Thursday, July 05, 2012

Hey David Ortiz, Shut Up

Before I commence ranting, I think the Red Sox should give David Ortiz a contract extension. He's on pace for 40 homeruns, he's leading the team in every category, he's worth the money.

But I also think he needs to shut the fuck up. I am tired of his rants about respect. Those are words that agents use to justify a player's greed. And now he's claiming that he feels "humiliated" to not have a contract extension already.

He's getting paid over $14 million to play baseball. Wait, excuse me. He doesn't play the field so he's getting paid $14 million to hit. And he's bitching about respect? Fuck off, Papi.

And the Red Sox have announced they won't give you an extension mid-season. I don't agree with that decision, but it's been made, deal with it.

There are a lot of people in this country out of work, or working part-time jobs and struggling to pay their bills. And Ortiz is whining about respect because he's not sure how many millions of dollars he'll make next year. He's just another out of touch fantasy-world athlete.

Then there's the hardships of his team. The Red Sox are struggling (and failing) to rise more than a few games above .500. And he's worried about himself. They get swept by the lowly A's, and he's talking about his contract and how it makes him feel. There is no "I" in team but there are two in "David Ortiz."

This team is 42-40, on pace for an 84-78 season. He's doing his job on the field, but off of it he doesn't seem to care about the team. He's more frustrated with not having an extension for 2013 than the Red Sox going 2-5 on a roadtrip against crappy teams.

Is he a team player? We applauded him for that team meeting he held a while ago. But was that meeting about the team or about his own ego? In that meeting, we know he pitted the hitters against the starting pitchers. Does that sound very team-building? Dividing everyone into opposing groups?

Would he have done the same thing if the hitters were the guys not pulling their weight? They aren't right now, and Mr. Team Meeting hasn't done anything about that.

I've been thoroughly annoyed with the martyr complex Ortiz has demonstrated the last two seasons. He gets 35,000 people cheering him on every night and then claims he isn't respected? And look at the shitty car he had to drive back in 2007...

That poor, humiliated, embarrassed, bastard. That's a Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG. It has a V12 engine that produces 604 horsepower. If he doesn't get that extension for 2014, how will he be able to afford another $100k+ car so he can keep cars like this one from racking up too much mileage.

Poor David Ortiz. Poor deprived, disrespected, under-appreciated, underpaid, David Ortiz. Now I can understand why he's crying so much. Life is so hard for him.

I feel bad for David Ortiz. I really do. It must be hard to see a baseball through all these crocodile tears.

He's just like every other greedy, selfish, obnoxious, disconnected ballplayer on this team.

Maybe the Red Sox Shouldn't Have Traded Kevin Youkilis

Hindsight is 20/20. And Kevin Youkilis is 11 for 36. He's hitting .306 for the White Sox, including a game-winning RBI single yesterday. He's already knocked in 9 runs and hit a homerun in Chicago. He only had 14 RBI and 4 HRs with the Red Sox before he was traded.

Meanwhile, Will Middlebrooks hasn't played recently and is questionable to play this weekend. When he strained his hamstring a few days ago, Red Sox suck-up Nick Cafardo astutely noted "The Sox ideally could use a veteran corner infielder or someone with third base experience."

I know a team that is not only willing to give up such a player, they'd also be willing to pay most of his salary, and all you'd have to give them is a utility guy with a sub-Mendoza average, and a mediocre minor league reliever.

The same club that sold recycled shreds of infield tarp for $60 a pop sold Youkilis for next-to-nothing.

And we all agreed it was smart. Because Youkilis must have been becoming a problem in the clubhouse.

Was he? I don't know. The media, which has a history of being influenced by the whispers and rumors that leak out of Red Sox Front Office, seemed convinced that he was. And perhaps he was. He's always seemed to be, at best, a prickly personality. And at worst, an utter prick.

But if clubhouse chemistry was the motivation, aren't there similarly offensive jerks to get rid of? Why is Josh Beckett still on this team if chemistry is a worry? Not only is he a lazy weasel, you can actually get something for him in a trade. And don't bother arguing that Beckett's high salary makes him untradeable. The Red Sox were willing to continue to pay Youkilis.

Sure, the Red Sox "need" Beckett in order to win. And that is the absolute worst kind of negative clubhouse guy to have, the one who has all the power. That's the guy that must be gotten rid of.

I fell in line with everyone else. It seemed as though Kevin Youkilis had to go and had to go quickly. And it's easy now to look back question it, with him winning games, and Middlebrooks temporarily out of the lineup.

But why was it so rushed? The deadline is still weeks away. Why were the Sox negotiating with multiple teams but unable to get anything significant in return?

Clubhouse issues aside, are the Red Sox better or worse with Kevin Youkilis on the bench or Brent Lillibridge?

And would Youkilis have been a problem if the Red Sox had kept him informed about his status with the team? Just a quick meeting with the GM maybe telling him "You'll be hearing your name in trade rumors, we are talking with teams about trading you. We'll keep you posted." Instead, Youkilis was the last to know about what was happening to him. He had to learn about it from the Globe and Herald at the same time we did.

That'd make me an angry individual and potential clubhouse problem.

The Sox traded Youkilis but didn't dump his salary, didn't get much in return, and are now a little worse actually. They might have resolved a chemistry issue, but there's still plenty of acid in that mixture. And now Middlebrooks is hurt, Youkilis is doing well in black and white, and the Sox are realizing that they're very shallow at third base.

At the very least, Youkilis' success in Chicago seems like the Red Sox are paying the price for some bad karma.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

Ortiz Hits 400th, Sox Lose 40th

The Red Sox went 7-2 on their homestand. And then went to the West Coast to play two of the worst teams in the AL. And they went 2-5, including a 3 game sweep at the hand of the Oakland Athletics. And so ends a 16 game stretch against inferior opponents that I felt the Sox could take advantage of. Instead, they went 9-7.

The pitching has been fine (apart from Matsuzaka's horror show). As it was yesterday. Aaron Cook went a very respectable 6 innings, allowing 3 runs. That's not great, but it gave the Sox a chance to win.

A chance they didn't take advantage of yesterday, nor have they taken advantage of on this road trip. They scored 14 runs in 7 games. That's 2 runs per game if your nursing a firework hangover.

This came after scoring 69 runs in 9 games (7.67 per game).

The only thing consistent about the Red Sox offense has been their inconsistency.

David Ortiz hit his 400th homerun. It was a solo homerun. His 22nd of the season. He's on pace for over 40 and will thankfully not be taking part in the Homerun Derby. He's been the most consistent and by far most prolific member of the Red Sox offense.

Maybe things will improve when Ellsbury returns. Maybe not. We're just slightly over halfway through the season and the Sox are on pace for 84 wins. They win 7 of 9, then lose 5 of 7. All against mediocre and poor opponents.

They have a 4 game homestand before the All-Star break. The Yankees are in town starting Friday, then a doubleheader Saturday, and a game Sunday night.

This series is an opportunity to reclaim ground in the divisional race. Or to be knocked out of it completely.

Josh Beckett opens the series for the Sox (why does that give me a bad feeling?). He opposes Hiroki Kuroda. In June he was 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA. This could be difficult for the Sox.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo