Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
posted at 10/14/2011 10:59 PM EDT
In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
[QUOTE]Thanks for the insightful reply, katz. I'm sure ownership and the new GM will probably know more than us about what truly went on and if some "bad apples" need to be removed from the "barrel". Since we have so many FAs to be and option players, it might be hard to ever know if management let them walk because of their attitude or just because they are doing what Sox GMs have done recently, assign a value to our own player, minus the value of the comp picks we'll get by letting them walk, and then offer the "lowball" offer and watch them walk. There will be rampant second guessing if Papi walks for example. Befor any of this latest much came out, many were talking about letting Papi walk. Now, if he walks, many will blame his role in the "collapse" as the main reason he was "run out of town". It's going to get worse here on this site, not better. Every player will be srutinized, torn down and apart. My God, even Pedey is being called a "liar". This is like McCarthyism. I do think we could see a Sox team with no Papi, no Youk, no Wake/VTek, and a few others and still be highly competitive next year and beyond with some creative work by the new GM (like 3-way deals). I can see the baseball merit for moving several of our players that have nothing to do with clubhouse antics. We are an old team, an unconditioned team, an unbalanced team (too many LHBs), and a poor fielding team in crucial areas (SS, 3B and C). There's lots of work to do, even if we brought everyone back.
Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]I agree on Papi being assumed as being assumed it will be because he's clubhouse poison and it probably would be more about duration of a deal and how badly it would go with him if his role if he had to be reduced over that duration plus what ever he benefits are of two picks and having a more rotational approach versus a single professional DH.
Now if he goes I think there becomes a strong argument for Youk to stay on this very LH centric team and for Youk, A-Gon and perhaps one or two others rotated through DH. Playing A-Gon 158 games on a RS-NYY type of travel schedule took its toll. Youk is a really gritty fellow but he has never been a iron man and a rotational DH may benefit the RS in lots of ways if the best DH of his generation if not of all time moves on from Boston for a twilight contract.
I can see arguments either way for both Tek and Wake and they both of course have personal decisions to make too.
Papelbon is going to be about money and years. It has been awhile since a closer contract went past 3 years so there may be more traction here than some think. But talking to almost any member of the RS about a new contract today would be a tough nut to crack. I think to a man they are shocked just how toxic the reaction has been to the collapse, how long it has lasted and how wide and deep it is cutting into everybody in the organization. Tonight if I were a RS player I'd question playing in this city honestly.
Where it starts to get nutty to me is when people start talking about trading Ellsbury with current OF depth chart and two years of control left, trading Beckett and on and on with the stuff that dominates BDC the last two weeks. If you start tying together all the calls for changes, the clubhouse kid and Pedey appear to be the oly ones with any safety net. The more the RS try to do with this team the more likely it is best done as classic blow it up and get on a 3 to 5 year plan. The RS of course won't be able to sell it that way out the gate but there aren't a lot of complex three way deals to get done out there. We don't see one in all of MLB every single season, that is how hard it is to align them IMHO.
Now those you that have shared posts with me over time know I was and am a huge fan of Francona's. I also think that some of the players have to look in the mirror in regards to just how much they abused Terry's trust culture. But in the end I happen to believe that vast majority of how bad it got does end with Tito. It doesn't make Terry a bad person or even a bad manager in the next gig, but he set boundaries wide boundaries and when guys crossed them he never had any guard rails up to stop them and the team from going over the edge of the cliff.
Having managed for a lot of years I get some of challenges this presented for Tito but he could have and should have told his pitchers on the bench or in the bullpen. It was hard for him to change his style and he paid the piper and honestly did so like a man.
Frankly almost every report while it has great shock and awe value in RS Nation tends to indicate that with a new sheriff in town it will correct itself. Even the KFC and beer club is nothing in comparison to real clubhouse cancers like Zambrano, Bradley or our own Mr Everett from our past.
Great exception to me at least at this point is Lackey. I don't think he is lost cause as player but he sure as heck seems to be today in this market. Not to repeat myself, he probably came under more fire than he should have for his 2010 but his 2011 plus the revelations of his participation in the KFC and beers club has IMO cemented him as a permanent target of hatred in RS Nation.
His rabbit ears, paper thin skin, lack of just owning bad performance pretty much seal his fate here. He needs to be dumped and it will be a lot of dead money or likely and new and nearly equal dead weight. It is better than 50-50 who ever gets him will get a serviceable pitcher for their trouble but it isn't happening here, not in this new "rabid" climate.
But while I maybe being hopeful or naive I do think the RS had a talented core that through all the imperfections, the bad "chemistry" and the misfortunate breakdown of the original starting 5 pitchers won 90 games.
I think they can go about the business of finding new field leadership and that Cherington will bringing a combination of continuity and his own creativity to the FO. IMO they can make the vast majority of their decisions based on baseball operations priorities and not correcting the things that inflamed when the starting rotation stretched so thin that the RS needed 8 runs a night on average to be in game and had to climb up hill two to three times every night.
There was great OP about a week bfore the collapse completed. It's title was perhaps a bit insulting but IMHO the point was spot on. It was "It's the pitching, stupid" and it still is, not to gloss over the opportunities tweak elsewhere.
Just my takes