Red Sox, Francona, Epstein Links: Saturday

The Red Sox and manager Terry Francona parted ways following Boston's September collapse yesterday, ending an eight-year run together. Soon after, we learned that White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was pushing for Francona (after Ozzie Guillen's departure), and that the Red Sox will conduct a thorough search for their next skipper. Let's keep track of the latest regarding the Sox, Francona, and GM Theo Epstein right here throughout the day, with the latest up top…

  • Epstein is interested in becoming the Cubs GM, tweets Peter Gammons, and it remains to be seen whether Red Sox owner John Henry can perhaps convince Esptein to stay in Boston as co-CEO and promote assistant GM Ben Cherington. Ben Nicholson-Smith recently interviewed Cherington as part of MLBTR's GM Candidates series, so be sure to check that out to learn more about him. 
  • After speaking to a few people familiar with the Nationals' thinking, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post doesn't think the Nats will pursue Francona.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link) has spoken to many executives over the last two days who believe Epstein will be granted permission to interview for the Cubs' GM opening, and that he'll end up in Chicago. No one in the Red Sox organization has given a definitive "no" when discussing Epstein to the Cubs, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe notes.
  • The White Sox continue to focus on their original short list for managerial candidates, even with Francona now available, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle hears that the Red Sox have interest in Mariners manager Eric Wedge, but there is no indication that the Mariners would be willing to let him go (Twitter link).
  • Bobby Valentine has support in at least "one important corner" of the Red Sox front office according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter), and he will presumably be brought in for an interview.
  • In another tweet, Olney reminds us that Epstein is the x-factor because he may not be with the team next month as the Cubs GM job continues to loom.
  •'s Alex Speier looked at everything we learned from the Francona situation and the fallout of Boston's collapse in a must-read piece for Red Sox fans.
  • The Boston Globe listed five potential candidates for the Sox's now vacant managerial job.

170 Responses to Red Sox, Francona, Epstein Links: Saturday Leave a Reply

  1. lug 4 years ago

    Gotta ask cause I do not read up on it.  Is there a feeling that Theo Epstein is overrated?  I mean he has an outstanding budget which propels him to an advantage in almost any situation.  When his starters were struggling not only from injuries but late fatigue there was nothing in the well.  Am I creating something that is not true?  I think half the people on this board can put together that team given that budget.  People please help me understand.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      The people who claim he is overrated because of the money he gets to play with would have more of a point if it weren’t for the fact that most of the core, impact players were either drafted and developed by the Sox, or were traded for.  Rather than re-writing all of it I’m just going to steal a post that notsureifsrs wrote that makes it pretty clear what I’m saying (hope he doesn’t mind):

      “without (meaningful contributions from) the big free agents they signed, (~$65M worth between lackey, crawford, drew, cameron, jenks), they were still able to field a team that, while playing in the AL East, was the best in baseball for months and, if not for an improbable turn of events in september, would have made a run in the playoffs

      that’s a ~$95M payroll. not peanuts, but it’s rangers & tigers territory – less than the cards, phils, and yanks. not much more than the brewers. the rays and dbacks are the only ones fielding playoff teams with much less

      again, there’s no way around the fact that all of those free agents were signed and did contribute practically nothing in 2011. a couple of those contracts are really bad. those are failures and epstein has had big ticket failures before. that matters and you have to hold it against him

      but all of you are already doing that constantly, and you’re doing it without
      appreciating the foundation built beneath all of it that actually did all of the heavy lifting this year. it’s drafted talent, much of which is signed to great extensions. and much of the rest of it was traded for using drafted talent”

      The payroll certainly helps him be able to overcome making those free agent mistake, but the very areas he makes those mistakes in would be the areas that having the bigger payroll should help him have an advantage in.  The areas he is best in are the areas that payroll doesn’t give him that much of an advantage.

      • MBaseball 4 years ago

        You do realize that the core impact players developed by them are 3 out of their starting 9, right? that’s 33.33%, and nope, those acquired via trade don’t count as ‘an achievement’ by Theo, the trick of including them is to say “our GM is a genius because he got Adrián and Varitek and Saltalamachia and…”, but as a matter of fact he was unable to develop a good 3B/1B to take over either base once Lowell was on his way out, so they had to sign Beltré, and then trade a crop of sub-par minor leaguers for Adrián, they didn’t have a good enough OF to take over LF so they had to sign Cameron, and then Crawford to fill Cameron’s place, they didn’t develop a good enough catcher to take over Varitek and they had to trade for Saltalamacchia, it would be like saying that Cashman is a genius because he traded for Swisher, Granderson and Alex Rodríguez:

        Internally developed players:

        C Saltalamachia/Varitek —> Trade/Trade
        1B Adrián —> Trade
        2B Pedroia —> Draft
        3B Youkilis —> Draft
        SS Scutaro —> Free Agency
        LF Crawford —> Free Agency
        CF Ellsbury —> Draft
        RF Drew —> Free Agency
        DH Ortíz —> Free Agency

        3 out of 10 if we include Varitek


        C Martin/Cervelli —> Free Agency/Amateur signing
        1B Teixeira —> Free Agency
        2B Canó —> Amateur signing
        3B Rodríguez —> Trade (and later through free agency)
        SS Jeter —> Draft
        LF Gardner —> Draft
        CF Granderson —> Trade
        RF Swisher —> Trade
        DH Posada —> Amateur signing

        There’s 4 in the everyday lineup, 5 when Cervelli catches.

        Sure, we could include Reddick and Lowrie instead of Drew/Scutaro to increase the Sox’s homegrown players, but the Yankees also have Núñez and Peña, who was with the team even if the NYY have little or no use for him, and yeah, we could include pitchers to try and pad it a bit, but let’s face it, they just contribute once a week.

        The Phillies had in their everyday lineup 4 homegrown players in: Ruíz, Howard, Utley and Rollins.

        Tampa: Upton, Longoria and Brignac, and sometimes Jaso.

        Rangers: Kinsler and Moreland.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          I was going to say that you missed the point, but after reading some of the other things you have posted I’m quite sure you have intentionally ignored the point (as well as ignoring the entire pitching staff).  The point is that the money that Theo gets to spend isn’t even what made this team successful so to say that he only good because of that money is plain wrong.  The guys that contributed the most to this team were guys who were drafted and developed, or were traded for, not simply “purchased” as free agents.

  2. aprodigalreturn 4 years ago

    What about considering Varitek for Manager? Just sayin…

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I like that idea in 5-10 years. I think the guy could be a good manager in the future, but I’d rather him start as a minor league manager and go from there.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        i have not enjoyed the things i’ve heard about varitek recently. significant personality changes

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Wait. Really?  What kind of things have you heard?  I generally try not to read “regular” sports writers, so I don’t hear a lot of this stuff.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i have a policy against reading them. but this francona fiasco has lead to a little bit of research

            much of tito’s reason for wanting to leave was based on what he politely described as his inability to reach “players he used to be able to reach” – guys with the “sense of entitlement” thing going on. that’s pretty transparent, so it just becomes a question of which guys he’s talking about

            it’s been reported more than a few times this season that there was a ‘clique’ of sorts in the clubhouse that included varitek and a few others. pair that with these articles about varitek this season:

            link to

            link to

            and i think we have our man. i don’t begrudge the guy the right to live how he wants – good for him if he’s happy. but by his own descriptions he’s moved far away from the traits that made him the man, that made him so admirable and such a fit for the role as a coach/manager imo

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            There are things in those two articles that make me wonder a little, but the only thing I saw that I think would have been a problem was where it talked about him spending time on the beach instead of preparing like he used to, that would definitely be an issue with me, but the personality changes don’t really seem like they would inherently be bad.  I also didn’t know he was part of the clubhouse clique.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            beckett lester lackey (wtf) wake and varitek is what it seems to be. shame if true, but i think it’s a mountain-from-a-molehill situation overall

            but i’m definitely concerned about a guy as a managerial candidate who was prone to that kind of thing. and like i said, he’s welcome to relax a bit or whatever, but it was the grind-grind-grind thing that made him who he is, that made him so popular. losing that matters imo

            do you remember crawford’s mysterious “go ask the captain” comment? makes a little more sense to me now

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Holy crap, I forgot about that comment.  Definitely puts that into a new perspective.

