Red Sox calling up Scott Podsednik from Triple-A

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Cody Ross became the sixth Red Sox outfielder on the disabled list when he was diagnosed with a broken bone in his left foot yesterday and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Boston is calling up Scott Podsednik from Triple-A.

Podsednik failed to beat out Juan Pierre for a spot on the Phillies’ bench this spring and then hit just .203 in 22 games at Triple-A, at which point Philadelphia sold the 36-year-old veteran to Boston.

He was much better at Triple-A for the Red Sox, hitting .323 with two steals in nine games. That’s not much, but obviously the Red Sox are desperate for warm bodies in the outfield at this point and there’s at least some hope that Podsednik can get on base at a decent clip and run a bit. He didn’t play in the majors at all last season, but hit .297 with a .342 on-base percentage in 134 games for the Royals and Dodgers in 2010.

Red Sox owner: “spending money helps”

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The other day Rob Manfred said, as he and other owners have said often in the past, that there is no correlation between payroll and winning. He said that defensively, in response to criticism of the slow free agent market of the past two offseasons.

As we have noted in the past, Manfred is not being honest about that. While, yes, in any given year there can be wild variation between payroll and win total — the Giants stunk last year, the A’s won 97 games — common sense dictates otherwise. What’s more, a recent study has shown that there is a pretty strong correlation between winning and payroll over time. Yes, you can fluke into a big season with a low payroll — Deadspin compared it to a cold snap occurring during a time of climate change — but if you want that “sustained success” teams claim they want, the best way to ensure it is to spend more money over time.

If you know anything about baseball labor history, though, you know well that the Commissioner and the owners will continue to mischaracterize the dynamics of the business as it suits them. Mostly because — present lefty sportswriters notwithstanding — very few people push back on their narratives. Fans tend to parrot ownership’s line on this stuff and, more often than not, baseball media acts as stenographer for ownership as opposed to critic. That gives owners a far greater ability to shape the narrative about all of this than most institutions.

Which makes this all the more awkward. From David Schoenfield of ESPN:

In apparent contradiction to his own commissioner, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry said Monday that, while there is not a perfect correlation between a bigger payroll and winning, “spending more money helps.”

Which is right. The correlation is not perfect — teams can spend a lot of money on a bad team if given the chance and a low payroll team like the Rays can bullpen their way to 90 wins — but you’re way more likely to win year-in, year-out if you’re spending than if you go cheap all the time and hope for a miracle season.

Which is not to say that Henry is some labor activist owner. He and his fellow front office officials have a long history of backing the league office on just about everything that matters and will no doubt do so with labor matters in the runup to the next CBA negotiation. The owners tend not to have a solidarity problem.

But Henry does seem to draw the line at peddling baloney, which is a shockingly necessary thing when the league and the union’s relationship turns acrimonious.