Giveaway Rules: Please read carefully

Disclaimer: All of my giveaways are items that I personally own. They are not given to me or donated; believe it or not, I give these items away out of pure kindness and appreciation for all the fan support of the page. No purchase is necessary to enter and everyone has the same chance of winning. Please read the rules carefully below:

1) must be following my account. If you retweet the photo of the item and are not following me, you will NOT be entered into the drawing.

2) must retweet the photo of the prize. If you can’t find it, check in my photos for the specific prize being given away. Any further questions, ask me.

3) you must have a valid address. Preferably a U.S. address, but I will make an exception for Canada if you live there. Since I need a shipping address, I will need your personal information regarding the said address. If you are not 18 years of age or older, please get your parents’ or guardians’ permission to give me the shipping information.

4) winner will be sent a direct message on the specific date. I will ship the item within 2-3 days of the drawing’s end. When you receive the item, all I ask is that you take a photo of it and tweet it to me so that I may share it and prove my credibility.

Thank you all for your support. There will be a giveaway at certain milestones of followers, which I will continue to announce. As I said, don’t hesitate to ask me a question if you have one. Go Sox.

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The Nation: Patience is Key

In about an hour, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez will be introduced as the newest members of the Boston Red Sox (no worries, they won’t be the last; Pitchers are coming). In total, the Red Sox spent just under 200 million dollars on both guys, so it’s a pretty significant investment. Make no mistake though, this is not the Carl Crawford/Adrian Gonzalez situation of 2011 (regardless of what the “experts” suggest). But, nevertheless, it’s still a major commitment that could prove to be genius or disastrous. Obviously, as fans who have experienced a World Series title sandwiched between two last place finishes, we have high expectations, as we should. We need to curb the expectations a slight bit. Here’s why:

We have got to be patient. There is no alternative. Pablo and Hanley are coming to an entirely new league (yes, I know Hanley was here once before, but he played a game or two in Red Sox jersey), they’re coming to a new city, and they’re coming into a hostile media environment. San Francisco and LA obviously are big markets, but the media is different here. They’re going to criticize everything that happens with the Red Sox this season. If the team starts 0-1, you can be sure the media will unleash a hell of criticisms about how the Red Sox spending didn’t work. We can’t expect it to be 100% smooth sailing, because trust me, it won’t be. There will be rough stretches where the Sox will probably lose 3-5 games in a row, I can guarantee they’ll be swept at least twice, and some of our guys will get injured or struggle; that’s baseball. But the minute Pablo and or Hanley faces adversity, whether it be a slump, an injury, or whatever it may be, we CANNOT turn on them. They want our support and they deserve it, just like the other 38 guys on the roster. Pretty quickly, we found out Crawford was not a fit here, and he began to despise us just as much as we despised him. But Pablo and Hanley are different. I firmly believe they do fit here. And as fans, it’s our job to support them and rally behind them (again, along with the entire team) when something goes wrong. All I’m asking you to do is be patient. It’s gonna be hard at times. Both guys will make mistakes. But in the end, they are playing for the Boston Red Sox. My team. Your team. The best team in the world. And because of that, they deserve our love and support (that goes for all future acquisitions, well, most of them).

Patience is a virtue that we must have in 2015. Should be a hell of a year, but I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a damn good one.

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The Nation: Money, Money, Money

Unless you live in cave, by now you know the Red Sox have made two huge deals today: one with Hanley Ramirez (4 years, 88 million with a vesting option) and Pablo Sandoval (5 years, 98.5 million). The Ramirez deal is now complete, and Sandoval’s should be done by day’s end. If you’re like me, you’re shocked and excited all at once. What’s next?

Pitching, obviously. Believe it or not, we STILL have a hefty chunk of change to spend in free agency. And there’s one guy out there worth spending that money on: Jon Lester. I’ve been asked a handful of times today if the Red Sox can still afford Jon Lester after these two major deals. Answer? Absolutely. Our front office has a master plan. They’ve already executed two major parts of that plan, but there’s still more to be done. If I had to guess, trades are already lined up. First to go: Cespedes, in my opinion. What could he get us in return? I propose sending him to Cincinnati for Latos, and if possible, I’d trade him for Cueto (note: it would probably take a little more to get Cueto). And as much as Red Sox nation is against getting Cole Hamels, I’d do it. I’d offer Cespedes and 2 pitching prospects not named Owens or Johnson. I assume it would take maybe one more prospect, but a deal could be done at any time in the next few weeks. Why not get Lester AND Hamels? Hell of a 1-2 punch. Maybe we can go get Samardzija as well. We have the prospects to do it. Believe it or not, I’m confident we can make those trades without including Betts, Owens, or Swihart (could be laughably wrong on that, though).

What is for certain, is there is a master plan in place. We got the two best hitters on the free agent market all within 12 hours. Imagine what Ben will do in the coming weeks.

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The Nation: Star Powered

Well. That escalated quickly, huh? I admit, I laughed earlier today when I saw the sketchy report about Hanley Ramirez and the Red Sox. It didn’t make sense. But now, after that report actually was confirmed as valid, I’ve gladly had the opportunity to eat my words. Let’s say the Red Sox do sign Hanley and Pablo (I’m jumping up and down like a 5 year old on Christmas Day).

What would the lineup look like? And who would be traded or released?

1. Rusney Castillo – CF
2. Dustin Pedroia- 2B
3. David Ortiz – DH
4. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
5. Hanley Ramirez- LF
6. Mike Napoli – 1B
7. Xander Bogaerts – SS
8. Mookie Betts – RF
9. Christian Vazquez- C

That’s my ideal lineup. Obviously, that’s not a done deal, and a number of those guys could be switched around. But that’s what I would go with. Biggest question: where’s Cespedes?

On another team.

Seeing what the Braves got for Heyward basically means Cespedes has a pretty solid trade value. With Ramirez, you would no longer need to replace Cespedes’ bat in the lineup, so presumably, you could trade him for a pitcher. Cueto or Sale? I doubt it. But as Ken Rosenthal recently wrote in regards to the Sox interest in Ramirez, “Stranger things have happened.”

Cespedes would only be the first domino. I suspect the Sox would trade Craig (God willing someone would take him) and or Victorino, even though I’m a big fan of Shane’s. By knocking those two out, you no longer have the outfield jam. Keeping Nava and Holt would be a good idea for the bench.

The hot stove is always chaotic, as seen today. None of us (well, most of us) had no idea how serious the Hanley Ramirez rumors were. Like I said, if we can bring in Sandoval AND Ramirez, I will have gladly eaten my words.

Thanks for reading. The first domino could fall soon, maybe even tomorrow, as I predict that’s when Pablo will sign. As always, I’ll keep you updated.

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The Nation: Backup Plans

What if? What if we miss out on hometown hero, Jon Lester, and World Series hero, Pablo Sandoval? God forbid. But as a Red Sox fan, I have to embrace the possibility we will miss out on not only one, but both. Let’s face it; the ownership has been rather stingy since the Crawford fiasco. We have a ton of money to spend, I hope they’ll do that. But what if we don’t get either of these guys? What are the backup plans?

If we don’t get Lester:

Plan B – Undoubtedly Cole Hamels. There’s already been trade talks between the Red Sox and Phillies. The asking price has been humorous at best. Is Hamels an ace? Not in my book. Is he efficient? Yes, at least against the NL. Would he be a good number one? Tough one, but I’m gonna say yes. Obviously, he’s not Jon Lester. If we trade for him, we’re gonna have to lower the expectations a little bit. Hamels is still a good pitcher. If the price tag drops a bit more, I make a deal for him. We would all be disappointed if Jon leaves, but as for a viable backup plan, I’ll take Hamels. Besides, we could still afford to sign Shields to pitch behind him, and maybe haul in a deal for Jeff Samardzija as well. Perfect rotation? Far from it, but a solid one by all means. I don’t really have a plan C. Let’s face it, how many “aces” are available? Sale isn’t one of them.

What if we miss on Pablo?

Plan B – Chase Headley. Good? Debatable. Decent? For sure. A good fit? I say so. He’s an average hitter. He’s not going to produce the numbers he did a few seasons ago. He’s a switch hitter, though, and that’s a plus. He’s got a pretty good defensive skill set as well. I’m not big on Headley, but I’m not opposed to signing him either. The Yankees have reportedly been in talks about bringing him back. Things could change, especially if the Red Sox jump in the mix.

Plan C – Hanley Ramirez. Personally, I’d take Hanley over Headley. Hanley has proven to be a great hitter, but he can’t stay healthy. There’s also a few maturity issues as well. But, I’d take the gamble. He’s another right handed bat, but he’s a pretty good one. Defensively, not so great, but I’d still take the chance.

Plan D – Josh Donaldson/Adrian Beltre. Donaldson has been rumored to be available, then those rumors are shot down. I don’t see the A’s trading their star third baseman, at least not just yet. They expect to contend next year, and they’ll need Donaldson to help them do so. It would be a huge surprise if he plays somewhere besides Oakland for the foreseeable future. Beltre is intriguing. He’s been here before, and had some success in a Sox jersey. He’s older, and his defense isn’t what it used to be. But the Rangers may not have a choice. Trading him for a good prospect or two might be in their best interest. Again, right handed bat, but the power is still there. If we miss out on everyone else I’ve listed, I’d be content bringing Beltre back.

