Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III
posted at 8/26/2012 11:05 AM EDT
My mom always said that if you can't say something nice about somebody or some thing, then don't say anything at all. And the way this season has played out so far has been anything but positive. But this deal has created the possibility for enough positive roster moves to re-energize the team for years to come, if we make the right roster moves.
I was at every home game in spring training and the disfunctionality of this team was apparent even then. Yes there were sqeeze plays and more bunts (Bobby ball), but they were being executed by the Ciriaco's and the other minor-leaguers, not by the guys in the every-day lineup. There were many games that the regulars were trailing in, but the Gomezes or Ciriaco's won late. In short, none of the regulars appeared to buy into Bobby's game, nor did they seem ready and anxious for the regular season. And 120 games into the season, they still don't!
Being out from under however many millions in salary allows Ben & Co the freedom to reshape the roster, and there will be even more finacial flexibility without DiceK's money and maybe even Ortiz' money. Here's what I would like to see for a start...
Jettison DiceK. I know his contract is up anyway, but just say goodbye. He was effective for a couple years, but his aloofness and his painfully slow mound presence does not make him very embracable.
Ditto Ortiz. I have enjoyed watching him hit here for years, and he will forever be a part of RS history for his roles in two titles, but his whining cannot be good for the team. And a part of me thinks that if he had that multiple-year contract he's always wanted, that his recovery from his injury would have gone much more quickly. Plus, the game seems to be evolving away from full-time DH's and the way that position inhibits a manager.
Let go of Aceves. Too much drama, too many terrible outings. We need to rid the lockerroom of all head cases.
Fire Bobby. He can not be blamed for player's performances, and he was given the keys to the new car with way too many restrictions, but he is a shameless self-promoter and too loose-lipped to manage in 2012. It's no wonder that many of the local scribes have his back, since he always gives them plenty to write about, and he does have vast baseball knowledge. But that knowledge would be best put to use back at ESPN or if he really wants to be in the game, as someone's bench coach with little or no access to the media.
Keep and build around Pedroia, Ellsbury, Ross, Lester, Buchholz and Bailey. Pedroia has taken some heat on this board and in the press as the possible snitch or as a complainer, but he plays the game the right way, he stands up for his teammates, and most of his complaints seem to be about his teammates NOT playing the game correctly. Young players to keep and build around include Middlebrooks, Lavarnway, Ciriaco, Tazawa (as a starter), Mortenson, Morales. I'd also retain veterans like Posednik, Aviles, Breslow because they are pros who play the game hard. I would use the time left this season to get a long look at Gomez, Iglesias, Lavarnway and Kalish.
Defense has got to be a priority. I like Ross, but his spot should be left field as he cost last night's game with poor plays in right. Why was he there and Posednik in left?? Shouldn't the better fielder be in right in Fenway?
Moon put together a very impressive list of available players in either free agency or through trades, but the next six weeks should be spent seeing who we currently have that can be ready to help next season and beyond. And once we have a better idea of who in our system can help right away, then we fill in the holes through trades and free agency. We already know we will need one top of the rotation starter and at least one big middle-of-the-order bat, but let's get a better idea of what we already have.