Massive (brain) dump…Part II…

Continuing on from a few days ago…

*The Revs scored some goals…and won a game!  I feel better…really…

Ok, back to real sports (sorry Barry…and Guy…and Keo…and…!!!)…slew of Red Sox comments/concerns to catch up on, as well as other baseball notes:

*Christian Vazquez is going to see Dr. James Andrews.  Uh oh.  Elbow problems for the young catcher.  And the MRI showed “something”.  A trip to Andrews is not usually a good thing.  Especially for a catcher that probably won’t ever hit much and will be in the big leagues for years solely on his defense.  Good luck to him.

In the meantime, where does that leave the team?  Last year at one point, they had 5 on the 40-man roster, which seemed high to me.  AJ Pierzynski, Vazquez, David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway and Dan Butler.  Ok, labeling some of these guys “catchers” may be pushing it.  But now?  Just Ryan Hanigan and an unproven Blake Swihart behind Vasky.  Luke Montz, Matt Spring and Humberto Quintero are non-roster invitees this spring, but…ugh.

If Vazquez’ injury turns out to be a short term thing, I see Hanigan obviously getting the bulk of the reps.  But I also see Swihart getting an early cup of coffee.  Not ideal, but I don’t see any obvious 40-man roster cuts at this point to consider adding one of the vets above.  Too early to start cutting roster depth.  If it’s long term, Vasky will likely go on the 60 day DL and that would open up a spot for I would assume Quintero out of the above group.

I guess we shouldn’t really worry about the 9th spot in the lineup though.  As long as any of those dudes performs satisfactorily on defense, they should be ok.

*You think John Farrell may start to be worried about his “5 aces”?  If he isn’t, he should be.  This group still scares the bejesus out of me.  Hasn’t been a great spring.  Clay Buchholz gave up 12 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings plus the other day.  Nice.  I normally don’t pay much attention to spring training stats.  But as it comes to a close I like to see guys pretty much in mid-season form.  Clay certainly isn’t…and no one else seems to be either.

Joe Kelly will likely start the year on the DL.  Masterson and Miley have been up and down.  Scouts have not written good things about any of the starters’ performances this spring.  In addition, it seems as if the team is still auditioning guys.  Steven Wright went yesterday.  Brian Johnson goes today.  Etc.  I am not sure you can depend on any of these guys in the first place.  One guy I haven’t mentioned is Rick Porcello.  I actually don’t mind him and am more confident in him performing ok than any of the others.  But if he is your #1?  Ouch.

I’m still not overpaying for Cole Hamels though.

*Who else is tired of hearing Big Papi open his mouth?  If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  Contract, scoring decisions, pace of play rules…just play ball!  What was the purpose of bringing up steroids again this spring?  And do you really feel the need to tout your Hall of Fame candidacy while you are still playing?  For once, I just wish he would just play and not be sour about seemingly everything.  To me, he’s a Hall of Famer.  But we can debate about that when he’s done.

*Speaking of the Hall of Fame, you know who else belongs there?  Pete Rose.  So what if he is a scumbag?  How many others in the Hall are?  Probably most.  You may argue he bet on baseball games and that is a different type of infraction that should keep him out.  I argue that the case against him was while he was managing…and I am not putting him in the Hall for his managerial abilities.  You may deduce that he was betting on baseball when he was playing too.  Well, how many other players were doing that too?  How many guys were doing some sort of performance enhancing drug while they were playing and weren’t caught?  How many cheated in other ways on the field and were never caught?  I could go on.  There are people I know with strong opinions that he should never get in.  I think otherwise.  So be it…

*I have absolutely no sympathy for Brady Aiken.  He was the #1 pick overall last year, to the Houston Astros.  They apparently agreed on a contract that included a $6.5 million signing bonus.  The Astros conducted a physical and it showed something like a UCL being smaller than normal.  They balked and cut the bonus in about half.  They eventually upped it back to $5 mil.  Aiken balked and did not sign.  Then he had Tommy John surgery the other day.

