If I were a General Manager…

I’d be willing to bet that a lot of us our familiar with the musical: Fiddler on the Roof. At one point, the main character, Tevye day dreams about what he would do “if he were a rich man”. I’m starting to get the feeling that it may be a bad thing if I don’t remember the ending of the play considering I was a villager (with no lines) in the play when I was in seventh grade. I’m getting the feeling that he doesn’t become rich, but everyone ends up happy. 
Maybe the same can I apply as I share with you my daydreams about what I would do if I was Theo Epstein for a day. I doubt that I’m cut out for the general manager business though. I can only imagine the amount of stress and responsibility Theo has with putting together a team like the Red Sox each season. Nonetheless, it is a fun idea to entertain considering I’m constantly making suggestions as to what should be done. I wonder if I have enough stamina to be a general manager, a journalist, and a broadcaster (or even enough time). 
Before I talk about my fantastical crusade as a general manager, I have a few other things to get to. 
Casey Kelly.jpg
I realized that I neglected to mention my thoughts on Casey Kelly in my last blog. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he was drafted by the Red Sox in 2008 not only as a pitcher, but as a shortstop as well. He spent the first half of this season pitching, and he will be spending the second half as a shortstop (from what I can remember of the report). I would actually be completely okay with him training as a shortstop, and holding off on the pitching aspect. The Red Sox organization is already full of great pitchers with a lot of potential. Shortstops? Not so much. 
I’m pretty convinced that ever since Nomar Garciaparra left in 2004, that there is a minor curse when it comes to shortstops. Hanley Ramirez, the star of the Marlins, was homegrown talent, but he isn’t playing for the Red Sox. Was it a mutually beneficial trade? Yes. Would I do the trade again? Absolutely. 
We signed Julio Lugo expecting him to be a pesky leadoff hitter like he was with the Rays. Unfortunately, that did not work out as he was designated for assignment and traded to the Cardinals a couple of days ago. Jed Lowrie is homegrown talent, but he has barely had a season. Nick Green (who must have been thoroughly exorcised considering he came from the Yankees) has been a pleasant surprise, but nothing outstanding, though I shouldn’t try to compare anyone to Nomar. 
Shortstop is currently our weakest position in my opinion, catching (I will address this later) coming in second. We need to have a legitimate “shortstop for the future” developing in the minors. 
Mark Buehrle.jpg
I really wish I had seen Mark Buehrle’s perfect game live, but as I am not a fan of the White Sox or Rays, I didn’t have some sort of crazy premonition that compelled me to watch the game. To put this feat in a historical context is really incredible, all of the statistics that come up amaze me. It’s kind of funny how people consider perfect games to be so exciting, yet technically speaking, nothing happens since the opposing team is literally shut down. It’s the beauty of the pitching though, and the fact that it is so rare and precious that makes it beautiful to me. 
I don’t have to be a White Sox fan to appreciate this, I think that every baseball fan should find this to be beautiful and stunning. I can understand that it must have been embarrassing for the Rays to be shut out like that, but it’s really just something you tip your cap to. It is something that I will always remember. 
Rice and Henderson.jpg
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Hall of Fame inductions, which I was delighted to watch on MLB Network. I was in absolute awe to see 50 living legends all in one place, and I’ll be completely honest with you: there was a good portion of them that I hadn’t heard of, but that just makes me even more excited to go to the Hall of Fame in a few weeks. 
Henderson.jpg
It was really inspiring to see Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice give their speeches. Henderson was so humbled by it, and I loved the way that he got into the game, and the part about following your dreams. Jim Rice just looked euphoric– it was great to see him drop his usual demeanor and just laugh. 
Watching the whole Hall of Fame induction ceremony inspired me even more to begin my crusade to enshrine Pete Rose there. I will save my argument for another post, but I would really like to have a makeshift plaque made for him, and bring it to Cooperstown myself. Believe me my friends, I am getting him in there. 
So with the trade deadline coming up, there are plenty of trade rumors going around. I nearly spit my water everywhere when I read that Bronson Arroyo may be headed to the Yankees (this rumor has been squelched for the record). I couldn’t imagine my Arroyo in pinstripes. But this brings me to my main point (I guess?), what I would be doing if I was Theo Epstein. 
I am actually very happy with the Adam LaRoche trade, not because he is adjusting extraordinarily well to Pittsburgh, but because he is a significant upgrade from Mark Kotsay. I never thought Kotsay was anything unique, in fact I was a bit upset when we re-signed him because I thought Chris Carter or Jeff Bailey would be sufficient, if not better. Plus, we didn’t lose any significant prospects (if I don’t talk about them, they aren’t significant). 
We all knew that we had to get Julio Lugo off of our hands. Nice a guy as he may be, he just simply hasn’t been living up to the organization’s expectations, and regardless of his contract, it was for the greater good of the team that he is gone. Chris Duncan is in Triple-A right now, and I am dying to scout him. 
I am actually perfectly content with our roster right now. We don’t need to be involved in a break-the-headlines trade like last year because our left fielder isn’t complaining
about his lifestyle. Poor Manny, $20 million a year and adored by fans– tough life. Yet we still are involved in trade talks. 
I have heard the Roy Halladay rumors, and I was not attracted to him for a second (same thing happened with Mark Teixeira). I know what kind of pitcher he is, but I know what kind of pitching we have in the minors. Would Halladay solidify what has been perhaps a somewhat disappointing rotation (specifically Dice-K and Penny’s lack of depth)? Sure, and I’m pretty sure his contract is locked up for a few years. 
Think about what we might have to give up for him though. They asked the Yankees for Joba, Phil Hughes and two more prospects. I am very protective of our bullpen, and even more so of our prospects because the good ones (that are likely to go in a trade) are my projects. Roy Halladay may be the ace of the American League, but I’d be willing to say that Michael Bowden is the next Roy Halladay. That is how much I believe in our prospects. Think about how important Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden could be in the future. 
I have also heard the Victor Martinez rumors. When I said that I think catching is our second weakest position, I do not mean currently. Most of you know how hard I lobbied for Jason Varitek’s return, and I for one have not been disappointed. When I say catching is our weakest position, I mean for the future. George Kottaras is only around because he can catch a knuckleball, and I personally prefer Dusty Brown. I’d rather stick around and wait for Joe Mauer to become available. Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek are both legitimate catchers, who both deserve a lot of playing time. Should Martinez come to the Red Sox, I would think that someone’s playing time would be significantly impacted. 
I think we should stay right where we are right now. We are still very legitimate contenders, but we have to look to future acquisitions too. 

