Does the AL Have a Designated Fielder?

Alex Gonzalez better be a vacuum cleaner, because he hits about as often as Johnny Damon shuts up: never.  Historically, his stat line is eerily reminiscent of Rey Ordonez’.  I recall going to several Mets games way back in the glory days when Ordonez was on the squad and positively marvelling at some of the balls he got to and how easy he made moderately difficult plays look.  I also remember thinking that he should have been hitting ninth, the pitcher eighth, so bad was the man with the bat.  The Red Sox’ lineup and the DH should offer some shelter to Gonzalez, but it’s imperative that he perform exquisitely with the leather. This could be an experiment that lasts about sixty games, but at least they signed him for just a year and at modest dollars.  Another new face – welcome, Alex.

[edited for spelling]

60 comments… add one

  • He’s going to see some really good pitches to put the bat on, so let’s hope he does that. Also, having the DirectTV package, this guy can start or end a double play with the best short stops in the leauge. A human vacuum he is, and the subtraction of 30 errors from that position is ALWAYS a good thing. Another good move by the Sox. Where are all the people that we saying that Red Sox were going to start the season with two outfielders and noone up the middle? This team is potentially looking very good all around, and great defensively. If I were Beckett, Schilling, or any of the rest of the pitchers I’d be really happy knowing what is playing all around me. Not many balls are going to hit the ground with Snow, Tek, Lowell and now Gonzeles fielding them.
    There are potentially four golden gloves playing on the Red Sox infield next year.
    Defense and pitching with some timely hitting from the 3 and 4 will lead to a lot of wins.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 8:27 am
  • From the Herald:
    Defensively, with Mark Loretta at second base and Crisp in center field and now Gonzalez, the Sox have improved markedly up the middle. Also, with Gold Glovers Mike Lowell manning third base and J.T. Snow at first, the infield defense leapfrogged to one of the best in the league.
    Can’t Tek and his big gold glove get some love too?

    Brad January 31, 2006, 8:53 am
  • suddenly Crisp, his weak arm, and his poor track record in center make for outstanding defense. I agree that Crisp is a better defensive option than “nobody” who was originally slated to play center before the trade. So, yeah, I guess the Sox improved defensively in that regard.

    Nick January 31, 2006, 9:08 am
  • one thing: Aren’t most Sox starters fly ball-k pitchers? How important is a good defensive infield behind these pitchers? It seems to me that a good outfield defense, which the Sox do not currently have, is more important.

    Nick January 31, 2006, 9:13 am
  • The Red Sox still have a pretty deep offense, so stacking the team with a weak-fielding, solid-hitting shortstop would have been unnecessarily improving a strength, not addressing a weakness. The front office is telegraphing that they feel quite comfortable with the potential run-scoring ability of slots 1-8, so improving defensively at the last unknown position is nothing but common sense, regardless of whether the staff throws a lot of flyballs or not. Renteria made a boatload of errors at shortstop last year, so one can see that it doesn’t really matter if the staff induces tons of flyballs; plays still have to be made in the dirt and throws still have to be made to bases.
    This is a move that will probably feel incredibly frustrating at times, particularly when Gonzales swings at curveballs as if his eyes are closed. But if he does what he’s supposed to in the field the Sox will ultimately benefit. It’s probably third base, with Lowell, where they can’t afford this kind of Jekyll/Hyde performance.
    Your reaction is very predictable, Nick.

    SF January 31, 2006, 9:30 am
  • Nick,
    I was simply pointing out the fact that not having Millar and all his errors, Renteria and all of his mistakes, and Mark Bellhorn who did not own a bat – the Red Sox are sig better on the infield.
    Regardless of how many fly balls the Sox pitching gives up, several balls that did end up on the infiled, ended up in short outfield. Putting that in context of my arguent, the Sox are vastly improved on the infield this year.
    PS – The Yankees CF next year has an arm better than only one person in all of baseball – his backup. The Crisp CF stats are not going to be fair until the season gets going, Nick. He may get much better and he may not, but at least he deserves the chance to show us one way or the other.
    Also, with the Sox have been just fine with 2/3 of the outfield they have had for years. Manny and Trot are not necessarily liabilities to have out there – Trot is a hard running, good tracking RFer and Manny does a great job of playing the wall and getting the ball back in. I’m not really sure where you are coming from when you say that the OF defense is all of the sudden not able to cut it?

