Protecting the Shields -- The Nick Cafardo Thread

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Hendu4Kutcher

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Nick with an admission today:
It is good to see that Cafardo hasn't abandoned his anti-Ellsbury agenda. Does he really think that Ellsbury's inability to execute a bunt really was a game changing moment? When you lose by 18 runs, you can't blame a botched bunt attempt.

On a side note - was this a sacrifice bunt attempt? And, if so, what kind of manager has his #3 hitter attempting a sacrifice bunt with two on and no one out in the first inning?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Cafardo was at his most shitty this morning, but banging the "Brad Mills doesn't deserve to get fired" drum has to be among the dumbest thing. Of course, he doesn't tell us why Mills doesn't deserve to lose his job, but that's just Cafardo being Cafardo. BTW, with this blatantly ass kissing, I wouldn't be surprised if Mills was one of Cafardo's deep throats.

And two mentions of Jim Riggleman for manager? Why? Hasn't he noticed that teams that employ first time managers without much experience (Mattingly, Ventura, Gibson, Matheney) are doing pretty well while retreads (Valentine, Acta, Tracey) are doing pretty shitty? Of course not.

And who is going to be better in the future: the Phillies or the Red Sox? Don't ask me, I'll just waste 18 inches of words without much of a conclusion. The Phils could, the Sox could. No one knows! That's baseball! Whee!
 

E5 Yaz

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Ownership is fair-minded and realizes that this mess was not Valentine’s fault.
M'kay

1. What if the Dodgers spend all that money to acquire the Red Sox players and don’t make the playoffs? It would be the ultimate story of a big-market team flexing its muscles and having it backfire because the players aren’t that good.
Unlike, you know, the Red Sox of the last year

7. Marco Scutaro, INF, Giants — He has given the Giants quite an offensive lift since joining them. He has hit .328 in 33 games, with 8 doubles, 2 homers, 20 RBIs and 16 runs. GM Brian Sabean has had a knack for finding the right guys at the right time. But on the flip side,Hunter Pence has been awful (.230, 2 homers, 22 RBIs).
So, does Sabean find the right guys at the right time, only when he doesn't?
 

lostjumper

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And who is going to be better in the future: the Phillies or the Red Sox? Don't ask me, I'll just waste 18 inches of words without much of a conclusion. The Phils could, the Sox could. No one knows! That's baseball! Whee!
Peter King-esque. I hate when a writer asks a question, devotes to a paragraph to it, and then end with "who knows"?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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So managers of good teams do better than managers of bad teams?
I didn't say that at all. What I said was there has been a push away from retread managers and the teams that did pick retread managers (the Sox, Indians, Marlins, etc.) aren't doing that well. Of course there are exceptions (Davey Johnson in Washington) but for the most part the Cards, Dodgers and White Sox weren't expected to make the post season. All of them are pretty close to doing so.
 

Humphrey

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I think after reading yesterday's notes column that Nick has finally resigned himself to the fact that his binky won't be coming back nexdt year.
 

E5 Yaz

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Sunday's rant about the ability of the major league staff to improve the throwing arms of the Red Sox outfielders was worthy of the Nick Hall Of Fame


They don’t have a bona fide minor league outfield instructor, and you can see that the outfield fundamentals are awful, especially at the major league level, where they may have the worst arms in baseball.

You may see a more conscious effort in the organization to at least improve arm strength.
 

E5 Yaz

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This Sunday's column was one of his all-time worst. I don't have the strength to go through it all.
Think of all the bandwidth trees destroyed on the Rick Peterson section alone ...

... not to mention the "real baseball people" vs the "Bill James influence"

... or the managing pleas for Jim Riggelman and Tony Pena
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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That's two weeks in a row for Jim Riggleman.

Do you know that Riggleman has had two years (actually two and about a third) above .500?

And last year (when he had the Nats one game over .500) was the year where he thought that he'd play hard ball with the owner over a new contract and resigned--by the way in order to be one game over .500, the Nationals won 11 of 12. Aside from the 95 and 98 Cubs (and the 95 Cubs were two games over .500), his record has been abysmal. Just terrible. What makes Cafardo think that Jim Riggleman is going to be successful manager?
 

wutang112878

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Nick is back defending Bobby in his article today:

Of course, it’s not a done deal that Valentine is gone. He is owed $2.5 million on his second year, and that’s not an easy sum to swallow. Not to mention the fairness factor. Who gets only one year to prove himself, with a team that has had the most injuries in baseball since 1987?

