Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who's The Boss?

Not just Tony Danza anymore.  It's completely obvious right now that the person at the helm of the Red Sox' careening ship is not Terry Francona.  It's not Theo Epstein, and it's not the CAPTIAN Jason Varitek despite his two home runs today.

David Ortiz is in charge.  It's David Ortiz's team and everyone else is just playing on it.  This is not the first time this has happened in Francona's era, by the way.  It was pretty clear a couple years ago that Curt Schilling was setting his own rules and Francona had to play by them.  David Ortiz, playing the same "this isn't my first rodeo" card, has played Francona's player's-manager and respect-to-the-elders cards a little too much.

The fact that Francona for the last two weeks now has been nervous, agitated, losing sleep, anxious, and a whole bunch of other things that Felger has had an absolute field day on is all the evidence you need that Ortiz has Francona - and the team - by the balls as he plays for his next contract.  Francona wants to keep David happy.  Francona feels really bad that David isn't getting his potentially-lucrative playing time.  Francona really wants David's bat in the lineup.  Francona's willing to put the most important player on the roster out in a completely foreign place just so that David can get his at-bats. 

I'm glad that feeling bad and hurting people's feelings is taking such a prominent role on this team full of whiners.  I agree that getting Ortiz his at-bats during this tumultuous nine games is important, but not for the same reasons Francona is agonizing himself.  I thought Gonzalez should have been chilling out on the bench for at least three of these games, as I wrote earlier this week, for the well-being and restedness of the best player on the team.

Not David Ortiz.  I'm thrilled that he's given up the tainted-supplement investigation and has started hitting again.  I'm happy he'll get a paycheck this winter (and hopefully not from the Red Sox).  But since when was a guy's feelings so fragile that the manager has to relinquish the reins and make stupid decisions for the good of this player's feelings?  Well, this shouldn't have been a surprise after all the whining and complaining about how much of a raw deal he got in the media for sucking and testing positive for steroids.  News flash, David:  You're one of twenty-five.  You're most likely among the top 20% most important players on the team, but you're not #1, 2, or 3.  Let's face it: The guy from the infamous Twins rookie card is as much of a diva as Manny, Schilling, or Pedro.

While Francona should have been the boss from 2004 until now, Curt Schilling was the boss for a little while.

And now David Ortiz is the boss.

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