Point/Counterpoint: What Does Red Sox Roster Purging Say for Valentine’s Future?
Well, it’s been an interesting last couple of days to say the least. The stunning deal pulled off by the Dodgers and Red Sox on Saturday was a shocker in more ways than just the number of players involved.
1) It was a waiver deal.
The way waiver claims work after the trading deadline is the team’s in your league have first rights, meaning all four players would have had to go through all American League teams first. Then, it’s reverse order of standings in the National League, for all of them to end up being claimed by the same team.
2) Carl Crawford had Tommy John surgery last week and likely won’t be ready for the start of the season.
3) The deal ended up adding a quarter of a billion dollars to the Dodgers’ payroll; even if Boston sends some cash to Los Angeles, it’s still more of a commitment on three players than the combined payrolls of more than half the other teams in baseball.
Now that it’s literally a done deal, where does this leave the Red Sox?
Josh Beckett was the ring-leader of last year’s infamous “Chickengate”.
Kelly Shoppach and Adrian Gonzalez were rumored to be behind the secret text messages to owner John Henry and GM Ben Cherington regarding the player’s growing dislike and lack of respect for manager Bobby Valentine.
They are both gone.
Both Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz have reputations as notorious clubhouse lawyers…Youkilis is in Chicago and the Sox announced yesterday that Ortiz will not be activated from the DL and has been shut down for the season.
There’s an old saying that says an organization is only “as strong as it’s weakest link”.
Well, the Red Sox chain lost a few links over the past month or so, leaving them in the precarious and not so enviable position of having to replace them before next March.
Like on a bicycle chain, the strongest link is the one that holds the lock or key, in sports the manager or coach is that link. It’s pretty obvious, at least until now, that the hiring of Valentine may not have been the best choice.
But over the past thirty days or so, the Red Sox have cut loose what they perceived to be the weakest links against Valentine, leading some to believe he will be back next year.
But there is another thought process in place here, that the Red Sox all along have decided Valentine will not be back, and his replacement is someone who is very familiar with the inner workings of the organization and in his own right one of the most respected individuals to ever wear the uniform.
I’m talking about Jason Varitek.
As the former captain, Varitek was the leader of the team, especially in the clubhouse. He knows drinking beer during a game is wrong, but it would have been difficult even for him to confront a friend and teammate.
We’ve all been in a similar situation. A co-worker with the same experience gets a promotion and is now your boss; that would go over about as well as a bad hop groundball to the manpiece.
The best thing to do in that situation is to remove any possible remaining issues that may undermine whatever future foundation you are trying to build.
So, here’s the question.
Was the roster purging an indication of Valentine returning next year, or did it set the stage for the possibility of bring in someone with strong organizational ties, like a Jason Varitek?
Have at it.
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