Boston Red Sox Finally Sign JD Martinez

The Boston Red Sox finally closed a deal to sign JD Martinez. After weeks of speculation and negotiation, Martinez signed a $110 million 5-year deal starting in 2018. The question now is what position will Martinez take and what will his role be with the Red Sox?

Martinez previously played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers primarily as asign JD martinez designated hitter. Many are assuming Martinez will take the DH role for the 2018 season, which will free up Hanley Ramirez. The Red Sox suffered from a string of injuries from last season while John Farrell’s lackluster performance as manager didn’t strike confidence in the team either. Red Sox Nation is hoping Martinez’s bat will add much needed runs to the scoreboard.

Martinez hit .303 season average with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs last season, numbers that the Sox sorely need. While batters like Andrew Benintendi did well at the plate, others like Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez struggled. Steven Wright and David Price didn’t get much time on the mound either because of injuries. This combination of injuries and setbacks limited the Red Sox chances of making it to the World Series last season. But with Farrell gone, and Wright and Price healthier now, Martinez’s added bat will certainly increase their chances of winning another AL East title.

The Red Sox Sign JD Martinez, But Will It Be Worth The Price?

The Red Sox are dropping some serious money on Martinez. This amount is making some questions whether Martinez is a good investment, especially after David Price’s underwhelming performance over the last two seasons. The Red Sox signed Price two years ago for $217 million over seven years but his performance on and off the mound though has been less than stellar. While on the DL, Price made unprofessional comments about Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley after Eckersley criticized her performance during a game. But Price recently commented that “I could’ve handled it better last year, absolutely. But I didn’t, and I’ve moved on.”

Red Sox Fire Farrell, Varitek Reportedly Interested

The Boston Red Sox fired manager John Farrell today after a five-year stint with red sox firethe team. Seeing the Red Sox fire Farrell comes with mixed emotions from Red Sox Nation.Some fans credit him with the three AL East Divisions the Red Sox win during his tenure. Others, however, point to his last-place finishes in 2014 and 2015. Then there were the early exits from the playoffs this and last year. While Red Sox Nation reacted with mixed emotions to Farrell’s departure, those same fans rejoiced when they learned Jason Varitek reportedly wants to come aboard as the new manager.

 

 

 

According to NESN.com, Varitek has expressed his interest in managing the Red Sox. “Having been a part of the front office and having the ability to still get on the field everywhere that I go, I know I have more impact on the field,” Varitek was quoted as saying in the article. It goes without saying that hiring him would come as a very welcoming move. Varitek, a Red Sox Hall of Famer, was a tenacious Red Sox catcher and on-field leader. His spar with Alex Rodriguez in 2004 is immortalized throughout Boston. He is widely popular throughout New England. In fact, hiring Varitek would be enough to erase the frustrations most fans have in the wake of Farrell’s termination.

The Red Sox Fire Farrell After Five Rollercoaster Seasons

The Red Sox almost fired Farrell in 2015 but his cancer diagnosis likely kept the team from doing so. Regardless, while the Red Sox went on to win the AL East Division in 2016 and 2017, many in Red Sox Nation noticed that the team didn’t play with the zeal seen during the 2013 season. Many of the players have questioned Farrell’s leadership ability in recent months. Other fans have often wondered what Farrell was thinking when he’d start a weak pitcher, or send in an inexperienced hitter to pinch hit. These issues culminated in Farrell’s eventual termination. Personally, I think it’s a smart move. The Red Sox have been a boring team to watch for the last few years, and I think that had a lot to do with the fact that the players aren’t playing with the same enthusiasm that players in Chicago, LA, and Washington play with. Farrell wasn’t an inspiring manager.

Seeing the Red Sox fire Farrell opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for his replacement. Some say Hall of Famer Tony Larussa might come out of retirement and take over. Others say the Red Sox might take a chance on Brad Ausmus, who was recently fired by the Detroit Tigers. But Varitek? Most in Red Sox Nation wouldn’t have a problem with that. He’s fierce, competitive, and he certainly would make watching the Red Sox a lot more interesting.

I say go for it!

