Mookie redux

tims4wins

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That’s not the point being made by posters discussing his poor postseason numbers. It’s a tiny sample size and not predictive of anything. No ones saying something is wrong with Mookie that makes him suck in the postseason, they’re saying his lack of production in the postseason has lead to a lack of iconic moments. Just in the 2018 postseason, several other Sox players had more memorable moments. That’s part of why Mookie never achieved the emotional stardom of an Ortiz
Exactly, thank you. If Mookie had the exact same career here but flipped World Series performances with Steve Pearce, it would be a different discussion.
 

Jimbodandy

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Thanks to SJH for the Fred Lynn & Mookie comp. Holy crap are their years in Boston similar.

Both around 800 games, 134/141 OPS+, an MVP, multiple gold gloves. Betts had a higher MVP votes in other years, but both got them. One trip to WS each.

Lynn was my first favorite player. I was devastated when he left.

Enjoyed this deep dive on BR after seeing this comp.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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That's the problem with nostalgia....it ruins the present times.
Yeah you're absolutely correct. But that is exactly the reason why he couldn't ever be on the same level as Paps and Brady. He's going to be one of my all time favorites and it was a horrible loss. I think the Sox should have figured out a way to sign him long term after '18. A 12 year deal then. But he wanted to go to FA and the Sox handcuffed themselves and when they saw the likely cost... .they either had to compete in an open bidding war with possibly the Yankees grabbing him or dealing him and hoping that the Dodgers would be willing to break the bank for him and also get something back. As much as it pains me- knowing where they were at in 2020, they made the right decision for the long term success of the organization.
 

tims4wins

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Thanks to SJH for the Fred Lynn & Mookie comp. Holy crap are their years in Boston similar.

Both around 800 games, 134/141 OPS+, an MVP, multiple gold gloves. Betts had a higher MVP votes in other years, but both got them. One trip to WS each.

Lynn was my first favorite player. I was devastated when he left.

Enjoyed this deep dive on BR after seeing this comp.
And then he went from a .902 OPS and 141 OPS+ in Boston to a .799 OPS and 120 OPS+ for the remainder of his career. After being an All Star every one of his six full years in Boston, he was an All Star each of the next three years, and then never again.

Time will tell on Mookie, but I could easily foresee a similar path.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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This is what actually matters: of the top 20 highest paid players in baseball, 6 are on a different team than the one they initially signed the contract with. Of the 6 teams that initially signed them, the Sox (David Price contract) are the only one with a chance to make the postseason. Of the other 14 highest paid, 8 are on non playoff teams, and one (Bauer) is potentially out of the league. So of the 20 players with the biggest contracts this season, a total of 5 are potentially playing in the postseason with the team that signed the massive deal. Those 5 are Cole, Altuve, Verlander, Kershaw, and Goldschmidt.

This really speaks to the fact that signing players to massive contracts is not a way to successfully build a team. Mookie is 45th in MLB in fWAR this season among position players, and would be 4th on Boston. His 3.8 fWAR is his lowest ever other than his 52 game 2014 and his 55 game 2020. Fangraphs has his defensive contribution as negative for the first time in his career. He’s old enough that it extremely likely that he’s last his prime defensively, and if his defense isn’t elite, then neither is he. I still think he’s a great player, but that contract will be an albatross, and anyone still upset we didn’t give it to him is being willfully ignorant
 

jose melendez

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I still think he’s a great player, but that contract will be an albatross, and anyone still upset we didn’t give it to him is being willfully ignorant
I will agree with that right up until we give a similar contract to a worse player--which we almost certainly will.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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And then he went from a .902 OPS and 141 OPS+ in Boston to a .799 OPS and 120 OPS+ for the remainder of his career. After being an All Star every one of his six full years in Boston, he was an All Star each of the next three years, and then never again.

Time will tell on Mookie, but I could easily foresee a similar path.
He was absolutely killed by playing in Anaheim. Such a bad stadium for him. OPS of .833 lifetime in Anaheim as opposed to 1.021 in Fenway.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I will agree with that right up until we give a similar contract to a worse player--which we almost certainly will.
This brings me to Xander and Devers. Neither of who should get $30M per season. Devers though is still very young and a long 10-12 year contract buying out arb years shouldn't handcuff the team. He's incredibly frustrating but is still young enough to improve at 3rd defensively and likely affordable enough per year to justify a move to part time 3B/DH if he can't handle 3rd.
The Xander situation is much more complex to me and I can see reasonable arguments for both an extension or a trade or just letting him walk with a QO after '22. I worry that they will throw $30M per season at X and he's just not worth it now and definitely won't be in 3 more season... especially as a SS. Or an overpaid LF.
 

brandonchristensen

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Comparing him to Papi isn't fair, in terms of iconic moments anyway. He's like the Beatles, nobody will ever top him. The 2004 Red Sox is the greatest sports story of all time, and he was at the center of it, and then he went had like a dozen more huge moments.

