players don't. It doesn't sound like Selig intends to make this a make-or-break issue, though.
Your Long Read for the day: The Last Act of the Notorious Howie Spira over at Deadspin. I'm only a quarter of the way through it, but it's an amazing read so far.
Bill Foster is at it again, and this time he sounds like a conspiracy theorist:
" 'I believe that they are deliberately trying to hurt the team financially by not promoting it adequately,' " Latvala recalled Foster telling her.
In an interview with the St. PetersburgTimes, Latvala remembered responding: "Really, really? Why would they do that?"
He didn't answer, but Latvala said she assumed he thought the Rays are trying to depress attendance to gain leverage in their bid for a new stadium.
Welp. It looks like Foster has been spending too much time in the DRaysBay comments section. Sure, there are things the team could do better on marketing, but at the same time, that's ignoring the fact that their concert series is unique and that their giveaways have been rated the best in baseball for multiple years in a row. They could definitely stand to improve their marketing, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they're deliberately suppressing attendance.
Here are some of my fleshed-out thoughts on Foster over at SB Nation Tampa Bay.
Joe Maddon is awesome. In case you needed a reminder, he recently called a potential ban on beer in the clubhouse "asinine." Love it.
John Romano has a clear-headed take on Andrew Friedman's situation over at the Times. It's nothing necessarily earth-shattering, but I think he hits the nail on the head in providing the context to the Friedman-Angels rumors.