    Brad January 31, 2006, 9:31 am
  • I hate to pull a John here, but take a peek at Alex’s slugging totals over the past couple of years, and, um, well, uh, is there some explanation for why, the year they introduced testing, his homer production dropped from 23 to 5? Yes, his at-bats went down, and his doubles-rate increased, but not that significantly. Did he have some kind of injury? (Also, I wonder what kind of marginal effects playing with the glove genius Luis Castillo in Florida had on his defensive stats.)
    I’m guessing he puts up an OPS in the .660 range this year. With the Sox offense, and given his strong defensive skills, that shouldn’t be too much of a drain on the team. Given the finances, it seems like a pretty intelligent move.

    YF January 31, 2006, 9:33 am
  • there some explanation for why, the year they introduced testing, his homer production dropped from 23 to 5
    Yes – he gave up pre-game BP in order to spend time killing puppies.

    SF January 31, 2006, 9:38 am
  • yeah, that’s lost in the mix- it’s only a one year deal that does nothing to keep the Sox from perhaps including him in a Wells deal.
    Clearly speculation here – but isn’t the reason that the Angles were not open to the Cabrerra talks is because of their lack of a replacement for him? Now Wells and Gonzales make a much better option for the Angles than does just Wells and noone else.
    I’m just saying. The Sox have too many infielders now with Cora, Graff, Youk, and Gonzales? With a disgruntled, albeit pretty good, pitcher to deal away, this Gonzales trade could be nothing more than picking up another piece of a puzzle for the Sox to get what they really want.
    Who knows.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 9:46 am
  • How would you quantify Castillo’s effects? I may be wrong, but my instincts tell me that second basemen do not cover any ground for a shortstop, rather it’s the shortstop who tends to cover ground for the two guys around him (unless, of course, you have A-Rod to your right, then the shortstop can relax). The only way I can think that Castillo would make Gonzales quantifiably better would be in fielding poor relays for the DP, thus reducing the number of throwing errors that Gonzales would have otherwise had. Any other plays, such as pop-ups fielded in shallow left or right by Castillo, would constitute such a small sample that I can’t imagine they’d have any statistical significance.
    YF – can you explain how, other than an increased comfort level for AG, Castillo would have artificially improved Gonzales’ defensive reputation or skills, please? I am sincerely curious about how you might explain this hypothesis.

    SF January 31, 2006, 9:48 am
  • SF: i was mainly thinking about his 2xplay performance, which obviously would be tied to Castillo. and i suppose Castillo’s range up the middle might allow him a little more comfort or range in the other direction, that probably being a negligable factor. As for playing in Florida, I’m not sure what that would do to a fielder. Certainly, the infield at Fenway is notoriously bad.
    As for the drop in power, a wisecrack doesn’t explain away the issue. There’s a difference between making some blanket accusation based on “what everyone else” was doing or what a player’s friends may or may not have been up to, and the noting of a distinct drop in power production–ie, a real effect that begs some kind of explanation.

    YF January 31, 2006, 10:01 am
  • What’s Cora but a light hitting good defensive player? Every move that Theo makes is golden I guess, and your posts predictably support them (when’s the last move by Theo you questioned?) but this one seems unneccesary. A waste of a small amount of money, but a waste nonetheless (like the signing of Miggy Cairo).

    Nick January 31, 2006, 10:07 am
  • Cora’s a Womack. A-Gon is perhaps one step up from Womack. And if he pops 20 plus-dingers again, a very big step up.

    YF January 31, 2006, 10:10 am
  • In some ways I agree with you, Nick. I don’t actually think there is any real benefit to having Gonzales at SS over Cora, which is why I’m not totally sold on the fact that the Sox are done moving. There are no teams out there willing to take the chance on trading away to get Cora, but Gonzales is a guy that plays the position full time and offers great defense for an entire season. He’s not a platoon guy or utility player like Cora. I was happy with Cora, but I don’t think the deal makes or breaks Theo’s rep as a GM. The money and time are both miniature, and I don’t know why, but I think there is something else in the works.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 10:13 am
  • re: The Sox’s outfield defense
    Let’s just all acknowledge this: Manny being Manny means he’s one of the best hitting left-fielders in the history of the game. Also, it means that he’s one of the worst defensive left-fielders we’ve had the good fortune to watch. Trot, on the other hand, is very good. Reminds me a lot of Paulie O.
    My contention is that Crisp, when he played center, was barely average; a step-down from Damon. Sox scouts (and perhaps the defensive measurement system) disagree. I just think they’re a weak outfield overall.

