Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Pedroia Mistake

Nothing’s changed. When the Sox make a mistake signing a player, I still feel that it’s not my money. They’re free to pay anybody they want whatever they want. The only reason I care what they spend on a player is if they then tell me they can’t get another player because of it. So, if they want to throw money away on Pedroia, that’s fine. Just don’t tell me in a few months you couldn’t afford to keep Ellsbury. Or couldn’t afford to trade for Cliff Lee. At that point, I’ll have an issue with overpaying for Pedroia.

And, clearly, they overpaid. Maybe not on a yearly basis. But, there is no way on earth they should have given a player like Pedroia eight years. For a 30-year old second baseman. That’s just insane.

If this was a regular second baseman, it would still be a bad deal. But, when you look at Pedroia’s history it becomes a blunder of epic proportions. Remember this was a guy who was so selfishly concerned about his image, that he wouldn’t follow doctor’s orders when they told him to stay off a broken foot. He missed half a season because of it. Way back in A-ball, the same thing. Missed eight games after a HBP. Came back too soon, and missed fourteen more. This is a chronic problem. This is a guy who throws his body all over the field with no concern of what could happen. He doesn’t know how to take it easy to avoid injury, no matter the situation. And you just guaranteed to pay him for eight more years?

That’s not even considering the erosion of his skills. When the Sox signed Crawford, the only downside that people pointed out right away was that his game was based so much on speed. When that’s the case, and you age, that half a step you lose becomes the difference between being great and merely average. Same thing with Pedroia. His entire game is based on maximum effort. His entire contribution is that he busts his butt down the line after a hit. What happens when he’s 35? What happens when giving it his all isn’t quite what it used to be? What happens when, at 36, he just can’t give it his all any more on every play? You’ll still have to pay him for two more years. With his style of play, he won’t have a steady decline. It will be a sharp drop off. And, it will happen about in the middle of this contract he just signed.

And, it’s not like he can be moved to save his body. He can’t play first or DH. His power numbers aren’t good enough now to fill those slots, let alone when he’s older. He’s going to be stuck at second base even after his range becomes practically Jeterian.

We can’t count on him taking it easy to save his body either. This isn’t like a regular player who you can give days off to during a season. He’ll stubbornly protect that image at all costs. So, he’ll be playing full seasons until he simply falls apart.

Is Pedroia the best option at second base for the Sox this year? Yes. Next year? Most likely. Five years from now? I doubt it. Eight years from now? It would be a miracle. But, that’s where he’ll be.


Creaky knees and all. 

3 comments:

  1. Holy cow! That's a pretty thorough ripping on a guy for hustling! I agree, why give such a long contract to a guy who always gives maximum effort? In fact, more should be done to promote medium effort. Like a new scholarship program for students who get C's!

    I always thought he was just trying hard and being there for his teammates but apparently it's just an image thing. The laser show is really just a show. I figured that maybe the wisdom of when to avoid injury may come in his thirties but it's now clear to me that I shouldn't hold my breath. I assumed that his work ethic and great hand-eye coordination would provide him the ability to hit for average late into his career but that now seems silly. After all, Pete Rose hustled all the time and nobody ever gave him such a long contract, did they?

    So, it does seem logical to blast a player after accepting $100M from his employer and not his employer, despite the consensus declaring it a fair deal for both. The Pedroia mistake indeed!

    I tease because it's fun. Thanks for the fresh perspective. I expect nothing less from S36!

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  2. I'm not ripping him for hustling. He can hustle as much or as little as he likes. I couldn't care less. I just don't want him rubbing his hustling in my face. I also think it makes him a terrible choice for a long-term contract.

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  3. I totally agree. I feel like when he's good he's good but on the whole has declined since we signed him. Also, the BS with him not rehabbing and oh, look where that's gotten him this season ... back on the DL. He thinks hes being brave playing hurt but is hurting the team and himself in the long term.

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