WEEI

After the Deluge: Evan Grant Is Still Talking A.L. MVP

December 02, 2008 - 4:45 am

It's now been three weeks since Evan Grant, a beat writer covering the Texas Rangers, made his fateful decision to leave Dustin Pedroia off the American League MVP Ballot. But he's not done talking about it...or, more accurately, he's not done being asked about it--among several other topics on which he offers some fine insights, particularly into the potential for a trade of a Rangers catcher for Sox pitching. (For both of you who have yet to hear Grant's interview with the Big Show on the day of the MVP voting results, go ahead and take a listen: knowledge is power.) Grant, who once again expresses regret for his mistake when filling out the ballot, suggests that he's never experienced anything like the response to what has been treated in various quarters as a felonious error.

I've long known about the passion of Red Sox fans, but feel I've got a much clearer understanding at this point. Not saying that's good or bad. But I do have a better understanding and appreciation of it.

Best part: Wondering how Dustin Pedroia might have responded to Grant's email apology. So long as we're on the topic of bloggers meet writers, Fire Brand of the American League had this interesting exchange with Peter Gammons. The Hall of Fame writer suggested the Rangers would want either Clay Buchholz or Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden in a trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Perhaps the Rangers were trying to find an equitable means of balancing the two teams' Scrabble scores. Also worth noting for the Red Sox' catching situation: Gammons guesses that Jason Varitek will accept the Red Sox offer of salary arbitration. He's not alone in that opinion. And now, for a brief pause from questions about the 2009 Red Sox to note that the Celtics have reeled off nine straight wins, and at 16-2, have emerged once again as the class of the Eastern Conference. Doc Rivers is being declared a genius, the team is (literally, it would seem) mauling opponents like the Magic, and on the future front, J.R. Giddens is assembling some pretty impressive stat lines for the Utah Flash in the NBA Development League. (Anyone who had "Bakersfield Jam" as the answer to the "Where's Mateen Cleaves" betting pool--take a bow.) A Celtics report card would be kind of boring these days, a monotonous string of A's likely to inspire the ire of any alienated bullies who have been struggling with their studies of late. That being the case, members of the Green Machine may need to be on the lookout for any Patriots who might feel compelled to stop by T.D. Banknorth and beat up their local sporting brethren. Wondering who will have home-field advantage when the Patriots and Buccaneers play in London next year? Preliminary indications are that Tampa Bay has a pronounced advantage, with a rabid U.K. fan base that appears to run at least 20 strong. Patriots fans who are interested in scouting the situation would do well to attend the Bucpower UK Christmas Dinner, where attending fans have an opportunity to win an autographed photo of Doug Williams. That seems far superior to the opportunity afforded to Patriots fans in Jolly Old... Let's just say that the passion on UKPatriots.com seems, at first glance, like little match for Bucpower. Perhaps that is why Mike Vrabel informed the world that he doesn't "give a (expletive) about going to London." While the Patriots do not have any apparent fan base in England, however, they might benefit from the general hatred of Buccaneers (and Manchester United) owner Malcolm Glazer in the U.K. How many NFL owners can say that they inspire derisive songs outside of the U.S.?