Bottom line -- look at the big picture. consider (i) the players who have left since they were crowned champs; (ii) the players who have been added; (iii) the payrolls for "04, "05, and "06 and (iv) the amount of dead money for "07. Not to mention their consistent failure to put together a pen that passes the laugh test for any season save "04. You are then left with the ineluctable conclusion that insofar as evaluating MAJOR league talent is concerned, the front office is FUBAR.
Two intertwined thoughts that keep coming back to me (whether I like it or not), are:
Perhaps it's my New England-nurtured cynicism, but I've had the distinct impression that as far as the Red Sox FO was concerned, they couldn't break up the 2004 Team soon enough;
AND . . .
For a FO ownership/management group that is considered by many to be open-minded, or at least one that didn't "burn any bridges", if you somehow got on their "bad side", you stayed there. One of their "Achilles heels", then, might be their intractability in situations where, for reasons other than lack of productivity, they had decided that a given player was not to be re-signed.
The FO didn't like Lowe bitching about his contract during the 2003-04 off-season.
They certainly didn't like that Saturday game vs. the MFY during Sept. 2004, when to many observers, Derek appeared to be, well, "'faced", or at least, hung-over. I also recall occasional negative references to Lowe's "off-field lifestyle". His overall inconsistency during 2004, of course, didn't help his cause, either. After the 2004 WS, they made a point of ignoring him. For instance, they chose another player to appear with THE Trophy when it visited Lowe's Florida hometown, even though he (supposedly) had requested that they allow him that particular honor.
Result: We don't re-sign the guy who has been, arguably, our best "big game" pitcher EVER, at 9M per year. Instead, we end up with Matt Clement, at over 8M per year. I understood the Pedro non-signing - I think that he had had it with pitching in the better-hitting, "DH" league, anyway. However, the Lowe non-signing has baffled me from Day One, especially in light of the Clement signing.
And what of Orlando Cabrera, who wanted, by most accounts, a three-year contract at 7M per. It had been suggested that Cabrera had an abrasive clubhouse personality, and had "offended" some people in that particular venue. The RSFO response to that proposed deal: because Hanley Ramirez soon would be ready to become our regular SS, a three-year deal was "too long" of a commitment to make. Then, a week or two later, they go and sign the older, statistically-declining Edgar Renteria to a FOUR YEAR deal at 8-10M per (I've heard different yearly figures mentioned on this one, but it was at least 1M more per year than O-Cab's offer). "Irrational" doesn't even begin to cover it, on both sets of these moves/non-moves.
I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that only one of these two guys is in a position to haunt the Red Sox on a regular basis.
Edited by My Dixie - Wrecked!, 04 October 2006 - 02:11 AM.