Red Sox's black hole at shortstop; Scutaro latest to grab torch
Normal business activity in Boston screeched to a halt last Friday when the Red Sox announced there were holding a press conference at Fenway regarding a "major announcement.''
I was pretty sure this meant owner
Actually, no. The Sox stopped the presses in Beantown to tell the world that
... And so the search continues.
The shortstop hole is the Black Hole at Fenway. Theo's Kryptonite.
The Red Sox GM has developed an All-Star closer, a couple of no-hit starters, a leadoff man who can steal 70 bases, and a flyweight second baseman who won an MVP Award. Theo signed
But he cannot solve the shortstop position.
Nothing against Scutaro. The veteran Venezuelan is coming off his best offensive season, hitting .282 and scoring 100 runs for the Blue Jays. He also walked 90 times and compiled an on-base percentage of .379. This makes him a
But Scutaro is also 34 years old and a career .265 hitter who missed the final two weeks of the 2009 season with plantar fasciitis. In any baseball town, the signing of Marco Scutaro is not a major announcement and does not have the Yankees quaking in their boots.
Theo's Shortstop Problem started in 2004 when
But the end of the Curse of the Bambino was the beginning of the Curse of Fenway Shortstops. Cabrera turned out to be a short-timer, the first in a chorus line of tomato cans who have failed to bring stability to the crucial position.
Since Nomar left town, the torch has been passed from Cabrera to
So the search continues.
Why all the change?
Cabrera played well during his time in Boston, but the Sox never tried to keep him and floated rumors about "off field" issues.
That led to Renteria and a four-year contract worth $40 million -- one of Theo's worst transactions. We were warned that Renteria was soft and something of a National League fraud and it all proved true. He made 30 errors for the 2005 Red Sox. A lot of John Henry's money was eaten on that one.
In '06 Gonzalez came to Boston and played the kind of shortstop that brought fans out of their seats. He was let go because he can't hit, and won't walk, and that makes the silos explode in Kansas.
This led to the acquisition of Lugo for the nifty price of $36 million over four years. Henry fell in love with Julio's offensive potential, but it turned out Lugo couldn't hit, catch, or throw and so another contract had to be eaten while the Sox went with stopgaps Cora, Lowrie and Green.
Theo had hopes that Lowrie might be the answer, but he's been injury prone and looks like he can't hit from the left side.
Gonzalez was brought back for 44 games at the end of '09 and Sox fans showered him with love. He made all the plays, but still couldn't hit.
For a long stretch, Gonzo's batting average and OBP were the same number.
Figuring Gonzalez would still be available if they needed him, the Sox opted not to trigger his option. Subsequently, Gonzalez stunned them by signing with Toronto.
Which brings us to Scutaro. The Sox know he's not a longtime solution, but they're hoping he can bridge the gap until the arrival of 19-year-old Cuban prospect
Iglesias is the flavor of the month in Red Sox Nation. He is projected as the Next One at short -- just like