I just read Dayn Perry’s article on Fox Sports on MSN titled “BoSox have baseball’s best organization,” and I couldn’t help but laugh through most of it. Perry goes through six different steps on what makes the Red Sox the best organization, but seems to disregard all negatives of each point. Sure, if you only count the positive situations that have turned out well for any team they would be good.
Hell, everyone would be undefeated if we didn’t count the losses.
“Dedicated ownership” is what Perry begins with and the entire point can be summed up within two of Perry’s own sentences: “Henry and company have shown a terminal willingness to invest in their product. That means locking up veteran performers, being active on the free-agent market and taking on salary at the deadline and also plowing money into the scouting and development budgets.” If investing into the product is the main point, shouldn’t Steinbrenner’s investment in the Yankees surpass what Henry is doing in Boston? Perry even points out that the Yankees have a higher payroll then the Red Sox but seems to disregard it as a positive investment.
Let’s go through some of Perry’s points…
1. “Locking up veteran performers”
Bill Mueller left. So did Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon. Trot Nixon is gone. The only one I can see is Josh Beckett getting $30,000,000 for 3 years, which does look like a steal. But signing one pitcher to a three-year extension cannot be considered “locking up veteran performers.”
2. “Being active on the free-agent market”
This past off season was especially bad for the Sox:
JD Drew: $70,000,000 for 5 years
Julio Lugo: $36,000,000 for 4 years
Daisuke Matsuzaka (Dice-K for New Englanders): 6 years for $103,111,111 (yes, I understand that “only” $52,000,000 is going to Matsuzaka, but they still had to pay $51,111,111 just to talk to him).
Going back a little further, how about Matt Clement getting $25,500,000 for three years? Edgar Renteria’s four-years for $40,000,000 ring any bells?
Other than signing Manny to an eight-year $168,000,000, I am not sure how effective the Red Sox have been on the free-agent market. “Active” yes, effective maybe not.
3. “A gifted and varied front office”
Frankly I don’t know enough about what goes on in Boston, but something had to be wrong when Theo Epstein essentially quit and then had to be lured back in later.
4. “Rebuilding while contending”
Perry mentions how the Red Sox have the best team in baseball and “much of that success is attributable to rookie bestowals. For instance, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dustin Pedroia, Hideki Okajima, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Kason Gabbard (since traded to Texas) have all made vital contributions this season. Much like the great Braves teams of the 1990s, the current Red Sox aren’t afraid to plug in young talent in the midst of a pennant drive.”
Has everyone forgotten that Matsuzaka is already 27 and that Hideki Okajima is 31? And that Ellsbury is only up because Wily Mo Pena was so bad that they essentially traded him for nothing? Dustin Pedroia has been a nice surprise, but he is only around because Alex Cora was all that was left at second base. Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his second career start, but that is it. It’s not like he is a 10-game winner in his rookie year. Gabbard had a similar “impact” for the Red Sox before they traded him for Eric Gagne, who has been a disaster in his own right.
5. “Becoming players in the Pacific Rim”
They have signed two players (TWO!) from Japan. Maybe overpaying to talk to Matsuzaka makes them “players,” but I might go for “suckers.”
6. “Building the brand”
Yes, this should be pointed out. There have been more annoying Red Sox fans coming out of the woodwork the last couple of years than I can even count.
7. “Sticking with the plan.”
Perry references Francona moving Clay Buchholz into the bullpen after he pitched a no-hitter because tey didn’t want to burn him out and “stuck to the plan” of not over-pitching a rookie. This is hardly a Red Sox idea, EVERY team in baseball does this with rookie pitchers. Ever heard of the “Joba Rules?”
In the end, Perry needs to look at all aspects of an organization before he decides to only count the positives. And even with that, you’d hope he would pick one who has won a division title after 1995.