    Nick January 31, 2006, 10:22 am
  • Nick, you didn’t read my post or my comments. I very clearly spell out the downside potential of this deal – it’s not without (nominal) risk and I acknowledge that. But it IS an improvement on what was in place, pre-Gonzales. As Brad said, this doesn’t make or break Theo’s rep. On the other hand, it does indicate that he is acting deliberately, and in my opinion intelligently. Nobody is knighting him off this signing, so relax.
    As for the player comparisons, Gonzales is NOT equal to Cora, as YF says, quite correctly. Cora is a modestly decent shortstop, but only solid defensively. Gonzales once hit, before he started injecting shit into his forehead (or so I hear), and is supposedly superior defensively, though I cannot attest to this personally. Again, defense trumps any other consideration in this transaction, and it’s what the Red Sox need.
    As for the whole steroid speculation, YF and I have done a very good job of avoiding this crap – there were tons of rumors flying around late last year about significant players on pennant contenders, and we steered clear of speculating, naming possible offenders, etc. We even had a discussion separately about whether it was a worthy topic for a thread and decided against it. I don’t see a very good reason why YF feels comfortable jumping in on it now, other than to antagonize.

    SF January 31, 2006, 10:33 am
  • Especially when SF’s have such good, not to mention factual, ammo to use when the accusations start flying around.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 10:38 am
  • Crisp, when he played center, was barely average
    Way too small a sample, Nick. At best, he’s an unknown quantity in center. It’s simply impossible to project from the statistics in hand from when he played centerfield whether he’ll be any good at that position. I haven’t ever watched him play for any long stretch, so I have to defer to those who have as to whether he’ll be any good, or if he has the athletic ability and smarts to make a smooth transition. I hope that those who have scouted him for the last 18 months are right about their confidence in his ability to switch positions, and for now I will trust them, and also feel relief that Adam Stern isn’t out there every day, no matter what Crisp does. It’s not correct to assert that Crisp is an improvement on Damon defensively as some Sox fans have, but it’s equally incorrect to say that because he was bad there in a limited period he’s automatically a downgrade. We just don’t know yet.

    SF January 31, 2006, 10:40 am
  • Maybe Alex unknowingly rubbed some sort of cream on himself after his trainer told him that it was hypoallergenic balm to relieve pain not knowing that it would magically transform him into a musclebound, self-centered lout?
    Oh, wait, that wasn’t Gonzales, it was the Yankees rightfielder.

    Victor Conte January 31, 2006, 10:43 am
  • I’m still trying to figure out how my view was predictable. It seems that usually I think Theo and Co. do good work, and other times they make moves that don’t square with my idea of a good move. Gammons, as part of his current project “Life of Theo”, lauds young Epstein for his willingness to admit his mistakes. Certainly his fans should be able to question some of the things he does.
    Anyway, Gonzalez’s signing is 3 million dollars more than I’d given him. I don’t think the defensive upgrade he provides is that valuable.
    SF, I do agree with you about the steroid issue. I think as soon as these accusations are thrown out, people become irresponsible and discussion is reduced to silly speculations.