Let’s Just Go Ahead and Demolish Fenway Park

I have to start this piece by clarifying that I’m not really arguing that Fenway Park should be demolished. This is a satirical piece. But so many of you threw a fit after I wrote this piece that I don’t have a choice. Now, given the Red Sox concern about Tom Yawkey’s legacy, they should just go ahead and demolish Fenway Park. Why settle on a simple street name change? After all, Yawkey is arguably responsible for Fenway Park being the great place it is today. So let’s just erase it!

Yawkey bought the Red Sox in 1933 after inheriting $40 million from a rich uncle. Hedemolish fenway park immediately began work on renovating Fenway Park. Before his purchase, Fenway Park was a dump. Part of the park had burned down in 1926. It hadn’t even been that well maintained since it opened in 1912. Yawkey’s renovations included better seating (much of which still exists today). It also included the construction of what we know as the Green Monster wall. If it wasn’t for Yawkey, Fenway Park would have fallen into disrepair and eventually condemned. But since he was such a racist, maybe the Red Sox should just demolish Fenway Park to make sure they’ve done enough to distance itself from him.

Demolish Fenway Park And Build A New Racist-Free Ballpark!

The Red Sox could do what Patriots did and build a new stadium out in the middle of nowhere. That way they won’t have to risk seeing Yawkey’s name on anything nearby. Fans won’t have to walk past the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. They won’t have to take the train to Yawkey Station. The Red Sox could better control how much exposure the fans will have to the charities sponsored by the Yawkey family. Think about it! A new stadium means the Red Sox can erase their past and start new!

Okay that’s enough. I think you get my point. Listen, in no way am I defending Yawkey’s decision to be the last team to integrate. That’s a burden Yawkey’s legacy will have to endure forever. But while Yawkey could have done so much more to secure his legacy than just throwing money at charities, renaming Yawkey Way isn’t a step in the right direction. I’m struggling to understand the team’s motive here. Why do they want to change the street’s name now? If John Henry and Sam Kennedy are this concerned about Yawkey’s legacy, why did they wait until now to do something about it? Confederate monuments are coming down because they’re a lightning rod for white supremacy. That’s a legitimate reason and I fully support it. But what’s the team’s reason for changing Yawkey Way now? Is it a pre-emptive measure to keep protestors away before they can form?

What Will Renaming Yawkey Way Change?

Changing the street’s name won’t change history. If anything, it only drudges up old and painful memories, among other things. It puts the charities named after Yawkey in a very awkward position, which could jeopardize their missions. Furthermore, can one really argue that Yawkey Way is the same as a monument commemorating leaders who led a rebellion against the United States in an effort to preserve slavery? Perhaps we should look at Yawkey and use him as an example of what happens when someone doesn’t pay attention to social issues.

Continue to hold Yawkey’s legacy accountable, but don’t pretend everything will be okay if the city changes the street name. Instead of erasing something that wasn’t intended to evoke racism, look to it as a life lesson.

Sam Kennedy Leading Efforts To Rename Yawkey Way

The Boston Red Sox announced in August that they wanted Yawkey Way renamed. Their concern stems from a racist legacy left in the wake of Tom Yawkey’s ownership. As of today, a Boston Red Sox-themed Instagram page titled “bostonstrong_34” with a following of over 91,000 users posted that Red Sox President Sam Kennedy confirmed the team’s efforts to eventually change the street name. With Sam Kennedy leading the efforts to rename Yawkey Way, it’s clear that this change could come sooner than later.

In a book coming out on Yawkey titled Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox,sam kennedy leading author Bill Nowlin explores the man that very few know or understand. In an article published by prosportsdaily.com, Nowlin stated that “I never once found any evidence that Yawkey was personally racist. Nor did interviews with several dozen Sox players, including Pumpsie Green and Reggie Smith, turn up any such a suggestion. I looked for a smoking gun, and couldn’t find one.” That doesn’t mean he was without flaws. In an e-mail message to me, Nowlin elaborated, “He owned 100% of the team, and on 24 hours’ notice he could have ensured the Red Sox had an African American ballplayer. The facts show that the team was institutionally racist up until at least 1959 – though it’s also only fair to note that so was every newspaper in Boston, and many other institutions as well.”