20 Comments

I think you could blow the doors off of a few of these slowing moving deals with the guys you have in your farm system, and the surplus guys like Brad Penny and Saito.
The next few days are going to be a whirlwind, but I expect the Red Sox to get a few more pieces before it is all said and done.
If you got Martinez, would you still go “hog wild” for Joe Mauer next year, or when he is a Free Agent?
Always great to try and see the view from the top of the farm system and realize you have some golden arms and bats in your ranks.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Varitek is said to retire just in time for Victor to come aboard or at least that is the popular opinion I read. Personally I hope this is not what the Tribe does but I have no control over this.

Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

Your blogs are very well written, and I wish you the best of luck in your writing career. It’s a tough gig, as I’ve written for magazines, websites, and a newspaper and never made a dime. It’s a lot of fun nevertheless.
I love the Minor Leagues and would love to make the trip out east to see the Portland SeaDogs, BoSox, and PawSox. Check out my blog if you get a chance.
Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mblogs.com

I agree with your assessment, the Sox can win it as is. The only thing I hope will come between the Sox and another championship is my Rangers. Yeah, yeah, but I can still dream.
:^)
–Jonestein
http://jonestein.mlblogs.com/

So I take it you don’t think Nick Green is the answer at short, at least not for right now? Shortstop seems to be the most difficult position to fill. Once teams find a good one, or at least a good prospect, they are understandably reluctant to part with them. I don’t blame the Sox for dealing Hanley Ramirez, since they got Josh Beckett and a couple of World Series rings as part of the deal. I just wish the Twins got something more than Delmon Young when they dealt Jason Bartlett.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

I’m not sure I agree with trading Kotsay and keeping Drew. If we needed one – then Kotsay would have been my choice. With Hank Aaron on board – it was announced yesterday that the Commissioner’s office will be taking another look at Pete Rose and it appears that they might be softening their stance. I suppose this is one “positive” from the steroid era.

