Boston gained and lost a friend this weekend. If this weekend were a binge and purge, we'd end up losing about 45 pounds.
First, the loss. Charlie Weis is leaving New England to take the Notre Dame job. Rumors have it that part of his salary will be paid in steak. Charlie is an alum of Our Lady, and this must be about the prime way to step off the Party Train. I just hope there's one more Super Bowl left in him...it's not like there isn't room, or anything.
He looks like he's staying through the end of the season. This may or may not hurt his recruiting. Many old school Presidents thought campaigning was beneath the dignity of the office. There is also the tendency to let your current work do the campaigning for you.
No greater recruiting tool can be wielded than calling the best high school player in America during the next Super Bowl and saying "Watch this....Dillon off-tackle..."
Charlie will cast a long shadow. The Patriots won 2 Super Bowls working his offense, and Tom Brady runs a machine that has been at least a point better than everyone else for 25 of the last 26. The offense, prior to adding Corey Dillon, had no one any of us had ever heard of prior to the 2002 Super Bowl. Yet, it can kick butts like an ex-smoker.
I wonder how long Notre Dame looked at separate but equally qualified Romeo Crennel? Crennel was briefly mentioned as a possible candidate, prompting Paul Hourning to call the AD at ND and say "I said 'black athletes,' not 'black coach,' for the love of Touchdown Jesus!!!"
If you know the right people, you can get a bet cast offshore on how many Foxboro-area Burger Kings go belly-up, so to speak, when the SUV-sized Weis moves his base of operations to South Bend. The over/under is 4.
I love fat guys. I made it into Santa's lap this week- end, pausing from shopping to do so. I'll miss Weis, who may have eaten P.K. Sam, who I haven't seen since October. Coupled with the defection of Ted Washington last year, Massachusetts may lose an Electoral vote or two.
Still, we managed to import a genuine beast. David Wells signed an incentive-laden deal to become starter #3, hopefully. He ain't what he was, but he's better than most. If Pedro can be re-signed, we'll have a rotation that can slap your lineup silly next summer.
Wells should fit right in with the Jack Daniels-drinking Red Sox. He's 41, but he's never been "in-shape," anyway. Unless you consider "round" to be an "in" shape. He'll be a lot like the pumpkin he resembles....we just have to keep him healthy till late October.
We also seem close with Renteria, and the Yankees got Pavano. Then, just as we went to press here, Pedro appears set to sign with the despicable New York Mets for $56 million over 4 years.
Pedro was superb here. I never saw a craftier pitcher. He had such command of a wide variety of pitches. He was able to fool you or blow one by you...whatever the situation required. He had no problem at all with beaning you. He called the Yanquis his "daddy," but he also said he'd bean Babe Ruth in the ass. Fragile but brilliant, there were nights when no one could get with him. He even had his own Rally Midget.
The Soz rotation next year looks like Schilling, Wells, Arroyo, Wakefield and (gulp) Lowe. That's not bad, but I'll miss Petey. :-(
We'll do a hot stove piece soon enough....One of the great joys of winter is watching the Sox and the Yankers throw SE Asian GNPs around trying to outdo each other. Even now, I'm hearing that the Sox want to dump Super Manny on the Mets to sign Renteria and Delgado. We should have the money to sign Varitek, and who knows what other moves are on Theo Epstein's agenda?