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Pats loss can’t rain on Coco’s parade 12.01.08 at 8:34 am ET
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I’m bracing for a bizarre week. Besides the notion that the Baseball Winter Meetings are right around the corner, with this year’s lobby loitering having the added oomph of blackjack tables thanks to the Las Vegas host site, I wake up to find that life does actually go on once you leave the Red Sox.

Sure, Doug Mirabelli can get a police escort upon returning to the team, but how many players can say they were part of a parade upon leaving town? We have one!

Coco Crisp is going to going to be the grand marshal at this year’s Desert Hot Springs Holiday Parade.

Coucilman Scott Matas got the job done thanks to the sell job he put on Coco’s mom every time she came into Matas’ UPS store. 

Matas, a self-described ‘€œhuge’€Los Angeles Dodgers fan, said he met Crisp in the late ’90s when Crisp coached local charity softball tournaments. Matas chats baseball with Crisp’s mother when she visits his UPS store in town, he said.

Matas pitched to her the grand marshala idea in October while Crisp still was in the playoffs with the Red Sox. Crisp confirmed that after the team’s playoff exit, he’d participate in the parade, Matas said.

‘€œHe was our first choice,’€ Matas said. ‘€œHe’s going to be special for this city.’€

You betcha! In case you were wondering, the parade will be held on Dec. 7, will last about an hour, and, according to ‘city resident’ Dot Reed will, “run along Pierson Boulevard. It will start just west of Desert Hot Springs High School, head east to Cactus Drive, then turn around and end at Cholla Drive.” (I love that for the parade route they quote somebody with the title of ‘city resident’.)

Best part: Not even close … the headline: “Baseball Player to Lead Desert Springs Parade”. You think whoever wrote that headline has ever watched a single inning. It’s almost as if they feel that city resident Dot Reed is a better candidate to be the grand marshal. (Update: Who said I don’t have power! They changed the headline to include Coco’s name. I think he deserves as much.)

Did you know a key figure on the club the 2003 Detroit Tigers was currently a scout for the Red Sox? Talk about stretching for a five-year anniversary story. Best part: I don’t remember any of Chris Mears’ 29 appearances that year.

Today is the day to offer salary arbitration (my colleague believes once the Sox offer it to Jason Varitek he will be locked into being a Red Sox for next season because of other teams’ hesitancy to give up multiple years and a draft pick. I, on the other hand, am not going to discount the Boras factor quite yet). But it is also the day MLB’s drug report comes out. Add in the fact that today marks the deadline for bids on the Cubs, and you have news-making magic.

All of that and the news that Junichi Tazawa is coming to Boston and is getting ready to sign a three-year deal. Which 5-foot-11 pitcher was more highly-touted, Tazawa or Tom Gordon? As we sit here, still the best Tazawa story to read is the one done by our man Alex. 

And in case you’re wondering what the Sox are getting, I present to you … (I love the Mark Clear socks)

In case you missed it, Tony Battie won’t soon forget Paul Pierce’s stabbing.

For those who never want to forget Sunday’s Patriots loss … and for those, like Wes Welker, who might not be able to remember it.

Derrick Rose stole my move …

Lenny Dykstra and Twizzlers … Gold, Jerry! Gold!

For some much more pertinent stories, see Boston Sports Media Watch.

Oh, and a quick bonus link, here is the first-ever McDonald’s commercial. Do you think the original idea was to have a mascot that looked like he just climbed out from the dumpster behind your establishment?

Read More: Coco Crisp, Junichi Tazawa,
Shameless self-promotion minute 11.26.08 at 11:21 am ET
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Every once in a while I will point out something that just so happens to be on WEEI.com that you might have missed, and really should not of. Right now it is Alex Speier’s story on Junichi Tazawa. Read it …. now! It answers every question you may have had on the matter.

Best part: Regarding who isn’t mentioned when talking about this pitcher, Speier writes …

‘€œI’€™ve been old school,’€ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman explained at the G.M. meetings earlier this month. ‘€œThere’€™s been an understanding for years that the amateur market in Japan has really been off limits.

‘€œWe’€™ve not scouted Tazawa because we haven’€™t scouted the amateur market. I couldn’€™t tell you how good he is.’€

The other non-participant in the Tazawa game has been super-agent Scott Boras, who represents Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

It seemed that Boras might make a play to become a powerful force in Japan, trying to represent top players coming to Major League Baseball, when he became Matsuzaka’€™s representative. But since Matsuzaka received ‘€œjust’€ a six-year, $52 million deal (far less than he might have earned as a free agent) after the Sox acquired his rights through the posting process, Boras seems to be treating the market in Japan with skepticism.

‘€œWe look at the Japanese market with great scrutiny,’€ Boras said at the G.M. meetings. ‘€œOur participation is going to be very limited.’€

Interesting, very interesting.

Also, this is the latest on teams dropping out of the Tazawa race due to the perception that the Red Sox have him locked up.

Read More: Junichi Tazawa, red sox,