Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ellsbury, Youkilis, and Some Randomness

Kevin Youkilis went on the DL yesterday. Really, there has to be some sort of rule against that, right? Once a team loses 5 or 6 all-stars to the DL in one season, they should be able to select a player from another team to fill his spot. Like an expansion draft. Start with the teams in the basement, and start going up until you find a good player. But, really, has any team ever dealt with this kind of talent being lost in a year? Check out this all-DL team for the 2010 Red Sox.

Pitchers: Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Manny Delcarmen (yeah, I know)
Catcher: Jason Varitek
First Base: Kevin Youkilis
Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
Third Base: Mike Lowell
Shortstop: Wait…nobody? If I were Marco Scutaro, I’d watch out
Outfield: Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, Jeremy Hermida
DH: Victor Martinez

Let’s see, that’s eight former all-stars and a former MVP? Any other team able to match that? It’s even worse to think that they’ve practically all overlapped. In fact, other than Youk, I think there may have been a point where everyone else was on the DL at the same time. Yikes!

I finally figured out the Ellsbury hubbub. I finally realized why he’s been slammed constantly in the paper and on the radio for healing. Theo wants to trade him. That’s basically Theo’s MO when he wants to trade a popular and talented player. Get the media to say he’s soft and doesn’t want to play. Nomar? You can’t trade him. He’s a Boston icon. So, the media went to work saying he actually threatened not to play. The team owned TV station was sure to zoom in on him every time he was on the bench when the Sox were losing. Therefore, it was easier to trade him. Manny? Same thing. He was too talented to trade. (Even John Henry thought so.) So, you have to slander him first. Start leaking every time there’s a minor incident. Have the team owned TV station zoom in on the dugout during a scuffle. Have the radio stations claim that he, too, threatened not to play. That made it easier to trade him. So, now we have Ellsbury. He’s talented, and a fan favorite. (Remember the uproar over including him in a Santana deal?) So, Theo got to work. Get the radio stations to say he’s soft, and taking too long to play. Have the team owned TV station show him in the dugout as the Sox are losing a game he’s not playing it. It’s like they have the script printed and ready whenever Theo wants to do something stupid.

The difference this time? Two things really. First, a lot of Jacoby’s fans are women who think he’s cute. They don’t care if he plays hard, or not. (And, no, not all his women fans are only fans because he’s cute) So, the usual slander won’t work. Second? Unlike the other two moves, trading Ellsbury makes sense. How’s this for an off-season? Call San Diego. Give them the Ellsbury and Buchholz package they wanted for Adrian Gonzalez. (Obviously, try to get them to take Casey Kelly or Daisuke Matsuzaka instead of Clay. Seriously…Dice-K in Petco could work.) Let Victor Martinez and Beltre walk. They’ll want more money than Theo will want to give. Sign Ortiz to a contract just like he has now. Use the money they saved not paying Beltre, Lowell, and Martinez to make the hard push for Carl Crawford. Not just hard. Blow him away. Can’t refuse, kind of offer. Then sit back with this line-up:

Pedroia
Crawford
Youkilis
Ortiz
Gonzalez
Drew
Cameron
Scutaro
Saltalamacchia

And a rotation of:

Beckett
Lester
Lackey
Matsuzaka
Wakefield

Not a bad idea, if you ask me. See? Theo doesn’t need to slander players.

He just needs to make sense when he trades them away.

4 comments:

  1. I think Ellsbury ruffled a lot of feathers by dictating his rehab routine and accusing the team of lying to him about his diagnosis. Tough to spin that. Cameron gritted his way through multiple injuries this season, Pedroia was taking ground balls on his knees and everyone else who was injured was with the team. Ellsbury alienated himself from the team by heading out to Arizona for rehab instead of doing it with the team. You can't spin the team giving him the cold shoulder when he first returned to the clubhouse. Who is he to dictate how his rehab goes? None of the other injuries players attempted to do that. Also, if he returns to Pawtucket and is immediately driving the ball all over the place then his rehab most likely went on for too long.

    It's obvious that you can't stand Theo because he traded away a couple of your favorite players, but check out what those players have done after leaving the Sox: Not much at all. The only player to keep performing at a high level for multiple seasons after leaving the Sox is Johnny Damon. Nomar was already breaking down, Pedro wore down and now Manny is falling apart as the steroids and fertility drugs leave his system. It's smart baseball. Also, look at some pf the players that the Red Sox have obtained with the picks gained when popular players were allowed to leave. Ellsbury himself was drafted with the pick the Sox got when Orlando Cabrera signed with the Angels. That's another move that tons of fans ranted about, but I'd much rather have Jacoby Ellsbury than Orlando Cabrera any day of the week.

    Theo has done an amazing job restocking Boston's minor league system. I was sick of our top prospects being guys like Bob Zupcic, Ken Morton and Ken Ryan. Theo has done a great job of letting popular players go at the right time very similarly to how Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli ran things with the Patriots. You can ignore the sulking in the bench, the constant late arrivals to Spring Training, assaulting of elderly members of the team's staff and other legit reasons that players wore out their welcome with the team and put all of the blame on Theo if you'd like, but that's far from the truth. Theo's far from perfect, but he's done a lot more right than wrong since taking over as GM of the Sox.

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  2. There actually is a rule (rule 29) regarding the "death, dismemberment or permanent disability from playing professional baseball" of 5-6 players depending on the moment in the season. After a mourning period and debate as to whether the team should go on, there is a restocking draft if they do go forward, which is basically an expansion draft. Weird stuff.

    Luckily the Red Sox aren't thaaaaat bad yet.

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  3. Trust me, I feel your pain.

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  4. Pedroia took ground balls on his knees until the doctors told him to stop because pushing the way he was was hurting the healing process.

    Why does traveling around with the team help a rehab? Wouldn't working on being healthey be more important than checking in and out of hotels?

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