In order for me to watch the Red Sox, I have to pay either MLB.com or my television provider for Extra Innings. It’s my one splurge. We’ll see how the season shapes up whether I resubscribe for next year. I’m not really getting my money’s worth and haven’t for a couple of years.
But I’m not the only one who isn’t getting their money’s worth. The Red Sox and many other teams try to buy a pennant. Sometimes it works. It seems that the Red Sox keep getting the short end of the deal when they attempt to buy a pennant.
Pablo “The Panda” Sandoval was making $8,250,000 in 2014. I remember watching him hit up a storm in a World Series for the San Francisco Giants. The fans loved their Panda. The Sox needed something, so they wooed him over from the National side with a hefty contract.
“Pablo Sandoval signed a 5 year / $95,000,000 contract with the Boston Red Sox, including a $3,000,000 signing bonus, $95,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $19,000,000. In 2016, Sandoval will earn a base salary of $17,000,000.”
For six years, Pablo played for the Giants, though the last two, his batting average was going down. When he got to Boston, the Panda’s bat, nor his his third base fielding for that matter, didn’t support the mega contract. It certainly didn’t help keep the Red Sox out of last place. Could someone tell me why we traded Adrian Beltre away in 2011; he’s been a solid rock for Texas ever since. He’s a better hitter and a better fielder at third than Pablo any day. I remember asking a Giants fan if they would take Pablo back and she just laughed at me telling me I could keep that tub of lard. When Sandoval stands next to big Papi, he makes David Ortiz look svelte. There may be a slight exaggeration, but David uses his weight effectively; this year, his final year, Ortiz is shattering records.
This year the Red Sox got smart and put salaries aside and gave Travis Shaw the nod for third, allowing Pablo Sandoval to collect splinters while still racking in the dough. Travis Shaw was the better person and even though he’s cooled off from the beginning of the season, he’s still better than the big fat Panda.
I didn’t realize that Travis Shaw was drafted twice by the Red Sox. Out of high school, Boston signed him in the 32nd round, but he didn’t sign; he chose to go to college. Smart man.
“He was a ninth-round draft pick who never received top prospect billing in the Red Sox farm system, even as he frequently outperformed more highly ranked players.”
In the same article by Alex Speier for the Boston Globe, “The Rise of Travis Shaw: At every rung of the ladder to the majors, Shaw has had to prove himself, Shaw said that not much had been invested in him, nothing was given to him. Maybe he got that from his father who played on six different baseball teams in the twelve years he was a major leaguer.
I do love the underdog when it comes to sports. The Red Sox have had a few. Dustin Pedroia is one of my all-time favorites. I’m tired of telecasters always pointing out how small he is, though I’m sure the 5′ 8” guy is sick of it even more. How many times was he told from the very beginning that he couldn’t make it because of his small stature. The Red Sox believed in him when they signed him in the second round. He’s a spark plug; he’s the kind of player that all teams dream of having, the one who continues to be the first at the ball park regardless of him earning rookie of the year and followed that up with the American League Most Valuable player. Both awards came when he was making the least amount of money. I love Petey with all my heart, but his production has slipped since he signed a larger contract, though I’m not saying he didn’t deserve it.
Travis Shaw and Dustin Pedroia are two examples of tenacious personalities, home-grown players. The Red Sox have a few more. Jackie Bradley Junior, JBJ, was drafted in the first round. it’s taken him a few years, but this year he’s having a break-out season. We’re only just about half-way done with the season and his numbers are amazing.
Another of the Killer B’s for Boston is Mookie Betts. Taken out of high school, the Red Sox took him in the fifth round and this outfielder has been groomed to play a key factor in the team’s future success.
The trifecta of Killer B’s would be Xander Bogaerts. Another high schooler that the Red Sox picked up and he’s been making progress every year.
So far, for the home-grown talent, the only one who’s got a lengthy contract is Dustin, aka dirty chicken or something like that, but he’s been around longer, but as I pointed out that he’s been on the decline since he got a hefty raise. The same could be said about another home-grown talent, a killer B that has lost it: Clay Buchholz. Clay must not have been in the cross-hairs of collegiate baseball, but after a couple years of college, neither I’ve ever heard of, the Red Sox picked Mr. Buchholz in the first round. In 2010, he had a record of 17-7. 2013, the last year the Sox won the World Series, Clay lost only one game.
It seems as though the wheels on the bus have fallen off. In attempt to get Clay back on the road, moving in the right direction, they took him out of the starting rotation this year and put him in the bullpen; he wasn’t very effective. So, what did they do? Powers To Be moved him back into the starting rotation. In 2014, Clay was only making seven million dollars a year. Were the Red Sox worried about losing Mr. Capable and practically doubled his salary? Some say this is the end of the road for Clay, but at this point, there won’t be many knocking at the door.
It just seems to me that the Red Sox would do much better with sticking with farm-raised players than trying to get bigger and better fish from elsewhere. Carl Crawford comes to mind. The jury is out on the most recent high-end ticket of David Price; he’s shown some sparkle to show that he deserves a million dollars every time he takes the mound, but he’s also been disastrous.
Maybe it helps for players to be a little starved and not as well paid and keep them hungry. Money doesn’t necessarily make a player play better.