Jerk Doubtless

Does J.D. Drew sacrifice golden lab puppies to Satan?

Does he feed off the souls of the unborn between innings?

Does he read "A Modest Proposal" and think to himself, "Pansy"?

He must. How else to explain the venom continually directed his way by the Boston press corps?

This Sunday, Nick Cafardo (I know, I know, fish in a barrell) twice — twice!openly pined for someone else to be patrolling right field other than Drew.


First, there was this incomprehensible statement:

Apropos of nothing: 1. How about a swap of underachieving Scott Boras clients Magglio Ordonez and J.D. Drew?

Cafardo uses a fun technique here. J.D. Drew has an OPS+ of 102. For his career, it's 127. He's underachieving. That's not inaccurate. Of course, Ordonez also is underachieving, but his OPS+ is 80. Never mind that Drew's OPS has dropped 100 points in the past month, thanks to a hideous slump, and sits at .791. Meanwhile, Ordonez's OPS hasn't broken .720 yet this season.

Oh, and Drew's 33. And Ordonez is 35. But sure, how about swapping them? They're both underachieving! And Ordonez's batting average is 30 points higher!

After wanting to swap J,D, Drew for someone who's been two wins worse this season, Cafardo moves on to pine for … wait for it … wait for it…

Bobby Abreu, OF, Angels – He’s turning out to be one of the best signings of the offseason. It’s all hindsight, but the Red Sox had a chance to get Abreu at the trading deadline in 2006, when he hit .330 with seven homers and 42 RBIs for the Yankees the rest of that season. The Sox then signed Drew in 2007. In 2 1/2 seasons since, Abreu has hit .292 with 43 homers and 264 RBIs in 402 games, while Drew has knocked in 166 runs and has hit 42 homers with a .264 average in 331 games. Abreu also has 67 stolen bases to Drew’s 10. In Drew’s favor, his defense is better and he’s two years younger. Total cost for each player the last 2 1/2 seasons: Abreu $33.5 million, Drew $35 million.

Total value for each player the last 2 1/2 seasons: Abreu $30.5 million, Drew $32.1 million.

You see, that's because Cafardo doesn't understand — or chooses not to — that defense is actually a pretty significant part of playing the game of baseball. When Drew has taken the field for the past two-plus seasons, he has more often than not been one of the best right fielders in baseball. When Abreu has taken the field, he has usually been one of the worst.

Cafardo also doesn't seem to realize that one of his own statistics shows that Drew has been much better than Abreu in another category — slugging, where Drew has posted the same number of home runs in 70 fewer games.

In fact, their lines aren't all that different offensively. In 2007, Drew posted a .373/.423 OBP/SLG, while Abreu posted a .369/.445. In 2008, Drew posted a .408/.519 line, while Abreu was at .371/.471. This year, Drew is at .356/.435; Abreu is at .406/.443. It's clear, however, that the only number that holds any water with Cafardo is batting average, where Abreu does post gaudier totals. Walking just isn't sexy. Apparently, hitting home runs isn't either.

It's also fun to play this game midseason, while Drew is a riding a monthlong cold spell, while Abreu is on a monthlong hot streak. On June 24, Abreu sported a less-than-stunning .793 OPS, while Drew's was .868. Would Cafardo have been dreaming of Bobby then? Or only when the subsequent 30 games made it convenient?

Cafardo at least acknowledges, however dismissively, that Abreu, like Ordonez is 35, while Drew is still just 33.

Between Tony Massarotti and Nick Cafardo, one would think J.D. Drew was the worst signing of Theo Epstein's tenure. Apparently, the Sox would have been much better off against Tampa last year with Bobby Abreu manning right field, and this offensive slump would be history if only Magglio Ordonez were on board.

In reality, the Sox have basically gotten exactly what they've paid for — and that doesn't include the four key postseason hits, including three home runs.

It's just too bad he's such a terrible person. Otherwise, J.D. Drew might actually be a decent player.