I recently discussed this topic in an earlier post. I wrote that the Yawkey Way name should stay in place. While Tom Yawkey owned the Red Sox when they became the last team to integrate, I don’t believe Yawkey himself was a true racist. Of course, this does not excuse him from any blame or responsibility for the team’s legacy under his ownership. While Tom Yawkey wasn’t exactly a Civil Rights Leader, he wasn’t a racist. So while Yawkey bears the responsibility for the team’s racist history during his tenure as owner, it’s difficult to place him at the same level as the KKK as many are insinuating. With Sam Kennedy leading the charge on this move, I am disappointed because I don’t think he thought about this idea very thoroughly at all.

Sam Kennedy Leading A Dishonest And Very Flawed Effort

Yawkey wasn’t perfect; far from it. But he was also a very generous man who didn’t collect on loans he gave to his players, both black and white. To me, this suggests that he may have evolved in his views on race for the better.

To rename Yawkey Way is to suggest that people can’t change. What’s the point of educating others about the dangers of bigotry if we don’t recognize the effect it has? Do we continue to call someone a racist even if they eventually changed their views? What do the stories about how generous Yawkey was towards players say about him? It certainly doesn’t excuse him from any responsibility regarding the team’s stance on integration before 1959. But it’s also not a good excuse to rename Yawkey Way.

Kennedy wants to rename Yawkey Way for the wrong reasons. He wants a scapegoat that he thinks will alleviate the focus on the Red Sox messy record on integration. He is also exploiting a very serious issue in America. He’s trying to make the team look like they care about combating bigotry in America. While I don’t doubt his sincerity, I feel he would have made this move years ago if he felt this way.

C. C. Sabathia’s Red Sox Criticism is Idiotic

C. C. Sabathia looks like he is limping to the finish line of his career, both literally and figuratively. Apparently, the former Cy Young winner doesn’t exactly like when teams exploit that. Sabathia’s Red Sox criticism came after a Thursday night win at Yankee Stadium. Is it warranted or just plain stupid? Well, that answer is pretty easy.

Sabathia was frustrated that the Red Sox tried to force him to field his position by bunting Sabathia's Red Sox Criticismon a regular basis. The strategy led to a throwing error by Sabathia in the first inning but not much else. He ended up going six innings while surrendering only a single run, ending his team’s losing streak. So, in the end, it really didn’t matter, did it? Apparently it did in the postgame.

Sabathia ripped the Red Sox for their bunting extravaganza. Supposedly it’s one of those many unwritten rules that nobody understands but is supposed to abide by. A similar situation happened a few years ago with an injured Matt Garza stating the same case. I can’t believe I have to explain this but I guess I do. If a guy can’t handle his position, you exploit that. Why do guys take an extra base off Jacoby Ellsbury? Because he throws like a little girl. Why did the Red Sox run all over Miguel Montero this week? Because he is physically unable to throw out a baserunner. It’s just what you do.

Sabathia’s Red Sox Criticism Reminiscent of 2004

I can’t help but be reminded of the Bloody Sock Game Six of the 2004 ALCS. A battered Curt Schilling was limping on and off the field to the Yankee Stadium mound. Schilling dominated the Yankees, only allowing one run on four hits in seven innings. New York was up in arms, pleading the Yankees to bunt. The next morning, the sports talk shows were flooded with that same question. Now, 13 years later, it’s a problem. When their guy gets exploited, it’s an issue.

If anything, Sabathia should be thanking the Red Sox. When he faces Boston, it’s like 2008 C. C. Sabathia all over again. In four starts against the Red Sox this year, he’s 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA in 26 innings pitched. He should be thanking them for keeping his career alive at age 37.

So, Carsten (that’s what his friends call him): Get. Over. It. We should be used to the men in pinstripes whining and making excuses by now but it’s still frustrating. Just because you share pants with Vince Wilfork doesn’t mean teams can’t find a way to get on base against you. Take that crap somewhere else. Take some advice from Jim Rice and lose a few pounds if you don’t want teams to bunt on you.

So, short answer, his criticisms are absurdly idiotic. Then again, what else should we expect?