Boston Red Sox the new Evil Empire?

The Boston Red Sox have spent big this offseason, to a degree that they have been compared to the New York Yankees. Larry Lucchino does not like the comparison between the two clubs saying : “We are different. We run our clubs differently. There’s a commonality in our willingness to invest in sizable sums for baseball players, whether they be short-term additions or long-term development projects. So in that sense, we, the Dodgers, the Giants — a lot of successful clubs — are willing to pay the price and write checks.”

Analyzing this statement, he doesn’t really express what makes the clubs different. Perhaps it is denial, or maybe he is giving the Yankees a compliment and is referring to their two last place finishes in the past 3 years?

“It’s a question of pattern and consistency over time — that’s one way to distinguish. But we’re not going to not avail ourselves of what we think is a very good baseball opportunity because someone is going to compare us to the Yankees…We operate differently. They run their franchise. We run ours, ” said Lucchino.

So basically in a politician like fashion, Lucchino said that it is acceptable to spend money if it is a good opportunity to the Red Sox. Or in simple terms, he said that if they do it then it is fine and he doesn’t care what people call the Red Sox. Very interesting quotes from the man who termed the Yankees the Evil Empire. Again though he has failed to come up with a reason on what sets the teams apart in their strategy.

“But the pattern, the practice, the history are all very different.”

Unless he is alluding that the Yankees have never been in a situation where they needed to be jealous of the Red Sox, or to the Red Sox 3 world series in a 10 year span, then this is just another string of words that really don’t say anything.

“We’re very different animals, and I’m proud of that difference. I always cringe when people lump us together with other baseball teams,” Lucchino said in February 2014. “They are still … relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankee style of high-priced, long-term free agents. I can’t say I wish them well, but I think we have taken a different approach.”

Umm Mr. Lucchino, I hope you know that the sentence I italicized is the very reason reporters are drawing these comparisons. You are not really helping your case, lucky you didn’t chose a career as a lawyer. Your team is up there with the Yankees for one of the oldest teams in the sport. If the Dodger ownership wasn’t looking to make splashy headlines, you still would have been paying unproductive players in Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. What is the different approach? When your team won the World Series in 2013, you did it with aging veterans and free agents. I thought that was supposed to be the “Yankee way”.

“In player payroll, we’ve never been [at the top], at least in recent years, we’ve never been at the stratospheric levels of they and the Dodgers and some other teams.”

Maybe because you traded your contracts to the Dodgers and give up completely on a team midway through. Just a thought.

So his argument might have been pretty bad, or very good if you are a politician. However, it was the Red Sox fans themselves that were even worse at defending his claims. Here are a few facebook comments from the ESPN article:

Ben Wislon· Top Commenter 

“Like the yankees? When was the last time this Sox gave a 7+ year contract to a late 20s entering 30s free agent? When was the last time the yankees locked up a prospect for full team control during the players prime? The yankees overpay for aging free agents that had their prime with another team.”

Hmm So many. Let me see Jon Lackey got 6 years $83M at age 31, but with a vesting option at 500k if he missed a season because of an injury. So that would be a 7 year deal. Also the Carl Crawford deal of 7 years $142 million, that he signed heading into his age 29 season. Oh and Adrian Gonzalez got a 7 year $154 million at 29 after being traded to the team. Not sure how many more I should say, the bandwagon fan won’t know who these players are anyway.

Michael Stevens

“Hanley Rameriez (sp?) will be 36 when his contract is up. The Panda will be 34. This kid is 19 going on 20, so he will be 26 or so. The difference between the Red Sox and the Yankees is when the contract is up. When is A-Roid done? When will Sabathia? As much as I miss Lester, Lucchino stuck to his guns on age. That is the difference he is claiming and it is hard to argue. He does not deny that the Sox spend.”

Stuck on his guns to age, he signed Mike Napoli after 30. David Ortiz is 39, and look at the above posts and see the long term contracts the Red Sox gave to those guys. Oh and the Pedroia deal lasts until an old age too, he is signed until 37 and might already be declining. Yikes! Koji Uehara is 40, guess he read Koji’s age backwards then. Oh and what about Shane Victorino, might have been a 3 year deal but he was 32 when he signed. Just because the Red Sox let Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury go doesn’t mean they don’t sign old players.”

Brock Janiak

“There IS a difference in how the teams spend

Redsox signings

Yoan Moncada- The 60mil DOES NOT go towards future payroll, its strickly out of the RS’s pockets. Its as if John Henry bought a new house. Moncada is subject to regular prospect payment (3 years league mininum + 3 years of arbitration)

Rusney Castillo- Only 26 years old, and is being payed only 12mil a year. Not a big commitment

Hanley Ramirez- Only a 4 year commitment”

Yeah it doesn’t count to payroll, but similar to the luxury tax the Red Sox were taxed heavily for signing Moncada. They have to pay the tax by June 15th I believe, that is going to be some hefty pay check. Not to mention he is likely starting at Single-A, and a few workouts might not mean he is the next big thing. Although I think he can be pretty good. Everything is strictly out of the teams pockets, not like they start a fundraiser to get money from the other 29 teams. Rusney Castillo is an unknown who signed to a 7 year deal, pretty ballsy. To say that 12 million is not a big commitment is just another indication of how much your team spends, when you suddenly think that is cheap. And only a 4 year commitment, it is to an injury prone player. I thought the Red Sox let Ellsbury go because of his injury problem, why are they signing a defensive liability to be injury prone. At a position where they have a surplus too, why pay “just” 22 million to Hanley.

I could add more comments but they all go this way pretty much. Kind of sad how they can’t come up with a valid point yet, maybe that means Lucchino is wrong?

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