Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
A wedge appears to be forming between new manager Bobby Valentine and new general manager Ben Cherington on the best way to employ Daniel Bard, starter or reliever, and the best place to employ shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias, Fenway Park or Pawtucket.
Valentine reportedly told scouts from outside the Sox organization he wants Iglesias, not utilityman Mike Aviles, as his starting shortstop. The Sox manager believes Iglesias is ready to play in the majors, which runs counter to the organization’s belief that Iglesias, who is batting .200 this spring with one extra-base hit, is greener than Fenway’s fabled Wall with the bat.
Valentine has been lukewarm, bordering on openly cynical about Bard’s conversion from setup man to starter, a centerpiece of Cherington’s team-building blueprint, and a report, citing an anonymous Sox staffer, said Bard would be returning to the bullpen when the games begin for real.
It would be easy to make a gigantic deal out of this. Valentine and Cherington disagree! OMG!!! The franchise is dooooooomed! Don't be surprised to see the media parade out the fact that Cherington didn't want to hire Valentine and try to paint a soap opera-worthy behind-the-scenes drama. But don't believe the hype.
This is a scenario that is undoubtedly playing out in every clubhouse right now. The General Manager has his vision for the franchise, and the manager has the players he feels give him the best chance to win. It's very rare that those two are going to be in complete harmony. There will be some arguing and debating, and eventually it will get sorted. One way or another.
In a perfect world, Ben chooses who suits up in Boston or Pawtucket. For those players that find themselves in the majors, Bobby gets to select where and how often they get on the field. That's probably not how it will be decided in Boston. While I don't have any insight into the relationship between Ben and Bobby, I do know that there are a few overbearing guys running the organization and signing the paychecks. At the end of the day, it will probably be them who make the call.
What we don't need to worry about is anything like the "Moneyball" clip embedded above. Cherington isn't going to trade Iglesias. At least he better not!! *shakes fist*
On Page 2, Everyone is thrilled that Buchholz gave up 5 runs in 5 innings
Making his fourth Grapefruit League start, right-hander Clay Buchholz went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. He gave up two two-run home runs, one to Adam Jones in the first and another to Nick Markakis in the third.
“Overall, I pitched pretty well,” said Buchholz, who threw 86 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Manager Bobby Valentine was also satisfied.
“He’s working with his curveball lately. He threw a lot of curveballs and some of them were good and some just got up in the wind,” Valentine said. “But he worked on everything he wanted to work on. He wanted to throw up to 90 pitches. He probably needed to go one inning more to do it. But he threw, what he’d throw 85, 86 pitches. It was good work. His stuff was good.”
Spring Training isn't the place to pay any attention to stats. At least not when looking at pitchers, so there's no reason to stress over the home runs Clay served up.
Although, in that same article, an unnamed scout in attendance stated that Clay didn't throw many cutters or curveballs for strikes. He also noticed that the velocity of his fastball was down a bit.
But I'm not going to read anything into that. I'm just happy that he's throwing 85+ pitches with no back pain.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Bobby Jenks faces DUI charges | Rotation battle nears end | WEEI - Darnell McDonald ‘belongs on this team’ | Buchholz: 'Wasn't ready' to start '11 | CSNNE - Fenway can wait for Francona | ESPN- BBTN video: Is Bard a starter or reliever?