September stretch run discussion
posted at 9/22/2007 12:08 AM EDT
As for your state of affairs concerning the Red Sox, I think you have gauged a couple things wrong in my opinion.
First of all, Veritek has shown tremendous leadership this year with all the new pitchers in camp including Matsuzaka and Okajima. He has handled the pitching staff up to this point very well. Offensively, I wish we could get more from him, but his main leadership role for this team has been handling the new talent and getting them to have the best chance to win in this league. It isn't his fault if he sets up for a pitch inside, outside, up or down and the pitcher misses location and the opposition gets a hit. That is lack of concentration and mechanics on the pitchers fault. Overall, if you see what he is trying to call to set up hitters behind the plate, I think you would have a vastly different opinion of his leadership on this team.
Secondly, JD Drew! Sure he has been a major disappointment, but I think it will come out that his son's health has weighed heavily on him throughout the season. Therefore, affecting his play on the field. Who knows, maybe next year he will break out like Beckett did this year after a down year his first year here. I say cut him some slack knowing his home situation. Take this year from him as a major down year for him and hope that he can rebound strong next year. I am surprised he hasn't taken some major time off this year to tend to his problems at home.
Thirdly, Theo and Larry haven't been as bad as others here state they are. Look at what they have done. First of all, they have kept the team at a competitive level and the team has averaged over 90+ wins a year in thier tenure here. Secondly, they have built a thriving and successful farm system that is really just starting to produce the talent that should help this team for years in the future. Thirdly, even though some trades and free agent signings haven't worked out, some major acquisitions have been made.......Remember the buzz the day they signed David Ortiz....what about the organization beating the Yankees to Schilling....Lowell and Beckett in a trade (one the heart of this team now and the other a A.L. Cy Young favorite)........DiceK and Okajima and knowing that DiceK should be a 15 - 20 game winner every year after the 3rd year with his array and variety of pitches.
Fourth and lastly, Francona hasn't been a good manager down the stretch. His decision making in some games have cost the team WINS and that is unexcusable in my book. If we lose this division lead to the Yankees, me and a ton of other posters here could probabally come up with 5 - 10 games that he has grossly mismanaged and cost the Red Sox WINS.
Other than that, I agree with the rest that you said......especially Manny. Personally, I think Manny is doggin' it and has dogged it since he pulled himself out of the lineup with a mystery knee injury (some reporters and media types have questioned if he was even really injured last year) after the Yankee crushing 5 game sweep last year. Whatever his beef with the Red Sox, it has played out to the fact he shuts it down come the end of the year when the Red Sox really need his bat. He is a paycheck player and that is all he will ever be. Hopefully, they will find a suitable trade partner for him (maybe Anaheim with thier young talent) who is looking for a power bat in the offseason and use his freed up money to go after a power bat to replace him.