Post Trade Deadline Analyses

I think that I have realized something about myself during the summers, and perhaps you all have too: I don’t have too much time to blog during summer vacation. I am fortunate enough to do a lot during the summers, and whether I’m at camp, or on a family vacation, I don’t have good quality time to compose a thoughtful blog, so I apologize for that. 

I wish I had been a more active blogger during the trade deadline, and the days following it, but I was in Maine, removed from electronics and mlb.tv and just appreciating nature. However, there was a radio that was available, and every night we would sit in the living room and listen to the Red Sox. It was such a different perspective for me, because I have always been provided with the luxury of watching baseball on TV, on a computer, or my favorite location: in person. I really loved listening to it on the radio, it was a different way of seeing… or maybe hearing baseball. 
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So the trade deadline came and went, and if you remember my last entry (which was quite a while ago), I thought that it would be best if the Red Sox had just quietly backed out of the trade deadline, and make do with what they have. Retrospectively, the trades that were made, most importantly the Victor Martinez one, was quite necessary. I had said that shortstop and catcher were our weakest positions, and we have vastly improved that situation (mainly the catcher one). 
The problem for me was that I was very hesitant to give away any of our star prospects, but all-star catchers like Victor Martinez don’t come cheap. In order to improve a weaker aspect of the team, we had to take from probably our strongest aspect of the team: the bullpen. It was hard to part with Justin Masterson because I saw so much potential in him, but I think that in order for a team to be good, they need to be proportional. 
The Red Sox had a stellar, almost impeccable bullpen, but the offense was slumping and not scoring runs. A bullpen cannot be effective if it does not have runs to protect. Thus, the Red Sox were disproportional in that sense. Without Justin Masterson, our bullpen is without a doubt weakened. Masterson was a guy that could go many innings when our starters didn’t do their jobs; he could thrive in the starting rotation as well. Is our bullpen still legitimate? Absolutely. Is our starting rotation still legitimate? Absolutely. Is our offense improved? Yes, and that is exactly what we needed. 
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That expression: “We hardly knew ya” can seriously apply to the Adam LaRoche situation, but I am satisfied with the solid defensive abilities of Casey Kotchman. It seems that the Red Sox have an abundance of first basemen now considering that Victor Martinez is a man of may occupations and can play first base. This makes Terry Francona’s job as a manager a bit more difficult, and the lineup is not as predictable as it used to be. It means that some players’ playing time will be less, and not everyone may be happy with that. Guys like Kevin Youkilis pout when they have the day off, and he’d rather play left field than sit on the bench. As a baseball fan, I think you have to love that mentality that a player wants to help his team every single day, even if you don’t like Kevin Youkilis’ personality. 
I think that one of the biggest questions the Red Sox face will come when Tim Wakefield returns from the disabled list. I have not fully educated myself on Victor Martinez’s capabilities, but I am wondering if he is educated in the art of catching a knuckleball. I am not a very big George Kottaras fan because for me, his only use is the fact that he can catch Tim Wakefield (and not that well), and his offensive abilities are mediocre at best. If Victor Martinez can catch a knuckleball, then I think George Kottaras is no longer needed. 
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I like the acquisition of Alex Gonzalez as a defensive shortstop since Jed Lowrie is on the disabled list. It’s funny how there have been a turn of events since the start of the season: the Red Sox went from having three shortstops to one. It’s nice to see Gonzalez back in a Red Sox uniform since he was a wonderful defensive shortstop in 2006. A question that will come soon is: What will be the next move when Jed Lowrie returns? 
Going back to the pitching situation, I found out that John Smoltz was designated for assignment while I was on my trip. I have a lot of respect for John Smoltz, and what he has done over the course of his career. It is unfortunate that he didn’t do what the Red Sox hoped he would. I think that the acquisition during the offseason was a very wise one. It was very similar to what the Red Sox hoped Curt Schilling would have done in 2008. Unfortunately, neither of them worked out, but the incentives for signing them were obvious. 
I haven’t forgotten about Dice-K either, and the comments that he issued about the Red Sox pitching procedures. I don’t think that he was right, but I’m going to go for a little empathy here. He was phenomenal when he was in Japan, and he was very good his first two years with the Red Sox. There is obviously some gray areas when it comes to training. Dice-K has his way, and the Red Sox have their way. Dice-K should have trained better for the 2009 season, the World Baseball Classic was not the way to go because technically, that is the true World Series, and it has a playoff atmosphere. Dice-K didn’t have the more lax spring training that others went through. He went from the 2008 playoffs to pre-season 2009 playoffs. I think that he has to accept responsibility for that, and conform (for now) to what the Red Sox want him to do. 
By the way, while I was on my trip I was lucky enough to have some baseball experiences. I have some analyses on the Portland Sea Dogs to share with you, and some great pictures from the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

8 Comments

I have to give Theo Epstein and the Red Sox a lot of credit, they weren’t going to simply stand pat and hope everyone played to their full potential the rest of the season. They identified their most pressing needs and aggressively went after the best players to fill them. Whether it will lead Boston to post-season victory remains to be seen, but so far so good.And as much as I like having Victor Martinez out of the division, I have a feeling that Justin Masterson is going to give us a lot of trouble down the road.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

I believe the plan is for V-Mart to catch Wakefield. He has been practicing in anticipation of Wake’s return. I think the trades we’ve made have all been pretty good. I’m not sure I still understand the LaRoche for Kotchman trade and V-Mart? Welcome to Boston!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

I think the LaRoche-Kotchman trade was basically a wash, especially seeing as you guys got V-Mart (so that way your backup first baseman would get basically NO playing time!). Unless of course y’all bench Big Papi and have Martinez, Lowell, and Varitek split time at DH…. The time has come for such a move. You Red Sox have very little time to get your act together. But whatever!!! Keep him in the lineup if you like, and watch us build our lead :) muahahahahahahaha
http://newmexicanyanksfan.mlblogs.com

Funny that you wanted your guys to be quiet during the deadline. You definitely weren’t. I think some of that is that your guys didn’t want other teams to get high impact players such as V-Mart. I would have thought that the moves you guys made would have vaulted you to the stratosphere, but it seems like things are pretty ordinary in Boston. Thank goodness! It gave my guys a chance to catch up!
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

Hi, Elizabeth …

I think Boston made good moves trading for Victor Martinez and Casey Kotchman — especially, Martinez who gives the Red Sox another solid bat in the lineup !!! … The race in the AL East is still a long way from being over, but the Yankees have been playing very well and as long as they keep winning series’ they will be tough to catch !!! … It will be interesting to see how all the pennant races and wild card race ends up when all the remaining games are played … It will be fun to watch, though !!!
.
Take care, Elizabeth !!! … I hope you are enjoying your summer vacation; and, also, enjoy watching all the games this weekend between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park !!!
.
– Jimmy, “BY&L”
http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

I am now following you on Twitter. Please check mine out, and please if you would, follow me. :)
http://twitter.com/tribeted
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Having fun on twitter! :) Great post, we love Victor. he is a great leader and a great guy overall, i was so sad he had to leave and he was too. :(
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Hi Elizabeth! I’ve been having trouble blogging regularly this summer too, thought for very different reasons than yours – I’m trying to keep my kids from wreaking havoc on my house and each other. Thank goodness school starts next week! Looking forward to your Sea Dog and Cooperstown photos/coverage.
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

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