Well those thinking that Theo Epstein will correct his hot stove of failure, better think again. It seems if the Sox are to hang around in the playoff race some move will be needed, but don’t count on it. Other than 2004, Epstein has done very little to improve the cocktail he made over the winter. One thing is for sure, between David Ortiz and Julio Lugo and a few unnamed starting pitchers….Theo has a helluva mess on his hands.
Here is a look back at some of Theo’s mid-season improvements….
2003- Despite playing from behind the Yanks all year, Theo goes out and trades promising prospect Freddy Sanchez to the Pirates for Jeff Suppan and Scott Williamson. Neither pan out, and Suppan is left off the playoff roster. Sox lose to the Yanks in 7 in the ALCS.
2004- Theo makes at the time highly critical moves…including trading off Boston legend and icon NOMAH…the moves pay off…especially one to get a speedster named Dave Roberts….
2005- Again the Sox needed pitching help…help in the bullpen…what does Theo do…he brings in Tony Graffinino….Graffinino ala Bill Buckner will be remembered only for a ground ball through his legs that would have ended an inning in the ALDS vs the White Sox…
2006- Sox have the best record at the All-Star break…but all the numbers point to disaster ahead….Sox pitching is a wreck…and the bottom half of the line up is dog chow….Theo stands pat while the Yanks go get Cory Lidle and Bobby Abreu…Theo makes a few waiver deals for a washed up Javy Lopez and Jason Jennings…neither pans out…and the Sox season ends in the epic five game sweep at the hands of the Yanks…forever known as the Boston Massacre Two……
2007- Okay this is the one time Theo should stand pat…instead he trades promising young OF David Murphy and pitcher Kason Gabbord who was 5-1 at the time….in return Theo gets Eric Gagne….all Gagne does is blow about six or seven games…single handedly putting the Yanks back in the AL East race…..Gagne only sees mop up duty in the playoffs….Sox win the world series…despite Theo’s best efforts….
2008- None of Theo’s early season kids pan out and the Sox have to make a deal for Paul Byrd off all people….Theo also lets an unhappy Manny walk away…thus ending any real chance the Sox had at repeating as World Champs…..silver lining though….Sox unload well hyped by crappy overall pitcher Craig Hansen and in return Jason Bay arrives……
Well Red Sox Nation, we could have seen this site grace Fenway Park a few more times this season. However, Theo Epstein, has no interest in reuniting with the curly haired wonder. Pedro Martinez and his agent let it be know to the media a few weeks ago they would be open to coming back to Beantown, and they would have done so at a discounted rate, most likely a million buxs or so.
It is interesting the flyers that Theo has taken on some pitchers and players, but bringing back one of the greatest pitchers in Boston and baseball history, he had no interest in. For what they will paying Mark Kotsay to not be playing, the Sox could have gotten a great pitcher on the cheap. The Sox in Theo’s tenure have made some interesting and horrific choices on one and two year players. Matt Clement, David Wells, Wade Miller, Rudy Seanez, and more recently Bartolo Colon and Brad Penny. So showing no interest in a player that was such a part of building Red Sox Nation to what it is today is a bad move, one would need charts and graphs to explain.
Sure Pedro has not been Pedro, sure his stuff is not as great as it once was, however…it’s still electric. If you have been following the WBC you will know what I’m talking about. Pedro may not be a starter anymore, but he has the stuff that can dominate a line-up at least one time thru. He has the make up and dynamic to be a late inning pitcher, and he always wants the ball. There is not doubt he would have complimented Jonathan Papelbon and John Smoltz at the end of that late-inning bullpen combo. Lets face facts, the Sox are not going to out slug anyone in 2009. If they are going to win, it will have to be with tremendous frontline pitching, and a lights-out bullpen. Someone like Pedro would have been a great fit with a bullpen that already looks great.
All I can say is don’t believe the hype about how great and deep the Sox pitching is. We have all heard this type of propaganda from Yawkey Way before. You can never have enough starting pitching and bullpen arms. Once again this is just a case of Theo being Theo, and the Yale grad has outsmarted himself. I did agree with Theo’s decision to not bring back Pedro 4 years ago, I think history has vindicated that move. However alot of Red Sox wrongs could have been righted by bringing back one of Beantown’s favorite sons home to finish his storied career the right way.
Well a day has passed since the Red Sox were publicly humiliated by their chief rival. In the light of day this move looks just that much more genius. All along I wondered why the Yankees would spend any money on Manny, and take that gamble, when they could up the ante and get the best position player available. By getting Teixiera, the Yanks have left the shelves empty for the Red Sox. They know that the Sox cannot and will not re-aquire Man-Ram.
Last night, and today it seems spin control is starting to leak out of Yawkey Way. The Sox seem to think they have been played by Boras and the Yankees. Funny, I think I have heard all of this before, and so have the Sox. Make no mistake about it, the Sox clearly handled this wrong, Boras or not. They knew he was the best player out there, and most the likely the best player for years to come. The Sox did what they always do, make a half *** attempt at doing what was needed.
Of course, more spin control, the Sox say they are still a balanced team, and this move was not needed, it was a luxury. Really, you guys flew to Texas, offered 170 millions, spurned your World Series MVP 3rd baseman for a luxury move. If your keeping score this off-season, the Yankees have won in a walk, something we better get used to, as the will have the AL East wrapped up sometime in June. The Sox meanwhile seem to be back to where they started from, a weak sister, a second city team, that will be competing for the scraps.