Halladay is interesting – he is only tied up through the end of 2010 (there are rumors that he could be a free agent at the end of this season) and he has told the Jays he will not extend his contract with them. The rumor on Yahoo Sports today is that the Red Sox have offered Buchholz and two other players for him. If we got him. I’d like to see Smoltz put into the bullpen. He has innings of brilliance – but at this moment he doesn’t have the consistency to be a starting pitcher yet. Penny I think for now is the better choice for starting then Smoltz. I guess we will know in a couple of days.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Hi girl,
Just wanted to let you know I stopped by and think your blog is amazing! :] I read a few entries but I’ll definitely be reading more from now on. Not a R-Sox fan but it doesn’t matter since it’s all incredibly well written. :] xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

Hi girl,
Just wanted to let you know I stopped by and think your blog is amazing! :] I read a few entries but I’ll definitely be reading more from now on. Not a R-Sox fan but it doesn’t matter since it’s all incredibly well written. :] xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

I really wished I’d seen the perfect game too. I was mad at myself for not, but, like you said, I didn’t have any premonition that said I should watch it. Nomar was kind of amazing with the Sox, I would agree that there’s a curse of some kind on short, but really, I like Nick Green, I think he’s a pretty good player.
Emily
http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

Elizabeth,

how ya been? its been a while. glad your summers going well. im having a blast too. I watched Jim Rice’s induction on the jumbotron out in Arizona. he was very personable and captivating. glad he made you proud…the complete opposite of David Ortiz huh

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

The Sox take a lot of starters and make them bench players because they have better guys as starters. And the guys are willing to do anything for a championship ring, including giving up on playing every day. It doesn’t seem very fair for Martinez or Varitek right now, but…the manager will work things out. He’s good.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Well you guys did end up making the Victor Martinez deal huh. Mhm by the way…….I’m back, obviously….! hooooray
http://newmexicanyanksfan.mlblogs.com

a little off topic but i just had to tell you. i watched Fever Pitch tonight with my girlfriend. i honestly love that movie. ive seen it a few times before a couple of years ago but i just had to watch it with her. it really signifies our relationship. i am just liek jimmy fallon except with the pirates. she really doesnt understand baseball or my passion so it wa snice for her to see that she is not the only girl with an obsessed boyfriend. i hope she learned some tips from drew barrymore!

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

I think there is a Shortstop curse since Nomar left. Yeah, Green is doing great, but it’s not the same. Watching the speeches of Rice and Henderson would have been amazing to see, and inspirational too. Seeing the perfect game wou;d have been awesome as well. As far as the rest of the season goes, with Martinez and Kotchman coming to Boston, I hope we get another ring. Go Sox!!
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblog.com

I think there is a Shortstop curse since Nomar left. Yeah, Green is doing great, but it’s not the same. Watching the speeches of Rice and Henderson would have been amazing to see, and inspirational too. Seeing the perfect game wou;d have been awesome as well. As far as the rest of the season goes, with Martinez and Kotchman coming to Boston, I hope we get another ring. Go Sox!!
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

Big series we are about to start tonight. We have to beat you guys. We just have to. If we lose 2, we’re dead. If we split, then we are ok, but not in great shape. We have to take you down 2 times in a row to get this thing into “fun” territory.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

Congrats on #7 on the latest Leader’s List!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Now you’d better get used to Casey Kotchman instead of LaRoche. I thought that was pretty funny how he finally got to settle in and then he is dealt away again. Speaking of Bronson Arroyo, I read a story on espn.com that he admitted to using steroids of some sort. He said it made him feel like he jump on top of a basketball hoop or something. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if he was on “The List” because he took them around 2003 and 2004. Man, there are going to be so many yankee fans comlpaining that that championship team was cheating. Between Arroyo and Manny and Big Papi and who knows who else. I would like to say Casey Kelly come up as a pitcher and a shortstop. You know, he starts as the pitcher and goes maybe 6 or 7 innings, then when they go to the bullpen they shift him to shortstop and he can hit a home run. That would be fun to watch!
http://metsmainman.mlblogs.com
P.S. Welcome back!

I’m glad the Jays didn’t go after Lugo. We were interested in him as a free agent. I don’t think the Jays would have traded Halladay to the Red Sox or Yankees, unless it was a very large offer. So, for both our sakes, I’m glad that didn’t happen. If Halladay is traded, I’d rather see him out of the A.L. East.
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

I have a feeling you’d be an excellent GM (if you deal as well as you write!). Very eager to hear your thoughts regarding your visit to the Hall of Fame and your take on the potential future induction of Pete Rose. That would be another blog certainly worth reading!

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