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Ask Nick: Is it time for Red Sox to sell?

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 24, 2012 01:32 PM

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There are two main factors that determine the success of a manager -- where a team is in the standings and the atmosphere in the clubhouse. Based on the latter, when is the front office going to make the switch to Gene Lamont?
Kurt, Bristol, Penn.
I think the 23 injured players, more than any team in baseball, this year is a factor too. I donít sense any horrible clubhouse other than the fact that losing takes its toll and I think it needs some tweaking with chemistry, which was never addressed from late last season except that Kevin Youkilis was shipped out. Itís always tough to do when you have big contracts that are hard to move. I donít think Gene Lamont, Dale Sveum or Terry Francona would have cracked the problem. But the manager usually takes the fall.

Why aren't the Sox doing surgery on Carl Crawford now rather than taking a chance on further or more serious injury by playing him?
Gary, San Antonio, Jalisco, Mexico

Well, I think first of all, theyíre trying to win this year and believe with the second wild card available, if they ever got hot, theyíd be able to capture it. Secondly, the player wants to keep playing. Surgery is up to him, nobody else. Itís obvious heís having problems throwing, but as long as he wants to play heís going to play.

Will the Sox consider trading Mike Aviles to a team needing help at shortstop or utility to make room for Jose Iglesias? Iglesias' glove would help the Sox pitching, which would also be a confidence boost for the pitchers. And while he may be inferior to Aviles with the bat, it is only a strong April that makes Aviles' numbers look strong.
Jeff, Mechanicsburg, Penn.

Well, thatís interesting. I suppose at some point heíll come up and if Avilesí turf toe doesnít improve, you may see it. I think with Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero coming up, Iglesias himself may even be trade bait during this trading period.

With someone like Daniel Nava, whose batting right vs. batting left numbers are so far apart, it seems to me sticking to hitting from the same side for righties and lefties makes more sense than continuing to try and switch hit.
Rich, Tallahassee, Fla.

Thatís always discussed, even with a guy like Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But the advantage is itís still better to have a switch hitter because it creates havoc with opposing pitching moves. Itís rare to find a Carlos Beltran or Chipper Jones who is good from both sides of the plate. They spend years becoming switch hitters, and to ask them to just hit from one side after all the work they do is pretty tough. Most of the time they donít play when a lefthander is pitching anyway.

How is Hanley Ramirez going to do anything for this team situation with the Sox? Seems to me that with Valentine at the helm you need dirt doggers who want to play their manager's style of baseball, a good bullpen (check), and better than average starting pitching (vacant). So unless we add many parts to this trade and not give up young prospects for Hanley, I dont see how this does anything but possibly add another guy who may not listen to anyone but his ego.
Douglas, Texas
I agree with your assessment. I think you have to fit the style of managing with the player just as you do in football. When Pete Carroll came into New England for instance, he had Bill Parcellsí players and it didnít work. Same is true in baseball. The type of players you're referring to are exactly what Valentine needs. As for Hanley, Iíve never been impressed with his attitude, but heís one of their guys and there was a lot of reluctance to deal him when they did.

Is it possible that Lester's cancer is back and he isn't saying anything? This would be one issue that may be wrong with Lester.
Bob, Keene, NH
Oh God, wouldnít touch that one. I sure hope not.

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