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Monday, February 23, 2004

Lowe - Straight and True

Derek Lowe has come out openly and said the obvious: This Is The Year, Or Else,....Reload. Lowe, in a widely circulated interview, said that with so many heavy payroll hitters up for renewal this year (Lowe, Pedro, Nomar, Varitek), he presumes that not everybody will be back next year. Fair enough. He also said that he presumes he is the more expendable of the Lowe, Pedro, Nomar group. Possibly, but I hope not.
If an old baseball axiom about being strong up the middle holds, and I think it does, for my money we should sign Lowe, Varitek, and Nomar. Why not Pedro?
- Lowe, because he is still young, has been healthy, can start and relieve, will come cheap compared to Pedro, and has a good sinkerball style for Fenway.
- Nomar because he's the best available shortstop on the market, your No. 3 hitter, and plays hard.
- Varitek because he has proven he can handle the pitching staff, is a decent hitter, a switch hitter, plays very hard, and a good catcher is always worth the money.
No Pedro? We love Pedro of course.....But:
- is brittle (How's that shoulder, Petey?)
- getting older, and possibly more brittle...
- is a tremendously big risk in a sport with guaranteed contracts
- will have a tough time getting the kind of money he really wants from anyone else because he is a tremendously big risk in a sport with guaranteed contracts
- did we mention he is brittle?
The title, Theo, is General Manager. In school, they teach you that the reason the world needs managers is because there are no situations with infinite resources. With infinite resources (see: NY Yankees), we could sign them all of course. Management is the practice of minimizing risks while maximizing returns from the resources available.
Question 1: Think Ahead (like a GM) - Three years from now (assuming a three-year deal all around), who do you think will be the player most likely to still be contributing to the Red Sox at a very high level: Lowe, Varitek, Nomar, or, Pedro?
Question 2: If you said Pedro to Question 1, are you sure enough about your choice - because the team is going to lose another an All-Star player in order to keep Pedro.
No, I don't relish seeing Pedro come back to Fenway in another uniform, but given the options.......