Friday, July 14, 2006

Trot versus Wily Mo: Who Will Go?

I like to think of myself as a patient person, willing to take a great deal abuse before snapping. So this is it. I cannot keep up the polite facade any longer: the Red Sox need to get whatever they can get in return for Trot Nixon. Now I am not advocating trading him at the deadline for bad middle relief pitcher (which is the market for a thirtysomething corner outfielder who has no speed, no power, is poor defensively, and is injury prone), but hear me out for a second.

Trot is not going anywhere because he has no value. Also, he must be a 5-10 guy by now, so he would have to approve a trade, and I sincerely doubt he is interested in that prospect. However, if keeping Trot the rest of the season means that the team is going to get a first round pick and a sandwich pick for compensation this off-season when Trot ends up with another team, then this is a great deal. The Red Sox front office has been batting 1.000 with their first/sandwich round picks with the new scouting and management team in place.

Most importantly, Wily Mo is the Red Sox right fielder for the foreseeable future. Wily Mo is young; in fact, he is very, very young for a major leaguer with his service time. The phone jockeys on rant and rave sports radio do not seem to want to appreciate the talent and power this man-child has, but Wily Mo is THE answer for the number five spot in the lineup after Big Papi and Manny. Nixon obviously is not the answer there, nor is Jason Varitek, and apparently Mike Lowell is much more comfortable in the six hole; however, Wily Mo is a legitimate power threat, which is exactly what the Red Sox need in the number five spot in the line-up.

I say, keep Trot. At least through October. Then thank him for his ten years of service: ably filling in on the disabled list, making numerous mental errors in the field and on the basepaths, sailing throws to, well, wherever his tosses end up, usually rolling towards the pitchers mound after he sails it over the cut-off man.

I have no problem with Trot: he is likely a great guy, but so were Kevin Millar, Tony Graffanino, Edgar Renteria and Bill Mueller but I would take Mike Lowell, Alex Gonzalez, Mark Loretta, and Kevin Youkilis over them any day of the week. Ditto for Trot and Wily Mo.

Also, do not discount that Theo Epstein traded for Wily Mo. He inherited Trot from Dan Duquette who inherited him from Lou Gorman. To survive those three eras is an accomplishment not to be discounted.

Trot was a good player, but not a great player. Wily Mo could be great. He needs to get that chance and to not give it to him is just plain wrong.

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