    Nick January 31, 2006, 10:49 am
  • Now that’s not nice -
    How can a player be expected to know what kind of medicine is being used to treat his ailments?
    Sheff has enough to worry about without thinking of this kind of crap.
    For example:
    - how am I going to live up to John’s ultimate fighting expectations this year in Boston?
    -when will these pitchers stop letting the ball get hit out here and making me run all over the place?
    - is my wife being scammed again?
    - i wonder how I can swing the bat harder than I already do?
    - maybe I should try the shoulder above my head thing again – or maybe I should let A-Rod use it to gain a little love from everyone.
    - why wasn’t I asked to be in the Nike commercial with our “golden boy”?
    - what the hell is Matsui talking about? I can’t understand a word he says!
    Sometimes, I really crack myself up. On a serious note, I can’t really get on Sheffield, the guy has had great numbers and zero injuries since those rumors, err, testimonies.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 10:52 am
  • Well said, Nick.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 10:55 am
  • I think as soon as these accusations are thrown out, people become irresponsible and discussion is reduced to silly speculations.
    Not to take any sides here — I certainly don’t advocate making baseless accusations (and yes, I recognize that I’ve brought up steroid use here before) — but isn’t 90% of baseball talk just that: “silly speculations”? (Particularly in the offseason?) The question of A-Gon’s huge drop in power (23 to 5 HR in back-to-back seasons) is certainly a valid topic of discussion, right? And, unfortunately, “steroids” is one (but only one) possible answer. Should we just not bring that one possibility up? Or is it best just not to ask such questions in the first place?
    I’m asking these questions not to make a point, but because I just don’t know — it seems there’s a very fine line between valid/normal baseball talk and accusations of illegal/dangerous behavior.

    Earl January 31, 2006, 11:43 am
  • Earl, I think the problem is that most discussions that spring from an accusation of steroid use quickly devolve into pissing contests between fans. Steroid use is not in itself a boring topic to discuss. Will Carrol, Howard Bryant, Buster Olner (to a lesser degree), and others have written interesting books, articles, etc about what steroids mean for baseball. But at sites (especially YFvSF) I think the topic is poison. Throw it out there and people will start saying some inflammatory stuff just to say it.

    Nick January 31, 2006, 12:09 pm
  • I think Nick is dead on here.

    SF January 31, 2006, 12:23 pm
  • Thanks — makes sense. So what to do about massive dropoffs in power from one year to the next? Best just not to mention them?

    Earl January 31, 2006, 12:36 pm
  • Part of it is self-editing. I don’t think steroids are off-limits for discussion. But witness how John raised the issue with Manny in an earlier thread and you can see how not to do it. I think YF’s not-so-veiled insinuation that AG might have been on steroids is teetering on the edge of impropriety, and from the way he typed his comment I think he knows it. It’s a hard call, Earl. Perhaps it’s just mentioning it within a litany of reasons thoughtfully described, as opposed to pointing out the situation in a kind of not-so-earnest “my how the timing plays out perfectly heh heh heh” tone. Tough to say, though. Self-control is probably the only censoring device that we all can employ usefully; it’s not my place to determine what can and can’t be commented on, or how it’s said. We let people speak their mind here, pretty much – I think perhaps 4 or 5 comments of several thousand have ever been deleted, and that was because of pure unadulterated obscenity.

    SF January 31, 2006, 12:50 pm
  • Congrats to SF and his eloquent writing style making it to the big time on dirt dogs today. hehe.

    Brad January 31, 2006, 2:21 pm
  • Okay, so this is really bothering me–the only person who has spelled Alex Gonzalez’s name right in this thread has been Nick (if anyone else has, I’m sorry that I overlooked you). They even changed the spelling at Dirt Dogs where they quoted you, SF. I’m sorry, bad grammer and/or spelling issues bother me. A lot.

    Laura January 31, 2006, 3:21 pm
  • PS – The Yankees CF next year has an arm better than only one person in all of baseball
    How quickly they turn.
    Remember when the Sox offered Bernie twice what the Yankees were offering? If Bernie had gone, I would have wished him well. He did so much for the Yankees, and it’s his life.
    Yes, the Yankees did not offer twice what the Sox offered — but that’s not the point. Damon gave his all to the Sox and was a key part of the WS. If he wants to move on, that’s his choice.
    I hate to pull a John here
    No you don’t.
    Anyone who thinks its ridiculous to think that Manny might have taken steroids hasn’t been following baseball. Unless they think putting on the Red Sox uniform makes one a saint. (Like Saint Schilling, Saint Bellhorn and Saint Edgar.)
    BTW, like Johnny “He’s Dead to Me” Damon, Manny left his team and followed the money. He also, despite the $20 million they pay him, tells the Sox every year he wants to leave them.
    But that’s all okay because he came TO the Red Sox instead of leaving them, I guess.

    john January 31, 2006, 3:34 pm
  • I’m sorry, bad grammer and/or spelling issues bother me.
    That is an awesome sentence.

