Peep Show

Updated: February 20, 2004, 10:04 AM ET
By Jim Baker

American League

Garciaparra
Garciaparra
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox have a pretty nice-sized payroll, one that would make a team like Milwaukee or Tampa Bay fall over itself to match. However, they are still nowhere near the Yankees and that is going to cause them some pain in the next year or so when some very key personnel come up for contract renewal. General manager Theo Epstein told Jeff Horrigan of the Boston Herald that ``It's unrealistic to think that we could sign every single one of them," in referring to Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Jason Varitek and David Ortiz. Bill Mueller and Kevin Millar have club options for 2005 as well. A lot of people are wondering if the Red Sox offseason treatment of Garciaparra -- openly parading his expendability -- is going to affect his performance in 2004. If you believe that, then you probably also believe that players perform better in their contract year, so the two psychological forces at play should cancel each other out, right?

New York Yankees: When your nickname is "Godzilla" and you've established a reputation as a 50-homer guy, it must be a little damaging to the ego to hit just 16 homers and post a slugging average of .435. With that in mind, leftfielder Hideki Matsui showed up in camp yesterday sporting an extra five or six pounds of muscle, reports Sam Borden of the New York Daily News. He suggests that the star of the Japanese leagues could be batting as low as eighth this year, given the All-Star-heavy lineup. Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield wants it to be known that he has come by his bulk honestly and is willing to be tested to prove as much. Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger writes that Sheffield wants to clear his name after being called on to testify in the hearings involving BALCO, a manufacturer suspected of providing steroids to professional athletes.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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