Sunday, May 15, 2011

The GM's Five Least Favorite

First and foremost:  Congrats to Pat for finishing law school.  I may have thrown in a couple of sarcastic comments over the last couple of years, but it's still quite an accomplishment.  I appreciate the amount it's kicked his butt, and I am excited for him, as it's going to mean quite a bit to his life after How Youz Doin Baseball. 


For one reason or another, I've watched a lot of Sox/Yankees coverage over the past 24 hours, and the Posada thing is blown out of proportion, even for lovers of controversy like myself.  I'm sure people might want to talk about that today.  They might also want to talk about the series, but I feel like Pat will probably bury this post with a post of his own.  Plus, I'm not going to be able to last until eleven tonight:  I'm in pre-race sleep mode.  But the Red Sox are not "hot" right now.  They won two games.  They played very well on Friday and Saturday, but they are not "hot."  I promise we will discuss Gonzalez this week, too.

But, as promised, here are my musings on my five least favorite Red Sox of all time.  There are many worthy candidates, but a lot of guys had more good than bad (Manny, Ortiz, Nomar, Damon, Papelbon, Vaughn, Clemens).  There were also quite a few who would have started on this list but for one reason or another I came around on them (Curt Leskanic, Bellhorn, Coco Crisp, Lowell, Beckett, Burkett, Julian Tavarez, and even Julio Lugo).  But this is the final list of five.  There was an original list of 21 that I'll put into the comments section.  But here are the bottom six of all time.

6.  Shea Hillenbrand.  This guy was a dickhead, and had a reputation of being a dickhead.  The fans thought he was a lot better than he actually was - and so did he.  Another point that cannot be overlooked is the fact that he had Hillenbrand's Revenge:  He was traded for Byung-Hyun Kim, who was also a finalist on this list.

5.  Tony Clark.  This guy was NOT a dickhead, but he was so hideously, frustratingly bad that it was disgusting.  He also didn't really seem to care about how bad he was.  If John Lackey continues at the same pace, he will take over this spot, because despite actually caring about winning, it would be a similar failure to meet expectations.  Tony Clark was not supposed to be a platoon player.  He was supposed to be good.  He was not supposed to hit .210/3/29.  He was supposed to put up numbers like...OH, THE ONES HE PUT UP WITH THE YANKEES TWO YEARS LATER!  Fact:  In 2005 with Arizona, this guy hit .304/30/87.  Thanks, Tony.

4.  Wil Cordero.  Not the first athlete to beat the crap out of his wife and get arrested; not the last one.  I mean, Ugueth Urbina either set some guys on fire or slashed them with a machete, didn't he?  And he's not on this list.  But Cordero was the first guy I remember getting arrested as a Red Sox.  Disgraced the uniform, and despite being the first guy to hit the Coke bottles, he was a scumbag.  Once the allegations came out that he beat his wife with a telephone, the fans ran him out of town, and rightfully so.

3.  Jacoby Ellsbury.  I no longer refer to 46 by name, and this started in December 2007.  What Alex Rodriguez and his agent did during the 2007 World Series was beyond unforgivable, showing up the team that was about to win the World Series and, really, showing up the sport on its biggest stage.  For his contract.  For attention to his contract.  This pissed off a lot of baseball players, and it seemed like Scott Boras's influence on baseball was fading as many big-name players were firing him.  The first player to hire Boras after this was 46 - a blatant endorsement of the World Series antics.  It showed that 46 cares about one thing.  The fact that his performance in 2008 and 2009 was mediocre at best, the fact that he's bad at judging fly balls and fails to ever use his mind as a baseball player, and the fact that he is a complete pussy regarding his rib injury last year - to the point where he JDed out in Arizona, showed up his team and teammates, and missed 144 games - just add to his dislikability. 

2.  Edgar Renteria.  Similar to 46, he sucked at focusing on anything.  He pouted at the plate, pouted in the field, blamed the groundskeeper, and played perhaps the most distracted year of baseball I have ever seen.  As the Gunn said, he couldn't turn a double play, but he sure knew how to hit into them.  And it wasn't due to lack of talent.  You can see that in his previous numbers and his subsequent numbers.  It was due to a lack of focus.  And that's not okay with me.

1.  JD Drew.  The 1998 draft, asking for 300% of the all-time signing record bonus, and playing independent ball instead of taking it.  The reputation of a guy who dogs it in the outfield, takes a boatload of unnecessary days off, only performs in contract years, and would rather draw a walk than hit a guy in.  Opting out of a gift $55 million contract in an obvious collusion/tampering situation.  Everywhere he went, he underwhelmed and alienated a fan base.  Sure enough, he did the same thing in Boston, plus over 400 weak ground balls to the right side, one home run in the playoffs, performance that's just good enough to not get fired, and a general manager pounding his chest and saying he's smarter than the fans.  If you think a large part of JD isn't hoping the team stays below .500 so that he can retire a few weeks earlier, you're wrong.

12 comments:

The GM said...

