Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Today brought good news and bad news to the loyal subjects of Red Sox Nation. The good news - Wily Mo Pena cleared waivers so he can be traded up until August 31st. I didn't expect a donnybrook involving all the teams that surely want a player of his caliber, but a mild scuffle should have been in the works, right? Which brings us to the bad news - Wily Mo still sucks.

Of course, as a resident of New England, it is my solemn duty to gloss over his abysmal performance since he joined the Red Sox by attributing said sucking to his overall lack of playing time. The prevailing theory there is Wily Mo would suck less if he played more and got into a groove. Of course this leads to a chicken vs. egg debate with more rational people who attribute Wily Mo's lack of playing time to the fact that he has shown no capacity to justify more ABs or starts because he sucks.

The trade that brought Wily Mo to our little corner of paradise has inherent value for the Red Sox organization, even if the on-field performance has been atrocious. It got Bronson Arroyo out of town. First, Arroyo had to go because I couldn't help but think of the Simpsons' episode where Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie end up in Bronson, Missouri on their way to Branson. I just didn't need to visualize a town full of people saying things like: "No, palie, this is Bronson, Missouri" in a Charles Bronson voice every time he took the mound or played a gig.

But the main reason Arroyo had to go is that he didn't know his place. He dared to outshine Theo at the Foundation to Be Named Later's Hot Stove Cool Music Festival. Granted common sense and rational thinking were never chief among Arroyo's virtues, but if you're a no-talent fraud with musical pretensions, and your boss is also a no-talent fraud with musical pretensions, the smart play is to let the guy who signs the checks rock the house. But what do I know?

To be fair to Theo, at least he wasn't the guy who signed Scott Pollard. It's always good to have a backup center who managed to play in only 21 games last year and is know more for his idiosyncrasies than his on the court play. But on the plus side, the Celtics are now dangerously close to having the number of players under contract required by the NBA. So they have that going for them, which is nice.

I haven't posted much about it, but I find myself hooked on episodes of The Bronx is Burning. And I'm not very pleased with myself for it. The show is good, or at the very least it's better than most of the sorry drivel that is on TV these days. But it's main problem is that it tries to set the turbulent Yankees season against the backdrop of Son of Sam, the big blackout, the 1977 NYC mayoral election, the general decline of American society and the inevitable collapse of a Red Sox team lacking pitching and moral character. That's just too much for a one hour show on once a week.

It got me thinking, though, what would happen if some producer thirty years from now were to do a similar show about the 2007 Red Sox who seem poised to vomit up their lead in the AL East as their predecessors did back in '77. Will we be asked to look back and laugh as Tom Warner very nearly made the last mistake of his life when he dressed in the Wally Suit to pull a prank on Larry Lucchino? Will the silly little debate on whether Youkilis was in fact faster than Dustin Pedroia seem even sillier? Will we be expected to burn with righteous indignation that no action was taken against the Mariner Moose when he made his cowardly and dastardly attempt to injure Coco Crisp? Or will we merely think how did we not see it coming?


TheKobraKommander said...

Would you decribe Schilling (or yourself, for that matter) as a "Blogboy Blowhard?"

Seriously, where does the CHB come up with this stuff?

Kevin Smith said...

The bottom line with Wily Mo is about playing time - but not at the major league level. This is someone who has the potential to be a helluva a power hitter, but he was never given the proper amount of time to develop his game at the minor league level - the dude's what? 25 now?

He should have been in the minors the last two years learning how to hit a breaking ball. As it is, I have to wonder if he's been too damaged to ever fulfill his potential. As for blaming sitting on the bench - sure it's tough, but it's all about discipline and concentration - and I have to question whether he has enough at this point to succeed.

My guess is that he moves on to another team like a Kansas or Tampa Bay, bats about .250 with around 20 homers per year as a full timer.