            Yeah, I know what you’re saying about Varitek.  I’m not as sold on him as a future manager (or really even part of the coaching staff) as I was.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Interesting there and Thanks.. Wonder (on one hand) how close to “25 cabs for 25 players” this team was getting under francona, like it was under Zimmer when he let it go under Rice as the team Cappo, who refused to take the duty seriously and put the team 1st.

            Why not just retire team Captain title anyway? If what you suggest (and it makes sense) the onlyteam captain the Sox have ever had who actually performed the duty 1/2 way for the positive outlook of the team was Yaz anyway.

            If Tek was going against what was best for the team, especially early on in the summer.. It was up to Francona to intercede regardless and seeing how tek was producing nil all all season, after he was warned (or should have been) a Mike Cameron type release should have been performed if he ceased that attitude.

            Then..This guy has been one of Francona’s “pets” since 2004 and it would not have ever happened, much like (for example) pedroia had 2 horrible seasons and rightly deserved releasing, or Ortiz etc…

            This is (IMO) why Francona was shown the door.. he could not run a ‘company” or staff, letting the chickens run the hen house and it cost his company millions.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “If Tek was going against what was best for the team, especially early on in the summer.. It was up to Francona to intercede”

            this is basically what terry said without naming names. he said it was his responsibility to get through to these guys and he felt like he had lost some of that ability, that the team needed a new voice

            i don’t think tito was necessarily shown the door. he indicated that he wasn’t sure how much support he had with ownership, but theo was very openly lobbying to make sure he stayed. but from tito’s perspective, it probably was going to take strong backing from the front office to make him want to stick around and deal with the clubhouse problems he described

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I wonder though if it was Varitek why wouldn’t Tito have stayed (there is a good chance Tek is done with the sox at this point anyway).  I’m wondering if some of the other guys you mentioned were a big part of the problem too, guys like Lester and Backett who are part of the core of the team and are going to be around a while.  If that’s the case and Lester and Beckett were a big problem that doesn’t really bode well for the future of this team I wouldn’t think.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i definitely don’t think it was a one-player issue and i suspect varitek was not a big factor. but he was, prior to this year, the guy who lead by example to say the least. i think wakefield was part of it too, especially re: the entitlement issue

            did you see the press conferences? one of the big drama issues revealed was that a few of the starters were drinking beer in the clubhouse on off days. doesn’t scream emergency to me, but it seems symbolic of the larger issue francona was concerned with. i suspect it was the beckett/lester/lackey/wakefield group involved, and i suspect there was frustration that nobody (like varitek) was helping to keep things in line

            lots of things we’ll never know. all i’m saying is my view of varitek has changed quite a bit, and maybe of beckett and lester too. but we’ll see

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Beckett and Wake came to mind here as well as possible issues, along with tek after notsureifrs mentioned him. Also all along have thought that Papelbon could have been some kind of problem at times.

            the one thing that could come out of this is several they can let go if they so choose, as Maine mentioned, Wake and Tek have probably played the last game with Boston, Tek for sure and Wake if Epstein (or whoever if he leaves) os not go out and acquire any extra pitching depth, then i do not even see him getting a ST invite.

            One other issue and has had me thinking since the entire story broke is how much Youk worked with the players disrupting the team chemistry, or if his being hurt much of the year may have hurt his ability to help rein in some of the problems.

          • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

            I didn’t take that away from those articles at all.  Tek has always been admired by his teammates for his work ethic. I think the poisonous atmosphere in the clubhouse is due to Lackey and Beckett. Beckett has been vocal in his support for and admiration of Lackey, and I think Lackey has been a bad influence on him attitude-wise. Lowell was a good influence both on him and others there but he’s gone now. It’s known that Beckett flat-out refuses to work with certain catchers – I don’t know how that can possibly be a good thing. And he’s never been exactly a ‘nice’ guy – he’s always given me the impression of being an a-hole outside of the clubhouse.  I also think there has been a huge divide between the pitching staff and position players. All season it looked like the pitchers were just taking for granted that they had a power-hitting offense. As a position player I would be visibly frustrated at having to make up for an 8-run Lackey outing, and then have him turn and show me up for failing to make one catch, not taking any responsibility himself. Ortiz’s comments about starting Aceves are indicative of this divide. When you have one group shouldering the load for most of the season, conflicts are going to arise.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            lots more speculation that i’m comfortable making for sure. could be much ado about nothing, but it at least seems clear to me that things about varitek have changed. when i combine that with the knowledge that the clubhouse was a problem, i don’t feel confident that varitek becoming manager is an effective solution

          • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

            well, no, but I wasn’t replying to whether or not he’d make a good manager. (A good bench or pitching coach, maybe a minor league manager to start off, but certainly not a manager right off the bat. Who knows if he even wants that?) What I was replying to was the notion that he was somehow a clubhouse problem. And in that, I don’t see how your logic makes sense.  What you stated above are 2 different things: Tek being a clubhouse problem, and Tek unable to be a manager. Varitek (1 guy) is a more relaxed guy now + the clubhouse (any one of 25 guys) was a problem does not = Tek as the problem, OR him being unable to manage the team – sorry.  And if what you were trying to say was that Tek, as captain, should have been able to control the atmosphere in the clubhouse is simply absurd. He spends enough time babysitting the pitchers and wiping their noses, in between studying the other team, teaching Salty and Lavarnway, and lastly, batting practice – now you want him to make sure guys are being nice to eachother and not slacking off? That’s not his job.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            we know:

            – there were clubhouse problems

            – the source of the clubhouse problems were players tito used to have a good relationship with

            – varitek has changed a lot since last year

            – varitek was in the reported ‘clique’

            – at least one other player suggested a problem related to varitek

            it’s speculation only because the don’t have confirmation. it’s pretty clear he was part of the problem. how big of a deal that is depends on your perspective. it’s not a big deal to me outside of the context of managerial discussions

          • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

            we know:

            – there were clubhouse problems – ok, sure.

            – the source of the clubhouse problems were players tito used to have a good relationship with  –  who could be anyone who was in on the team prior to this year. Which is most of them. So I don’t know how this gets reduced to Varitek.

            – varitek has changed a lot since last year – in what way? because he’s engaged and happy? I don’t see this as being a bad thing. NESN reporters who sat next to the dugout during games said he was just as busy as he’d always been, going over things with Lavarnway and Salty before and during games.

            – varitek was in the reported ‘clique’ – what’s this 7th grade clique you’re talking about,and what’s your source for this?

            – at least one other player suggested a problem related to varitek – ok, you say at least, meaning “one or more”.  The only thing I can think of is Crawford with his “ask the captain” comment, but we don’t even know what the hell he meant by that. Maybe he was just being a dick to the media. Maybe Tek called Crawford out on something – we don’t know enough to say that there was a problem related to him.

            it’s pretty clear
            he was part of the problem.  – actually, it’s not, since none of the above has really been verified.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Sure it is some speculation and some of it is based on the fact varitek’s skills have slipped the -0-. *possibly he was trying to *help* run things in the club house to make up for the lack of skills he now possesses. More speculation which everyone mentioning any of this has admitted.

  3. Minorityfanbasewannabe 4 years ago

    Bobby Valentine would be my first choice. I really don’t want Wakamatsu. 

  4. EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

    I’d like Dave Martinez….or even Tony La Russa if he can bring Duncan over to be the pitching coach…that would be a major help…also an idea I’d like is Jim Hickey…but that is just me…

    • LaRussa would whip them into shape…. I hope he never leaves St. Louis Though.

      • I like the idea of Rick Burleson… Reno Aces Hitting Coach and has played ad coached for the Sox before and managed multiple championship teams in the minors. He is also a no BS type guy that the Sox need.

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Had forgotten all about “The Rooster” who was a fiery guy as a player, but wonder what experience he has since his playing days ended nearly 30 years ago?? This is the “type” that they need though, someone who wil be a vocal team leader, such as Burleson was in his playing days.

