By Chris Cue
February 28, 2009
Looking to re-live the past is never a good idea when planning for the future, but sometimes the opportunity to do so can be very tempting. From an emotional standpoint, sometimes the lure of maybe…..just possibly catching a little Deja Vu with players from the past can get your blood going. There’s an emotional attachment we develop with players from days gone by that can lead even the most realistic minded fans to pause for a moment and say: “That’ something I’d like to see!”. Understand, there’s merit to the old saying “You can never go home again”, but the thought of returning to even a fraction of what once was, is enough to stir your emotions and create some excitement at the prospect of re-living yesterday once more. And so it is with many Red Sox fans and Pedro Martinez.
The memories of Pedro on the mound for the Red Sox will be legend one day, if they aren’t already. Martinez career with the Red Sox organization spanned 7 years. From 1998 to 2004, Martinez was considered the Ace of the Boston pitching staff, sharing only 2004 with Curt Schilling. Pedro in his prime was one of, if not the most dominant pitchers baseball has ever seen and Boston fans loved him. The thought that maybe he could return…..even for just one game…..to his former self for the Red Sox is a very compelling thought from a fans perspective. Any die-hard Sox fan would indeed have to say “Even if it’s just one time, I’d like to see that again!”. Can you imagine what would happen within the walls of Fenway if he ever stepped foot on the mound again as a member of the Red Sox? Oh My! That would indeed be something to see.
Unfortunately, it will never happen. That door was closed earlier this week when Pedro’s representatives contacted the Red Sox to see if there was any interest in bringing the former Ace back for one more season. The Red Sox, with a full rotation already set and John Smoltz looking to contribute in June, simply had no room for him. With the likelihood that Pedro would accept a Minor League deal being remote, it doesn’t look like a return to days gone by is in the cards for Pedro or the fans. Too bad. While Pedro is no longer the pitcher he once was, if you’re a Red Sox fan, you have to say….
How cool would that be?
By Chris Cue
February 14, 2009
In the off season of 2003, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox attempted to trade Manny Ramirez and acquire Alex Rodriguez. In the young life of the current ownership and management, that was the biggest failed attempt at signing a player who eventually went to the Yankees in the 11th hour. Since that time, we have witnessed this occurrence with Johnny Damon and recently with Mark Teixeira. Off season attempts to sign players by this front office have often been trumped by other clubs. Pedro Martinez is another example of a player the Red Sox made an attempt to retain, but came up short to the Mets.
In each of those cases (Damon, Pedro & A-Rod), one could look at those failures and see them as lucky breaks. Damon is no longer a quailty Centerfielder and if he was retained, the Red Sox would never have seen Coco Crisp or perhaps even Jacoby Ellsbury when they did. Pedro’s story is easy. If the Red Sox had managed to retain him, they would have committed to a pitcher who has spent a significant amount of time on the DL. As far as A-Rod goes, is there any doubt that if that trade had gone through that the Red Sox might never have won the 2004 World Series in which Manny was the MVP? So, what is it with these failed attempts? Luck or is this front office just good at knowing where to draw the line in the sand? Maybe, it’s a little bit of both.
We’re about to find out if this streak of winning failures is going to continue. A similar situation is now at hand. This front office, whether you agreed with them or not, went after Mark Teixeira pretty aggressively. They did so knowing that if they had signed him, Mike Lowell was going to have to be traded away. Needless to say, they failed once again to get the prize they were after. Or did they? A case can be made that once again they had drawn a line in the sand and were not willing to cross it. Could they have out bid the Yankees for Teixeira’s services? We may never know, but we do know this much….when Scott Boras told John Henry, Theo Epstein and the rest who went to Texas what it would cost to sign him right then and there, they passed. They said no and Henry’s email to the press, widely viewed at the time as a bluff, signaled their refusal to go the extra mile. They had a number and they stuck to it.
Mark Teixeira is now a Yankee and Mike Lowell remains a member of the Red Sox. Will this most recent failed attempt to acquire a player again work to the advantage of the Red Sox? Who knows. Only time will tell us the end of that story. However, if the track record is any indication, then it would appear that Mike Lowell is about to have a career year. That’s something the Red Sox and their fans should be looking forward to.
Yesterday while explaining about the “Non-Tender” process and players, I asked 2 questions.
Here are the answers (no prizes if you got them right…sorry)
Trivia: One of the current faces of the Red Sox was once a non-tender free agent. Who is he??
Answer: David Oritz
Bonus Question: Who does this player give the credit to for convincing the Red Sox to sign him?
Answer: Pedro Martinez.
Have a Great Saturday!