Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Miss Terry Francona

This week's excerpts from Terry Francona's book with Dan Shaugnessy reminded me of just how good we had it as Red Sox fans from 2004-2011.  Bobby Valentine helped to cement that idea in 2012.  It was clear to me a couple of weeks into the 2012 season that the Red Sox should have rehired Terry Francona.  Listen, I am not naive enough to believe that there isn't two sides to every story and Tito's book is certainly going to tell us his side of the story, but I will also take him at his word that we should read the book cover to cover before we judge how he portrayed the owners.  With that being said the first excerpt to come out from the book certainly confirms the thoughts that most Red Sox fans have about our owners.

Our owners are running a business.  That by itself is not a crime or even bad ownership.  We want them to make as much revenue as possible so long as they put money into the team, which they have always done.  The major mistake of this ownership group is that they allowed the business side of their job get intertwined with the baseball operations department.  This must be what Theo Epstein always referred to as "the Monster".  Theo's quotes in the book confirm this.  This also must be what Ben Cherington meant when he said that the Red Sox became undisciplined with their decision making.  They got seduced by "sexy" players and lost their discipline.  They got seduced by TV ratings and marketing research and that has nothing to do with winning baseball games.  The ownership group should have taken a page out of Robert Kraft's book and let the people in their organization that were responsible for building a baseball team do their job.  When Kraft hired Bill Belichick he stayed out of his way.  Belichick produced a winner and then the team become popular with fans and television audiences.

This is what Henry and Co. need to do.  Stay out of Ben Cherington and the baseball operations departments way for three years and let them build a winner.  If they haven't done that after three years then fire them and hire someone that can build you a winner.  They need to take their "organizaational meetings" and market research and stick it up their soccer team.

Other Red Sox news:

  • Jon Heyman of CBS sports is reporting that the Red Sox and Mike Napoli are making progress and should have an agreement by sometime next week.  (After Martin Luther King Day)
  • The Portland Sea Dogs have re-upped their agreement with the Sox through 2018
  • Vicente Padilla is heading to Japan (not sure if there's any truth to the rumor that he's going there to fight samurai warriors with his machete)
  • Nine Red Sox players filed for arbitration (basically non news, they'll all agree to terms prior to arbitration and be on the Red Sox this year)
  • The Red Sox still should be in the market for a LH hitting 1B/OF and SP depth

14 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to get my hands on Tito's book! Mo matter how much success Ben and John Farrell have, it will never be like the Francona era. I believe this ownership group will rue making that change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree on all accounts Deacon. It will never be the same as the Francona years and no matter how they spin it we have the owners to thank for him being gone.

      Delete
    2. I was reading a story on some of the excerpts earlier this week, and apparently one of the juiciest sections talks about the owners pushing for the Gonzalez trade/Crawford signing. In the book, Tito (with a possible assist from Theo, his role seemed unclear) claimed that the owners pushed Theo into acquiring Gonzalez and Crawford because they wanted to make a couple of "sexy" signings. Not sexy as in, "this move is splashy, it will get people talking about the Red Sox and we'll be the story of the offseason", they mean literally "Gonzalez and Crawford are good-looking sexy males who will be marketable and will help get women to buy tickets and jerseys". Yes, our ownership group pushed to put together the team not based on baseball performance or sabermetrics, or clubhouse value, but by a People magazine-type Sexiest Baseball Players list. And yes, we still have this same ownership group. No wonder Youk was traded last year.

      Delete
    3. What the ladies don't love Youk?

      He was the only Sox player my Yankee fan wife would cheer for (check the podcast archive for that story). Now she'll have plenty of chances cheer for him.

      Delete
  2. Red Sox and Mike Napoli have a agreed to a ONE YEAR DEAL WORTH 5 MILLION DOLLARS wow I never saw that coming. Reports are also saying that there are incentives that could take the deal back up to 13 million dollars for one year. The bonuses are tied to games played and not spending anytime on the DL this year. This is a win for Ben C. and the Red Sox. Not to mention maybe the most drastic swing in free agent history from 3 years 39 million to 1 year for 5 million guaranteed. No wonder it took so long to reach an agreement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The story I read claimed that Texas had re-opened negotiations with Napoli and actually offered more money than the 1 year/$5 million the Red Sox offered, but Napoli chose Boston because he would have an everday spot in the lineup. For Napoli, it makes sense to have a chance to play every day and showcase his skills for another contract next off season. For the Red Sox, it is a stroke of genius to potentially get a 30 HR/100 RBI guy in the middle of the order for only $5 million. Even if he earns the maximum $13 million, that's still a steal. Plus they get the flexibility of only having a one year deal on the books and get a chance to find a long-term answer at 1B either at the trade deadline or next winter.

      Benny C is killing it this winter.

      Delete
    2. Exactly, this why it was taking so long. Napoli and his agent swallowing a drop fro, 39M to only 5M!! But at a closer look this is not only a win for the Sox, but it can be for Napoli also. It sounds like the incentives are all based on avoiding DL time. So it is very possible Napoli will get the same 13M he was in line for next year, and then he can hit the FA market again. Millions of reasons for Nap to have a huge year in Boston.

      Delete
    3. I do like that aspect of this deal. Napoli has a lot to prove this year and he has plenty of financial incentive. Let's hope he has a big year!

      Delete
  3. Another MLB story breaking today is a three team trade involving Mike Morse. When I first saw the headline, I was excited that my potential three-teamer between the Nats, Mariners, and Red Sox was becoming a reality, but not so.

    The trade does in fact involve the Mariners getting Morse and the Nats getting prospects, but the A's got involved getting John Jaso from the M's and moving a couple of prospects to the Nats.

    Thoughts: A steal for the M's in my opinion, despite what Jonah Keri wrote on Grantland today about Morse's shortcomings. I'm glad Morse isn't going to be in the AL East playing against us in Fenway.

    But here is the biggest takeaway: the Mariners are now overloaded with 1B/OF/DH types: Morse, Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak, Mike Carp, Jason Bay, Casper Wells, and Eric Thames. I think there is going to be a trade in the works with the Red Sox and M's for one of these 1B/OF bats. As discussed before on redsoxmaineiacs, it needs to be a lefty, and in my opinion Carp is the best fit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Mariners could use Andrew Bailey, but I wouldn't trade him straight up for Carp and the Red Sox would want more in return. The Mariners and Red Sox certainly appear to be a fit. On a bigger scale would the Mariners be interested in Ellsbury??? There seems to be potential for a small deal at the very least and potentially a BIG trade between those two teams.

      Delete
    2. I agree it is looking like Seattle will be the trade partner for a first base back up type. Carp seems like a fit, but especially with the M's glut of 1B/OF guys I would not spend too much on Carp. I wonder if because of a higher upside, the Sox would prefer Justin Smoak, even though he has not played OF, and how much more it would take to get Smoak.

      Delete
  4. Red Sox have avoided salary arbitration with Jarrod Saltalammacchia by agreeing to a one year deal. This is not big news and we can expect about 8 more of these over the next couple weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And as Barry predicted the Sox have signed ALL of their arb, eligible players, inluding Ellsbury and Joel Hanrahan. Breslow is the last to sign and he agrees to a two year deal, everyone else to one year deals.

      Delete
    2. And it took even less time than I predicted. It only took a couple of days instead of a couple weeks.

      Delete