Well lets talk about about that “balance” the Sox have. Currently, the Sox have no bench players for the outfield or infield signed. They have no everyday catcher signed. Thier #4 starter is the ancient one Tim Wakefield, whom matches up nice with the current #4 Yankee starter, Joba Chamberlain or Andy Pettite. As of right now, they have no #5 starter under contract, or not one with big league experience. The Sox have a 3rd baseman another year older, recovering from major hip surgery. They also have a DH whose skill set is dimishing almost as fast as his waist line is expanding. The Sox also have a right-fielder who gets paid like a superstar, but performs like an american idol reject. Also as I gaze upon the calender I see that it’s december 24, just under two months until pitchers and catchers report.
I guess at the end of the day, the Sox had a nice run. They won a few championships, something I never thought I would see. I guess it’s time for us to put away those high standards we had come to expect from the Olde Towne Team. Back to the future I guess, where the Sox miss out and the Yankees spend money like they are printing it. A world where the Sox are foiled like Charlie Brown, trying to kick the football. The good new is, looks like the bandwagon will be a little lighter this year. I guess it could be worse, I could be a Yankees fan this christmas, although that does not sound so bad right about now.
Well in the end, the Boston Red Sox management team were who we though they were. A bunch of gutless, spineless idiots, that give idiots everywhere a bad name. The Red Sox take the words penny wise and pound foolish to new levels, and of course the New York Yankees are right there to make the Sox pay for thier mistakes. Before you blame the Yankees, don’t, they can’t help themselves, they are like a fat kid in a candy store.
I worried last week that Sox were leaving the door wide open after the meeting with Boras went south. I worried even more when John Henry sent the press an email, basically spitting in Scott Boras’s face. For a guy the Sox spent all off-season going after, this all seems poorly played, and worse yet he lands within the divsion to the Sox most hated rival. If this all seems like deja-vu, thats because it is, this has become an off-season right of passage for Red Sox Nation. The list of the Yankees off seasons coups is almost long as the Red Sox off seasons failures.
As a fan of the Red Sox, I have to question what the Sox were thinking. To devote this kind of time to a deal, and let it all slip away to chief rival defies all logic and reason. The Sox will blather about this and that, however they have almost as many resources as the Yankees do to deploy. This is such a crushing blow and complete failure by the front office, there are just no words that can be used to describe it. And even if the gutless Red Sox brass that is Theo, Larry and John Henry wanted to respond, there is no move equal to losing Texiera. The worst part is, it basically came to pennies for the Sox to get this deal done for a player they so highly coveted. In the end, the difference was only about 500k a year. Not much, especially for a team that will pay somebody at some point to take Julio Lugo off thier hands.
There are some that say that they trust this Sox brass, and they have delivered two World Championships in four seasons. I say not so fast, on his merits, Theo has not delivered jack ****. Theo’s tenure has been a collaborative effort with former GM Dan Duquette. Players like Manny, Pedro, Nomar, Johnny Damon were all brought in under the former Red Sox regime. Sure Theo and co. augmented, but it is hard to argue they would not have won anything without Manny.
I’m sure the dust will settle, the Boston Globe will help spin this for the Red Sox and Theo and gang. However it will be said, the Red Sox did thier team and thier fanbase at huge dis-service today by not doing what was needed to be done. In the end, the difference is the Yankees are committed to winning, and the pursuit of winning World Championships, and the Red Sox just say they are, and whine about the rest.
I guess I spoke to soon……
Sports Illustrated.com and ESPN’s Peter Gammons are both reporting that the New York Yankees are on the verge of signing first baseman Mark Teixeira to an eight-year, $180 million contract.
More to come . . .
Three years ago…I took pen to paper..paper to computer..and Red Sox Nation Daily was born…Here is that first blog ever written…Let’s hope that history does not repeat itself this week with the Yanks and a certain first baseman…
Where have you gone Johnny Damon ? Red Sox’s fans turn their lonely eyes to you. It seems though the place we will have to turn them to is espn news or Fox sports, where we will find Johnny Damon being introduced as the newest trophy in the Yankees trophy collection of on the field future Hall of Famers. How could it have come to this so quickly, it seemed like yesterday that Johnny D. was pledging his loyalty to the team and city of Boston. Now it seems that you have proclaimed that the Yankees are your new team, and that “we” will be hard to beat, and you are just trying to help “them” win a world championship. As ususal in these kind of dramatic soap opera’s there is the basic posturing by both sides that they did everything possible to prevent this from happening, and how the Sox really wanted to keep Johnny and how Johnny really wanted to stay. However it seems that it will be the loyal fans of the Olde Town Team that will have yet another red letter, December 23, 2005.
There have been some epic battles fought between the Sox’s and the Yanks in their storied history, on and off the field. For the sheer theatrics of it I can not think of any worse and more morale reckoning site than that of Johnny Damon doning the 18# in its new style and color, pinstripes, doing so freshly shaven sans the beard and the long hair. The site of this will forever replace some other painful memories, say a long fly ball hit by Aaron “bleeping” Boone, sending the Soxs into that chilly October night, or a little roller that gets thru Buckner’s leg on some other October night. What more can any Sox’s fan ask for 2 days before Christmas.
Yankees have $26.9M luxury tax, Tigers hit, too
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 –
NEW YORK — The New York Yankees not only failed to make the playoffs, they were hit with their highest luxury tax in three years.
The Yankees were assessed a $26.9 million tax by the commissioner’s office on Monday, up from $23.9 million last year and their biggest bill since paying nearly $34 million for 2005.
The Detroit Tigers, who also failed to qualify for the postseason, are the only other team that must pay tax and owe $1.3 million to the commissioner’s office.
Checks are due by Jan. 31.