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    Friday, March 24, 2006
    Bye Bye Bronson
    My life, of late, has been chaotic at best. Losing one job, starting another. Trying to balance work life, social life, and alone time. It’s been hard.

    So too, it seems for the Sox. I’ve written before about my seeming unattachment to Johnny Damon. That has only increased since reading the New York Times article yesterday on what a changed guy he’s become (I’d link to it, but it’s password protected since it’s a day old). It’s impossible to even try to guess at Damon’s true demeanor.

    I’m a more emotional baseball fan than I am a statistical one. I still mourn the loss of Mark Bellhorn, and I’ll forever wear my Bill Mueller t-shirt proudly and not just because I am pumped that I can fit into a child’s medium.

    For this reason, Bronson Arroyo’s departure from the Red Sox has been a move of mixed emotions for me. I will always love him as one of the twenty-five, but those who know baseball better than I do are all telling me what a great move this was for the team. But I feel badly for Bronson. If you listen to his agent and to the many sports columnists who love drumming up drama during the off-season, Arroyo took a “hometown discount” to stay with the Sox to stay with a team he loved, the team I love, only to have that contract used to make him more attractive to other teams as trade bait.

    But here’s my take on that. Baseball is a business. Damon only solidified that in the minds of Sox fans. None of us – not even those members of the press who fancy themselves on the inside, know exactly what went down in those contract meetings. We don’t know what kind of assurances Arroyo was given, if any.

    I just have to trust that those guys – Theo, Bed, Jed, et al. know a hell of a lot more about their team than I do. If they didn’t, I’d be on their payroll, which clearly isn’t the case. To many, this may seem like a cop out answer to the “How do you feel about Arroyo leaving” question that has been posed to me by so many people. But to be honest, I’ve never felt comfortable in the debates of the off-season. The arguments are based on past performances and a few innings in spring training games in which guys rarely are in game-ready shape.

    In season, I’ll question a managers moves with the best of them. Why run a hit-and-run in such and such an inning on this and that count with so and so at bat. Years of playing ball keeps me comfortable in those kinds of judgments. But until then, I’ll let the Sox front office deal with who’s on first and I’ll try to get my life in order enough that when opening day comes around, my boss won’t mind when I ask to take half the day off.

    Labels: , ,

    posted by FINY @ Friday, March 24, 2006  
    10 Comments:
    • At 3/24/2006, Blogger Ari said…

      Me, not the biggest baseball fan in the world, but I understand your passion, I am the same way with hockey and football, and I mean i worry about each game so much, but not so much about who we are trading and what not, when they perfrom for me and my team then i can analyze their performance, until that time, unless they want to pay me to make deicisons i probably won't critizie. Good luck on your upcoming season with the sox.

       
    • At 3/24/2006, Blogger WelshSoxFan said…

      I usually would agree that it's a business and should be run as such. As far as everything I've read from all parties though, it would seem that they REALLY screwed Arroyo over. And even in business there exists such a phrase as 'business ethics' which I have to say the Red Sox have shown none of with this 'sign him cheap and trade him' move. Arroyo is now stuck with a smaller contract than he could have expected as his punishment for being loyal. The other aspect of this is that it tells every person in baseball, every future and current Red Sox player and free agent "don't give the Red Sox a discount. Make them bid for you on the open market and if someone comes in with more money - screw them before they screw you". It could definitely hurt the Sox in contract negotiations down the road.

      As for being good from a baseball standpoint, the jury is still out on that. Pena has insane power but he's like a windmill at the palte. His Avg, and OBP are atrocious. He struck out 116 times last season. If he can learn some plate discipline he's going to be an astounding player, if he continues to play as he has, he'll make all us Red Sox fans look away when he comes to the plate in late innings in a close game with men on base. He is also known for being a lottery in the field - capable of the spectacular and the ridiculous (who does that remind you of?). This one is definitely a deal to analyse further down the road. I also feel bad for Adam Stern and Dustan Mohr - it's difficult to know what more they could have done this spring to get themselves on the major league roster (Stern will be back in AAA after 17 days with Sox). They have both been outstanding this spring (and lest we forget, Stern did very well against major league pitching in real game situation).

      One more consideration finy - this probably spells the end for Trot Nixon in left field. Expect to see him leave as a free agent at the emd of the year if Pena is even halfway decent (which, for the record, I'm not sure he will be).

       
    • At 3/24/2006, Blogger Michael Leggett said…

      Oh, Where, Oh Where Have our Idiots Gone?

       
    • At 3/24/2006, Blogger Jere said…

      Finy, you want an argument for keeping Bronson? I'll give you one. Computers can't measure or project heart, chemistry, etc, etc. (They'll also never be able to predict stats for absolute certain.)

      The stat people might tell you that's cheesy, but that's because they are robots, void of emotion. Okay, that's harsh. Not true. But, you get my point.

      I refuse to think of baseball as a business, as long as fans care about their team and have the ability to get emotional because of it. If the Red Sox paid us in cash for a win, that would be a business. But the payoff we get from them is something money can't buy.

       
    • At 3/24/2006, Blogger laura said…

      I was just reading some Sox blogs and stumbled upon this entry. I have to agree with your emotional involvement -- the only 2 jerseys I own are Bellhorn and Arroyo (it seems if I buy the jersey, he will be traded) and I'll always wear them. And about Bronson, he was my favorite player so I'll miss him a lot, so hopefully Pena can take the sting out of the trade a bit with his performance.

       
    • At 3/26/2006, Blogger Rebecca said…

      there's a reason we get so sick of the phrase "rooting for the laundry": because it hurts. Not many love us back the way Bronson did.

       
    • At 3/31/2006, Blogger Jack Roy said…

      (Bronson just returned to a Red Sox game yesterday to blank his former teammates in a terrific outing, by the way. I have absolutely no idea how to feel about that, so I'm taking solace that it's ST and doesn't count.)

      Ditto everything said above. Yes, it was a good move from the team's perspective (Pena's projects to be some combination of Ortiz and Bellhorn), yada yada yada, I've heard all of it. I don't care. Bronson was the anti-Johnny. Damon left to the Yankees (!) for more money; Arroyo took a pay cut in the hopes of making the team. He didn't want to leave, and he had to leave, and business is business but it still sucks.

       
    • At 4/10/2006, Blogger Michael Leggett said…

      With Bronson gone, that's one less name for The Insufferable Mr Timothy Mc Carver, to screw up.

       
    • At 3/04/2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      This is very interesting site... »

       
    • At 5/09/2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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