Do the math Theo!

September 6, 2007 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Our GM is a Yalie, and those Liberal Arts institutions of higher education don’t place a lot of emphasis on mathematics. That said, the Boy Genius loves numbers like OPS and OBP. Things like being a good teammate simply cannot be quantified by the “innovators” at Baseball Prospectus, so are they really worthy of consideration when it comes to re-signing a player? Take the curious case of Mike “salary dump” Lowell. He’ll be 34 in February. By his own admission you won’t see him on the cover of Muscle and Fitness with Gabe Kapler (retired at age 31) any time soon. In 2006 the pear-shaped Mr. Lowell managed to hit 20 HRs and knock in 80 runs while posting a respectable .339 OBP and an .814 OPS. Need we be reminded that the Sox took on his contract solely to acquire the services of budding ace Josh Beckett (who, by the way, certainly didn’t pitch like one in ’06)? Thus far in ’07, Lowell has hit 18 dingers with 101 RBI while throwing in a .383 OBP and .895 OPS for good measure. He quite possibly is the best defensive third baseman to don a Red Sox  uniform since Frank Malzone as well.

Red Sox Nation prepare yourselves for the inevitable. In today’s Boston Globe we read, “‘We would certainly like to figure out a way to sign him, but as with others, these negotiations often come down to length of contract,’ said the official, who requested that his name not be used.” This is the first salvo in the what will ultimately be a feigned attempt to re-sign Lowell this offseason. Lest we not forget that this quote is attributable to one of the crack staff that advocated the signing of 31 year old J.D. Drew to a 5 year $70 million contract last offseason (arguably the least productive RF in the Major Leages in 2007). Drew is the owner of one Major League season with more than 30 HRs (31) and one season of 100 RBI. Maybe Mikey should get the agent of the next Japanese phenom. Why worry? We’ve got Youk. Yes, I know we love him; he’s a gamer, blah, blah, blah. Fact is that Youkilis is an average at best third baseman. Apparently in the eyes of our inimitable GM, he more than makes up for that with a high OBP, no foot speed, and a lack of power. The “he’s 5 years younger than Mike Lowell and just now reaching his ‘statistical peak as a hitter'” sound bite from the Boy Genius is only a few short months away.

It’s time to wake up. Theo wasn’t the architect of the 2004 team that broke the 86 year World Series drought. He simply inherited it from Dan Duquette. Anyone with the capacity for a bit of analytical reasoning can make a strong case that the Red Sox have been successful in spite of Theo rather than because of him. If you need a number Theo, I offer 24 — that’s how many of his teammates want him back in 2008.

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