 

22 comments… add one

  • Well, it’s pretty inarguable that Boston would have been just as well off with Abreu instead of Drew, since JD is under contract for 2 more seasons after this one, while Abreu is a FA. Then again, maybe Abreu somehow scuttles the Boston championship in 2007.
    That championship sure washes away a lot of Theo’s less than wise moves. That entire 2006 $200 MM offseason would probably be seen as one of the bigger busts in recent memory if not for that championship.

    AndrewYF July 27, 2009, 10:48 am
  • Again, Drew has been worth his contract. Yes, Abreu has been worth his, as well, but Cafardo is clearly not saying this.
    That championship sure washes away a lot of Theo’s less than wise moves. That entire 2006 $200 MM offseason would probably be seen as one of the bigger busts in recent memory if not for that championship.
    Similarly, the Yankees’ drafting Derek Jeter probably would be viewed as a pretty big bust if not for the multiple rings and Hall of Fame career.

    Paul SF July 27, 2009, 10:52 am
  • I’m glad they’ve moved CHB and Ryan out from most of the Red Sox coverage. And, at least some of the newer writers can understand the “newer” way of viewing players. I thought they actually mave have gotten rid of Mazz because his blog disappeared for a bit, but alas it came back. He and Cardafo need to go.
    As an aside, how painful was Edes in the booth with Don O this weekend. TC paired with Ken Ryan. Yikes.

    dw (sf) July 27, 2009, 11:15 am
  • Drew is one of those players who is going to be underrated even during a great season. He’s similar to Beltran in that way. He does a lot of things well, but not one thing great (except, of course, the important thing of getting on base). So his final stat line won’t have the Jim Rice counting stat appeal (sorry, couldn’t resist!), but what he does in total is actually very valuable. Put it this way, JD Drew’s best season (2004) is likely better than Jim Rice’s best (1978), and I don’t think any Boston scribe would even consider the comparison. I don’t think most reporters would think Drew’s season even approached Rice’s brilliant season.
    So Drew is already at a disadvantage in terms of the way his game is perceived by the mainstream media. Then you add the fact that he’s quiet and likely not a fun quote, that he doesn’t show emotion (which people inevitably misread as indifference on his part), that he has injury issues, and that he somewhat famously had issues with the Phils when he was drafted, and you have the makings of an unappealing player..at least according to the press.

    Nick-YF July 27, 2009, 11:20 am
  • So as not to inflame with the Rice comp, I do wonder where Drew’s 2004 ranks on the list of best individual seasons of the last decade. It has to be up there, I’d think.

    Nick-YF July 27, 2009, 11:22 am
  • Great takedown post. Thanks.

    Rob July 27, 2009, 11:31 am
  • Without looking, Nick, I wouldn’t be surprised if Drew’s 2004 was better than Rice’s 1978. In my own ranking of the top 50 Sox seasons ever, Rice’s ’78 was a surprisingly low 39th. He walked just 58 times that year.
    Here’s the link.

    Paul SF July 27, 2009, 11:35 am
  • Yeah, Paul, based on the stats, I think Drew’s year was ever slightly better, especially when you factor in fielding and base running. What Rice has going for him in the discussion is power and durability, as Drew missed his customary two weeks worth of games. But Drew’s year is truly outstanding. By WAR totals, it exceeds any season by Jeter or Manny Ramirez this decade. I bet you know what thinks of it on that level.

    Nick-YF July 27, 2009, 11:40 am
  • Looking at the numbers, Rice and Drew both posted a 157 OPS+ in their best seasons.
    The lines:
    Rice, 1978: .315/.370/.600, 213 H, 58 BB, 46 HR, 139 RBI, 86 XBH, 406 TB
    Drew, 2004: .305/.436/.569, 158 H, 118 BB, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 67 XBH, 295 TB
    That’s quite a study in how two totally different seasons come out to the same OPS+. It’s also a decent argument for GPA, which emphasizes OBP’s greater importance in run production.
    Rice 1978 GPA: .317
    Drew 2004 GPA: .338

    Paul SF July 27, 2009, 11:42 am
  • “I bet you know what thinks of it on that level.”
    Wow, I need to get my brain checked! I meant to write: “I bet you no one thinks of it on that level.”
    My youthful indiscretions are coming back to haunt me.