Aiken doesn’t sound too upset about any of this.  And look, he is still just 18 years old.  Tommy John surgery has actually made pitchers come back better on average over recent years.  So he may still get his money.  But if I’m 18, I’m taking the 5 mil and setting myself up for life.  So many things can happen as a kid that could jeopardize future earnings.  On top of that, he may not even develop as planned.  On top of that, it’s not like he went to college instead (he had a scholarship to UCLA, but chose to go to go to some sort of training school, IMG Academy).

Then again, Jeff Allison came out of high school and signed as a first round pick.  Then he apparently spent all that dough on truckloads of heroin.  18 year olds with tons of dough can be easily influenced, we know.  See also, Hamilton, Josh.  So maybe Aiken made the right choice…

*Lastly, for today, Shane Victorino.

In my opinion, this whole thing with him is completely overblown.  For those who missed it, he essentially said he would trade prospects for Cole Hamels in a heartbeat.  He played with Hamels, Hamels is good, why wouldn’t you of course?

The problem people are having here is that the players mentioned most in trade rumors are Mookie Betts, Swihart and Henry Owens.  Betts in particular is the rub here, since technically, Betts and Vic are competing for playing time in the Sox outfield.  People are interpreting this as Vic wanting to trade Betts, therefore kind of guaranteeing him his spot.  And people are asking why Vic would be so open to trading any of these guys, when he knows who is being talked about and he has to share a locker room with these players.

I say…who cares?  Of course Vic wants to play.  But he won a World Series here and I am sure he wants to win as well.  Adding ace (or close to ace) pitchers cannot hurt.  Especially since he played with Hamels, as noted above, and knows what he can bring to a staff/team.  What if Xander Bogaerts was the one regularly mentioned instead of Betts, does that change perception now that it’s not a guy specifically competing with Vic?  What if Vic said he would trade prospects for Chris Sale or Clayton Kershaw or King Felix?  Would people be as upset?  Who doesn’t want to add quality, proven major league players to their team?

Then Vic felt the need to defend himself and probably didn’t do himself any favors in the process.

Big Papi can speak out about anything and the media fawns over him most of the time.  But Victorino can’t?  Just seems stupid.

That being said, I think Vic is close to done and probably should be the odd guy out in the outfield.  I want to see Betts and Rusney Castillo play.  I’d like to see if Allen Craig can regain his value.  He was once pretty good and I’d hate to give him away for nothing.  Daniel Nava has his uses.

But if Castillo is truly ok about going to the minors to start the year (and with his 10 mil, why wouldn’t he…as long as it’s temporary?), this will all work itself out anyway.  Vic and Hanley Ramirez will likely get hurt.  Craig may be dealt anyway, but also play some first and DH.  Everyone will get at-bats.

Just another reason why Spring Training is too long…people making stories out of really nothing at all…



About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on March 29, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I have so much to say on the Red Sox and even the Pats, but I am boycotting this blog until I get a Celtics post! Even in brain dumps we don’t get Celts, we get the Revs! Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in soccer city, USA (Portland, OR), and if you want to see a real crowd of soccer fans in the U.S. you have to come to the Pacific Northwest. But, the C’s need some love! Granted I am not thinking this team is a winner, but they are overachieving and we get Revs and B’s. Ick.

  2. I will leave you with Soccer City, USA then.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree about Papi. I am sick and tired of his rants. I know that die hard Red Sox fans love it when Papi “speaks his mind.” And heaven forbid anyone criticizes Ortiz about anything since he brought the town 3 World Series titles. The main issue I have about Ortiz’s rants are they are all the same – self centered and he is always the victim. He isn’t respected with contract talks. The score keeper doesn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. The umpires dare call a strike on him. MLB is after him for speed of play. He never did PEDs. Had the shift been illegal he would have a good 20-30 more hits a season. Etc etc etc.

