By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Making the grade

I am in the midst of research-paper grading season, which is why I’ve been posting so little. Let me take time out from pondering whether the Red Sox should trade Clay Buchholz as part of a deal for Roy Halladay and offer my best wishes to everyone for a Happy Thanksgiving.

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  1. mike_b1

    Wonder if Brain-dead Bob Ryan knows Curt Schilling was 4-11 through his age 24 season?

    • Dan Kennedy

      I don’t think I’d trade Buchholz for Halladay. I’m not completely sold on Buchholz, but Halladay’s at an age where he could start breaking down. I also don’t picture the Sox going all the way next year. How old is Hallaway going to be before the Sox are a legitimate World Series contender again?

  2. O-FISH-L

    Dan, Happy Thanksgiving to you, yours and all in Media Nation.

    Speaking of Thanksgiving, Piligrims and Indians, I thought the best story of the week was that certain Sioux Indians are lobbying to keep the “Fighting Sioux” as the Mascot at the University of North Dakota.

    Perhaps all hope is not lost?

  3. Not sure there is a “right” answer.. so many other factors effect a season, injuries, career years, etc.. That said, i’d like hope you all have a happy thanksgiving. And while I dont agree with Dan on many issues, that’s probably what keeps me coming back. I appreciate his willingness to express his opinions, which are always well thought out and articulate. That said, Happy Thanksgiving Dan, and thanks.

  4. oh, and if i’m off subject, sue me, but as I say every night before I go to sleep (and i’m not an overly religous person)god bless this country and god bless the troops who allow us to continue enjoying the freedom to contemplate, engage and disagree. And if my spelling is off, god bless Bud Light.

  5. O'R1on

    Thanksgiving has been supplanted by Black Friday as the real holiday.
    How many times in the next few weeks will we see the somber faces on the business channels–Erin Burnett–saying we aren’t spending enough?
    ***Schilling says he’d do the deal in a heartbeat!

  6. Al

    If I have to hear the term “black friday” one more time, I’m going to lose it. I heard someone on ‘BZ radio a couple of days ago use it 3 times in 1 sentence. Enough, already. I spent 11 years in retail management during the ’70s and ’80s, and never once heard the expression. Of course I knew the importance of the day, and the season to the profit (or loss) for a retail venture, but the term was never used. In fact, I never heard it until about 5 or 6 years ago when some enterprising reporter came up with a cool, hip way to name the shopping day after Thanksgiving. It caught on and spread like wildfire. Now, it’s use is as ubiquitous as “Curse of the Bambino” was after a Red Sox loss before the 2004 Championship, or “It’s a Wonderful Life” used to be on TV a few Christmas seasons ago. BTW, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  7. Dan Kennedy

    O’R1on: If the Sox can get themselves in a position where they’re serious contenders for 2010, I’d do it, too. If they manage to pick up Adrian Gonzalez, then sure, go for Halladay.

    But if they decide they’re in semi-rebuilding mode, keep Buchholz.

  8. Steve Stein

    And a Happy Thanksgiving back atcha, Dan, and to all the Media Nation commentariat.

    Trading Buchholz and others (probably including Masterson and/or Bard) for Halladay means “win now!” For that, they need a big bat (probably a 1B to replace Lowell) and they need to keep Bay or replace him with similar offensive numbers.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Happy Thanksgiving, Steve. The league probably won’t let the Sox trade Masterson again. We got Victor Martinez for him.

  9. Patricia

    This may date me, but when I was a kid, “Black Friday” was used to refer to the day JFK was shot.

    I think the Sox should hang on to its young pitchers.

  10. mike_b1

    Dan, I know you like Ryan, but after today’s train wreck of a column, I again must ask: Why?

    He proposes the Sox should have spent the $6M to keep Alex Gonzalez because, although he is an out machine at the plate, he is also an out machine with the glove.

    Except, he’s not.

    A-Gone ranked 19th in the majors in range factor — he simply doesn’t get to many balls anymore. That’s a big reason why he was actually just 3 runs above replacement level and was 3 runs below average for the 60-odd games as a Red Sock in ’09.

    Since Ryan hasn’t learned anything new about sports since he was 2, none of that matters. But you can be damn sure Theo knows it. The Red Sox made the right move in letting Gonzalez walk.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Not only do I like Ryan, but I was saying the same thing on Twitter yesterday. I thought Gonzalez’s range looked pretty good with the Red Sox, and that perhaps his knee problems were easing up by the time he got here.

      Over a full season he might revert to being an out machine. But he wasn’t last year. Doesn’t matter — he’s gone now.

      I also think Ryan was basing his opinion on a total lack of faith that Theo can fill the shortstop position. I share Ryan’s skepticism. Gee, is Renteria or Lugo available?

  11. mike_b1

    Again, what you think you saw and what the data overwhelming — and importantly, unemotionally — say are two different things. Gonzalez’ range factor, baselined against all major league SS, has been poor for years. He makes outs on the balls he gets to, but he just doesn’t get to many. Throw in the fact that he 1) can’t hit and 2) doesn’t walk and it was a slam-dunk decision.

    Considering all the personnel moves Theo has made that have brought two WS wins and five playoff appearances on his watch, does it really make any sense to single out SS? Renteria was a solid choice; he had a crappy year here because Manny was fooling around with his wife. His track record screamed get him.

    I didn’t like the Lugo move, but I can see why Theo coveted him. His track record in Boston was pretty good. They did win a WS with him as a starting SS, so I guess it didn’t hurt them that much.

    There’s not much out there this year on the SS front. I’d rather he take his chances with Lowrie then spend millions on someone else’s garbage.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Mike: Here’s where I agree with you. The Sox were right not to pick up Gonzalez’s option and get stuck with paying him $6 million. I would have liked to see him come back for less money. That he signed with Toronto for $2.75 million suggests that the Sox told him to take a hike, which doesn’t strike me as very smart. I agree that a healthy Lowrie would be a better option, but I’m not sure there is such a creature.

  12. mike_b1

    What you are saying is the Red Sox should have paid $2.75M for a player who is a below-average defensive player and one of the worst-hitting SS in the majors.

    That kind of decision-making is exactly why the Blue Jays haven’t made the playoffs in 15 years.

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