Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cashed Out

Even though he hasn't given The CHB his walking papers -- yet -- I have to give John Henry credit: Shaughnessy is actually working for a living, for a change.

Yet while the effort is there, the output, well, not so much.

His second column in two days (!) is a tired attempt to paint David Ortiz as whiny and greedy. Oh sure, Big Papi wants a new deal. (Who doesn't?) But Papi is the one guy who is so revered in Boston, that minority or no, The CHB just can't outright take the knife to him like he wants to.

Still, he calls a player who is coming off one of the most remarkable seasons in baseball history, one in which he carried to a World Series crown a Red Sox team predicted by none other than The CHB to finish last, and who in adhering to the long-standing practice of athletes in the final year of their contract asks for a new deal, "tone-deaf, selfish, and offensive."

And he trots out perhaps the weakest of the straw man arguments, comparing Ortiz's situation to that of Curt Schilling's following the 2007 season: "After Curt Schilling staggered through the 2007 playoffs, winning on smarts and guile, someone thought it would be a good idea to bring him back for $8 million in 2008. Schilling never threw another pitch in the big leagues."

As if it makes any sense to compare a pitcher whom (just about) everyone knew needed arm surgery to a hitter coming off a 30 homer season in which he also hit .309. 

But the Sox would be bidding against themselves, whines The CHB. "National League teams won’t hire him and the Red Sox are just about the only team still paying big bucks to a full-time DH."

Well, let's see: Big Papi was 44th in all of baseball last year in wins above replacement (WAR). That's out of 955 batters who appeared in a major league game during the 2013 Championship season. Ortiz then hit a clutch grand slam home run to turn around the Tigers in the ALCS, and clobbered .688 to finish off the Cardinals. Maybe, just maybe, the Red Sox know something all those other teams don't.

"The Sox know what it’s like to have dead money on the books," writes The CHB. 

Yes, and so does John Henry, every time he picks up the Boston Globe Sports section. 

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