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I have been in this position several times in my career.

In fact, from 2002-2006, for five straight seasons, I signed minor-league contracts with an invitation to major-league spring training. Seeing the news of these players signing brought back some emotion as well as the memories of both some good and bad decisions I have made over the years.

But the bulk of what has been coming across my timeline lately has been the news of players agreeing to minor-league contracts, most of those coming with an invitation to major-league spring training.

The majority of the players who sign these deals have major-league experience, some more than others.

Nothing was worse than Game Six against the Mets, but this was damned close. If the Red Sox were a girl, you would probably just break up with them. Not with flame-throwing Alan Embree waiting in the bullpen. And the ensuing disaster -- Matsui's ground-rule double, followed by Posada's bloop single to tie the game -- wasn't just predictable, it was downright sickening. Aaron Boone's homer in the 11th wasn't just inevitable, it was practically preordained.

Little did we know, our overmatched manager was saving his worst for last. "He screwed up the whole season." So it happened again. Every time you counted them out, they came roaring back. Nobody in his right mind would have allowed Pedro -- 115 pitches on the odometer, struggling heroically with a three-run lead, running on the fumes of his fumes -- to pitch to Hideki Matsui.

So, my Top 10 Dating Secrets for Success for this Valentines are: DON’T be too self-conscious: stop worrying about your hair or what to say or concentrating on how nervous you are. Realise that your date may be nervous too so think of ways to make sure they feel comfortable.

Be warm, friendly and happy; it’s contagious, and it makes it much more likely you’ll get the same reaction coming back to you.

They see you as guy worth taking a low risk chance on. Players don’t pay commission on minor-league salary, only big-league salary, and agents don’t charge on anything earned below the major-league minimum.

Well, here's your reward, guys: A Yankees-Marlins series that absolutely nobody will watch. Buffalo (-3) over Washington Philly ( 3) over NY Giants Detroit ( 3) over Dallas San Diego ( 6) over Cleveland Cincinnati ( 2) over Baltimore Minnesota (-3) over Denver Carolina (-2.5) over Tennessee New Orleans ( 2) over Atlanta Miami (-5.5) over New England St. They lost because Dusty stupidly left Mark Prior in the game too long.

Like every other Sox fan on the planet, he couldn't understand one simple question: Why didn't Grady take out Pedro? You would call them on the phone, explain to them calmly that you can't take it anymore, let them down as gently as possible, then move on with your life. Of course, the TV networks and newspapers got what they wanted: They spent the entire month gleefully rehashing those same "Curse" stories for both the Cubs and Sox, flashing graphics like "RED SOX WORLD SERIES WINS AFTER 1918: 0" and showing so many Babe Ruth pictures, you would have thought John Henry Williams had brought the Babe back to life. Fox even made Boone's brother a guest announcer for the Sox-Yanks series -- apparently, Plan B was one of George Steinbrenner's kids. But the 2003 Cubs didn't lose because of a goat, and they didn't lose because of poor Steve Bartman.

Signing a minor-league deal — not as simple as you might think. Spring training is less than a week away and the final free agent signings of the offseason are agreeing to deals.

James Shields was the last of the big fish to fall and a handful more of small major-league contracts will likely be agreed to soon.