    Earl January 31, 2006, 3:37 pm
  • SF -
    Take all the really derogatory, no-humor comments you’ve made about A-Rod, who was almost traded for Manny.
    To say that one of the great sluggers in the game MIGHT have taken steroids when hundreds of players, and many of the sluggers, were is not in that league. Notice that no one has said Manny did NOT take steroids, because we don’t know that.
    BTW, this player you think is so terrible — when you thought the Manny / A-Rod trade had gone through, were you glad?

    john January 31, 2006, 3:43 pm
  • Sorry, Laura. They bug me too, so it’s bad form.
    As for the whole “what is the etiquette with regards to steroids” thing, I reiterate what I said earlier in support of Nick’s comments, and for reference see two comments above for what Nick was talking about, and why we steer clear for the most part.

    SF January 31, 2006, 3:45 pm
  • Check that – see two comments above AND four comments above.

    SF January 31, 2006, 3:46 pm
  • I gave Alex Rodriguez a bunch of frozen HGH, but I told him they were “Creamsicles”. He never knew what made him so good…

    Victor Conte January 31, 2006, 3:52 pm
  • To say that one of the great sluggers in the game MIGHT have taken steroids when hundreds of players, and many of the sluggers, were is not in that league. Notice that no one has said Manny did NOT take steroids, because we don’t know that.
    Alex Rodriguez might have done steroids. How else can one explain his numbers, the fact that he’s SO much better than everyone else?
    It sounds stupid, John, right? That’s because it’s a baseless charge. Same with speculation about Manny. Until there’s a really good reason to question their incredible performances as outliers within a career (which, at least, YF has a case for with Gonzalez, though I still question the coyly accusatory tone of his comment) then such suppositions are just innuendo and, for the most part, what Nick correctly termed “irresponsible…and silly discussions”.
    As for what I think of A-Rod as a player, well, suffice it to say I think he’s no Alex Gonzalez.

    SF January 31, 2006, 4:02 pm
  • I have to agree with SF and Nick. Getting into steroid discussions, especially when there hasn’t been any new “evidence” is just silly. If A-Rod starts growing hair out of his palms and his eyeballs or Manny starts attacking people in the club house in fits of un-manny-like-rage maybe we could throw some rumors down.
    As of right now there are a few players we can speculate about with some background, a couple on the Yankees and of course the entire front office of the Red Sox (based on the obvious threat of “Monster Strength” they had to exhibit to get that Beckett deal thru).

    walein January 31, 2006, 4:38 pm
  • I think the Red Sox are gonna suck this year and I am going to gloat when they don’t make the playoffs. Then I am going to take a piss on Fenway Park and burn the place down.
    Yeah.

    Joe January 31, 2006, 5:42 pm
  • Gotta love those angry, polyuretic, arson-loving Yankees fans! Though Joe could also be an angry Bostonian, too, I guess. It’s unclear.

    SF January 31, 2006, 5:55 pm
  • SF: I don’t think I was being coy. The question is reasonable given A-Gon’s stats, the intransigence of the MLBPA, and the general situation in the game over the last few years. Note I cast no aspersions on him as a person. Nor do I belive it’s unfair to note that the accomplishments of Bonds, Giambi, and others are somewhat clouded. (Though let’s be clear: we still don’t know specifically what effects steroids do or do not have.) But if we’re going to evaluate a player move, we can’t just pretend these issues don’t exist. The player in question here has seen a big drop in power production. It’s not unreasonable to ask why, and if it’s somewhat cynical that we jump to a certain uncomfortable conclusion, well, that has to be offset by a certain realism, and also a certain acknowledgment that the MLBPA’s own stonewalling is in no small measure to blame.

    YF January 31, 2006, 9:17 pm
  • John: I always find it funny when you go off on Red Sox fans for only liking Red Sox players, because I’ve never heard anyone drink the cool-aid of their favorite team more than you, sir.
    Give it up, OK?
    Joe: Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your point of view. Intelligent commentary is what we love here at YF/SF, so thanks for yours.

    mattymatty January 31, 2006, 9:19 pm
  • SF, where do these people come from? Does YF have them stored in a dungeon somewhere, only letting them out to distract us when ever the Red Sox make a good signing or get on a winning streak?

    mattymatty January 31, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • Careful Matty2. My dungeon has plenty of spaces.