    Papi will go down as one of the greatest Red Sox of all time. His play in post season is nothing short of legendary. All fact. But what is also fact is he is a cry baby. I love Papi for what he has done on the field. What he does off the field, with regards to his yapping, has gotten beyond annoying. Alas, I realize saying that will make all of Red Sox Nation go crazy. How dare anyone criticize Saint Ortiz.

    • I’m not sure Sox Nation will go crazy with your thoughts on Papi. Although you may be in the minority overall on your feelings to Ortiz, I believe that the more he opens his mouth, the more people come over to your side. I know I am there. Just play ball!! Some of the stuff he has come out with this spring has a lot of people shaking their heads. The whole “he would have hit .400 if the shift was illegal” was pretty laughable. The PED stuff…all of this springs’ comments are kind of laughable. The one thing he hasn’t talked about is his contract. But you know that will happen soon enough. He needs 425 plate appearances for the 2016 option to vest. And I believe the dough increases the more PA he accumulates. Seems like it will be easy for him to get to 425 and well beyond. But what if he struggles for a bit out of the gate and they give him some time off…or lessen his playing time because they still have Allen Craig and Vic and all? What if they DH Fat Panda a bit because he can’t see past his gut at 3rd anymore? Stuff like that? You don’t think we will hear him some more? I do and the more it happens, the more fans will not be pleased with him. Despite all of his historic exploits on the diamond over the years.

  4. I think the most important thing you say in this post is that Rose should be in the Hall? It is an interesting point, and I wholeheartedly agree that there are so many assholes in there, why not one more. But, does that mean ARod gets in, Clemens, Bonds, so on down the line? To me those three are hall of famers no matter what. They deserve to be in, no matter the allegations. The numbers and play were remarkable. We just know they were cheaters. Like we know Cobb was a racist asshole maniac. That also means Joe Jackson gets in, no? If Pete gets in, Joe Jackson undoubtedly must go in the hall. Let’s judge them on their numbers. Palmeiro and McGwire. No. They don’t deserve it. We can debate the numbers of course, and it should be done, but I don’t think they belong in there. We just have a steroid era, just like we have the white supremacist era. Are we saying the steroid era is worse than the racist dicks who ran baseball for 70 years? Let’s get some perspective.

    By the way. Happy Birthday!

    • Unfortunately, I missed my window on writing about the Hall of Fame this year. I did a piece last year on it though…1/7/14. Check it out again! But in summary, ARod, Clem and Bonds are no-brainers, as much as I dislike them all. No disputing the talent, ‘roids or no ‘roids. I didn’t discriminate against any of the “perceived” steroid guys, simply because, for all we know, EVERYONE was doing them. How can you single those guys out? Because they were better than everyone else? Well, they were probably better than everyone else before they did their thing. I personally did not think McGwire, Sosa, Bagwell, Palmeiro, etc. were Hall of Famers anyway. But I have stricter HOF requirements than the actual Hall. Agreed on the different eras…there are also other “eras”, like the war era(s) and the dead ball era and all that. So there is a lot to consider over the years. Speaking of over the years, you bring up Shoeless Joe. I actually don’t have an answer for you here. I try to limit my Hall opinions to players I have actually seen play…because ultimately, for me, the eye test is one of the important characteristics. I may go back into the ’70’s, when I was barely on this Earth. But that is about as far back as I feel comfortable going. My grandmother turned 93 last year, and she wasn’t even born when Shoeless Joe was tossed out of the game. I can look at his numbers and say he had a high career average and not much power…looks like a lot of speed, etc. But can I really have an opinion on if he is a HOF? Hard to say. His case may be a little different from Rose’s, simply because the charges were against Joe as a player. I’m sure Rose was betting on baseball as a player too, but the charges came against him as a manager. Scumbags both, it appears. But hard for me to comment on Shoeless Joe’s playing career…

    • Oh and thanks for the Happy Birthday wishes!

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