Is the iconic Mookie play his throw to 2B vs Houston in the ALCS?
Likely his jumping non-catch that was called for interference, and then the next game making a very similar catch.
 

brandonchristensen

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I already responded to this. He was here over 6 years. Papi's first 6 years were 2003-2008. Brady's were 2000-2005. Both were heroes after 6 years.
Yeah - but them sticking around and continuing to cement their heroic careers made a big difference. If Brady was done after tearing his ACL in 2008, his story wouldn't be nearly what it is now. It would still be huge though. But it's incomprehensibly huge now, similar to Ortiz.

He was great, and was unbelievably great in 2018. But he always wanted to test free agency, and I think that hurt the perception of him. He wanted the money, which he's more than allowed to do - but generally players who stick around, sometimes for less than they're worth, can create a larger than life persona for the team.

Dustin Pedroia signed way under value, it kind of didn't work out for the last 3 years - but it was a sign of good faith that he wanted to be here and continue to be an icon in Boston. Brady did the same thing constantly. Ortiz was getting paid nothing considering what he was worth to the team.

Mookie never had that and probably wouldn't have because he publicly wanted to get paid.
 

patinorange

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I had the Hernandez and Verdugo admiration flipped about midway through the season. Hernandez started out slow and I don't think he was a very good second baseman. (adequate maybe)
Verdugo looked good last year, enthusiasm, hitting opposite field, and playing a decent left field. I thought that was a pretty good return for a great baseball player who wasn't going to sign here.
But lately, he looks like crap. I miss Mookie and I think Bloom had to make the move he made. It was too late to do anything. The Fred Lynn comparison is a good one. The mistake was made early in Mookie's
career with the arbitration battles. At some point he must have felt underpaid or under appreciated. The failure here is probably on ownership and/or previous GM's.

It would have been nice to see Freddy smashing the Monster with that beautiful swing and it would have been nice to Mookie patrolling the tough right field at Fenway and running the bases.
Just wasn't meant to be.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Also the Pats were 7-9 last year (third in the AFC East) and looks like they're settling in for a similar season. So as sad is it is to say, that dynasty is over. The Sox had a real good opportunity to grab the sports conscious of New England back and they more than kinda blew it for the reasons SJH mentioned above.
If I'm buying stock in either of these two franchises over the next 10 years, I'm buying Red Sox stock.

I trust Bloom more than whoever runs the Patriots once Belichick is gone - which will likely be soon. And Tom Brady sure as hell isn't walking through that door again.
 

snowmanny

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Thanks to SJH for the Fred Lynn & Mookie comp. Holy crap are their years in Boston similar.

Both around 800 games, 134/141 OPS+, an MVP, multiple gold gloves. Betts had a higher MVP votes in other years, but both got them. One trip to WS each.

Lynn was my first favorite player. I was devastated when he left.

Enjoyed this deep dive on BR after seeing this comp.
Lynn should have won two MVPs of course. I mean, in 1979 his WAR was > 5 more than the winner. But those were the days when RBIs ruled.
 

RobertS975

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We will count the blessings of not having to pay Mookie $30 million a year in 2030! I'm pretty sure of that.
 
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Kiké had a higher fWAR than Mookie this year. Trading him before a rebuilding year for young talent is looking like the correct move.
Agreed that it was the correct move. Strangely, the Betts trade was a Win for both sides. The Dodgers, after a series of divisional wins were desperate for a World Series championship. 1988 was their 1918. As most of us remember, after this kind of draught, a sense of sourness and bitterness settles over much of the fan base. Friedman also needed the deal. In his seven or so years he had punched a lot of the right buttons but still hadn't won. They had to have that championship and they needed Mookie much more than we did - even at the risk of a dangerous long term contract that they probably expected would be a significant overpay down the road.
 

Seels

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Absolutely.

I can't count the number of people I know who have completely stopped following the Red Sox after the Betts trade. Dozens and dozens of my friends have cut off the team. It was so obviously a cynical explanation and money-driven move that many fans were physically repulsed. I have never seen anything like it in all my years of following the team, the overwhelming emotion surrounding them was/is total disgust.

