When John Farrell was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox, it meant a clean slate for the entire roster of players, the ability to put the Bobby Valentine-drama behind them and start over new.
Obviously, Alfredo Aceves is completely unaware of this concept.
Of all the players that should have come to camp on their best behavior, happy that Valentine and his antics were gone, Aceves should have been near the top of the list.
Peter Abraham detailed that Aceves decided to show up the manager and test his boundaries in an odd display of behavior during a batting practice session against Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Aceves thought it would be interesting to lob the pitches in, even after having the drill explained to him.
Somewhere, Valentine is smiling to himself.
The Red Sox made the decision to keep Aceves around this winter when it might have been easier to trade him for something of value. The team had already suspended Aceves once last season and easily could have suspended him again two other times due to his behavior after the first incident.
When the Red Sox didn’t suspend Aceves again, it gave the impression that the inmates were running the asylum, fair or not.
It is not that Aceves isn’t talented, he is, and that is part of the problem. As good as Aceves was in 2011, pitching to a 10-2 record, he was equally bad in 2012, ending the season 2-10 with 25 saves.
Relievers who finish a season with a 2-10 record and 5.36 ERA, shouldn’t be complaining about anything, especially when they are making $1.2 million for their efforts.
He is simply not good enough for the headaches that he causes.
Thankfully, Red Sox’ management looks like they have come to that realization.
The team quickly summoned Aceves’ agent, Tom O’Connell, to Florida to have a conversation about Aceves and his behavior moving forward on the team.
Boston knows that Aceves wants to be a starter, but he needs to show he is one of the best starters in camp. Sunday’s incident spoke of immaturity from the 30-year-old pitcher. If Aceves can’t be happy in Boston, then he needs to understand that he needs to pitch well enough for other teams to overlook the fact that he is a head case.
If Aceves acts out again?
The Red Sox have a prime opportunity to release the player and send a message to the clubhouse that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
It is time to put the 2012 season firmly in the rear-view mirror and focus on this season.
You can reach Jonathan Cullen:
Twitter at jcullen71
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing about the Boston Red Sox at www.baseballslate.com