Stop the insanity!!

Since when did Travis Shaw become the second coming of Mike Schmidt?  Or George Brett?  Or Wade Boggs?  Or…you get the point.

The latest hot topic in Red Sox camp is whether Shaw is going to steal the third base job from Pablo Sandoval.  Sure, Shaw is hitting well this spring.  Panda is as fat as ever and not hitting quite as well.  Manager John Farrell claims that there is a competition.  Reports have come out this week that General Manager Dave Dombrowski supposedly issued a sort of edict when he took over last August (and reiterated it before Spring Training) that the coaches were told to not give jobs “based on contracts”.  And all that.

But should we really buy it?  I’m not.  Panda has 4 years left on his deal at close to 80 large.  There is simply no way he is heading to the bench.  That is too much dough to be wasting away, regardless of what Dombrowski says.  If he comes out of the gate hitting like .150, maybe it happens then.  But he won’t start the year on the bench.  Unless this back stiffness that arose today is something more serious, but I’m not talking about getting benched due to injury.  If he starts on the bench, whatever trade value he has will disappear…though I know he doesn’t have much now anyway.

I feel like Dombrowski would eat most of the contract to get Fat Panda out of town.  At least a big chunk of it.  After all, he didn’t sign Pablo.  The Sox’ best bet is probably to play Panda, hope he gets hot and then deal him.  If he sits, that option is gone.  I know, it’s pretty far-fetched that anyone will take him.  But I have to believe that has to be part of their thinking.  It’s their only chance.

Don’t we also have to be concerned about the very real possibility the team “loses” Panda if he gets benched.  He then sits back and gets even fatter while he counts his riches.  Just totally checks out.  And what happens if Shaw sucks out of the gate too?  Then you go right back to Panda and not expect him to be pissed?

Another reason that people are latching onto is that Shaw has played better defense than Panda this spring at 3b.  What’s that, for like 12 games?  Shaw played 8 games at third last year in the majors, out of 65 played.  He has started 108 games out of 604 professional games at the hot corner.  And all of a sudden he is a Gold Glover?  Well, he played there in college, they say.  Ok.  Panda has played 894 games at third in his career and has been mostly reliable.  All of a sudden Shaw is better defensively?  Seems more than a little silly to me.

Shaw had a nice half-season last year.  But there was no pressure on him, as they were well out of the race before he started playing regularly.  Not to mention he did a lot of damage in September, against plenty of other minor league callups.

Listen, I do not hate Travis Shaw.  He can be a nice backup, playing one or two days a week at third, as well as one or two days a week at first.  And then he will probably get plenty of at-bats when the inevitable Hanley Ramirez injury occurs.  He should be ok.  But after like 40 at-bats in Spring Training, he is all of a sudden the next big thing?  Where was all the “hot prospect” talk in previous years?  Let’s not get carried away here folks.

God, I hate all of these Spring Training “feel-good” stories.

Speaking of feel-good…and speaking of insanity…this week reporters are trying to sell us on Hanley settling in nicely at first base.  That he is going to “make people eat their words” about him.   Seriously?  Again, after only a handful of non-pressure filled games in camp?  And with his history?  How could people possibly buy this as well?

Same thing as Fat Panda:  Have him start out strong at the plate and look competent at first base…then try to unload him on someone.  While of course eating a lot of his dough too.  I’ve made that no secret already though…

10 days ’til Opening Day…

 

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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 24, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Completely agree! Panda is not going to the bench. I wonder if it is a way to motivate him? He does seem a bit lost in Boston with all of the attention paid. In SF it was like, haha, look Panda is a bit overweight. Ok, let’s go hiking! In Boston, it is a never ending shit storm of story after story, and some guys cannot handle it. He wanted it though, so let’s go! The dude can hit though, and I think if he just settles in and starts to play well everything will be fine. The problem is he is not worth that money we gave him, and Sox fans won’t be happy with .280 and 15 Homers. Stay tunes. But, agreed 100 percent. Travis Shaw? Please! He is a good back-up for both he and Hanley and that is it. I was excited about the year, now I am a bit nervous. What are your thoughts on Owens being cut? Who is number five?

    • Agree on the different environments. But he should have known what he was up against. So you are right, he asked for it! And agree as well, he is what he is, and that is about .280 and 15 homers (and solid defense). But yup, Sox fans won’t be happy with that for all that money (see Drew, JD…among others). I wasn’t really too excited about this year actually. Excited for baseball again, yeah, but not that high on the Sox’ potential. Still too much work to be done, though it is a decent start. That being said, stay tuned yourself sir…my next piece is coming soon…and will answer your last few questions!

  2. Do you think this is a nice fluff story that the Red Sox PR team is feeding the likes of Cafardo etc to possibly “motivate” Panda? Seems like…again from Cafardo…Hanley is going to prove people wrong. Could that be from the “threat” from a shaw at first? I realize I am overthinking this.

    • Wouldn’t shock me. You know as well as I do how the beat reporters, game announcers and the like around here are constantly fed the speaking notes from ownership and upper management. Especially Cafardo…the next time he speaks negative about a player or coach, or…anyone…will be the first time…

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