Sports Weekender

1196273812Jacoby Ellsbury for Johan Santana? Big Baby for Rookie of the Year? Boston College to the Champs Sports Bowl? These questions, and more, after a typically packed sports weekend.

We start with the best pitcher on the planet and the latest chapter in the Red Sox-Yankees drama. When last we left you on Friday, the Yankees appeared willing to include Philip Hughes in their trade proposal for Twins lefty Johan Santana. Then, on Saturday, word filtered out that the Red Sox would include Jacoby Ellsbury, but not Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz.

New Yankee frontman Hank Steinbrenner apparently has had enough of the jockeying, telling the press that today was the day for the Twins to accept the offer, or they would move on.

“This is not a bluff; it’s just reality,” the senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner [told the New York Times]. “It’s a fact. The Yankees will not be used to jack up the price on people — whether by agents or other teams — ever again. That’s over.”

Tough negotiator that Hank Steinbrenner. Reminds us of the the A-Rod negotiations. You’ll never be a Yankee! Oh, you want to be a Yankee? OK. Sign here.

Plus, by telling the world the Yankees will be out if the Twins don’t like what’s on the table, doesn’t that mean the Red Sox could reduce their offer if the Twins move on?

Either way, it was kind of surprising to see Ellsbury offered up (if, in fact, he was. This is the silly-rumor season). But without Lester or Buchholz in the deal, that doesn’t seem to make as much sense for Minnesota as Hughes and Melky Cabrera. Then again, neither does trading Santana in the first place.

On another note, if Lester and Buchholz don’t make it into a trade for Santana, couldn’t the Sox use one (presumably Lester) in another deal? The mind reels.

Moving on to poor Boston College. In typical BC fashion, the Eagles controlled the ACC Championship Game on the stat sheet, but couldn’t quite pull it out, losing to Virginia Tech, 30-16.

This is another glass half-full, half-empty season for BC. On the one hand, the Eagles finally won big games late in the season, put that Miami hex to bed, and reached the No. 2 ranking in the nation. On the other, they lost the next week to a mediocre Florida State team, then an even worse Maryland team the following week, and—say it with us—failed to sell an acceptable number of tickets to the ACC Championship game.

So, the 10-3 Eagles were skipped over by the more prestigious ACC bowls, the Gator and what used to be called the Peach. Instead, BC will spend the holiday season in the, ahem, Champs Sports Bowl, playing a 7-5 Michigan State team that tied for seventh place in the Big 10.

Then we have the Celtics. Is it too early to think the C’s might be a legitimate NBA Championship contender, and not just the favorites in the East? Probably, but they are better than anyone could have reasonably hoped.

It wasn’t so much the ugly win over the LeBron-less Cavs yesterday that has us excited. It was Friday’s win at Miami — Boston’s second straight over the Heat — that got us fast-forwarding to April.

When this team is on, it wins by 20. When this team is off, it still grinds out wins. Perhaps the biggest development is the bench, and particularly our favorite Celtic, Big Baby, who is filling a role as the team’s Energizer Bunny. A rather large Energizer Bunny. If this keeps up, we may also have to adopt Leon Powe.

And, finally, because we were Patriot-less this weekend, patsfan posted a video of Bill Belichick on a cooking show from his time in Cleveland that has to be seen to be believed.