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About Alex Speier

Before he joined WEEI.com, Alex covered the Red Sox for several New England and national publications, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, Boston Metro, Boston Herald and Baseball America. Alex graduated from Harvard, where he served as the captain of the debate team, an experience that has been of surprisingly little use in press boxes across the country.

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MOST RECENT COLUMNS
12/31/14 12:51 EST
MY MOTHER-IN-LAW'S BASEMENT, USA -- With apologies, an act of complete self-indulgence. (New Year's resolution: The avoidance of ever doing something like this again in 2015.) After six years and change, this marks my last day working for WEEI.com. Frankly, my hopes were not high that this job would be around for this long when our website was introduced by Rob Bradford with this ... thing on Aug. 18, 2008: (Footnote: Rob's hostage video features him marveling at the "free and unfettered" nature of a 2,300-word column on the site that day -- or, a length of story that I would come to think of as "an appetizer.") What has transpired since that somewhat ignominious introduction has been a revelation. That sleepless declaration of purpose was something of a harbinger -- working for WEEI.com frequently turned me into something between a nocturne and an insomniac -- but the satisfaction has exceeded anything I anticipated in that time in terms of what I've been able to
12/15/14 02:11 EST
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Baseball's spotlight will shine Monday in Chicago, where Jon Lester will be introduced as a $155 million pitcher whom the Cubs believe can help end the fruitless 106-plus year stagger through the championship desert. By comparison, the Red Sox' three newly acquired starters have been introduced with virtually no fanfare -- no name on the scoreboard, no presentation of a uniform number, no toothy smiles for the cameras. Justin Masterson and Wade Miley (in tandem with GM Ben Cherington) took part in conference calls with the media on Friday, then went back to their lives. The basis of the disparity in attention seems obvious enough, in part because of the recent evidence offered by pitchers like Lester and Madison Bumgarner: Aces can transform a team's championship aspirations in October. That point is hard to argue, but so is this one: Having an ace isn't the most important element in forging a championship run. Getting to the playoffs is. The Red Sox may not have made an obvious move for a
12/11/14 10:17 EST
SAN DIEGO -- Jon Lester was only the beginning. The free-agent market for pitchers appears to be heading rapidly beyond a place where the Red Sox will want to reside. Given the emphasis by both the Red Sox and Cubs on the importance of disciplined contracts, some industry officials expressed surprise that the two teams slugged it out to the point of six-year offers, with the Cubs' $155 million guarantee with a vesting option for a seventh year representing a knockout blow. But as surprising as that slugfest for an elite pitcher proved, the aggressive movement of the market for other free-agent alternatives may be even more startling, and may limit the Sox' ability to comfortably negotiate the free agent terrain. Reports had right-hander Brandon McCarthy -- author of one career 200-inning season -- reaching a four-year, $48 million deal with the Dodgers. Ervin Santana, a more reliable innings-eating sort (he has averaged over 200 innings in the last five seasons) with the pedigree of a No.
12/10/14 08:23 EST
SAN DIEGO -- The line of inquiry has changed. From Sunday until late night on Tuesday, the most popular inquiry at Major League Baseball's winter meetings had been where Jon Lester ultimately would land. That is no longer a question. But, in the wake of Lester's six-year, $155 million agreement with the Cubs (which includes a seventh-year vesting option), the question has altered. Where do the Red Sox go now? As general manager Ben Cherington said Monday at the winter meetings, the Red Sox have perhaps dozens of scenarios exploring solutions to their need for the addition of at least two starters from outside of the organization. A number of those scenarios were, of course, crossed off with the move of Lester to the Cubs, but the Sox remain convinced that -- as disappointing (and in some quarters, devastating) as the departure of Lester is -- the team still can build a playoff-caliber pitching staff to complement a formidable offense. "There's no shortage of possibilities. There's



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