This didn't happen when Clemens left. Or Nomar. Or Pedro. Or Manny. Only Mookie.

I don't think the front office has any idea about the depth of residual anger that still lingers around that deal. And I don't think ownership really cares, they're focusing on their multi-use development on Van Ness Street.

The only way to overcome something like that is to win and win and win and win some more, and to make sure your team is filled with smart, talented, likable players who aren't terrible human beings. That's hard enough to assemble without the spectre of the now-departed homegrown superstar lingering over the organization, but the Red Sox are now trying to do things the hard way.

Winning the division this year, after the cluster that was last year, would have gone a fair ways into healing some of those emotional wounds, but they bottled it. Now they're life and death to even make the playoffs. This is a pretty critical time for the club, and I'm not sure anyone involved realizes how quickly the fanbase will fall if they fail to get into the postseason this year.
I did. Watched 150 games a year from 1991-2019. I've watched maybe 10 innings since. I've said it before, but it wasn't just Mookie in a nutshell, it was a decade of the same exact thing happening with Lester, the FO destroying Tito on his way out. Overpaying Price after lowballing Lester then not going after your generational player a few years later? eh. The Red Sox are not the Athletics.

I just feel insulted as a fan. I'll be back, but I need a break.
 

tims4wins

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We will count the blessings of not having to pay Mookie $30 million a year in 2030! I'm pretty sure of that.
More like 2024-2032. You all realize this is the first year of his contract right? With his speed and defense already diminishing? He has 11 years left. 11. This will be Pujols level bad.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I did. Watched 150 games a year from 1991-2019. I've watched maybe 10 innings since. I've said it before, but it wasn't just Mookie in a nutshell, it was a decade of the same exact thing happening with Lester, the FO destroying Tito on his way out. Overpaying Price after lowballing Lester then not going after your generational player a few years later? eh. The Red Sox are not the Athletics.

I just feel insulted as a fan. I'll be back, but I need a break.
You were upset about the 2010-2019 decade? During which the Sox won 2 World Series and won the AL East more than anyone else? Letting Lester go wasn’t some massive mistake, he was a fine pitcher but not top tier. And letting Mookie go is absolutely going to end up being the right move. He’s a great player, but no longer one of the top 3 in baseball, and that contract will be an albatross
 

JoePoulson

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I did. Watched 150 games a year from 1991-2019. I've watched maybe 10 innings since. I've said it before, but it wasn't just Mookie in a nutshell, it was a decade of the same exact thing happening with Lester, the FO destroying Tito on his way out. Overpaying Price after lowballing Lester then not going after your generational player a few years later? eh. The Red Sox are not the Athletics.

I just feel insulted as a fan. I'll be back, but I need a break.
When they let Orsillo go was when I took a huge step back. Losing Mookie pushed me to where I was just watching baseball vs the Red Sox.
 

scottyno

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More like 2024-2032. You all realize this is the first year of his contract right? With his speed and defense already diminishing? He has 11 years left. 11. This will be Pujols level bad.
Yeah it's not a great sign for the Dodgers that the first year of a 12 year contract is going to end up being about value neutral. Especially since he hasn't showed any signs of returning to 2018 level offense.
 

Seels

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More like 2024-2032. You all realize this is the first year of his contract right? With his speed and defense already diminishing? He has 11 years left. 11. This will be Pujols level bad.
I don't know why it's looked at like the Dodgers contract was the only possibility. He was worth 6 WAR right away. He should have been extended before he was priced out. Obviously waiting for the guy to have a 10+ WAR season makes that much more financially difficult.

You were upset about the 2010-2019 decade?
Why are you twisting what I said? I'm upset that they needlessly either ran fan favorites out of town (Tito/Theo) or lowballed the players (Lester/Mookie) while the direct replacements for these were lackluster.

And honestly Orsillo was part of it too.

Whatever the overall the direction of the team is, it is starkly less engaging/fun for the fan then it was in the 03-09 era, and I don't mean that in any way related to wins.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I don't know why it's looked at like the Dodgers contract was the only possibility. He was worth 6 WAR right away. He should have been extended before he was priced out. Obviously waiting for the guy to have a 10+ WAR season makes that much more financially difficult.


Why are you twisting what I said? I'm upset that they needlessly either ran fan favorites out of town (Tito/Theo) or lowballed the players (Lester/Mookie) while the direct replacements for these were lackluster.

And honestly Orsillo was part of it too.

