Much has been said about the merry-go-round that is the 2010 Red Sox outfield. Due to injuries to starting LF Jacoby Ellsbury and starting CF Mike Cameron, the team has thrown out a collection of bench jockeys and Triple-A players to fill the void (Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald, Jonathan Van Every, Jeremy Hermida). Some–notably Hermida–have been clutch (if not average) hitters, but it’s been a serious weakness for the team over the first 41 games.
However, the guy who would have avoided most of this, Jason Bay, is wallowing in Flushing. While he’s hitting OK for average (.270), he’s gone deep just once. That’s right, Red Sox fans, the guy who went “yard” 36 times for us last year is on pace for 4 whole round-trippers in 2010! For those of you into schadenfreude, check this out from the acerbic pen of Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger:
“Jason Bay, has been bumped out of that spot (clean-up) by two players who began the season in Triple-A: Chris Carter and Ike Davis…Yes, 41 games into the season, after throwing $66 million at Bay over the winter, the Mets are counting on a 23-year-old rookie to produce in the cleanup spot.”
Part of the surprise of Bay landing in cavernous Citi Field was that his home run production would likely drop–but no one expected Alex Cora power numbers.
All of this begs the question: “Was Theo Epstein right to let Bay walk?” So far, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Of course, most of Theo’s reasoning was based on phantom “injuries” detected by Red Sox doctors, but by no other medical professionals. Nevertheless, Bay’s lack of power production is probably due to more than just hitting in a spacious ballpark. It could be that his most productive years are behind him.
Yesterday, the two sides of Red Sox Nation were on full display for all to see. You know, the “all is forgiven, you can come home now” side shown to Nomar Garciaparra; and, the “you ungrateful slime, may you rot in Flushing” side shown to Jason Bay.
As the denizens of Bankruptcy Field met the Red Sox yesterday in Port St. Lucie, it became clear that there were more members of ournation than theirs in the seats. And, when our erstwhile left-fielder stepped to the plate, he heard a clear strain of boos mixed in with the limp cheers. Welcome to your post-Boston life, Jason. Here’s Nomar’s cell phone number.
It says here that Jason Bay does not deserve this fate. Sure, he spurned the watered-down offer from the Sox (after supposed medical concerns came to light), but can you really blame the guy for taking his one shot at the brass ring? I’m sure if you wake him up at three in the morning and ask him quickly if he’d rather be at Fenway or LaGuardia Lite, he’d come down on our side.
Bay was thrown into a no-win situation when he was brought here to replace Manny Ramirez, and he somehow turned it into a win-win. We should just be thankful that we got a year-and-a-half of solid performance from him and wish him well. Even though we know he will probably never again attain the heights he did with us.