Posts Tagged ‘trade deadline’

The Red Sox offense has been downright anemic.  Comatose, I tell you.  And with Smoltz, Buccholz and Penny not exactly being consistent, they need to put some runs on that big board in the outfield.  Theo had a mandate, a mission, and it was not impossible.  The Red Sox have a farm system loaded with players to ship out for guys who play in the Bigs now.

Rumors were non-stop.  But today was the day, and when it all came down the Red Sox were probably better but certainly more mystifying.

Victor Martinez, the switch-hitting, catcher-firstbaseman-DH from Cleveland was a coveted player.  He’s been consistent, and consistently good.  He’s got the power to be a middle of the line up hitter to keep pitchers honest.  The problem is how to get him on the field.  Ortiz, having now hit 2 HRs after learning he tested positive for PEDs in 2003, is the everyday DH.  You don’t want to sit him, right?  You don’t sit Youk unless he’s hurt.  Yes, Varitek has been slumping something awful in a return of 2008 ‘Tek at the plate.  But his true value is calling a game.  He needs more time off, and Kotaras can’t seem to hit even as well as ‘Tek.  So Victor will pick up a few games a week there.

The real question is Lowell.  He can still hit, but fielding has been an issue for him.  It’s the lateral movement, which should force the pitchers to adjust so the ball is not smoked down the left side of the field.  Victor will enable the Sox to give Mikey more time.  And he provides great insurance just in case Lowell is put on the DL again.

With Adam LaRoche sitting in that dugout, they decided to ship him out for a different first baseman.  Kotchman comes over in his place.  He doesn’t have much power, but his splits are better than LaRoche’s vs. lefties.  Gotta be, right?  He will most likely play the Dave Stapleton/Doug M. role this season as the late innings defensive replacement.  Unlike LaRoche, he’s also signed for next season.

All this means the Red Sox aren’t “renting” players.  And all they essentially gave up was Masterson and Hagadone.  I’m thinking the other guys don’t make it to the bigs.  Hagadone is the guy I think has real potential.  But Clay, Bowden and especially Bard remain with the team.

The real challenge is going to be for Francona to keep everyone reasonably happy.  They all want to play, and on most teams would play.  But I’m sure Francona would prefer this problem over the one he had in the ALCS last season when Lowell couldn’t play anymore and they really needed his offense.  Now, wake up bats!  No excuses not to challenge the Yankees.  Too bad they couldn’t pick up

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Like the infamous French defense entrenchment that did nothing to hold back Nazi Germany, or Khadaffi’s “line in the sand”, Manny has passed the line which means he must go.

Until this past week I was loathe to trade Manny, and hoped they would pick up his option.  But Manny Being Manny has reached a nefarious stage where it is no longer funny- at all.  And I think it no coincidence that while it occurs the Red Sox get swept by the Angels.  Manny has gone on the offensive, and is downright offensive, crossing that line.

“The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me,” Ramírez was quoted as saying. “During my years here I’ve seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them, to try to turn the fans against them.

“The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martínez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy. I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don’t deserve me. I’m not talking about money.

“Mental peace has no price and I don’t have peace here.”

Ramírez also held up a sign in the dugout before the game, shown by NESN cameras, that read: “I’m going to Green Bay for Brett Favre straight up.”

I’m not sure what the Red Sox have said to make Manny look bad.  Did they push the traveling secretary?  No, that was Manny.  Did they let everyone know what the penalty was?  No, they handled it internally.  Did they talk about not negotiating in good faith?  No, that was Manny.  Are the Sox complaining about the option?  No, that is Manny worried about his next paycheck (like $180 million the last 8 years just isn’t enough).  Manny has put himself in the position where the fans have turned on him.  No one else is to blame, not even CHB.

So, Manny Being Manny has become poisonous.  It has shifted into a whole new orbit, and Manny has become like Nomar in his final season with the Sox.  He has become worse than a distraction, but a cancer.

The rumored trade looks good to me right now, particularly since it ships Manny away.  It looks fiscally sound, and addresses their needs at this time.

If they can’t trade Manny, I’d suggest putting him on the DL with that knee issue just to get him away from the team for a week or two to let this thing simmer down.  But Manny has just worked against his goal to get a big, fat contract for the next 4 years.  Does anyone want to pay that much to watch the Manny Being Manny show that long, when he is no longer one of the best hitters in baseball?  Sorry, Manny … that time has come and gone.

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