Today is the first day of Spring Training games for the Boston Red Sox. Well, sort of. They play a split squad game against two Boston area Universities, Northeastern and Boston College, with the majority of pitchers they are planning to use are relievers. And Alfredo Aceves is not scheduled to participate (as of this writing).
So what exactly does this mean? Probably nothing but hopefully something. Aceves has had numerous run-ins with Red Sox players and personnel, many of those coming during the 2012 abomination of a season. So as the Red Sox continue to make sweeping changes in an attempt to turn around wins, losses, attitude and moral, one name is still strangely right there on the roster- Aceves.
So Mr. Aceves should consider himself lucky, would you not think? Apparently not. Throwing batting practice for the first time this spring, Aceves seemingly ‘tested’ the Red Sox new manager John Farrell with a lackluster, half effort at best. Which prompted Farrell to have a discussion with the talented yet troublesome Aceves. His next session reportedly was much better, but does that really matter? Aceves has a laundry list of incidents, outbursts, and selfish antics. Why push the buttons on the new manager the first chance he gets?
Aceves is on the books for $2.65 million this season, a deal that was struck before arbitration which is not guaranteed. The Sox could cut or release him before several key dates this spring, having to pay only a fraction of that salary. Why not pull the plug on this guy? Sure he has talent, no one denies that, but at what cost? The Rex Sox could send a clear and resounding message to everyone that 2013 is not going to be a repeat of 2012, and disruptions and self-promoting behavior will not be tolerated. It’s time for Ben Cherington to send this message and really start of the new season with the fewest negative distractions possible. The Red Sox do not need Alfredo Aceves, and John Farrell certainly does not.