WAIT! Did the Sox get the message, or is this the continuing disinformation spin coming from Yawkey Way?
The Sox, never to be outdone (or outspun) have concocted a Herman Cain-esque 13-13-13 plan, as if they don't have enough bad luck going to disparage triskaidekaphobia (spelling bee losahs groan here). The locals have negotiated with Ryan Dempster career 4.33 ERA with AL ERA over 5 last year, Shane "Better Days" Victorino, and Mike (My Aching Back) Napoli to low-term, high pay deals, although Napoli's is still pending. Google "career .500 pitcher", and there's a great chance Dempster is your poster child.
But is this off-season charade about reloading or posturing, as the posers hope for lightning in a bottle while drunk-dialing agents (fried chicken and beer being the near official foods of the Boston Red Sox) addicted to the number 13?
I'll acknowledge that I KNOW NOTHING. After all, I snickered when uber-agent Scott Boras suggested Jacoby "Mirror, Mirror" Ellsbury could get twenty million dollars a year. And I don't think that he meant TEN adjusted for playing half a season.
In a market that overpays mediocrity with astonishing regularity, anything is possible. Anibal Sanchez has a sub .500 career record, and just scored EIGHTY million dollars from the Detroit Tigers for five years. Clearly, when the numbers got over THIRTEEN, the Sox folded like an accordion. And by the way, Sanchez's next win will bring his career totals to 49.
By comparison, Ray Culp won 122 career games, Spaceman Bill Lee 119, and Reggie Cleveland 105. At age 28, Lee "fleeced" the Red Sox for 80,000 dollars as a pitcher who won 17 games and had a WAR of 2.1. Is Anibal Sanchez materially better than any of the aforementioned trio, or has Reefer Madness descended upon all of us in age of changing drug policy?
I won't pretend that I will forswear baseball in 2013, waiting for the anointed Killer B's of Barnes, Bogaerts, Bradley, and Brentz. But I remember waiting for Kevin Romine, Chuck Rainey, Win Remmerswaal, and Brian Rose. Maybe we'll someday see the Sox kiddie corps in a Major League all-star game or if unexpected longevity occurs for us, Cooperstown. But I'm not holding my breath.
As currently constituted, are the Sox any more than breakeven favorites to outpace the Orioles for fourth in the AL East behind Toronto, New York, and Tampa? Have the Red Sox led by Larry Lucchino and erstwhile surrogate Ben Cherington sucker-punched us all? It sure feels like it to me. If I want "Character Approved" I'll watch USA Network.