    • drabidea 4 years ago

      The first guy that came to mind to me was Ryan Sandberg

      • crashcameron 4 years ago

        sure, go and get him. meanwhile the new Cubs GM will go and get Ryne Sandberg

  5. Guest 4 years ago

    As a Yankee fan, I am way too bummed out about this whole Francona thing. The guy is the most successful manager in Red Sox history. Brings them 2 titles in the last 8 years and is one of the classiest guys in the game. It’s just a shame he departs under these defeated and deflated circumstances. Every part of me wants to walk into that Red Sox club house and point at the players and say; “you did this.” We Yankee fan’s experienced something similar with Torre a few years back, but I don’t know, something about it was different then what is playing out now with the Sox. There really weren’t any player issues like this.

    Yeah sure perhaps the change will be good in the club house, but it can’t feel great to be a Sox fan knowing that the real problem still needs to be addressed and those problems are all getting paid $15mm-$20mm per year. 

    I’d rather have seen the Sox management say “we screwed up giving you players that don’t fit on a line up card” “you’re our guy and we’ll fix it.” It wasn’t the pressure to win that did Francona under, it was the pressure to make something work putting the square peg in the circle. It’s that simple. 15 all-stars on that team and all but one (Pedroia) left their “all” at home and just brought their “star” to the park. 

    Proceed to trade Lackey anywhere for anything, trade Crawford with a little cash to the highest bidder. I’m serious about this and despite people saying its not possible, make it happen. Call up the Angels and whoever the new GM will be and get it done, regardless of cost. The guy will never be a Red Sox and Fenway plays to ZERO of his strengths. Plus if he is traded and the Sox pay salary, perhaps Crawford can get he head out from under that contract. Its pretty bad when the player making $20mm a year knows he is worth no where near that. Let’s face it, that’s basically what he told everyone this season. Re-sign Ellsbury, get two young (coachable) outfielders (the Sox really REALLY screwed up not going after Pence as that guy would have been a slam dunk gritty star for the Sox RF for years to come) forget Scutaro, just bring up Igelsis, let him hit .150 and have a young guy that can be coached and grow. Youk is a problem too. The guy has missed significant time every season for the last few years and the Sox should have had more foresight when slotting him into that line up this past season as one of the only righties. Bad move. There is no place to put him in the field going forward. Pass on Ortiz at this point, not because of his production, but if you’re going to give the same “new voice in the club house” with Francona, I think the same should apply for Ortiz. Trade for Dunn to slot in behind Gonzalez. I don’t believe Ortiz will be as good as he was this year going forward and I don’t think Dunn will be as bad going forward. Go after an experience catcher like Jose Molina, bring up Lavarnay full time as the back up, regardless of whether he is ready or not and move that guy Salty. He’s just useless and there is no argument there. Varitek and Wakefield are done. It’s over. The Papelbon situation is a really big issue for them. He is not worth 3 years and $45mm, no chance, but they don’t have any other option and may have to do that. They still have Beckett, Lester and Pedroia, the only three true Red Sox players left. They will be the voices of the clubhouse going forward. No Ortiz and no Youk. Make Pedroia the team spokesman going forward, shoot even make him the new captain. 

    I’m pretty tired of already reading the last few days that once Youk and Buchholz are healthy everything will be better. No, it won’t. That’s the same mentality that got them to where they are now and neither have shown they can be consistently productive. Buchholz has had only one productive season and as every baseball metric showed in 2010, it was pretty much an aberration.

    I’m open to argue these points, but if I was GM, I’d go into that club house like a tornado and do exactly what everyone says you shouldn’t do.

    • EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

      I could not agree more with you. This team needs to be gutted out. They need to take a real hard look in the mirror and make major change. Everybody should know by now the Pedroia is this teams leader make him captain already. When Tito said he couldn’t get through to players like he normally does I couldn’t help but think it was Youk, Ortiz, and possibly Papelbon. I’d say let Paps walk and go after Bell or Valverde even..It is sad Tito’s departure came like this and wherever he goes is damn lucky to have him in their organization. 

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Thanks. Far too many mayors in that club house. Pedroia was ambushed by management with a bunch of hyenas.  

        I agree, Bell is a much more attractive than Papelbon at this point. Papelbon can definitely pitch, no argument there, but he’s another voice and “nut case” mentality that Sox are better off without. 

        • EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

          I also think Bell’s personality is something that is needed in that clubhouse. The team when you looked in the dugout seemed to have no personality just sitting and watching and idk it didn’t seem like the Red Sox. If I had my way somehow the Sox would get Brian Wilson…however, realistically that is not happening..

          • Guest 4 years ago

            …and that was my problem in 2004, I couldn’t hate the Sox. It wasn’t even that heartbreaking for me considering the 2003 hangover lasted for years. Looking back, I can’t believe how much I liked that dysfunctional group of Sox in 2004. Weird. There is nothing, not one thing to like about this current Sox team accept for Terry Francona, oh wait, forget it…

          • soxfan13913 4 years ago

            I don’t think I saw the bullpen playing drums even once this season, now that I think about it.

          • MBaseball 4 years ago

            Every time the Red Sox were on national TV in hispanoamerica, they showed the bullpen playing drums, the “ESPN En Español” guys had the order to only cover the Red Sox bullpen/dugout every time they showed them (about 3 times per week out of their scheduled 6 games, the other 3 games were either the Yankees, the Phillies or the Mets).

      • bglaszcz 4 years ago

        Youk was just banged up, I don’t think he was the problem. Battling a sports hernia for 3 months I’m sure isn’t fun. I’d only sign Ortiz if it was for a 1 year deal and <7M, DH only players are being phased out, I wish the guy could play a shred of defense. Paps goes. Red Sox need to borrow a page out of the Rays book. Bring in a ton of guy and just let them have at it. Look at the closers this year, how many were consitantly good and would you be willing to give 10M+ and count on them doing that well again? Valverde? The guy was pretty lucky this year given his peripherals, and I'm not willing to bet that kind of money on a repeat. I say go into camp with the mentality that Bard will be closer, but make him earn it. Rarely do those high priced relievers work out, (I'm looking at you Jenks and Wheeler). 

        Everything aside, the Sox are in a tough position going into next year. Internal problems, depleted system, big bucks on the books for years to come, are just a few things that they're going to have to worry about. I hope they can figure this all out sooner than later, as I'm not ready to be a rebuilding team with a $125M+ payroll (Mets).  

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          I like Youk as a player — he’s one of the top players in the league when he’s healthy — but I wonder how much of a problem he was this year.  There are rumors that he was still harping about Ellsbury not being with the club last year while he was hurt, and even if you don’t believe the rumors (I’m not 100% convinced that I do) it still isn’t too difficult to believe that he would be a hard guy to get along with when things aren’t going well.

          • EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

            You’re name implies you’re from Maine idk if you listen to the BigJab or not but some stuff I heard today is Youk plays hard which is why people like him, however he is more about his own stats rather than the team. He will get upset that he didn’t get a big hit….because HE didn’t get it not because the team faltered as a result.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I don’t listen to sports talk radio, they drive me nuts, but that wouldn’t surprise me all that much about Youk.  I wouldn’t normally care too much why he puts up good number, or what his motivation is, as long as he keeps putting up those numbers.  My problem with it would come when his attitude starts affecting the clubhouse.

          • MBaseball 4 years ago

            I am surprised that Youkilis and Ortíz seem to have a green card to yell at umpires and opposing players whenever they don’t get a hit or an RBI… at least twice a game you can see them vociferating against the umpires and they turn a deaf ear to their antics, same with Papelbon and his antics after each save, something that was overly criticized with other players like… Chamberlain (he was even reprimanded by MLB for yelling after each strikeout to end an important inning).

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      I actually agree with most of what you said (I’m on the phone with the doctor as I’m typing this…). 

      A couple things though:

      I don’t think they should (or will) give up on Crawford yet.  There is almost a 0% chance that he is this bad again next year, clearly he isn’t going to worth his contract, but that should have been clear the minute the deal was announced, and since he doesn’t seem like he is/was part of the problem in the club house (he has owned up completely to sucking and said he deserves all of the criticism) I don’t see any reason to move him at this point.

      And I don’t think that they should trade for Dunn, I agree that he wont be nearly as bad next season, but even if he goes back to the “old” Dunn I think there are better options, including some internal options.  If I didn’t bring Ortiz back (and I’m thinking more and more that I wouldn’t because I’m wondering if he was part of the clubhouse problem) I would go with a rotating DH, which would allow them to have a more diversified bench, and keep Lavarnway’s bat fresh assuming they start the year with him in the majors like you suggest.