    YF January 31, 2006, 9:29 pm
  • You make a cogent argument, YF, even if I think the course of discussion is compromised somewhat by the subject. Nick’s articulated fears and John’s correspondingly perfect manifestation of Nick’s fears should show you the downside of making such baseless charges; they are unprovable and barely circumstantial. That’s not to say they are wrong, because there is no proof of AG having NOT taken steroids, but there’s barely anything in such charges. It’s not the best, most sophisticated discussion, speculating that someone took steroids, and I reiterate that we’ve done a good job not engaging the dead end of this meme. It basically ends with the charge, right? What else is there to say, after “hey, he may have been on steroids”? What’s an intelligent, articulate follow-up to that insinuation?

    SF January 31, 2006, 9:34 pm
  • I don’t think my point was, gee, he’s an obvious cheater, he took steroids, the red sox have a cheater, na-na-na-boo-boo; that’s bullshit. And it’s lamentable that this meme always degenerates into such bullshit. But let’s lead the discussion in the right way, not put our heads in the sand (although, with Dubya giving his little speach right now, that’s awfully tempting.)
    I think what I was trying to get at, and perhaps I can be faulted for being coy, was that figuring out just how to evaluate this move is really hard (and that’s what this post was originally about) because you don’t know whether you’re getting the guy who hit 5 dingers last year, or 23 and 18 in 2004 and 2003, respectively. And what are the health factors involved. The guy missed time last year. Why? Was that the reason for the power decline? Or is he on the decline and an injury risk? Serious issues.

    YF January 31, 2006, 9:45 pm
  • What’s an intelligent, articulate follow-up to that insinuation?
    You mean besides a good “Yo Mama” joke?

    Earl January 31, 2006, 9:47 pm
  • Mmmmfmfffmmm mmfffffmmmff
    (sound of head in sand)
    Sorry, very very bad joke.

    SF January 31, 2006, 9:48 pm
  • because you don’t know whether you’re getting the guy who hit 5 dingers last year, or 23 and 18 in 2004 and 2003,
    I don’t think it matters, as long as he’s a wizard in the field. If he’s mediocre in the field and still a black hole in the lineup, then all bets are off. My thought is that the Red Sox aren’t counting on much of anything from him offensively – if his OBP can somehow crack .315 again and he can knock even 5 or 6 over the wall the front office will probably rejoice, since the combination of his improved defense and this limited offense will replace Renteria’s performance, and at a much more minimal cost.

    SF January 31, 2006, 9:54 pm
  • Here’s the thing about the typical steroid discussion: no one learns or thinks about anything new. I’m not articulating this well, but SF’s point is exactly what I meant: It begins and ends with the accusation. Discussion after that is pointless. It’s like an empty Bush platitude. As a counter example, the discussion over whether AGon’s signing was a good one or not actually made me rethink my opinion. I’m sticking to my position (it’s pointless, if Cashman had done a similar thing it would be viewed as a waste of money, etc.) but still I felt my position challenged by reasonable arguments (again YF and SF opposed me. I must be stupid or something, but I’m stubborn, and I stick to things in spite of overwhelming evidence, like W). I just don’t see how speculating about steroid use leads to reasonable conversation.

    Nick January 31, 2006, 10:07 pm
  • if Cashman had done a similar thing it would be viewed as a waste of money, etc
    That’s not true, Nick, at least from my standpoint. If the Yankees were going into a season with a guy like Alex Cora as a full-time player and could address that situation through free agency, it would have been a smart thing signing a guy to a contract that filled that hole. And if he signed a guy who wasn’t a sure thing, he would have been even smarter for signing a guy to a short, cheapish contract, despite that player having some leverage over the team due to their needs. He would have received proper credit for the sense and scale of the transaction.
    The Damon signing is somewhat, though not completely comparable due to the nature of the Idiot’s contract and the massive amount by which it blew away any closer offer. The Yankees had Bubba Crosby in center, and needed an upgrade. The Yankees signed Damon. Very smart (and I have said all along it was a good move, just to remind some of our shorter memories here), though not exactly creative. Same thing with AG. I think the move is smart, but not incredibly creative. The downside for the Red Sox remains the same as with Cora (If Gonzales performs as a mediocre to weak hitting shortstop who doesn’t field all that spectacularly), the upside much higher (if AG regains some pop, fields like his reputation). No rocket science here, just solid smarts. Cashman would have received the same praise.

