Tagged: Jason Bay

Was Theo Right About Bay?

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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.

The Two Sides Of Red Sox Nation

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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.

Red Sox Are Batless In The Battle

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Well, our long national nightmare is over, to coin a phrase. Jason Bay will be a New York Metropolitan in 2010. And, Mike Lowell will likely be dealt in the Spring. That translates into 53 fewer homers for the Sox from their 2009 totals (36 by Bay; 17 by Lowell).

Boston will be at a serious offensive disadvatange vis a vis the Evil Ones 250 miles to the south. They (the evil ones, that is) remain an offensive juggernaut even after losing Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon(Curtis Granderson alone had 30 HRs last year)–and they may still re-sign the “Idiot”.

As laudable as it is to resist 5-year commitments to 30-plus year old players, this was a serious mistake on the part of Theo and the Trio. Having a productive hitter in the middle of the line-up who not only survives the climate in Boston but thrives on it, is a rare commodity indeed. And, apparently for a difference of $6 million and an option year, they let that commodity go.

There is only one solution–making the much discussed deal for Adrian Gonzalez. Obviously, Jacoby Ellsbury can no longer be included in the deal, but Buchholz and two elite prospects (Josh Bard?/Casey Kelly?/Ryan Westmorland?) are probably enough to pry away someone who can play Gold Glove first base (allowing Youk to move to third) and clout in excess of 40 home runs a year.

Theo, do the deal.  Now.

Theo And The 2010 Red Sox Troika

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Last year, the Evil Empire made three key acquisitions that led to you-know-what. C.C. Sabathia, A. J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira were the critical “X” factors that improved New York enough to make a serious run at a title.

In 2010, the Red Sox will need to make a similar splash in the off-season to have a chance to claim their third championship of the “aughts” and become the predominant team of the decade. It appears from early signs that Theo Epstein is willing to spend up to the luxury tax limit ($170 million) to beat back the Pinstripe Posers in the Bronx.

The 2010 Boston Troika may be  just as impressive as the Empire’s.  Let’s start withAdrian Gonzalez–the power-hitting young first-baseman from San Diego. Add in Jason Bay and/orMatt Holliday in left. Since King Felix seems ensconced in Seattle, how about Roy Halladay–the perennial Cy Young contender from Toronto? (As a side note,  let’s hope it’s Bay in left field–I can only imagine Boston fans trying to correctly pronounce and spell both Halladay and Holliday–yikes!).

This bold approach would mean that either Mike Lowell or Big Papi would need to be shipped out–either one a tough pill to swallow for fans. It would also mean moving Youk to third for good. But if we’ve learned anything,  it’s that Theo is not afraid to make controversial moves. It would also mean that we’d have to live with either Jed Lowrie or a re-signed Alex Gonzalez at short–not the end of the world in the powerful line-up these moves would produce.

So, look for big changes in your Olde Towne Team–and soon.