Whatever the overall the direction of the team is, it is starkly less engaging/fun for the fan then it was in the 03-09 era, and I don't mean that in any way related to wins.
I wasn’t trying to twist what you said. I just find that POV confusing. The most fun baseball can be is when your team is winning games. Trading Lester didn’t make them a bad team. Trading Mookie, as others have pointed out, has probably already made them better. Maybe it’s because I always loved X more than Mookie, but I don’t get being upset with what was clearly the right move
 

scottyno

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I don't know why it's looked at like the Dodgers contract was the only possibility. He was worth 6 WAR right away. He should have been extended before he was priced out. Obviously waiting for the guy to have a 10+ WAR season makes that much more financially difficult.
It takes 2 to agree to an extension. They offered him one before the 10 war season and he didn't take it because he wanted to get to free agency.
 

bigq

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Whatever the overall the direction of the team is, it is starkly less engaging/fun for the fan then it was in the 03-09 era, and I don't mean that in any way related to wins.
I agree regarding less engaging/fun however wins are a big part of that and comparing to historically great teams is an impossible standard. Much like comparing Patriots teams to the 2001-2018 version or any Celtics team to the '57-'69 era. Those are nice measuring sticks however expecting prolonged excellence is a recipe for disappointment.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I love Betts, and I wish we'd signed him to a reasonable extension way before he left, but I'm pretty confident that the team can find much better ways to spend $365 million dollars.
I don’t have a lot of faith that they will. The Sox go for this feast or famine way of roster construction. I expect that if attendance and NESN numbers dwindle, one of the higher ups will make Bloom sign the 2024 equivalent of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval or Edgar Renteria.

They’ll end up signing for than Mookie and produce less. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, there’s always some team that will take a bad contract. Always. This idea that teams are completely stuck with these crappy players that they can’t get rid of is a fallacy.
 

scottyno

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I don’t have a lot of faith that they will. The Sox go for this feast or famine way of roster construction. I expect that if attendance and NESN numbers dwindle, one of the higher ups will make Bloom sign the 2024 equivalent of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval or Edgar Renteria.

They’ll end up signing for than Mookie and produce less. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, there’s always some team that will take a bad contract. Always. This idea that teams are completely stuck with these crappy players that they can’t get rid of is a fallacy.
Didn't you just say Henry was going to pocket the money instead of spend it?
 

tims4wins

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I don't know why it's looked at like the Dodgers contract was the only possibility. He was worth 6 WAR right away. He should have been extended before he was priced out. Obviously waiting for the guy to have a 10+ WAR season makes that much more financially difficult.


Why are you twisting what I said? I'm upset that they needlessly either ran fan favorites out of town (Tito/Theo) or lowballed the players (Lester/Mookie) while the direct replacements for these were lackluster.

And honestly Orsillo was part of it too.

Whatever the overall the direction of the team is, it is starkly less engaging/fun for the fan then it was in the 03-09 era, and I don't mean that in any way related to wins.
In case you missed it, they offered him multiple contracts going back to the 2015-2016 timeframe. He turned them all down because he wanted to become a free agent.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Didn't you just say Henry was going to pocket the money instead of spend it?
You understand that people change their minds, right? Like John Henry once spent like a port on payday, he doesn’t now, I think he will again. And when he does he’ll probably spend poorly, tighten his belt and we’ll be having this discussion again in five to six years.

John Henry isn’t always a cheapskate. But he isn’t always Daddy Warbucks either. I’ve maintained this line of thinking throughout this discussion.
 

moondog80

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Yes. I’m sure we’ll all be getting a kickback from all the money that John Henry is saving.
We won't. But those of us who live in the real world and realize that every single billionaire sports owner has ever operated with at least some level of fiscal restraint may be happy that Henry took a short term hit for long term gain.
 

soxhop411

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We won't. But those of us who live in the real world and realize that every single billionaire sports owner has ever operated with at least some level of fiscal restraint may be happy that Henry took a short term hit for long term gain.
Yah... I mean I wonder where the Sox would be currently if they were not able to pull off the Punto trade and offload all of that Salary of High priced under performing players

Like I said before, Baseball like to pretend they are the only sport without a salary cap.. But the Luxury tax that MLB uses is pretty much the same thing as a salary cap due to the punishments for going way over
 

Jungleland

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My interest in watching the Red Sox took a huge hit with the departure of Mookie. He was my favorite position player to ever watch. I acknowledge that my emotions are getting the better of me, and I've missed out on most of a fun season.

