Sunday, June 10, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number - 109

The Red Sox magic number for this season is now 109. When I hear the number 109 - I think of JFK and his PT 109. However this Red Sox team bears no resemblance of to heroic tales of WWII and certainly no resemblance to JFK who was much more a good Scotch and Cuban cigars guy than a fried chicken and Bud Light fan.

No this Red Sox team is much closer to another 109 - that's the number of career wins Carl Pavano will have with his next victory. This team certainly has a Carl Pavano feel to it. A team with a connection to those great Red Sox teams from a few years ago (Pavano was traded for Pedro Martinez). A team that should have great potential but inexplicably doesn't meet that potential. A team that can't seem to shake a better than .500 record (Pavano's career winning percentage is .502). A team that can't shake injuries. And a team that honestly isn't that likable.

I have to say that for the past few days I've been doing "what could have been" scenarios in my head. I've been thinking that a good general manager should adopt the physicians creed of "first do no harm." I've also been wondering if Ben Cherington and the team would have been better off if he had done nothing at all.

Let's look at some of the moves:
- December 2011 - Sox trade Jed Lowrie to Astros for Mark Melancon. They then also sign utility man Nick Punto. Lowrie has 12 HR and an OPS of .920 this season (only David Ortiz has comparable numbers on the Red Sox) while Mike Aviles has an OPS of just .708 and an OPS+ of just 89 (100 is average for a hitter). Melancon was viewed as a set-up guy but the Red Sox had a great set-up guy in Daniel Bard. So the Red Sox weaken themselves at short and tried to move Bard to starter - how's that worked out? Plus if Lowrie isn't traded then Aviles fills the role Punto has (and does a better job at it).
- December 2011 - Sox trade Josh Reddick to Oakland for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney. So far Reddick has 14 HR which would be leading the Red Sox while Bailey hasn't pitched an inning for the Red Sox because the often injured pitcher is injured.
- April 2012 - Sox trade for Marlon Byrd who was awful and released in less than 2 months. The Red Sox needed a centerfielder but had the talented Che-Hsuan Lin at Pawtucket. Why not reward the talented youngster with a call-up? It would have been much better for the team and much better for the bottom line.

I won't even get into the Marco Scutaro salary dump trade. The point I guess is that the Red Sox have to move Kevin Youkilis soon and I hope when they do that they improve the team but first I hope that they do no harm.

Because rooting for this team is getting to be like rooting for Carl Pavano.