Re: Should Sox bring up Jose Iglesias for defense?
posted at 8/6/2011 8:57 AM EDT
Theo's handling of the SS position has been like a multi-car accident. The blame cannot be laid to all the players who've operated there or might have operated there, including Navarro. The burden of proof is on Theo. Until he successfully completes the search for a reliable long-term SS, he has zero credibility with regard to the position.
Oddly enough, it all started with the brilliant move of replacing Nomar with Orlando Cabrera. Rarely do players new to a club make the kind of impact that Cabrera did. He stepped right in and took command of the infield, and his smart play seemed infectious. Then he was gone. Rumors were floated about his involvement with under-age girls and other players' wives. If there were any substance to those rumors, by now there would have emerged confirming leaks. There were no reported complaints from girls or parents, or, more to the point, no confrontations between Cabrera and teammates, either in the clubhouse or elsewhere. It's impossible to keep a hat over this stuff when it has substance. The simplest explanation for Cabrera's exit is that Theo coveted Renteria and seized the opportunity to sign him. Our GM wanted an "upgrade" over the man who'd just proved that he'd found a home in Boston, could perform at a high level there, and, yes, had fit right in with the team. Then there was Lugo, another player Theo had had his eye on. Lugo was on a WS team and made a great catch in the series. But no one on this board will seriously contend that Theo should have kept Lugo around. Instead, our GM sent money to teams that were willing to take on first Renteria and then Lugo.
Then came Scutaro/Lowrie to Lowrie/Scutaro, neither of whom is very good at fielding one of the most important defensive positions on the field. Presumably, Scutaro was signed keep the spot warm for Iglesias, after which Lowrie would slide into a utility role or be traded. Finally, Theo, still scratching around, traded for Aviles.
The gentlest description for Theo's stewardship of the position is "botched." And it ain't over. Absent the unlikely possibility that Iglesias will be handed the job at the start of ST or that yet another ( sigh ) player will be brought in from the outside ( Reyes, you say? ), Iglesias, Lowrie, and Aviles will sort of compete for the job in Florida. Unless Iglesias receives a visit from the Miraculous Base-Hit Fairy, one of the other two will open the season at SS. Of course, Theo could deviate from his requirement that a SS must hit decently. But don't bet on it.
The Dodgers went through a stretch like this trying to find a third baseman until Ron Cey finally nailed it down but good and had a fine career. Will Theo ever get in right? "Ever" is a long time, but given the history of the last seven years, Theo is stuck with the burden of proof.