Update: Here’s Sweeney talking about the injury before today’s Sox game: “I’ve talked to a lot of guys. Everybody’s thrown their helmet or thrown their bat or hit something.” As I said, players hit things out of frustration. It’s a human reaction. Let’s protect them.
As Sox fans now by now, Red Sox backup outfielder Ryan Sweeney is likely out for the year after fracturing a knuckle in his pinky finger. Sweeney was frustrated after going 0 for four Monday night and took out his rage against a door. The door won.
Now without a doubt, it was a dumb move by Sweeney. But it was also unlucky. Players punch things all the time. That door has punched many times this year. Just look at what Valentine said after the game:
“The door he had actually hit was dented, so it wasn’t the first time. He must have went at it in the wrong direction, because there’s been multiple whacks at it.”
First off, if players are punching the door enough to dent it, it’s time to pad the thing already. Baseball can be extremely frustrating and players need a place to take their frustration out. Anybody who has played the sport can attest to that. There are plenty of times when you come back to the dugout and just want to punch something. In a little league season with a game every few days, that frustration dissipates in between games. In a 162 game season where that frustration has the chance to build game after game, often it can explode.
So here’s an idea: knowing this, why not protect players? We can call them dumb all we want, but frustration boiling over is a human trait and we see it happen all the time. Think how many times you see SportsCenter show players throwing a water cooler or smashing a bat or something like that. I’m sure it happens frequently down the tunnel and in the locker room too, as Valentine indicated by saying the door has been punched before. How about we pad these things then? Or even better, put a punching bag there, put a punching bag in the dugout. Give the players something to take their frustration out, not something int he weight room, but something immediately as they come off the field. It’s not going to stop all the dumb injuries, but it can certainly help. (Image Via)
New Red Sox general manager Ben Cherrington has made his first big move today in acquiring Oakland Athletics closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney for outfielder Josh Reddick and prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. The Sox needed a closer. Now they have one. I’ve been hoping the Sox would go after Bailey for a while and am very excited with this deal.
Admittedly, I don’t know too much about Head and Alcantara. Both seem to be top-level prospects, though neither is near major league ready. Head hit 22 home runs and drove in 82 runs for Class-A Greenville and Salem last year. Alcantara started the year with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, posting a 0.75 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in 48 innings. He was promoted to Lowell where he struggled in his 17 1/3 innings there, giving up 25 hits and 12 earned runs, but still striking out 14. The upper-level of the Sox farm system was depleted by the trade for Adrian Gonzalez last year and the Sox organization has been looking to rebuild it since. This trade certainly doesn’t help that, but neither Head nor Alcantara will be ready for the majors (if they continue improving) for a few years and the Red Sox have greater depth in lower-level prospects.
Josh Reddick is a solid outfielder who started extremely hot for Boston last Summer, but faded badly down the stretch. While many analysts love Reddick’s swing, I’ve always had my doubts and have seen him as great trade bait. He has terrible plate discipline and I’ve always expected him to be a step faster. Nevertheless, he’s young and has potential but I’m still extremely happy with this trade. Read more…
It’s been a while since the Red Sox season ended in utter embarrassment. So now it’s time to look to 2012 and how to build a roster that can make it a full season without imploding:
Bobby Valentine is the new manager of the Boston Red Sox after a two month search. It seemed that new General Manager Ben Cherington had favored Dale Sveum to take over as manager from Terry Francona, but management were not sold on Sveum and new Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein swooped and nabbed Sveum.
Many baseball analysts have been clamoring for Valentine to rein in the Sox clubhouse and I agree. Francona has always been and will always be a player’s manager, but the current roster of players do not have the personalities that mesh well with a player’s manager. Players like Josh Beckett and John Lackey, amongst many others, took advantage of the leeway Francona gave them. It’s time for a hard-nosed, disciplined manager to set some ground rules. The players are certainly embarrassed by the September collapse, but I want to make sure that the antics in the clubhouse will stop and Valentine will certainly do that. Read more…