Re: WEEI Kirk Minihane:Terrible start to Ben Cherington era-2 strikes already! Do you agree?
posted at 4/4/2012 11:50 AM EDT
In Response to WEEI Kirk Minihane:Terrible start to Ben Cherington era-2 strikes already! Do you agree?
[QUOTE]posted by Kirk Minihane/WEEI: Ben Cherington is off to a lousy start. Look, that doesn't mean he'll be a failure. This is not a GM obit, he could very easily turn out to be a terrific executive. To suggest that we should come to a verdict on Ben Cherington, GM, before Opening Day of his first year in charge would be about as stupid as it is insulting. But the early returns aren't exactly overwhelming. First, he was absolutely taken to the shed by Theo Epstein on the compensation issue. There's no other way to realistically look at it, this was bungled from the start all the way to the conclusion, which took place in the office of Dr. James Andrews. I've written this before, but the Red Sox should have been in position to hammer the Cubs. They made it clear that Theo was the guy, Theo was the Man Who Will End The Curse, Theo was the solution. Does anyone really think the Cubs were going to let an elite prospect get in the way of the all that? Not a chance. Now, I understand that there were the usual egos -- John Henry, Larry Lucchino , Tom Ricketts -- blocking the way to a quicker resolution. I'm not giving Cherington any blame for that. But, according to Cherington, once it was time to actually sit down and figure out the compensation it was he and Theo doing the negotiating. And the Cubs -- in return for a GM they made it plenty clear they had to have -- were forced to part with Chris Carpenter , the 22nd-ranked prospect in a horrific farm system and fresh off of a 6.53 ERA in Triple-A last season. At the time the deal was announced it was a complete joke -- this was the "significant compensation" Lucchino promised us? -- but after Carpenter had elbow surgery this week it graduated to disaster status. The Red Sox should have had all the power and walked away with nothing. Cherington sat down with Theo and got dusted, plain and simple. Strike One. The Theo compensation was Cherington's first real shot to make an impression, to show that he's not Lucchino's puppet, that he deserves this opportunity, that he's the right man for the job. He had one other crucial moment this offseason, one more chance -- finding a replacement for Jonathan Papelbon . I'm not going to try to rewrite history here, I thought it would have been absolute lunacy for the Sox to pay Papelbon $50 million for 50 or so innings a year. Letting Papelbon go was an unfortunate reality. With all the other key elements basically in place -- after the $300 million spent on Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford you knew this was going to be a splash-free offseason -- finding a closer was really the only headliner. And they in fact went cheap -- trading Josh Reddick for Andrew Bailey. Classic case of risk vs. reward, with Bailey coming to Boston with a significant injury history. And guess what happened? Bailey -- no doubt about it, Cherington's signature move of the offseason -- will have thumb surgery and miss four months (and raise your hand if you think he's pitching at all this season). If you want to write off the Carpenter injury to bad luck, it doesn't fly with Bailey. Some guys are injury prone and some aren't. The season hasn't begun and Andrew Bailey has already made more appearances on the DL with the Sox than Papelbon did in seven seasons. Strike Two. (And no, I'm not questioning Bailey's toughness, or Josh Beckett's. I've never done that in print or on the radio. That's a very tricky thing to do; you call a guy out and you can never take it back. I have no idea what kind of pain threshold each player has, or if they want to be on the field as much as the next guy. It's just a way for media types to try to look macho, all born from blatant insecurity. No one listening thinks anyone on sports radio is tough, doesn't matter how many times you call a player a pu--y or yell about thumb injuries. Bailey is injury-prone, that's it. That's not his fault, some guys are and some guys aren't. I believe that. But when Cherington takes a risk on a pitcher with an injury history and he goes and gets injured, someone will need to explain to me why it's not Cherington's fault.) Again, this doesn't mean Cherington is or isn't the answer. Maybe Cody Ross will hit 30 homers and Mark Melancon will save 30 games and Aaron Cook will win 15 games and all of a sudden Cherington is a genius, just like we all thought Theo was in 2004. It's way too early to get near anything resembling a conclusion. But he has two major whiffs on his very short resume as a major league general manager. It may not end badly, but the beginning has been a disaster.
Posted by 2004Idiots[/QUOTE]
How can you judge a whiff with the foresight that something might or might not happen? I don't get it. I'm fine with him saying it was a whiff once we ACTUALLY KNOW IT IS, but it's too early for that.