Others receiving votes, in no particular order: Lackey, Papelbon, Ramiro Mendoza, David Ortiz, Matsuzaka, Matt Young, Rudy Seanez, Julian Tavarez, Chad Fox, Byung-Hyun Kim, Junichi Tazawa, Todd Jones, Chad Fox, Brandon Lyon.

And, of course, Lebron James.

Anonymous said...

DV

Shea Hillenbrand WAS a jerk. A huge one. Interestingly enough, he was traded for BK Kim, himself a jerk. I am frustrated that I forgot about those two, as well as Wil Cordero (though his time in Boston was so short--was it even a year? Maybe a year and a half? That it's not surprising I missed his time with the Sox back in '97). That said, I was a Freshman in college when the Tony Clark Era began and he used to drive me absolutely insane. A former All-Star, the guy had tremendous offensive potential and instead had not only the worst year of his career with the Sox, but it was the worst year by a wide, wide margin. Almost like he was trying to be terrible. All I can say is that had his ground rule double stayed in play back Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS, I'm pretty sure more than one New England native would have attempted to murder him.

Also, you mentioned last week that the Sox would be fine if they got to 21-19. They're a game behind that pace. Now it's time to play some baseball.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

I'm surprised and saddened that Pat didn't bury this post with his own post about Pedroia and Youkilis's numbers against NY and then against the rest of the league. Because that post would have been awesome.

They played reasonably well this weekend. Of course, it's only been three games that they've played well, so let's not get too excited about this stuff. But the bullpen was able to hold leads and last night the offense was able to bail out Lester in his second consecutive lackluster start. Not that I'll ever like 46, but now that he's got his head out of his rear end, he's really not an awful baseball player.

jason said...

I would have added carl everett to the long list, that guy was a douche

the gm at work said...

I thought I had added Everett to the long list. Seems that I haven't. But you're right, he should be (and at least mentally) he is. By the same token Izzy Alcantara should be there as well.

At the same time, though, those guys were at least funny. Izzy wasn't until he kicked the catcher in Pawtucket, but the dinosaur stuff? The "Curly-Haired Boyfriend" comment? That was more funny than anything else.

jason said...

the way i see it, if they played a little worse then they become more hateable for the same actions who wants to tolerate someone who stinks? i mean if manny was an average player hes probably jobless after his antics

Anonymous said...

I've heard that the Yankees considered releasing Posada after Saturday's "incident."

Talk about blowing things out of proportion. Just ridiculous. Was Posada right to ask out of the line-up? No. But he's clearly in a frustrated place right now and this is a situation where you have to cut the guy some slack given the long period of service to the team. You gotta be willing to give a guy some space. I totally agreed with Jeter's perspective on the situation. I don' think Posada had much if anything to apologize for.

I've been trying to think of other Sox players you guys have missed but I can't at the moment. I think you all are pretty on top of it.


bandi

the gm at work said...

Jason,

Goes without saying. If Manny hit .260/16/64 instead of what he actually did, plus dogged it in the outfield, took a boatload of unnecessary days off, performed big in potential contract years, and orchestrated what was basically an opt-out in his contract (sound familiar? It's self-plagiarism.), he'd be right at the top of the list. Add in the steroid stuff and he'd surpass even Drew.

Bandi

the gm at work said...

Bandi,

(this was supposed to be in the last comment)

I'm a big fan of the "if you suck, you get moved down in the order" philosophy. I'm also a fan of the "if you suck, you get benched" philosophy. The Yankees gave him a grandiose contract for beyond his useful life as an input. They owe him nothing. Just like the Red Sox owed Mike Timlin nothing, owed Mike Lowell nothing, and certainly owe David Ortiz and Jason Varitek nothing. Both organizations have been nice enough to these players. Leave the entitled whining to Scott Nicholson.

Anonymous said...

GM,

I'm not saying the Yankees owe him anything at all. What I am saying is that if you are sucking at your job and want to take a day to clear your head and try to get your head on straight again, then I'm all for that. It's probably better for you and the team. Sometimes you get so caught up in the frustration that you need to take a time out and step out of everything for a day so that you can refocus.

Based on who I believe Posada to be- a pretty good guy and a team player- I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that's what he was ultimately trying to do. If that's the case, I don't really fault him. Maybe he didn't got about it the right way, but oh well.

On the other hand, if the move was really more about Posada whining for getting moved down the order and being "disrespected," then obviously you have more of an issue with that. If you don't perform, you can't complain about getting moved in the lineup.

But I viewed Posada's actions as less of a protest against the lineup card and more of a need to have some space. Maybe I'm misinterpreting this but that's what I thought.

Bandi

Anonymous said...

I promise you if the Sox lose to the Orioles tonight after sweeping the Yankees and fall below .500 I will drop kick something.

Bandi

Ross Kaplan said...

The only thing that could have made that loss worse is if Pavano had started for the Rays. Farnsworthless was on the team for 3 years yet Thomson still gives the green light to swing on the first pitch. Simply pathetic.