Along with profiling Bill Lajoie and throwing in a subtle diss of Javier Lopez’ D (apparently Javy isn’t Johnny Bench — can you believe it?), the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo grills a quartet of Deep Throats (two GM’s, one manager and a scout) about Red Sox GM Theo Epstein’s inactivity at last month’s trade deadline.
A GM: “I give Theo (above) a lot of credit for sticking to his guns and going against the grain in Boston. That’s very difficult to do in that town. There’s no sentiment for keeping kids who may or may not make it. When you’re a big-market team, fans want you to make a big splash all of the time. I give Theo credit for taking a longer view.”
A GM: “We’re not going to know for a while. Looking at that group of players, the one guy you never trade is [Jonathan] Papelbon. But [Craig] Hansen, [Jon ] Lester, [Manny] Delcarmen? If it brings you top young veteran pitching in return, I personally would pull the trigger.”
The special scout: “Boston is developing very good pitching talent from what I’ve seen through their system, and I understand trying to hoard that talent and keep building on it to the point where you can maybe put a homegrown pitching staff in the big leagues. If that’s your goal and you stick with it, I don’t see anything wrong with it. The Red Sox just won the World Series two years ago. If there’s a time in their history when they can afford to do it this way, it’s got to be right now.”
An American League manager: “When your main competition is the Yankees, you’ve got to keep up with them. Brian Cashman has outshined Theo.”
A GM: “I think Boston is overrating some of its talent. There are more and more guys with plus arms, throwing mid 90s or better with movement out there. Are Craig Hansen and Delcarmen special? Is Jon Lester going to be a front-line guy in a few years? They have ability and tools. But like any other organization, there’ll be one or two guys who make it big, one or two guys who bust. In most organizations, you make them untouchable. In Boston or New York, those guys are maybes or you give them up in the right deal. I would have given up a lot for Roy Oswalt. What I don’t know is whether Theo is trying to take a stand and say, `I’m developing players.’ “
In what has to be considered terrible news — for the rest of the National League — Mark Prior is back on the DL with tendinitis in the right rotator cuff, and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Persons who actually care about the Chicago Cubs might want to take a very deep breath or go for a long walk before reading the following item from the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan.
After Mark Prior was placed on the disabled list Saturday, Baker challenged the Cubs to evaluate him on his career record as manager rather than on a season in which Prior, Kerry Wood and Derrek Lee missed significant playing time with injuries.
“You should’ve judged me long before we got to this point,” Baker said. “You should’ve been judging me on the last 13-14 years versus these last three or four months. That’s how I look at it. My track record means something.”
Baker hasn’t spoken to general manager Jim Hendry about it.
Knowing Hendry as well as he does, does Baker believe his entire career will be taken into consideration when his contract expires after the season?
“That’s how I judge myself,” he said. “How others judge me is different, know what I’m saying?”
Indeed, Dusty has a point. All you have to do is look at his World Series rings from the 2002 Giants or the 2003 Cubs to know just how much he’s accomplished as a manager.
Save for a fourth inning solo HR by Alfonso Soriano, his 38th, the Mets’ Steve Trachsel has been almost perfect thus far against the Nationals. Washington’s Tony Armas Jr., however, has been even better, holding New York to one walk and one Endy Chavez single through 6 innings, as DC leads, 1-0.
Sunday’s other killer pitching performance comes courtesy of Wevie Stonder II, working on a one-hitter against the Yankees in the middle of the 5th. The Angels scored 3 times against Chien-Ming Wang in the first inning, with Chone Figgins hitting a leadoff solo HR to right, his 6th of the year. The Angels are up, 3-0, and there’s still plenty of time before tonight’s deadlines to collect completely gratuitious, useless quotes from The Principal Owner
After an improbable 3 game sweep against the Red Sox earlier this week, the Royals have reverted to form and are well on their way to dropping their 4th straight to the Indians. Cleveland is ahead, 11-0, after 4 innings. KC starter Luke Hudson has compiled one of the worst pitching lines of the year (well, other than Francisco Liriano swearing he was ok) : one-third IP, 10 earned runs, 8 hits, 3 walks and a grand slam served up to Travis Hafner.