One sportswriter that I have always admired has been Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. I love how he writes and what he writes about it and that he is honest. I sometimes find myself not agreeing with what he wrote, but that doesn’t matter that much. One article he recently wrote touched on the fact that Jacoby Ellsbury is in fact worth the contract that he got from the New York Yankees. Thank you, Mr. Shaughnessy. Someone else agrees with me.
The Boston Red Sox have been snake-bit by offering huge contracts to players who couldn’t handle the Boston pressure. It is very understandable that the Red Sox don’t want to be burdened with a lot of bloated contracts. However, Ellsbury was a known entity. Yes, it seems that Boston wasn’t his favorite place but he did a job and when he was healthy, he did it very well. Would it have hurt Boston to pony up one time and pay a player that they know can handle the pressures of playing in Boston? Wouldn’t that have been easier than doing due diligence on another player outside the organization? And then, they let him go to a team in their own division. If you notice as well, Boston has had no production from the leadoff spot.
Boston looks like they might be making that same mistake with Jon Lester. Recently, it was mentioned that he was offered a contract that was well below what Lester thought he was worth and turned it down. I know the Red Sox have a lot of minor league talent and they do have Clay Buchholz, but a team can never have enough pitching.
The Los Angeles Dodgers paid up for Clayton Kershaw. While Lester’s numbers aren’t quite that good, he is good enough where if he goes on the open market, some team out there will try to grab him. A top-of-the-line left-handed starter doesn’t come around very often. It bothers me that Boston seems like they don’t want to pay the money to keep him.
I would get this if Boston was a small market team, but they’re not. They have access to money that other teams don’t and they should use that to their advantage. They don’t need nine players with huge contracts, but a dynamic centerfielder and a top-tier starting pitcher are worth it. What are they waiting for? If it is to build the farm system, that is great but you can’t put nine rookies out on the field at the same time. Mix them in with a superstar or two.
I wish Boston hadn’t gone on those free agent spending sprees — not just because of the lack of quality players, but because now they seem absolutely terrified of spending any amount of money.
If I see Lester in pinstripes next year, I am throwing something at my television.