Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Tito's words of wisdom

Kyle Snyder.  Because I'm still a little too cranky to put up a photo of someone on the current team.  Courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Kyle Snyder. Just because. Courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Not writing about last night’s game.  Won’t do it.   As a matter of fact these few words are the last I will mention that game.  We’re done.  Okay, one thing:  They won the battle (beating Ubaldo Jimenez) and lost the war (losing the actual game).  This doesn’t make me feel as good as I thought it would.  Now, we’re really done.  Let us never speak of this again.

What I wanted to write about and what I meant to write about during the game last night is Terry Francona and the fools he has to suffer.  Yesterday on the WEEI Full Count blog, Sam Dykstra posted the transcript of Tito’s appearance on the Dale and Holley Show.  Now I’m not listening to the broadcast for fear I might break my computer so I don’t know who asked this question, but here it is (in regard to Mike Lowell):

You’re doing really well right now without him so why not release him?

They’re doing “really well right now”?  Someone who covers sports professionally actually phrased a question that way?  The Sox are tied for second place so they should just be happy that the wheels aren’t falling off and give into the wishes of a player because nothing else could possibly happen that would make having Mike Lowell on the team a good backup plan, right?  The stupidity of the question is mind boggling but, as usual, Tito is ready with the response:

Well first of all, I would never talk about that with a player, especially on the radio. I can’t do that. But I think you’re being a little short-sighted. What if Youk twisted an ankle tonight? How good would that look? … It’s something that’s not making Mikey very happy, but it’s a long season and as you kind alluded to a minute ago, we’ve gone through a lot of players. It doesn’t always work out perfect for the players’ personal goals. We understand that, and the timetables are a little different sometimes. That’s why we just do the best we can.

I am genuinely amazed that Tito has yet to begin a response to one of these questions with “Are you a friggin’ idiot?”.    I dig Mike Lowell and I hate the situation he’s in.  Well, I hate some of it.  I get that he wants to play and I get that he feels like he’s good to go but I also get that he’s being paid a lot of money to sit on that bench and possibly make it to the playoffs.  Money shouldn’t always be a factor and I often argue with people who want to say things like “For the money he’s making…” but it’s tough to garner sympathy (although Lowell has said straight out that he is NOT looking for sympathy) for a guy who spends his days at a park and pockets lots of cash to do so.  On the other hand, Lowell has done a lot for this team and seems to be a good guy so I feel sorry that he’s seemingly so miserable.

Having written all of that, I think anyone who suggests the Red Sox should just give him his release or trade him in a package that would benefit him more than the team (there is no reason I can think of that it would be a good idea to get rid of him just because he wants to go) is out of his or her mind.  Why should the Red Sox do anything that would benefit him more than the team?  It’s only June.  The season has already been insane with injuries…why put the team in a position to be short a decent back up infielder and/or DH just because he’s a nice guy and wants to leave?  Also, if the Sox lose another player they end up paying to play somewhere else, I just might have to visit Fenway Park and set it on fire.  It is not my desire to see Mike Lowell wither away during what is most likely his last season in MLB.  It is ALSO not my desire to see the Red Sox hamstrung because they took the feelings of a beloved player into consideration over what was best for the team.  Sometimes, as lousy as it is to acknowledge, we have to remember that baseball is a business.

Tito showed he is also on the side of the people I don’t want to punch when he answered the question about Stephen Strasburg being in the All Star Game:

Oh my goodness, no. Maybe the Triple-A All-Star Game. I understand what this kid means to the game and what his potential is, but no, that’d be so disrespectful to a lot of good players. This kid’s made three major-league starts. I think that’d be setting a horrendous precedent. Again, no disrespect for the player, he’s got a chance to be one of the best pitchers in the game, but he’s got a chance. He’s got three starts under his belt. You can’t do stuff like that.

Strasburg has now made 4 starts in the majors (he took his first loss last night against the Royals). He has pitched 25.1 innings in the Bigs. While his numbers are impressive there are plenty of other pitchers who have put in more time this season (I know he’s good, but 25 innings is still a bit of a small sample size, IMO).  I think Tito is spot on here as well.  It’s a terrible precedent to set just because MLB wants to use this kid to help repair their image.  I don’t see it happening but if it does it’ll just give me another reason to root against the National League.

Roster change will be happening tonight.  Daisuke Matsuzaka will be coming off the DL and starting tonight’s game.  There is much speculation over at WEEI.com (the site is oddly obsessed with the Mike Lowell situation.  I know coming from the woman who is still holding out hope that Kyle Snyder gets one more shot at playing baseball talking about someone else’s “obsession” is the pot calling the kettle black, but still…) that Mike Lowell could be involved in the roster move.  Me?  Unfortunately, I think it’ll be JD Drew to the DL…but I’m hoping I’m totally wrong.

EDIT at 2:40pm:  I’m really off my game.  Never saw them putting Lowell on the DL as an option.  This makes my brain hurt. I suppose I get why they’re doing it and I still stand behind what I wrote about the needs of the team coming before the wants of any one player but it’s almost to the point where it feels like they’re purposely torturing this guy and it’s becoming painful to watch unfold.

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June 24, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. I agree with you that releasing Mike Lowell would be colossally stupid. However, there is a pretty good case to be made for trading him.

    The Red Sox are growing woefully short on outfielders. It looks like Mike Cameron is not capable of playing everyday. Ellsbury may not be right for the entire season and as much as I like Drew he does have a history of being injury prone. I like McDonald and Nava but do you really trust them to get the job done down the stretch and in the playoffs?

    Adding a solid outfielder is probably more pressing than keeping Lowell around for DH/First Base depth. I think the farm can cover those positions far better than it can another outfield need.

    Comment by Jon Williams | June 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Much as I like him on the team, I would be behind a trade that helped the team…but not if it included the team paying the majority of his salary. That’s the only reason I don’t want the Sox moving him. If they’re going to pay for him anyway, they might as well keep him on the bench.

      Comment by Cyn | June 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. I understand how you feel about paying players to perform elsewhere. However, as the latest news demonstrates it may be prdent to trade him before whatever ability he has to bring back quality is entirely degraded. Bringing back quality is also the best case for paying a large part of his salary. Few teams are going to be willing to trade quality and take on his huge salary. I guess you have to think of it as trading cash for players.

    Comment by Jon Williams | June 24, 2010 | Reply

    • I’d probably be more willing to accept that if the Red Sox weren’t still paying for Julio Lugo.

      Comment by Cyn | June 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. Only you can understand the sick feeling I get when they do these things to Mike.
    I don’t want him gone, but if he isn’t going to be benificial to the team, then it’s time to set him free! :+(

    Comment by Noni | June 25, 2010 | Reply


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