    Nick-YF July 27, 2009, 11:43 am
  • “When you get to the plate, your goal is to get to first base.”
    – Coach Kelly, Little League

    attackgerbil July 27, 2009, 1:42 pm
  • Another area where Drew and Abreu seem to draw parallels: they both seem (to me anyway) to be unjustly maligned by spectators and commentators. Abreu always seemed (and still seems) better to me than many fans, commentators, and even his current salary would indidcate. Something about his demeanor, the fact that he looks like he’d be extremely slow but actually isn’t, and that he has a reputation (this one rightly deserved I believe) for being scared of the wall in RF, have all led to a lot ofpeople who are more down on Abreu than I feel they should be.

    IronHorse July 27, 2009, 2:10 pm
  • What’s amazing to me is Abreu is actually a much better value this season than Swisher.

    Rob July 27, 2009, 2:27 pm
  • I’m pretty sure Angels fans love Abreu unabashedly.
    Abreu has had a great bounceback year. He’s stealing bases more effectively, and playing adequate defense in the outfield. And he’s killing the Yankees when they play against his team.

    AndrewYF July 27, 2009, 2:33 pm
  • I HATED Abreu last year. Sure, he was still a productive bat, but he had a ton of GIDPs and his defense was so offensive that it erased most of his value.
    But Abreau might have just been a particularly bad fit defensively for Yankee Stadium, since his weakness (although he didn’t really have a strength) was going back to the wall. The short RF porch probably exaggerated his defensive shortcomings since he was going back to it all the time.

    Mark-YF July 27, 2009, 3:30 pm
  • I’m a huge Abreu fan. I think part of it is that everybody wants the Abreu that had the 40 HR season, the one that won the HR contest, when he can be a very good #2/3 hitter (though not in Yanks’ lineup) getting hits and steal bases.
    Of course, he hates the wall though.

    Lar July 27, 2009, 3:32 pm
  • Abreu was despised in Philly and summarily run out of town. I can’t tell you the number of Philly fan friends (I went to college in the philly suburbs) who sent me “you can have him!” And “good riddance!” messages when the Yankees got him.
    Now those are philly fans mind you, who hate everyone who plays for them, but many many many Yankee fans dumped on him here too and I remember radio commentators calling him over-rated, etc.

    IronHorse July 27, 2009, 3:34 pm
  • Clearly, Abreu needed to have Nick Cafardo writing for the Inquirer or the Daily News.

    Paul SF July 27, 2009, 4:20 pm
  • Abreu was despised in Philly and summarily run out of town. I can’t tell you the number of Philly fan friends (I went to college in the philly suburbs) who sent me “you can have him!” and “good riddance!” messages when the Yankees got him.
    Now those are philly fans mind you, who hate everyone who plays for them, but many many many Yankee fans dumped on him here too and I remember radio commentators calling him over-rated, etc.

    IronHorse July 27, 2009, 4:22 pm
  • Sorry for dble-posting…blackberry issues…

    IronHorse July 27, 2009, 4:24 pm
  • Hated Edes in the booth, eh, dw? I thought he was pretty tolerable compared to, say, Dave Roberts, who eats into his legacy with every goddamn word he utters in the booth.

    Devine July 27, 2009, 11:17 pm
  • seriously, JD Drew? This is what we need to discuss? “I do wonder where Drew’s 2004 ranks on the list of best individual seasons of the last decade”. Please use the thingy called the internet. It was a very good season but yikes. Not that good.

    B July 27, 2009, 11:36 pm

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