Thursday, January 21, 2016

When It Comes to Red Sox, Shank Knows No 'Off' Season

Call this the bad taste column. The premise is: John Farrell's cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment last season might have saved his job.

For anyone else, it's a moot question. Farrell is the manager, and the team management has never even hinted that they were thinking of firing him.

Given the circumstances, The CHB is uncharacteristically restrained. The snideness is there, mind you, but it's subtle. Interim manager Torey Lovullo went 28-20, we are reminded, meaning perhaps he -- and not the three-time last place finisher Farrell -- should be managing this season. Of course, The CHB would never think of writing that those wins constituted a "garbage time surge." (Oh wait: he did.)

The CHB has been picking this nit for months. Like here. And here. Sadly for all of us, he's just not going to stop.

Nor will he stop playing fast and loose with the facts. Here's a couple samples from today's mail-in job:

Statement: "A lot of Red Sox players were sent packing."

Fact: Every player who appeared in the final game of the 2015 season remains on the 40 man roster as of today, with the exception of third string catcher Sansdy Leon (whom they want to re-sign) and relief pitcher Alexi Ogando. The only other major leaguers who were with the team at the end of 2015 and whom will wear a different uniform this season are starting pitcher Wade Miley and a pair of journeymen pitchers (Craig Breslow and Rich Hill) who combined for 109 innings pitched last year.

Statement: "(Farrell's)bosses spent millions and dealt futures in the pursuit of winning now."

Fact: Those "futures" were blocked, completely. Two middle infielders -- Javier Guerra and 2B Carlos Asuaje -- would be sitting forever behind Red Sox icon Dustin Pedrioa and 22-year old Silver Bat winner Xander Bogaerts. OF Manuel Margot has about a million young outfielders ahead of him and top prospect Andrew Benintendi right behind him. Pitcher Jason Allen is just that -- a minor league pitcher seen as a possible number 3 starter, in other words, Wade Miley.

Spring training can't get here fast enough.

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