But I know I'm not alone with this feeling. I have a brother and two uncles who feel the same way.
This is me. I can see the logic behind the trade, I've talked myself into virtually every similar Patriots move. But it absolutely destroyed my interest in the team. I know it's irrational (though honestly maybe only kind of - the return being tied fairly or unfairly to the assault story, and further the Sox being what feels like the Trumpiest team in sports make me think twice before completely blaming emotion).

Still feels like a Joe Thornton for loose change level F you to the fans, which is saying a lot given a) it was probably a good baseball move and b) New England worships at the altar of Bill "better to be a year too early than a year too late" Belichick and c) it was a year removed from the 4th championship in 15 years and greatest season in team history.

It will probably take a historically good team, or Verdugo and JD both being gone for me to tune in again. Which is a shame, because Xander will be gone then, too, and he's really only surpassed by Betts, Ortiz, and Pedro on my favorite Sox of my lifetime list.
 
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radsoxfan

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We will count the blessings of not having to pay Mookie $30 million a year in 2030! I'm pretty sure of that.
2025 (or so) is the more interesting year I think.

2030 we will probably be happy not to pay 30M for Mookie, barring some gigantic market changes.

We still could be sad he wasn't on the team for the past decade though...
 

scottyno

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You understand that people change their minds, right? Like John Henry once spent like a port on payday, he doesn’t now, I think he will again. And when he does he’ll probably spend poorly, tighten his belt and we’ll be having this discussion again in five to six years.

John Henry isn’t always a cheapskate. But he isn’t always Daddy Warbucks either. I’ve maintained this line of thinking throughout this discussion.
When exactly has he been a cheapskate with regards to the red sox?
 

Daniel_Son

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I don’t have a lot of faith that they will. The Sox go for this feast or famine way of roster construction. I expect that if attendance and NESN numbers dwindle, one of the higher ups will make Bloom sign the 2024 equivalent of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval or Edgar Renteria.
Really? I think that them hiring Bloom is an indication that they'd like to move away from the feast-or-famine model in favor of developing something more consistent a la Tampa/Dodgers.
 

CaptainLaddie

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Comparing him to Papi isn't fair, in terms of iconic moments anyway. He's like the Beatles, nobody will ever top him. The 2004 Red Sox is the greatest sports story of all time, and he was at the center of it, and then he went had like a dozen more huge moments.

Is the iconic Mookie play his throw to 2B vs Houston in the ALCS?
The iconic Mookie play is the grand slam against Toronto on the 13 pitch AB. It was such a table setter for the rest of the season. Even if it wasn't in the postseason, that's what I'll always remember first about him.
 

Jimbodandy

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This ownership group has 4 World Series wins here in 20 years. The complaints in this thread are weird. They're cheap and elite savants or they're not cheap. One would think that the results speak for themselves, but apparently not.

You from twenty years ago is shaking his head at "now you" in disbelief.

And Orsillo, really? Orsillo? Wtf happened here.
 

Earthbound64

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Is anything as enjoyable as it was 12-18 years ago?
There are things that are much more enjoyable now than they were 12-18 years ago.
Baseball just isn't one of them. And for me it has nothing to do with Betts, but rather with Manfred killing the game that I loved, and with players, teams, employees, owners, and everyone involved for playing such a disgusting role in Covid.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yeah, wasn't that NESN? I mean, I guess NESN is Henry.
Let's talk to 2002 us...

Ok, so we're gonna win one in 2 years, beating the Yankees on the way. Greatest comeback in the history of earth. Then 3 years later, another one. Then 2 more with mostly different players and managers by 2018. Downside though, some exciting kid (think Fred Lynn) that you don't know yet will be a key player in one of those. We'll have to trade him away to get ahead of draconian salary penalties that don't exist yet. Oh, and this guy Orsillo from TV that you just met, he only lasts 15 years, and they move onto a different TV guy. You good with that??
 

JoePoulson

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Of course ALL Red Sox fans are going to be good with that, but nothing about being a fan is rational. Baseball is entertainment that I watch on my TV, Don Orsillo is by FAR my favorite baseball voice so to me he was just as big of a part of the Sox title runs as anyone else. Why wouldn't I be upset that they got rid of him for seemingly no reason? I LOVED him paired with Jerry and anyone else the Sox brought in. After he left I enjoyed watching the Sox on TV less. I'm incredibly thankful and spoiled as a Sox fan but I still can't help that I miss Don and actually watch San Diego games to hear him.