Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hot Stove or Ice Box?

You should never be in a hurry to make a poor choice. And currently, baseball's labor pool lives in the world of Buyer's Remorse, where generally ownership overpays for mediocrity.

Example: Marco Scutaro, a player whose price is at its peak, but what of value. Scutaro scored 100 runs and had twelve homers last season. He had NEVER hit double digit homers and never scored more than 52 runs in a season until the previous year (76). At best, I suspect the Sox view him as a placeholder until the anointed one, Jose Iglesias comes on scene. Meanwhile, shortstop remains the black hole of productivity and cost. Scutaro's career OPS is .721. Chrissakes, we are not talking about a great player. Lou Merloni had a career OPS of .716. Scutaro is Lou Merloni coming off an excellent season, a one-year wonder. Period.

Of course, we have entered the Tug Hulett era. Does that make you feel any better? I want to throw up in my mouth over both of the above.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

White Hot, the Hot Stove League Leaves Sox Fans Blue

The New York Yankees got their 27th championship, a magical combination of glory and greenbacks, and the Red Sox have Jeremy Hermida. So, we're all feeling a lot better.

The Sox seem destined for the poorhouse it seems, with Josh Beckett only a year away from free agency, Jason Bay suddenly the defensive talent of say, Mike Greenwell, and John Henry doing a chopshop job on his investment company. Maybe they can reclaim the Dunkin Dugout seats.

We'll find out soon whether it was really Brad Mills who broke the curse, or whether the Sox can fill the role of bench coach with some combination of Stephen Hawking and Dr. Tom Hanson. Theo, you really ought to think about it.

What we've learned in the offseason is how great J.D. Drew really is (I thought his season more than passable, although the Win Shares/dollar might be less so). If Win Shares mean something, then we should acknowledge that Drew was an estimated SIXTH in the AL at his position. We found out that Rocco Baldelli will seek employment elsewhere, and of course that four Red Sox have also won World Series with both the Red Sox and the Yankees, Babe Ruth, Johnny Damon, Eric Hinske, and Ramiro Mendoza. Holy carp!

2009 taught us that money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a title. That's alright with me, because the Sox are New York light, with the big market payroll albeit small market swagger.

The issues for the Sox headed in 2010:
  • Left-field. Bye-bye, Bay-be, good-bye?
  • Can we get more mileage from the Japanese import, Daisuke Matsuzaka?
  • Will the financial black hole/revolving door at shortstop ever close?
  • Is Theo Epstein's expectation of Jacoby Ellsbury hitting for power a steroid era fantasy?
  • If there's money to be paid out, who's going to claim it, Jonathan "more mouths to feed" Papelbon, Beckett, Bay, V-Mart, all or none of the above?
  • Is Daniel Bard the closer-in-waiting? Does Jonathan Papelbon intend to throw more than fastballs?
  • Is My Captain, My Captain going the way of "Nevermore"?
  • Does Mike Lowell have gas in the tank, or specifically the femur/acetabulum?
  • Will the real David Ortiz, please step up to the plate?
Mike Lowell's hip means a lot to the Red Sox.

How much would it take to get Justin Morneau from the Twins, because they're generally payroll parsimonious, and going to have to pay Joe Mauer? Heck, maybe they'll pay him less, because after all he didn't win the Hank Aaron Award, given to the best hitter from New York, excluding Mark Teixeira?