    SF February 1, 2006, 7:43 am
  • SF continues to try to spin this.
    The was no “accusation” that Manny was on steroids.
    It is not “stupid” to say A-Rod might have taken steroids. What’s stupid is what SF says after that, as though I said equally hyperbolic things about Manny. I didn’t.
    I didn’t say Manny took steroids. I didn’t say taking steroids was the only explanation for his numbers. I didn’t say his talent was the result of steroids.
    Got it SF and matty matty? You’re screaming and yelling about something I didn’t say. Somthing SF likes to do.

    john February 1, 2006, 8:52 am
  • From today’s Times:

    Damon … stumped for Ramirez to defect to the Bronx.
    “Manny really wants out of Boston, just so he can relax and chill,” Damon told Kay. “If he played for the Mets, he probably wouldn’t be able to chill much. But I think the Yankees would be a perfect fit for him, as well as for David Ortiz.”

    john February 1, 2006, 8:57 am
  • Theres no place like Mahattan if you’re looking to “chill.” Another great point, john.

    mattymatty February 1, 2006, 11:56 am
  • personally I find more cosmopolitan cities easier places in which to chill. The diverse cuisine, the night-life options, the beautiful drone of mid-town traffic, the feeling that this is the Now!, well that’s what’s so chill about NYC. In other back-water cities, chilling for me is harder to do. You get puritanical bar curfews, Harvard snobbery, Big Dig detours, and it’s all so aggravating.

    Nick February 1, 2006, 12:26 pm
  • You know, Manny did bat like .600+ in Manhattan up at GW high school in washington heights. Maybe he was able to “Chill” just that much more.
    I think the only thing steroids would possibly have to do in terms of A-Goner is if he had been signed with the hopes that he would hit 20+ homeruns (and even then wee don’t really know if steroids would be a problem). It doesn’t seem as if that is the reason for the aquisition so I’m not sure it has much to do with the discussion–unless of course there are crazy medical problems that accompany it (yes, I know).
    Other than that, the Yankees proved that as distracting as that kind of scandal can be it doesn’t neccesarily distract a team from performing well enough to win their division.
    I do think that there is a slight double standard here and as Nick mentioned if this move had been made by Cashman it would have been met with alot of ambivalence and he would have been subject to more criticism about money spending.

    walein February 1, 2006, 12:31 pm
  • Walein/Nick: believe me or don’t, but my thoughts on Cashman with a move of this type are sincere and posted above. I can’t speak for Brad, though I imagine he’d be slightly less charitable. And in fairness to Johnny (our esteemed frequent poster), it was the other Johnny (Damon, that is) who made the point, Brad, about Manhattan being chill. And we know how smart that Johnny is. He probably thinks Kennedy is buried in Grant’s Tomb.
    As for that interview with Damon on YES, he also highlights how his bestest buddy on the A’s was Giambi. Apparently they used to play cards all the time and Damon said Giambi was his preferred dealer, if you get my drift.
    JUST KIDDING, JOHN!

    SF February 1, 2006, 1:56 pm
  • One thing I can’t figure out: Why is Graffanino being relegated to such a minor role this year?
    He hit extremely well once he came over to Fenway — a little over .300 iirc.
    It can’t be the one (albeit inexplicable and extremely ill-timed) error in the playoffs.

    Hudson February 1, 2006, 4:37 pm
  • Hudson, don’t worry. Theo works in mysterious ways.

    Nick February 1, 2006, 6:42 pm
  • It’s not that mysterious Nick. I think the Sox offered Graffanino arbitration thinking he wouldn’t accept it, so if he signed with another team they’d get a draft pick as compensation. Graffanino ended up accepting arb, which may have been a surprise to the Sox, so they signed him at a pretty decent rate. My guess is they look to move him during spring training to a team needing a guy who is reasonably cheap and who can play every day at a decent, if not spectacular level for some sort of low to mid-level prospect, and if they can’t then they have him off the bench and they have just that much more depth.

    SF February 1, 2006, 9:19 pm
  • Or maybe, in my own world, Graff goes with Wells and Cora/Gonzo/Youk for……

    Brad February 2, 2006, 1:28 am

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