Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Reaction to Drew & Lugo deals swift & severe

I've spent the last 24 hours trying to get a read on the pulse of Red Sox Nation regarding the twin mega-signings of JD Drew & Julio Lugo.

The reactions from commentators, experts and posters to Sox sites range from "Theo is an idiot" to "give the deals a chance before you slam them."

Unfortunately that last school of thought was mostly shared by me and me alone. Everyone & their brother seems to be of the mindset that Drew is a pansy malcontent who is going to take his money and immediately head to the disabled list while Lugo is too pricey an upgrade and too flawed defensively to justify getting rid of Alex Gonzalez.

Typical knee-jerk reaction by members of RSN. Last year everyone thought the Beckett signing was a great coup for Boston and that taking Mike Lowell and his $9 million salary was an inconvenient pill that had to be swallowed to land the hard throwing righty.

Well look how that turned out. Beckett nearly got whiplash from giving up so many gopher balls and Lowell turned out to be the savior in the deal, providing an offensive spark and clubhouse leadership that was invaluable to Boston jumping out to the AL East lead for 3 months.

Meanwhile the guys Boston gave up for the pair, Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez, finished 1 & 4 in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and Sanchez threw a no-no in September. Good call on that deal, huh?

My thing with the Drew signing is this: give the guy at least a half a season to prove what he can do before you ride him out of town. If he fits in in the clubhouse, plays in the majority of games and is on pace for a .300/25/100 season, lay off. If on the other hand he is injured, hits below his weight and is not producing runs, then it's time to pile on that idiot Theo for making yet another bad deal.

The point is none of these deals look very good right now. The salary structure is so out of whack that mediocre pitchers are getting $10 mil/year, and offensive players are garnering huge deals.

I have to believe that Drew knows what he is getting into coming to the Hub. How can he not? Every yahoo with a computer and talk radio show is already calling for his head on a platter so you would think he's aware of the cauldron he's about to enter. If he didn't want to get vilified for his perceived lackadaisical attitude he could have stayed in LA. Why come to Boston, just for a little extra cash? Doesn't make sense.

Plus the whole thing hinges on Manny. If he stays put, which according to Sir Peter & Jayson Stark he is, the 3-4-5 combo of Papi, ManRam & Drew could be the best in the game. If Manny departs, which I still believe will happen (but who am I? just some idiot with a computer), and Drew becomes Papi's primary protection then we could have a problem.

Everyone wanted the Sox brass to do something this off season to upgrade the club, then when they do they get ripped from the Left Coast to Bangor.
Once again I must paraphrase the immortal Sgt. Hulka from Stripes:
Lighten up, Nation.

No comments: