We’ve secretly replaced the 2010 Mets with the 2012 Red Sox and Walter Reed Hospital with Johnny Pesky’s funeral. Let’s see if anyone notices!
The late Johnny Pesky gave his life to his beloved Boston Red Sox but, sadly, it appears only four current players made time to attend theFenway icon’s funeral.
Word from Yawkey Way is that the Sox front office hired buses to bring players, office and staff to the funeral from the ballpark to the church. The suits, we hear, were surprised and disappointed when the vast majority of the 40 players on the roster didn’t bother to show up for the services.
The Boston Herald had a reporter there and counted the players, observing only David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vincente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Let’s pause for a moment and note that one of those guys is considered the biggest jerk in the game and another one got ripped for going to a charity function earlier this year.
Anyway, you know that this has to be true and that the front office is really, really mad. How do you know this? Because the front office issued a statement saying that the team was “well represented” at the funeral. And the source telling the Herald that the team is angry is — and I am not making this up — “Someone Who Knows.”
But hey, maybe “Someone Who Knows” is right and there is anger about the attendance at the funeral. Know what’s worse than that, though? The fact that “Someone Who Knows” thinks it’s nice and appropriate to use a man’s funeral in service of the season-long blame game being played by Red Sox staff.
Some men just want to watch the world burn. They all live in Massachusetts and work for the Sox, apparently.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.