      • Guest 4 years ago


        Yeah I’ll agree that Crawford’s work ethic is there. Based on what we read the guy could be perhaps the hardest working guy in the clubhouse in terms of his regime. I just don’t think he fits the mold. Not his personality, his actual talent and how it translates to the park and line up. Who would have thought that a $20mm player needs to look up to someone, but he has no one there. He would have been great around Hunter and Abreu. I agree he probably won’t be this bad again, but I don’t know. He just doesn’t fit. A rotating DH thing could work. But I agree, I think Ortiz is done regardless of yesterday’s reports that management wants him back.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Yeah, I get what you’re saying.  I have been wondering about moving him to RF, where his arm wouldn’t play well, but his speed and overall defense would play really well, and overall would probably be a better use of him than Fenway’s tiny LF.  And getting another right handed middle of the order bat, or two, would make it easier to bat him early in the lineup where he is more used to hitting.  I think he could fit OK if they did those two things. (early in the year, before Ellsbury broke out, I was all for moving Crawford to CF and batting him leadoff, but there’s no way they can displace Ellsbury at this point)

          • Guest 4 years ago

            I was for the move to CF earlier too, but now no chance and these day’s I’ve thought about RF, but it’s a real gamble considering how much he is being paid, this is the only reason why I say make a move if possible. 

          • towney007 4 years ago

            I don’t think moving Crawford to RF is a gamble at all. I think it totally plays to his natural ability. He takes long lines to balls because of his speed and I think LF at Fenway left him more confined than anything. He rarely looked comfortable with the angles. I also wouldn’t give up on him. Too much of a track record there for that to happen again.

            As for the DH situation, I’d DH Youkilis if they can’t move him. I’m just not a fan of resigning aging DH’s, especially when you look at the Sox situation right now. I’d even consider looking for a nice, tasty deal out on the trade market and maybe upgrade that D at 3rd a bit. Youk at DH would allow them to do that. Also, Lavarnway could be brought up to DH as well. I’m for either. 
            The only guy I think HAS to be moved is Lackey. I like Lackey. I loved the deal when they made it and I didn’t really start to turn completely south on him until around July-ish. I just don’t think he’s a fit here. Clubhouse doesn’t seem wild about him. Management doesn’t like him. The media doesn’t like him. Now with his divorce going on, his home life has to suck too. And don’t forget his introductory press conference where he mentioned a big part of his reasons for going to Boston being his wife and her family. With that much going on – regardless of whether Lackey deserves it or not – expecting him to turn it around and pitch well is expecting too much I think. I think you can swap a bad contract and get rid of him and gamble on someone else. I’d love to see them flirt with the idea of sending him to the Mets in exchange for Jason Bay – who’s another guy struggling in a particular climate. That’d probably be easy money to work out in addition to filling needs for both teams and clearing a headache in another area. Plus that whole Crawford to RF thing can probably go through after that. Either way, Lack’s gotta go. For the Sox and for him. I think he can turn it around somewhere and I’m not even joking. 

            I would NOT blow this team up. They were the best in baseball for a considerable stretch of the season. They’ve got holes to fill. They’ve got some pieces that need to be moved. They’ve got some chemistry issues. But they’re not a disaster. Far from it. And I know it seems beyond Sox fans at this point but believe it or not – just because Tito couldn’t get a handle on this team doesn’t mean someone else can’t. I’m pretty optimistic heading into this offseason all things considered. 

      • MBaseball 4 years ago

        If his BAbip on grounders stays the same, he will once again suck. And everything points towards that being the case, seeing how Pedroia’s lifetime BAbip on grounders at Fenway is almost the same as the one Crawford had this year. He historically had a better BAbip on grounders when he played at Tropicana, but also the Ray’s park has a faster infield than the one at Fenway which is sssslooooowwww (while it hurts Pedroia’s offensive numbers, it also helps him a lot on his defensive plays, because grounders tend to slow and gives him time to field them at his usual blazing speed).

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Crawford’s BABIP was 70 points higher in Fenway this year than it was in other parks, so…

    • jwsox 4 years ago

      Crawford for Dunn. With a little money from the sox. Dunn will turn it around and Fenway should play very well for him. Crawford would play nicely at the cell too.

      • sox2727 4 years ago

        Sox can’t afford to take on Crawford’s contract…there’s going to be some serious salary slashing in the next few months

      • Love people who write BS like this… How about Youk for Longoria or Dice K for Halladay

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          I get what you’re trying to say but your comparisons are so horrible. Who are the comparable s to Longo or Halladay in the Crawford for Dunn scenario again? They both sucked last year.

        • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

          Ha!  Tampa says “no thanks, we’ll stick with what we got – a healthy guy who can actually field his position.”

    • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

      I hope you don’t count Ellsbury in the camp of guys that were just bringing their “star” to work – if anything he showed the heart and desire to win. He’s not one of the ones that was drinking in the clubhouse, I can tell you that. He and Pedroia are friends, I’m sure they both were frustrated with having to put the team on their backs in September. 
      Speaking of Ellsbury…I noted something that sort of bothered me in that 14-inning game at the end of the year. When he hit that homerun that got him in the 30-30 club, the dugout should have been on their feet and applauding in support. The only guy who really congratulated him with any sincerity was Ortiz. I really was disappointed that his teammates could not have shown more support for their teammate’s huge accomplishment – they seemed to not care less or react any differently than they would have had just had an RBI sac fly.

      • MBaseball 4 years ago

        Maybe because everybody knew that it would happen once the Yankees sent their homerun-an-inning pitcher, Scott Proctor to lose the game (the one they sent so the Rays could win and at least tie the Sox… i loved how the Yankees laughed all the way out of the field knowing they had helped to eliminate the Sox, and it doesn’t even matter if they get eliminated by the Rays or anyone else, because they had the last laugh against the team that was dubbed as “the best team of all time, the one that will break all records” by the Boston Red Sox media and PR machine).

  6. Jeremy Maskell 4 years ago

    All of the canidates are lousy compared to Francona. Nice job Sox. 

    • I’m telling u, Rick Burleson… The Rooster!

      • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

        I’m voting for Spaceman Lee for the next manager.

        • MBaseball 4 years ago

          LOL if the already had juicers, imagine with Lee… they would need even more help from Mitchell and MLB to hide what the sox players are shooting up their veins… speaking of that, Ortíz never spoke about his positive in 2003 and 2004, nor the Sox addressed the positive by Manny in 2003-2004, nor the relation various of their players had with a trainer stripped of his permit to enter Canada when he was caught with a briefcase with PEDs… nor… LOL

  7. Francona could not carry LaRussa’s Bag!!!! He has been given the best players money can buy. NO Excuses!!!!

    • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

      “He has been given the best players money can buy”

      Doesnt LaRussa have Pujols?

      • I can not imagine the St. Louis Cardinals with an additional 75 Million to spend this year….. and that would apply to a lot of teams. Not just the Cardinals.

        • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

          The Red Sox had a budget that was around 54MM higher than the Cardinals’. Also, a majority of Boston’s income comes from Fenway Sports Inc. Theo had a big hand in forming that company. The guy is brilliant.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            What role did Theo play in Fenway Sports Inc. Did he lay the foundation to the original Fenway Park too? Jeesh.

            On that note. Why in the world would Sox mngmnt even think of letting Theo walk?

          • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

            Do you even know what Fenway Sports Inc. is? It might be the single best revenue generating tool any sports franchise has ever implemented.

          • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

            But that’s not a project Theo is actually involved in creating, is it? That’s the ownership’s doing. 

          • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

            Theo definitely had a hand in it. He may not have a whole lot to do with it now that it’s up and thriving, but he knew to compete with the Yankees the Red Sox had to generate more income.

          • MBaseball 4 years ago

            if by the single best you mean after: Manchester United, Cowboys, Yankees (all three work together), then yes… and still each of those generate more than double of what Fenway Sports inc generates even with Liverpool, Bruins and Nascar under its grasps LOL.

          • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

            Good thing the title of best isn’t determined by the most money.

      • MBaseball 4 years ago

        Pujols was developed by the Cardinals. And unlike Francona, LaRussa had 60% of his everyday lineup developed by their minor leagues.

        Developed players
        Cardinals: Pujols, Schumaker, Descalso, Jon Jay, Rasmus (before the trade), Molina.
        Red Sox: Pedroia, Youkilis (when healthy), Ellsbury.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      And delivered 2 world series for the Sox. What’s your point again? 

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        well he wouldn’t have if he’d had to face the cardinals!

  8. HHHDMS 4 years ago

    Just goes to show no matter how much you spent, its how you play and the Sox did not play up to what they should have done and thats run away.
    Im a lifelong Yankees fan and even I figured with all that talent no one could match up with them
    And then they dump Francona the only manager who managed them to 2 world championships…
    It was a different team but talent-wise they appeared to be the same – just different younger names but equally as talented..
    Its really perplexing ..maybe the pitching was overrated, maybe the bullpen is overrated…but stats dont like, they really had a great team
    And to be more blunt I cant believe that the Yankees won the East with their highly questionable rotation. Its like CC and 4 other guys who might pitch a good game this time type of rotation. I like Nova though, Hughes isnt the same and AJ is a headcase , Colon and Garcia have had their moments too..
    What an odd 2011 season ! :) 

    • Imagine the league with a salary cap!!!!! It would change everything!!!!

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Actually it wouldn’t, but that’s an argument for another time. Its safe to say that the last decade of “the Yankee’s spend too much money” is done with after this 2011 season. The Red Sox and Tampa Rays have collectively proven that this argument is invalid and from here on out, anyone who claims that teams with the largest payroll are the winners, because they spend the most money, doesn’t follow current baseball and if you look closely, Cashman and the Yankee’s are going a different direction these days with young talent. You’re going to see Cashman make some incredible trades in this next year or two with the talent he has in the minors. Just wait. 

        • Actually it would change everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!!!!! Why do you think other sports have a cap????? To make it fair for everyone!!!! If you are from anywhere besides New York, Boston or Philedelphia …. you would see things more clearly.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Rays, Brewers and Diamondbacks (two good ole’ fashion middle America teams) are doing pretty well..Cubs, Angels and Mets not so much, so I fail to see where limiting a teams spending ability would improve the sport. 

          • I am not trying to be right. I just have a hard time feeling sorry for Francoa after going out and buying AGon & Crawford. Its ridiculous. I guess the old saying is true… “Pigs get fast & Hogs get slaughtered.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Francona didn’t have anything to do with “buying” Crawford and Gonzalez, and gonzalez wasn’t “bought” anyway, they traded three of their top prospects for him.

          • My bad…. Signed the next season.

          • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

            No, he signed an extension after the trade.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            If winning came down to just spending the most then the Yanks, Sox, Dodgers, Mets, Angels and Phillies would have more than the 5 WS titles they have had over the last 10 years and the Marlins, Giants and Dbacks would have none.

          • MBaseball 4 years ago

            Three minor leaguers, not prospects, a SS converted to Pitcher, a first baseman with horrible stats, and an OF who was the best chance at being called a prospect. BUT remember that González accepted the trade because the Red Sox promised him an extension without the need to explore the free agency, they came to terms almost as soon as they got him but told him to wait until the season began to avoid paying the luxury tax (it seems every news outlet in his natal México knew about the amount of money and years, except in the US where he was adamant to speak… LOL).

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            A pitcher who played SS for half a year because he really wanted to try it, and a pitcher who was very highly regarded before the draft and was in the top 50 prospects a year after being drafted (and #31 this year).  A first baseman who put up outstanding numbers in the minor leagues, but was brought up too early and forced to hit in the worst hitters park in the majors. And an outfielder who has been compared to Ellsbury (and regardless of your opinion was the only one of the three not in the top 100 prospects).

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            It’s not “fair for everyone” it’s “fair” for the teams who can’t draw enough fans to support a real payroll.  It’s very unfair for the teams who can, and have, for decades.

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            I’ve seen your posts on here a lot.  I know you are too informed to make the “well if your team had fans go to the game….” argument. 

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            It was worded poorly, but that wasn’t really the argument I was trying to make.  I think the statement that it would be “fair for everyone” is blatantly a false statement, it wouldn’t be fair at all for the fans of teams who have the revenue streams to support higher payrolls to be held back talent-wise because there are teams who can’t (or wont) support as high of a payroll.  It is too bad when there are teams lagging behind in payroll, but to punish all of the other teams (and in particular the fans of those teams) because of them is anything but “fair” to those teams, and their fans.

            There are things that could be done to make the playing field more level, but to say that a cap is “fair for everyone” just isn’t correct.

          • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

            What other sports are you talking about?  NBA, NFL?  NBA has a cap, look how well that has worked out.  Who has been the the championships more? Lakers or Clippers, Celtics or Pacers?  Doesnt seem to work out that well for NBA. There isnt much parody is there?

          • icedrake523 4 years ago

            In the last 31 years (since 1980), the Lakers have won 10 championships, Bulls 6, Celtics 4, Spurs 4. Then you can add the Pistons with 3 (won 2 in the 80’s, 1 in the 00’s,) and Rockets with 2 (back in the 90’s). The 76ers (’83) and Heat (’06) are the only 2 teams that have won only 1 NBA championship in the last 30 years (’11 Mavs not included since the following season hasn’t started yet). In addition, all the good NBA teams are in the West while the East is much weaker. Even with a salary cap, you have a bunch of top players going to one team. The Celtics were first trading for 2, the Heat signed their 3, the Knicks are trying to do the same.

            MLB doesn’t need this type of “parity.”

          • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

            I agree with you.  My argument is that the salary cap that JohnS seems to think will give more parity (didnt notice i used the wrong word lol) is acutally a bad idea and has not giving a lot of parity in the NBA.  

            Plus like you said good players are wanting to play along side each other and could potentially do the same thing in baseball, which would make a salary cap a waste.

          • icedrake523 4 years ago

            My post was just to support you on the NBA. And I didn’t mean to correct you when I put parity in quotes, just meant it sarcastically since the NBA doesn’t have it.

          • MBaseball 4 years ago

            i think you meant to say PARITY instead of PARODY… just saying.

          • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

            thanks captain obvious.  Its already been covered.  Auto spell on my phone.  I was also going to argue your other post but it is very obvious from what i have read you are a serious homer and a sox hater, which is fine.  Thanks for pointing out usage of the wrong word.  That will get you a lot of respect

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            It’s extremely fair. I mean it’s not like the same teams are in the post season in the NFL every year.

            There’s nothing unfair about baseball. Is it an advantage having a high payroll? Yeah, but the Red Sox, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Angels, etc proved that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the scouting and play evaluation to make good decisions.

            BTW the best players don’t win the World Series. The Phillies would have won the WS last year if that was the case.

          • MBaseball 4 years ago

            Check how much the Yanks spent in 2010 to bring in new players to the team for 2011. They mostly spent their money signing their own free agents. And still had the second best record in baseball.

        • sox2727 4 years ago

          Teams like the Red Sox, Yanks, Phils, have the ability to work over a bad contract given out where teams like the Brewers, Rays can’t.  That’s why  it matters.

    • MBaseball 4 years ago

      Well… Francona also allowed his players to do whatever they whished in the clubhouse, even going as far as drinking and allowing their personalities to clash and resolve issues as they saw fit. To me that sounds like a cancer who needs to be stripped out.

  9. towney007 4 years ago

    Salary caps are such a farse. They’ve had one for years in the NFL and the 49ers still suck. The Patriots are still dominant. Much like the Penguins are still good in hockey and Florida is still awful. You can’t take failure out of competition, folks. 

    • John Kappel 4 years ago

      Your argument was right until you brought hockey into it. The NHL is so much different from the other big three leagues. 

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        And the NFL and NBA are SOOOOO different that it’s pointless to compare the business model with relation to a salary cap to that of the MLB model.

        a) NFL contracts aren’t guaranteed.
        b) NFL has a 16 game, once a week schedule that is MUCH easier to market and sell.
        Who has a tougher time selling out a game? The Cleveland Browns with a 8 game home schedule that’s almost exclusively played on the weekends thus making it a destination event or the Cleveland Indians that have 81 home games including the all so exciting Mon-Thu series vs the KC Royals? 

        c) The NbA can market a team around 1 or 2 star players per team. Not possible in the mlb. You know what a team with 2 good players is called in the majors? The Seattle Mariners (Felix and Ichiro).

