I think this is spot-on. Amateur scouting -- whether decision-makers or ground-level scouts -- have far outclassed the pro group, since at least 2006. Now, there's a whole lot more exposure involved in pro scouting, because FA's and MLB trades get more press, as well as a lot less upside risk. So I don't mean to say the amateur scouting group hasn't missed occasionally. Sawdaye picked Vitek as his first overall draft choice, after all.
However, the amount of leash Baird gets is outrageous. I was okay with letting Tito and Theo go last offseason, as it seemed they had started to become ineffective after many long years. But I really just wanted to see Bogar and Baird gone. Bogar got moved off 3B, which is good enough for me. But unfortunately, in passing the reins to Cherington rather than looking for the best young GM with a fresh outlook, Baird is still around.
And Baird seems to be just as -- if not more than -- influential on Ben as he was on Theo. Flipping Scutaro for Ross was a good move, but that doesn't make up for misses on Reddick, Lowrie, Punto, Byrd, and (although I believe this was forced by BV) Lillibridge. It's difficult for him to get his feet held to the fire, though, since he's the "garbage-in" component and what fans care about is when "garbage out" results.
It's not really fair to lump everything that way.
Reddick is one case where the guy is playing better than anyone expected, but Andrew Bailey's horrible luck injury influences this. If Andrew Bailey is closing for the Sox, this deal is close to even.
Lowrie has already had one stint in the DL and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks now, so he is still finding himself unable to stay on the field.
Punto, I will not say a word. I will never understand what compelled the FO to give him a 2 year deal.
Byrd was traded for when the Sox had no one who could play CF. As soon as bodies starting coming back, he was gone. Hard to really think of this as a failure.
As for Lillibridge, as we can see in this very trade, there was more to the Youks trade than just getting the best player possible.