Re: 2013 Red Sox............No way Jose!
posted at 9/22/2013 8:52 AM EDT
The point of bringing back this March thread is well taken. softlaw2 was dead wrong about almost everything.
Funny thing is, when soflaw2 wrote the Sox had no chance in 2013, he knew Farrell was the new manager, but, later as redsoxfireman, he now says the only smart about Ben C's acquisitions was manager Farrell who apparently has inspired all the hitters to hit so well the Sox lead MLB in offense and the pitchers to produce what is overall a pretty good pitching staff. Plus softlaw2 gave Ben C no credit, none, for making the big trade with LA a year ago while everyone else said it was a necessary move.
Enough about softy. I would only add that almost no one predicted the Sox would be this good and have clinched the AL East this early. Most of us expected not only Iglesias, but Bradley and even Bogaerts to have a major impact this year. Only Iglesias did--twice. First he hit well and earned the starting SS slot, temporarily, and then the starting 3B slot. Then he was traded to bring in a solid and much needed starter, Peavy, in a move that also led to Middlebrooks returning as the thirdbaseman and Bogaerts getting to Boston as the UIF. It's a pretty good bet both will be on the postseason roster.
The acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and maybe JD Drew have masked the fact that the team owner, John Henry, absolutely believes in sabermetrics, moneyball, whatever you want to call what Billy Beane continues to do to make the Athletics competitive. The problem for any Sox GM is that the team can remain profitable with a large salary package, so he is not required to gamble on other team's rejects and is expected to spend money where it makes sense--a lot easier to say than do.
As it turns out, the deals for Drew, Napoli, Victorino, and Gomes seem to have found the right middle ground of finding players who could contribute without breaking the bank. Even Dempster was a plus from the perspective of having an almost decent 5th starter, especially when Buchholz went down in early June. The deal for Peavy is exactly in that vein--give up the, granted, brilliant SS but get a necessary addition to the rotation for the stretch run. Meanwhile he still has two good SS's in Drew, who has a higher WAR than Iglesias, and Bogaerts.
Team chemistry has been a factor as well. Credit Farrell, of course, but also credit Ben C for getting the right guys to fit into Farrell's system.