        It’s an apple and oranges comparison and to insists that a salary cap would work the same way w/o overhauling the entire system is stupid, even then it wouldn’t work like you think and MUST come with a salary floor AND probably the contraction of at least 4 teams where baseball wouldn’t be viable under the needed changes.

        • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

          I think it would be GREAT if MLB contracts weren’t guaranteed and if players faced cuts the way the NFL cuts players at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, the MLBPA would NEVER let that happen. To me it’s pretty unbelievable that Selig and the MLB as a whole doesn’t see a problem with these massive, unmovable contracts that guarantee players money even with repeated trips to the DL, if they choose to basically not do the work anymore, or for a bad attitude and diva-like demands. I’m not anti-union by any means but it surprises me that Selig lets the teams get away with these clearly player-friendly contracts that end up hampering teams financially and that are impossible to get out of.  Can you think of any other industry that would tolerate unmovable employee contracts?

        • crashcameron 4 years ago

          bang on: the ENTIRE difference is guaranteed contracts. 
          one big-buck contract that goes south all but kills a small team. the big teams can write it off. the nature of baseball is it takes so long for (most) players to develop. football is a coach’s game. you can slot various levels of talent into your X’s and O’s. if you have a a particular spot or need that can put you over, give him the big bonus and go for it. 

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Pats haven’t won a Superbowl since 2005 and this year, the Lions and Bills are 3-0.

      • towney007 4 years ago

        But the Pats win consistently on a year to year basis. The Bill and Lions – by in large – have not. There are perennial contenders, there are perennial goats. The cap doesn’t really matter.

        And if you’re going to use the number of teams that have won/played for championships since 2001, it’s been roughly the same in both leagues regardless of salary cap. My point is that a salary cap isn’t magically going to prevent the Pirates (of any horrendously lousy team) from making bad decisions. Sure, big market teams have more leeway to make bad decisions, but most good teams that are big market teams don’t. The Mets and Cubs find remarkable ways to not get the job done nearly every year despite plenty of money to throw around. 

      • crashcameron 4 years ago

        to borrow one of the stats-geeks fave sayings: “small sample size”

  10. dc21892 4 years ago

    I really don’t see Epstein leaving. Boston has deeper pockets than the Cubs and not to mention, they don’t have to let Theo go since he’s under contract. As for the next manager, LaRussa would be a hell of a pick up and almost undoubtedly that would mean Dave Duncan also. Anyways, probably will not happen but I hope they find the right guy like they did 8 years ago with Tito. I’m still devistated he is gone.

  11. iCracked 4 years ago

    grady little is available….

  12. towney007 4 years ago

    Truth be told – the guy I’d like to see would be Eric Wedge ideally. I think personality wise he seems like a good fit for this team, could probably handle the media well and be a good fit with management. Of course, the M’s would have to let the Red Sox talk to him, but he’d be my pick in an ideal world. 

    • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

      and he’s played in Boston so he already knows the environment and the park from a player’s perspective.

    • Bob9988 4 years ago

      And there is no way in hell Seattle will give him up :)

  13. $6101468 4 years ago

    Need a new voice after 8 years and another new voice after ten years.  Theo to the Cubs….great idea. I’ll pray for him and have a beer.

  14. $14011413 4 years ago

    Epstein to the Cubs, Lackey to the NL for anything that breathes, Papi for 1 year, Papelbon back ASAP, Lavarnway as STARTING catcher, Youk at 3B, Iglesias/Lowerie/Scutaro SS, Middlebrooks late year call up, Aceves as long man/8th inning, Bard 7th inning

    BYE, BYE to Wakefield, Varitek, Drew

    • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

      you really want to carry 3 shortstops on your roster? Also, Iglesias was projected to be their next SS opening day 2012, yes, but he didn’t put up the numbers this year in AAA to justify that promotion – a .235 BA. He’ll be AAAing it next year.

      we haven’t seen enough of Lavarnway as a catcher to give him the starting role yet. He’s caught how many major league games so far? The thing I like about Salty is that his performance behind the plate did improve significantly over the year and he was throwing out runners stealing at the MLB average rate.

      • $14011413 4 years ago

        Lowerie is more insurance for Youkilis, who has been injured, with Middlebrooks as the late season call up.  

        I know Iglesias’ #’s offensively don’t justify it, but he could be called up AS time, so you really aren’t carrying all 3 all at once.

        Lavarnway and Salty maybe, but Lavarnway has grown exponentially behind the dish, can put up more offense and has adjusted to every level he is “thrown” into, high baseball IQ and a workhorse.

        Tek & Wake are done though like I said.

        • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

          Again, Lavarnway = small sample size. You’re basing this on the last week of the season?

          • $14011413 4 years ago

            I have been following Lavarnway’s career since right after Yale.  Don’t insult me.  The kid is a gamer, cerebral and adjusts to each level he has played at.  He rises to the occasion and was not effected by the yo-yo effect of going up and down this year.  Do your homework, bro.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Nodoby’s insulting you dude, minor league success doesn’t always translate to major league success, so until he does it for a longer time in the majors it is a small sample size.

          • $14011413 4 years ago

            true on the sample size at majors, but what do you propose – surely not keeping Tek & Salty?!

            Get rid of Tek, keep Salty & Lavarnway.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            No certainly not.  I’d probably go with Salty and Lavarnway too.  I could potentially see them getting a different veteran backup and starting Lavarnway in AAA, or possibly part of a DH platoon and 3rd catcher.

  15. $14011413 4 years ago

    No wakamatsu

  16. soxfan13913 4 years ago

    Well if Gammons is saying Theo is interested in joining the Cubs organization, then he is definitely not going anywhere. I pretty take anything that bag of air says and believe the opposite. 9 times out of ten it turns out I’m right. I honestly don’t understand why anybody even listens to that guy.

  17. Tommy L 4 years ago

    Check out my take on the Red Sox at

    • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

      Nice plug, Tommy. I checked it out. I wholeheartedly disagree with your take on Victor Martinez, which I noted in my comment.

  18. It is time for a new Era for Chicago Cubs baseball since the last 100 plus years of barely competing, and 0 championships, we need to do all we can to get GM Theo Epstein to Chicago, so he can bring us some championships.  He is the best candidate out there and I think if we compensate him very well and are granted permission to interview him, Boston will let him go and Cherrington can be the Red Sox GM and both teams can be happy with that decision.  He did everything he could in Boston now he can be immortalized in two towns.  Please Theo we need your help you can turn this franchise into a WS champs, we have the money and the yoiung talent to build around. 

  19. lefty177 4 years ago

    how awesome would it be for the Red Sox to pull Joe Torre from his job in the commissioner’s office and put on a Red Sox uniform?

  20. LJJohnson 4 years ago

    Some of you people kill me with all this nonsense that you post.  Look, I am not here to say I know everything because I certainly don’t.  We don’t know what goes on inside of that clubhouse. In fact, we don’t know pretty much anything when it comes to that type of stuff.  There is always more to the story than what we hear. Francona did a hell of a job while he was in Boston.  He did a lot for the franchise.  But after 8 seasons with a team and after the major collapse that they went through, perhaps it was time for him to go.  Like he said, the team needs a new voice.
    Next, I kind of like the idea of bringing the Rooster Rick Burleson in as the new skipper.  I looked him up and he has big league coaching experience with the Angels and Red Sox and he has been managing in the minors since like 1997, winning at every level from rookie ball to AAA.  He was a fan favorite while he was here during his playing days and had that fiery, hard nosed, hard ass attitude and mentality.  Seems like a real baseball mind too.  I am tired of hearing Bobby Valentine’s name.  The guy hasn’t managed in years and he’s a clown anyway.  Also, why Ryne Sandberg??? What has he done? Seems like Burleson has done just as much, if not more and he is a former Red Sox player.
    Finally, whoever is saying to trade Crawford has lost it.  Sure, the guy had a down year.  And I understand your frustrations especially after the contract he signed.  But the guy is a good player and to give up on him and ship him out after one season is ridiculous!  And whomever said to trade him for Dunn is a complete idiot.  Now, I understand the possibility of trading Lackey.  It’s been made known that he isn’t having a very good time in Boston and he definitely isn’t performing well on the field.  However, what the heck are they going to get for him?  The only way they can trade him is if they trade him for another bad contract guy (ie Barry Zito) or trade him for next to nothing and eat most of that contract.
    That’s all I got.  My rant is over.

    • Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

      I’m confused by your Lackey rant. First, you say that whoever suggested the Sox trade him for Dunn is a “complete idiot”. Last I checked, Dunn is/was a good hitter having a terrible downturn of a year. So his value is pretty low.  Then, you ask who would they get for Lackey – and suggest they could only trade him for “next to nothing”.  So how is Dunn an idiotic suggestion considering that his trade value is equally low? Seems to me it’s better than “next to nothing”.

  21. Money is never a side issue….. When you have the best players money can buy,,,, NO excuses!!!!

  22. MBaseball 4 years ago

    You forgot to say that the Red Sox are second in payroll, and they comitted 280 millions on two players in a bit over 4 months. One of those, Adrián, helped them A LOT this season.
    The collapse, well, they choked, they couldn’t handle the pressure of the Yankees, seeing as how they couldn’t shake them off the whole season, their biggest lead over NY was 3 games, they lead their division for 60 games, the yankees lead it for 61 games before finally taking over the division in september and sending the Red Sox in a downward spiral.

    And yes, money plays a big role, in the Red Sox offensive only 3 everyday players were developed by them: Pedroia, Youkilis and Ellsbury. The rest of their offense was either bought or acquired via trade.

    And money plays even a bigger role when you can afford to plug a hole signing a free agent. Case in point: Beltré (9 million/year) leaves and the Red Sox acquire Adrián in a trade where part of the deal was that the Red Sox would give González a contract extension (which it turned out to be worth 140+ millions); you can sign Cameron and when he doesn’t work, you can plug that hole signing Crawford for another 140 millions.

    Moves:Beltré (9 million) leaves, and his place is taken by González who will make 21 Millions next year (you actually saved 3.5 millions this year, but by next year you’re down 12 millions, with a net loss of 8.5 millions the second year, increasing to 29.5 millions in 2013)… yeah, Beltré signed for more money with Texas, but he was available for less than what he’s making right now (Bosox refused to negotiate with him ’cause they already had something worked out with the Padres).

    Cameron is signed to a two year 15 million deal, after one bad season, the Red Sox sign Crawford to a 142 million deal, that is, 20.28 millions per year in average, the Sox actually spent 20.28 + 7.5 millions to plug the LF hole, almost 28 millions…

    As a very good article said: the Red Sox are now being hated because they became the Yankees, but unlike the Bronx Bombers, they couldn’t deal with the pressure and choked in historical fashion. Not only they overspent 90% of the league in the six months after the 2010 season ended, but failed to create a backup plan, and it backfired on them. Now the team that everybody loves to root for because it is like the ‘little machine that could’ are not the Red Sox with their roster full of bought players, but the Tampa Bay Rays, whom despite having less internally produced players, they got the best they could from the baseball’s version of a graveyard, and ended up overplaying the pink sox.

  23. See, the problem with that logic is…cheaper players ARE better. Young, cost controlled, mid-to-late 20’s players have both the highest return-on-investment and, on the whole, the best on-field value. Money does not buy good teams. Player development and shrewd trading do. And it just so happens Theo has a pretty darn good track record for both.

  24. If that were true,,, you would not have the same teams going to the playoffs year after year after year. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

  25. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    Yet Theo trades away major prospects to get aging risky players. 

  26. MBaseball 4 years ago

    That’s why Theo had to spend 280 millions in ‘young cheap players’ like Adrián+Crawford? add another 15 millions on Cameron in 2009, and 82.5 millions for Lackey also in 2009.

    Right there that’s 377.5 millions commited on 4 players, 3 of which are still on the team, and just one of them has produced as expected.

  27. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Yeah, like the Red Sox, Twins, and Angels?  I hate how they are always in the playoffs.

  28. Actually, yes, you would have the same teams vying for postseason berths for a series of years. It’s not like GM’s lose the ability to develop players and make intelligent trades from year to year. Besides, once you get those good young players, GM’s typically (attempt to) sign them to team friendly contracts that buy out 1-3 free agent years. Signing players already in their prime to 5-7 year “megadeals” is a really bad way to build a team because, at best, that player will break even (salary vs. on-field value) for the first 3-5 years of the deal. At best.

    Who are the best players on the Sox? Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, Beckett, Gonzalez. The Yankees? Cano, Gardner, Sabathia, Granderson. Mets? Reyes, Wright. Phillies? Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Utley, Pence.

    Look at the pattern: only two of those names on big market teams were free agent signings. The rest were internally-developed or acquired by trading internally-developed prospects.

  29. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    Not many? The only teams that were in the playoffs this year that were there last year were Philadelphia, New York, Tampa Bay, and Texas. Two of which are small market teams.

  30. jjs91 4 years ago

    which doesnt happen in caps leagues? 

  31. If your theory is correct… which its not. They would have no reason to go out an spend over $300 Milion$$$$ on Crawford & AGon last year.

  32. John Kappel 4 years ago

    They didn’t spend that much on AGon cause they traded for him. So his theory is actually correct. 

  33. Actually, they did have a reason: the Sox had holes at 1B and LF without in-house candidates, so they traded for Gonzalez and signed Crawford with the hopes of winning this year and biting the bullet 4-5 years down the line. And what part of “free agent signings have low return on investment” and “young players typically produce at higher levels than older players” is incorrect? Go look at the facts, something you may want to start building your arguments around.

    Free agency is an inherently inefficient way to add talent because you have to outbid every single other team to acquire the player you desire. You don’t think all 30 teams would have signed Crawford for the right price? Not to mention, particularly in megadeals, teams have to buy out unwanted years in a player’s career (age 34+) while paying for prime production.

    Young players are also (on the whole) a) less prone to injury b) better on defense and c) f***ing hungry. It all adds up to a more valuable package than aging players.

  34. John Kappel 4 years ago

    Drew and Renteria weren’t awful when they played in Boston. Crawford should get back to his normal career numbers next season. So half of the 6 guys just named weren’t bad moves. I also challenge you to name 3 GM who have never made a bad move or two? 

  35. soxfan13913 4 years ago

    The Crawford deal is still yet to be seen. With these big, long contracts, you can’t truly judge their merit or if they are a real mistake solely based on the first year, especially in a place like Boston. I have a feeling he will have a bounce back year next year. He has the tools. This is only the second team he has played for. There is always an adjustment period when switching teams. Just look at Jayson Werth, great player also had a terrible year. He too will bounce back next year.

  36. Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

    Clement isn’t really fair to lump in with the other deals – he got hit in the head by a pitch and was never the same after that. What were they supposed to do with him? You can’t hold a GM accountable for a freak accident like that.

  37. vtadave 4 years ago

    Like who?

  38. soxfan13913 4 years ago

    The last MAJOR prospect we traded away that was even nearly major league ready was Masterson for Martinez. The Redsox would love to have him back now, but it would have been a decent deal if we would have re-signed VMart. The trades for AGon weren’t really that big of a blow to our farm system. Our farm is definitely lacking, not entirely due to the AGon deal however.

  39. MBaseball 4 years ago

    Overhyped minor leaguers are not MAJOR prospects. Don’t believe everything the Red Sox’s PR machine tells you via Gammons and NESN/ESPN.

  40. Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

    You are correct, they traded for him to get him initially in December, but with the intention of giving him a long-term contract that the Padres would have never had the money for. They would not have signed him otherwise. He was then offered a long-term contract worth $154 million. The ONLY reason that contract was not solidified as soon as he was traded was because they had to wait until April to avoid the luxury tax penalty of exceeding a certain amount on their payroll (which incidentally I suspect is why Showalter gave Epstein so much sh-t over the winter – by using this luxury tax loophole, Epstein doesn’t have to pay the small-market teams).  So your statement about not spending “that much” is factually incorrect.

  41. Sky14 4 years ago

    which of Philly, NY and Texas is a small market team?

