I am annoyed now. Following the Red Sox offseason has begun to resemble working in far too many aspects. The endless communications (via messageboard, but still), the grandiose plans and expectations, the false hope, and then the poor execution and politically based roadblocks that ensure failure.
Some of the stories are success stories (at least in my mind) like the Theo Epstein saga. Theo signs! No, he's pissed! Theo leaves! Theo is working behind the curtains like the Wizard of Oz, but will never come back! Wait, there he is! He's back! No, he was just delivering lunch. Wait again, he really is back?! Yay! But Dan Shaughnessy is throwing his feces at him! Is that really necessary? Why Dan, why?!?
I'm ecstatic Theo is back. Everyone who wants the Red Sox to win World Series' (plural) should be pleased by this outcome. But wouldn't it have been nice if he didn't leave? Wouldn't it have been nice if he was here and had the sack to say "You know what, we don't value Christ as much as Christ does, or that douche in New York does. Let's get a centerfielder now, and not waste time and energy pretending we did everything we could to keep Christ. I know he's the Son of God and all, but in the end winning is better than looking nice, and we won't win with a shitbum in center." That would put me in the position of liking the current Red Sox General Manager without being annoyed. That would be good.
That would also put me in the position of being pleased with the 2006 Red Sox center fielder. I'll say this - I am higher on Adam Stern than most people are. I think he has a shot at being a major leaguer. He has decent tools, works hard, and has put up some decent numbers in the past. He doesn't have much pop, but that has hardly been a prerequisite for success at the centerfield position. I think he'll turn into a decent 4th outfielder. Still, when your payroll is hovering around $120 million, he is probably not your starting CF when there are better to be had.
In fact, your starting centerfielder should be someone like Coco Crisp. In fact, except for the deal getting leaked to a Cleveland fanbase who went apeshit (it should be noted that much of the Sox fanbase, and most baseball analysts, also went apeshit) Coco Crisp IS the Red Sox centerfielder now. I firmly believe that Mota went through the physical just fine, but Shapiro told his doctors to kill the deal...either because of the fan backlash, or because he wanted a free pass to go after Delcarmen. There isn't a single pitcher in the bigs who would pass a physical whose outcome had to be the statement "he will pitch every day you need him for the rest of the year". It just wouldn't happen.
Currently we are in the middle of a rumor firestorm involving like 10 centerfielders. Seriously. People are just making shit up. It's fun, for about 15 minutes, and then you start to get a little annoyed that we still have no centerfielder, none of the proposed trades make any sense when you put yourself in the other team's shoes unless the Sox give up somebody that makes you uneasy, and the only thing actually HAPPENING is that we signed Dustan Mohr. I live in San Francisco. I have seen Dustan Mohr. This is no bueno.
I'm glad the front office is not making stupid deals (while I wasn't really on the Marte for Crisp bandwagon, I could understand the logic in spite of Coco's never really succeeding defensively in CF). I don't want Shapiro to get Manny Delcarmen in a stupid stunt like the "failed" physical. I don't want to overpay in any way shape or form right now, not for the likes of Luis Matos or Austin Kearns. But what I'd really like is to stop hearing about it. The way this off-season is shaping up, everyone is going to hold out until it's obvious they make a win-win or go with what they have until July. We don't need to speculate on 9-player trades that will never happen. We don't need sportswriters making up trade rumors to sell newspapers and insert themselves into the story. And apparently, if deals are in the works, we don't need leaks. Amen.