8.02.2004

Stupidest Move in Baseball

#1 You don't trade your franchise player, the player who gives 110% when he's on the field, the player who won't stop talking about one thing: winning a championship for his team and town.

#2 If you absolutely, postively have to trade that player, you don't trade him for a shitty shortstop with an on-base percentage below 300 in order to "upgrade" the defense. You also don't trade him for a fourth firstbaseman with a .246 batting average, just because he won a Gold Glove three years ago.

So what if Nomar bristled with the management? Everybody hates their boss(es) to some extent. Who can blame him after the awful handling of A-Rod/Manny/Nomar/Ordonez trade rumors during the winter? Money issues? The man gives his all whenever he is on the field. His grit and his desire to win should be included with his on-field and at-bat play when considering a contract. Manny Ramirez has been known to dog it. Pedro can't seem to shut up about how much he feels he deserves to be monetarialy treated right by the Red Sox, however, they're both still here.

You know who else is still here? Derek Lowe, Alan Embree, Kevin Millar's mouth and the marble sculpture known as Gabe Kapler. Thank God Derek Lowe has kept his mouth shut... or else he might have gone somewhere else. We can really use his numbers. I'd list them a few bad ones to point out his failings, but they're all bad. Where's the rejuvinated Ramiro Mendoza in the starting rotation? Where's BK Kim version 4.0?

The Sox were in a tough position, but they did little to alleviate the pressure. For the players in their contract years: Lowe is a joke and unsignable. Pedro's arm will fall off sooner or later. Varitek will want more years than the team is willing to give him. My bet is that they're going to do everything to keep Pedro and Varitek (probably with incentive-laced contracts to ensure his health). Though only 33 in October, Pedro is on pace to pitch about as many innings has he did in 2000. What happened in 2001? After five straight years of 200+ innings, a couple trips to the DL and only 18 appearances for the whole year. Pedro's first three years in Boston were absolutely magical, however he is a different player today and he needs to be treated and paid as such.

The Red Sox season is on a crash course to disappointment and mediocrity, and this may just be the beginning of a multi-year stretch. Nomar loved this town and its fans and he was huge figure with local charities. He may have been at odds with the management, but money is a great motivator and tool. It only took about 15 years to go from Yaz to Nomar, so I can't wait until 2019.

As for now, I'll be on Yawkey Way, looking in the bargain bin for some Nomar memorabilia.

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