Let’s be honest, we sure as hell don’t want Will Middlebrooks anywhere near third, and the Red Sox obviously feel the same. If I HAD to predict right now, I think we land Sandoval and miss out on Lester. Hurts me to even think that. But that’s baseball. Thanks for reading, I’m sure we’re all anxiously awaiting to hear the decisions.

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The Nation: If I Were Ben This Offseason

If I were Ben Cherington, which I’m not, what would my ideal, realistic plan be for this offseason? You all know how much I love Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval, but who else do I think we need to be a legit threat next year?

1) Jon Lester – Duh. You knew I’d say it. Why not bring our ace back? Why not bring a guy back who knows the system, knows Boston, and THRIVES here? A low ball offer in the Spring should be replaced with a 6 year, 130 million dollar “we’re sorry” deal. The Sox can do it. It’s time to make amends.

2) Pablo Sandoval – again, duh. I love this guy. From what I’ve seen, most Red Sox fans are either 100% in favor of signing him, or 100% against it. Totally okay. Is he worth a 6 year deal of at least 100 million? Debatable, in years 5 and 6, certainly not. To be honest, I don’t think he’s worth 100 million. But we have enough money to take the risk this offseason. And let’s be honest, do you REALLY want Will Middlebrooks playing third? Hell no. Holt? No. He’s a utility player, please don’t try to tell me otherwise. I’d go ahead and overpay for Sandoval. Plenty of risks, but the rewards outweigh those (no pun intended. Seriously.)

3) James Shields – IF we sign Lester and Sandoval, probably gonna be pushing it on money to spend, but why not just go ahead and spend it anyway? Put Shields behind Lester and there you have it, a good one-two punch.

4) I trade for Jeff Samardzija or Cole Hamels. Cheaper (in terms of prospects) is obviously Samardzija. He would be a good number 3, and I think he would fit in well here. Hamels has an astronomical price tag. I sure as hell am not giving two or three top ten prospects for him. I say give up one, and throw in a Daniel Nava and another lower level prospect. I don’t know if the Phillies would take that, but I wouldn’t give them what they’re asking for now.

5) Trade for Alex Avila – Solid battery mate to go with Vazquez. Also left-handed.

6) Bring back Badenhop – the ground ball machine. He’s a reliever, so the money to bring him back wouldn’t be atrocious (unlike Andrew Miller)

7) Trade Cespedes and 2 pitching protects to Atlanta for Jason Heyward – Great defense, anther left-handed bat to balance the lineup. It would suck to part with Cespy, but he’s probably gone sooner or later anyway.

8) Trade Allen Craig – Where? No clue. Whoever would take him. Not that I’m giving up on him, it’s just we have no room for him. Trading him would open a permanent spot for Mookie.

We still need another reliever, but I’m sure we’ll get one. Anyway, that would be my offseason plan. Not many details this time; just straight how I’d do it. How much of this will Ben do? I say at least 1-3 of them. Like the plan? Cool. Don’t? Cool. Regardless, I’m not the GM. But hey, there ya have it if I was.

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The Nation: Panda in the Lineup

I have Pablo Sandoval fever. If you don’t see me mention Sandoval at least once a day until he signs, something is wrong. But with all the rumors swirling around him and the Red Sox, why not have some fun and make up potential lineups?

1. Mookie Betts – RF
2. Dustin Pedroia – 2B
3. David Ortiz – DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
5. Mike Napoli – 1B
6. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
7. Rusney Castillo – CF
8. Xander Bogaerts – SS
9. Christian Vazquez – C

Alright, let’s use the same players but switch it up a bit.

1. Rusney Castillo – CF
2. Dustin Pedroia – 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
4. David Ortiz – DH
5. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
6. Mike Napoli – 1B
7. Mookie Betts – RF
8. Xander Bogaerts – SS
9. Christian Vazquez – C

Okay, one last one.

1. Mookie Betts – RF
2. Dustin Pedroia – 2B
3. David Ortiz – DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
5. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
6. Mike Napoli – 1B
7. Rusney Castillo – CF
8. Xander Bogaerts – SS
9. Christian Vazquez – C

Obviously, these are just possibilities. I personally like the third one best. This is also taking into account that hypothetically all those guys are here and healthy. Who knows, maybe we add someone else to throw in there. But with Sandoval, I like our chances at a postseason return.

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