Molasses to Rum

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I don’t know that I’ve ever read Brian MacPherson from the Union Leader before, but if this article is any indication, I’m not missing much.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh.  MacPherson isn’t a terrible writer, just a stereotypical member of the New England sports media looking for trouble where there most likely isn’t any.  His article today is nothing but a whinefest about how horrible the Red Sox (specifically Theo and Tito) are to their players.   Listen, I can give  you a laundry list of players who I felt got the shaft by the team.  But it’s a personal feeling and in no way takes away from the fact that I understand the team does what it does, ultimately, for the betterment of the organization as a whole and it’s not anything personal.  MacPherson seems to be taking fanboyishness to a new level today:

WHETHER OR NOT the Red Sox sign Mark Teixeira this week — or next week or the week after — Theo Epstein and Terry Francona are going to have some serious work to do.

They’ll have some work to do with Mike Lowell, first of all. He signed a team-friendly contract just a year ago, turning down more years and bigger money elsewhere, but he became trade bait as soon as the Red Sox began courting Teixeira.

It’s not just Lowell, though. They’ll have work to do with Kevin Youkilis — and Josh Beckett, and even Dustin Pedroia.

The Teixeira negotiations have sent a message to everyone who wears a Red Sox uniform: We don’t care who you are. You are expendable.

Is he for real? He thinks these players don’t know that baseball is a business and the teams they play for will do whatever they can to sign players who will help the team win?

He thinks that, after the season he had physically, Mike Lowell didn’t know this would possibly be happening?

And Kevin Youkilis is on record as having said:

If we add a guy like Mark Teixeira to the team, that would be great,” said Youkilis. “You never know – I might be the guy traded (to make room). But I don’t mind it; I get to play baseball for a living.”

MacPherson is right. Youk sounds pissed to me. (Shout out to SG for the heads up on that story.)

MacPherson gives no reason Beckett will need to be “worked” with and he goes on to admit that Pedroia doesn’t have to “worry”.   Hell, though, he even throws Jason Bay into the mix.   He needs to be concerned that the Red Sox have no loyalty to their players.  He brings up Bronson Arroyo.  You remember Bronson.  He was traded in 2006.  Red Sox stuck a knife in his heart when they traded him (and got suck in return).  It was shitty and  many people thought so.  Funny, though, how it hasn’t stopped players from signing with the Sox.  Funny how it hasn’t affected the success of the team.

Here’s how MacPherson ends his piece:

Baseball is a business, sure. But when your product is your people, you have to treat them a certain way.

I, actually, don’t entirely disagree with this.  But here’s the thing for me, loyalty goes both ways.  The Red Sox treated Manny like a God and he gave them the finger.  They made really good offers to Pedro Martinez and Johnny Damon and were told “we’re going where the money is”.  There is practically NO loyalty in baseball (Bronson Arroyo aside) but to blame it solely on the owners (and, in this case, the entire Red Sox front office) makes no sense to me.

I often say that if I were GM, John Valentin would have been the shortstop until he shattered into a million pieces.  This is one of the many reasons I’m not a general manager of a baseball team.  I’ll tell you what, I don’t want to see Mike Lowell go anywhere.  He’s been great for this team, he seems like a genuinely good guy, and in a time when he could have taken advantage of the free agent market, he, essentially, took a discount to stay in Boston.  I think it would stink on ice if he got booted just because someone younger and shinier came to town.  But as much as I would hate it, I understand it.  And so do the players – I’m guessing more than I.

Baseball is a business.  It’s lousy, but true.  And it’s probably the first thing these guys learn about baseball once they hit the bigs.  This isn’t news to anyone.

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