Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I didn’t mean to be J.F. Kerry-esque. The post did ramble on and my two points apparently got lost in all of it.
My first point was to call out the Sox on the spin. They did not make this deal to sure up the club in the field. It is only what they received. The major motivation for the deal was that they feared Nomar was not going to play much over the next two months and that he demanded a trade (I know this part is in question but this is from the club’s perspective). We do not hear anything from the team about the improved defense now. The defensive angle was a smoke screen.
Second, Theo and the Trio should have called Nomar’s bluff regarding the extent of his injury (this is a HUGE assumption on my part and I certainly could be wrong but my guess is that Nomar plays nearly everyday for the Cubs). Due to the questions about his health and ability to produce on the field, Nomar has to play 50 games to prove to the market that he is worthy of a Tejada type of contract. The Sox did not have the willingness to call Nomar. Similar to the A-Hole deal, the Sox brass did not take a chance. No risk can equal no reward.
To answer a few specific questions from Lando Cabrissian's Ghost:
1. If Nomar rejected arbitration, the Sox would collect at least one if not two first round picks. These picks do not have to make it to the majors to be successful. Minor league prospects can be used as prime trade bait as well.
2. The Sox were only 19-18 in games that Nomar appeared, BUT in those games the Sox outscored their opponents by 63 runs (108 runs scored versus 45 runs against). Nomar was a big apart of that run disparity. He hit 321/367/500 while scoring 24 runs and knocking in 21.
3. Defense does not necessarily win championships. I thought I demonstrated that with the mixed bag of glove work among the most recent world champs. Once you are in the playoffs, a significant part of the outcome is determined by just plain luck (wild card winners, bone head managers, Tejada’s base running, bloop hit off of Rivera, M’s 116 win season, Jeffery Maier, etc.). To get there a club first needs hitting and pitching then defense. Defense/glove work is secondary because there are common baseball outcomes (HR, BB, K) that impact the game that do not involve the fielders. In most cases, finding gold gloves should be a lesser concern than hitting skills in making player acquisition decisions, which is why I feel this was a bad deal.