No need for despair just yet
Boston Globe baseball writer Gordon Edes checks in every week (usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays) to answer your questions on the Red Sox. Ask yours now, and come back next week to see if it was answered.
Gord, I'm hoping Im so wrong but looking at the White Sox and Yankees right now (even without Matsui, Sheffield) the team we put on the field every day is nowhere near the quality team of the other two...its going to be an UGLY last six weeks Gord...very ugly...Seanez, Tavarez, young rookies pitching in the pen is not going to do it....like I say I hope I'm wrong but I cant see us making playoffs...
Gaye Desveaux, New Waterford, Nova Scotia
A: Gaye, theres still some summer left in Nova Scotiano need to despair just yet. Hey, there are obviously reasons to fret that the Sox arent going to make the tournament, especially when Josh Beckett is down 5-0 in the third against the Tigers in the latest big game, but the components that have made this team a winning club are still in place: The monster mashers in the middle of the lineup, the Gold Glovers on the left side of the diamond, the fearless kid closer, an in-the-middle-of-everything Youkilis, the Big Schill. Lookits going to come down to the final days. The Sox may have Wakefield back by the end of the West Coast swing and Jason Varitek may be right behind. Wily Mo might hit 15 bombs in September. There are obvious holes, but this team isnt going to fold.
Love your mailbag, read it all the time.
I remember a Grady Little quote in the days that followed their loss to the Yankees in 2003 (regarding his decision to leave Pedro Martinez in the game). He said he was being judged not for his decision, but for the results of his decision. Although I felt at the time I would have gone to the bullpen to begin the eighth, and would have replaced him when Grady went out to the mound in the eighth (I thought Pedro had done his job after seven innings, was starting to tire, and the bullpen had been very effective), had he escaped without relinquishing the lead, Grady Little might have been commended for going with his "horse".
The point of that whole diatribe is not to revisit 2003, but to point out that judging something in hindsight is always easy. If things work out, you're a genius. If not, everyone knew all along that was the wrong thing to do. I'm reading lots of articles, mailbag questions, postings, blogs, etc. from fellow Red Sox fans about why Boston didn't give up prospects for a big trade.
I, for one, want to communicate to Theo my appreciation, as a lifelong Sox fan, for sticking to his guns and taking a long-term view. I also want to express this appreciation now, rather than see how it works down the road. Could you pass this along to Theo?
P.S. Useless Red Sox claim to fame, went to bat day at Fenway in 1966, still have the bat. Helped Bill White, my brother-in-law, coach Trot Nixon in basketball in the 7th grade in Wilmington.
Chris Moore, Raleigh, NC
A: Chris, You make your argument in a compelling fashion. But I think what troubles many Sox fans is not that the Sox held onto their best prospects, but that the Yankees were able to upgrade without sacrificing their top young talent. So, the question goes unanswered: Did the Sox pass on Abreu/Lidle because they didnt want to spend the money, or were there other issues at hand?
Will you please ask Jerry Remy stop his prattling about his personal life and concentrate on the game? His chatter is getting very annoying.
A: Lou, when pitchers are throwing 25 pitches an inning, and games are dragging on for close to four hours, you really dont expect Rem to stay on point the whole game, do you? Given his cult status in New England, I suspect yours is a minority view, and that many viewers like to hear Rems shtick, too. Otherwise, do you really think Wally the Monster would have kept his front-row seat in the NESN booth?
Gord, how do you feel now about the trade for Willy Mo Pena we made back in spring training? I know for a while everyone thought this was ugly just because of the way that Bronson was pitching and how much we could have used him but after the last two weeks you've got to start thinking that this was a great trade for us, present and future. He made me WANT to trade Nixon at the deadline. He is also young, has tremendous upside and can learn how to hit, not just swing with Manny and Ortiz. Do you see Theo not even giving Nixon a contract offer in the offseason and just handing right field to Willy Mo?
Jeffrey Epp, Wethersfield, Conn.
A: Jeffrey, its pretty easy to get caught up in Wily Mo worship these days. I always thought Sheffield hit a ball harder than anyone Ive ever seen, but Wily Mo may have forced me to revise that opinion. If he learns plate discipline, and it has certainly helped him to be around Ortiz and Manny, he could be a powerful force in the future. Bronson Arroyo was never going to be anyones 20-game winner, but despite his epic struggles of lateno one in 100 years, according to my friend Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, has won 9 games, then went 10 starts (and counting) before he won his 10thI'm sure the Reds are still glad they got him. This could be one of those deals that ends up helping both teams.
You are usually spot on but I think you blew it on your answer about waivers.
To Jeremy Sutka.
From an mlb.com article: "Multiple teams can claim a player who has been placed on waivers. If two teams were to claim a specific player, the lower-ranking team according to winning percentage (whether it be an American or National League team), is given rights to that player for 48 hours."
Steve Robbins, Riverdale
A: Steve, I have finally cleared up the mystery of the waiver rules, with the help of the Red Sox. When a player is placed on irrevocable waivers, the team that claimed him with the lowest winning percentage, regardless of league affiliation, has the right to that player. However, during this waiver period, when a player is placed on what are called Major league waivers and teams can pull back a player off waivers, an American League team would have priority over a National League team for a Red Sox player or other player in the league, while a National League team would have priority for a Cardinals player or another National League team. I hope this settles it.