  42. Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

    I can definitely name one bad move for you:  Eric Gagne. The evidence is there in publicly-available correspondence that Theo knew he was a juicer but went ahead and got him anyway. If you know that a guy’s good season you based your decision on was performance-enhanced BEFORE you sign him, then going ahead and signing that guy is clearly a bad decision.

  43. Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

    In getting a guy like Drew, though, when you look at his contracts you have to consider how many games the guy actually ends up playing per year. Sure, he wasn’t awful – when he actually played. How much extra did it cost them though to have a fourth or FIFTH outfielder on the bench every day as backup for his bad days?  How much value are you really getting out of that guy who can not go one season without multiple trips to the DL, has ONE hot month a year when he’s actually healthy, and you need a backup OF just for his off days, nevermind the other OFs. Take a look at his best year in Boston, performance-wise: 2008, when he OPS’d .927. That year, he made $14 mil and had 368 at-bats, at a rate of $38,043.48 per at-bat. Now let’s look at other OFs with similar OPS’s that year. Josh Hamilton OPS’d .901 in 624 at bats, at a salary of $396,830. That’s a little over $635 per at-bat. “Well, ok, bad example as Hamilton was an unknown and a risky sign then.” Matt Holliday OPS’d .947 that year in 539 at bats – at a salary of 9.5 mil that year. That’s $17,625.23 per at bat – still less than half of what Drew made.

  44. MBaseball 4 years ago

    Drew has a 0.264 AVG, 16 Hr and 57 RBI per season in average with the Sox, i would call that awful.
    Rentería… had 30 errors, THIRTY!! the highest amount of errors he has had in a single season, had his lowest amount of homeruns in 8 seasons, just once he had a 100 K season before that year and it was 8 seasons before, and since then he has never had a 100 K season… yeah, he was not awful… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Crawford was pretty patetic this season, so, to sum it up, 6 out of 6 were awful, and yeah, Crawfor COULD be amazing next season, but could also be DREADFUL.

    Now you ask for 3 GM?
    Jacob Ruppert (10 WS in 23 years for the Yankees)
    Walter O’Malley (4 WS in 8 years for the Dodgers)
    Harry N. Hempstead (3 WS in 6 years for the Giants)

  45. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Not solely because of the Gonzalez deal, but that was a big part of it.  Those three prospects would all likely have been the the Sox top 10 prospects this year.  You’re right though it was a combination of trades over the last year+ that had left the Sox farm somewhat dry (though not as dry as a lot of people tried to make it seem).

  46. Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

    Masterson was also traded because he was a 6th starter at that point and there was no place for him in the rotation. when you have a bunch of guys who are MLB-ready but are blocked at certain positions you have no choice – you can’t keep them in AAA forever, otherwise you’re stunting the player’s development.  You have to give up what you have in excess in order to get what you need at the time, which at the time of the V-Mart/Masterson trade was a starting catcher who could replace Varitek. (And at that time every fan was on Theo about trading for a catcher). If Lars Anderson is traded and becomes a huge star on another team, am I going to rail Theo for making that trade? No, because Lars is MLB-ready but blocked at 1st by both Youkilis and now Gonzalez. That’s why it’s BS to question a trade involving prospects. There isn’t space on the roster for every prospect you have in the farm, nor is every prospect going to be successful. That’s why he’s a prospect – it’s basically an unknown variable. You’re trading an unknown for a known. So why freak out when that guy actually becomes what you successfully developed him to become? I would just take it as an indication that the farm system is working. And with the rapid way teams changed, Theo really can’t win with the fanbase, can he? He goes after what the need is for the team at the time. if he trades at the deadline and the guy doesn’t pan out, it’s “why’d we empty the farm system for this guy, Theo?” If he doesn’t see a good move to make and thus doesn’t make one, it’s “why can’t you pull the trigger, Theo? we needed that guy!” I do not envy that guy one bit.

  47. MBaseball 4 years ago

    They didn’t have options in the minor leagues at 1B and LF? well, they traded a 1B to the Padres to get González, they had no need for a LF because they already had 4 OF (Ellsbury, Cameron, JD Drew, Kalish).

    Rizzo played in the majors this year, and albeit being called ‘a blue chip’ at the time of the trade, he had a pretty mediocre season with the Padres (but an outstanding season in the minors).

    They also gave up an OF in Reymond Fuentes, and a Pitcher in Casey Kelley.

    What the Red Sox did was:

    a) Call their former employee Hoyer to see if they could have Adrián to avoid having to push for him in the super-class of the the 1B after this season, with Fielder and Pujols available, it was very possible that the price tag on them would increase as soon as the first one was signed.

    b) Sign the only good outfielder who was proven to hit in the American league, and even better, in the same division, to try and get rid of either Cameron or Drew… Cameron ended up biting the bullet.

    Its the same thing it happened when they went all in on Lackey because it was the best they could get back then. Its the same that could happen to them this year with the closer if they decide not to bring Papelbon back, or search for somebody else with the right price tag (i’ve heard pretty good rumours about Heath Bell).

  48. MBaseball 4 years ago

    Well… they also knew that Ortíz, Manny, Arroyo, Pedro and others had ties to a PED distributor (the one who was banned from managing Alex Rodríguez), that Manny and Ortíz had failed at least one time anti-doping tests, knew that Arroyo smoke pot and bought it from Fenway workers (Arroyo was detained and the police found marihuana in his car, but the passenger said it was his, the passenger was a Fenway park worker, son of a Red Sox broadcaster, who also mingled with Pedro during the offseason when he worked with the PED distributor in their natal Dominican Republic)… but we all know what happened in the Mitchell Report done by a Red Sox front office guy.

  49. MBaseball 4 years ago

    And still his lifetime OPS with boston is 0.824 with an average of 0.264.

  50. MBaseball 4 years ago

    Well, also to be fair, Clement had a 4.31 ERA and 0.479 “winning” percentage lifetime before joining the Red Sox; he was hardly a good pitcher. With Boston and playing in the AL, as expected, his ERA rose and was 5.01

  51. Mhm, they did indeed have holes at 1B and LF. The Sox were obviously hesitant to give the reigns to Kalish/Rizzo for this year, and for good reason: neither were ready to be major contributors at the ML level. League average production was about the most that could have been expected from the two, and Rizzo wasn’t even ML ready to begin the year. So, yes, they did have holes at first and left, at least in the sense that Gonzalez and Crawford provided far superior production to their in-house candidates. Don’t understand why you bring up Fuentes considering he was a good 5 years from the majors at the time of the trade.

  52. MaineSox 4 years ago

    They didn’t really have a hole at 1B (they could have re-signed Beltre and kept Youk at 1B), but they definitely had to do something in the outfield.  If they hadn’t signed an outfielder this past off season they would have had two open spots to try to fill in this years weak free agent class, or at the very least one spot and trust the other one to an unproven minor leaguer who — even if he works out as well as anyone can expect — is expected to be above average but far from great.

  53. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Batting average and RBIs? Seriously?  Drew was one of the best right fielders in the game for most of his time in Boston.

  54. Yeah, I get the feeling the Sox were just extremely hesitant–to the
    point of refusal–to give Beltre anything even close to 5 years and $100
    million. They did have options for the first/third situation, but
    Gonzalez was Theo’s man, and Theo gets his man more often than not (see:
    Drew, Beltre).

  55. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Yeah, I’m not sure about them being hesitant, but it was clear that Gonzalez was far and away their first choice.  I do think Beltre was their second choice (and would have made a pretty good plan B too IMO).

  56. Lyndsay Thompson 4 years ago

    You missed my point completely.  He was a good player when he actually played. I was trying to show you how bad his contract was when you broke down how many plate appearances they actually got out of him and the cost of those plate appearances relative to other players of similar caliber. He’s not worth $34k per at bat. In his prior stints with St. Louis and the Dodgers, 1999-2007, he averaged 390 at bats a year. That’s half of what he should be getting if he’s healthy. The Sox knew this before they signed him. If I were them I would have given him 7.5 mil a year to start with incentives for reaching a certain number of at-bats – as they did with Ellsbury’s 1 year contract this year.

  57. MaineSox 4 years ago

    and Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus, and Keith Law, and Marc Hulet, and Mike Newman, and Frankie Piliere right?

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