The morning after the Red Sox dropped a 6-4 decison to Kansas City — a loss that Buster Olney equates to missing a two foot putt — South Coast Today’s Jon Couture takes issue with Boston’s reacquisition of Doug Mirabelli.
The Bard-for-Mirabelli will probably be accepted as the worst of the Theo Epstein era should Boston miss the playoffs. It was a panic move. The sort of panic move that rarely works, and the sort of panic move Epstein has so rightly made it a point not to make.
Given that catching duties are currently rotating between Mirabelli, Javy Lopez and Corky Miller, let’s clarify. This swap was a perfectly acceptable backup with specialized value in Boston for a career .238 hitter, thrown into the Coco Crisp-deal because Kelly Shoppach went west.
Meredith’s success as a middle reliever for the Padres could make things worse long-term, but that’s for another day.
It was a pro-active Epstein trade, both in dealing Bard (above) before real trouble and in explaining why Boston yo-yoed back Mirabelli after a month without him.
“We have no doubt (Bard) would have eventually figured it out with Wake. It might have been three days from now. It might have been three months from now,” he said. “We didn’t necessarily have the luxury of time. The single best solution was available now and we didn’t want to wait.”
Yes, they wouldn’t wait and had no luxury of time because another bidder ” presumed to be the Yankees ” kept trying to drive up the reasonable price.
But isn’t that, spun another way, allowing your rival to dictate your own actions? Isn’t that exactly what Epstein refused to do leading up to July 31, when the Yankees acted?
San Diego originally took a backup catcher for everyday second baseman Mark Loretta to clear salary and give uber-prospect Josh Barfield somewhere to play. Boston made the trade because, well, you don’t often pass on trading Doug Mirabelli for an everyday second baseman who plays outstanding defense and hit .301 in his first 11 seasons.
Trades should make you better ” ideally both now and in the future, but either one is fine. Bard-for-Mirabelli didn’t seem a particular step in that direction then, with Wakefield, Francona, Epstein and everyone else all saying it was a matter of time for Bard and that a move wasn’t necessary.
Does it seem like one now? With Bard (28) seven years Mirabelli’s junior?
While there’s nothing novel about the A’s winning in August, I’m having little luck recalling the last time I saw a game conclude on a strike ’em out / batter’s interference play.