I guess he wasnt privy to Finn's article that detailed a lot of logical reasons this just wasnt ever a fit and why the 1 and done firing would be ok. I can understand different opinions, but Finn made a much better case than Nick did, not shocking considering Nick's laziness.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Oooh, the fairness factor. I totally forgot about that, you guys. Completely unfair to Bobby Valentine. COMPLETELY.

Thanks again, Nick. You are a beacon of light in a sea of ignorance.
 

Humphrey

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It's impossible for someone who's hitting .057 to have such a positive effect on a ballgame with his glove to justfiy that person starting.

And, he LOOKS like a .057 hitter standing up there.
 

Andy Merchant

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One of the first things I do when I get up every morning is to check espnboston.com to see if Valentine has been fired yet. I will continue my 2012 boycot into 2013 if Valentine is allowed to continue to embarass the Red Sox organization next season. As if holding my nose to stand the lingering stench of Lackey isn't enough. Sheesh...
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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$2.5 million isn't an easy sum to swallow? The Sox didn't seem to have a problem swallowing $4 million or so for Youkilis to go away, but they're going to keep a manager around for $2.5 million? What a joke.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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$2.5 million isn't an easy sum to swallow? The Sox didn't seem to have a problem swallowing $4 million or so for Youkilis to go away, but they're going to keep a manager around for $2.5 million? What a joke.
Nor did they mind swallowing ~$7M to make Manny go away or ~$12M to make Lugo go away. It's a sunk cost, and rarely has sunk cost prevented them from upgrading a position in the organization. Cafardo is grasping at anything that prevents him from admitting that his managerial binky was an abject failure.
 

Mo's OBP

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Chad Finn today:

"Some of my skepticism is probably an attempt to counterbalance those who absurdly thought Iglesias should have been the Opening Day starter when he hadn't yet proved adequate in Triple A."
 

lexrageorge

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Today, Nicky is dumping on all the possible 2013 managerial candidates as basically being a sideways move (or worse) from where they are now. Meanwhile, in his Notes column, the campaign for Acta and Guillen has begun.
 

Hendu4Kutcher

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Cafardo's inability to recognize that Valentine has been a monumental failure as Sox manager is infuriating. Somewhere, in all of major (and minor) league baseball, the Sox should be able to find a managerial candidate who is not only a good in-game tactician (Valentine's purported strength, although IMO he was vastly overrated in that regard), but who can handle player egos, won't publicly rip players in order to play petty mind games, and who can work with a difficult media. In short, they need a manager who doesn't feel the need to be "the smartest man in the room" all the time. I refuse to believe that Valentine is the best the Sox can do.

To say that all the candidates are essentially the same and will be no better than the current manager is disingenuous at best and ignorant at worst - but I guess that is what we have come to expect from Cafardo.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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What I found telling is that Cafardo said that the three managers likely to get fired this off-season are Acta (already gone), Valentine and Guillen were the bottom three managers that players like in a poll done by SI. And of that information, Cafardo insinuates that these guys are really good managers, the players are pussies/are the ones with the problem.

Here's the thing, in sports there are hard-asses who have won. It doesn't work this way anymore, but it happened. Valentine, Guillen and Acta are not these type of managers. Combined, these managers have been the heads of their clubs for a combined 31 years and have won one World Series and roughly won about 47% of their games. I think that we know why Cafardo has such a hard-on for these guys (they give him nuggets), but to say that these guys are misunderstood hard-asses (throw backs!) who deserve another chance. They really aren't. They're just assholes who are collectively under .500.

It's pretty pathetic. But, that's Nick Cafardo.
 

lexrageorge

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I generally don't put too much stock into those SI polls; a similar one in the NFL named Belichick as the coach noone wants to play for. I seem to recall a time when noone wanted to play for Doc Rivers either. There's a lot of name recognition bias built in; the manager of the Cleveland Indians is not exactly a household name; many players probably don't know him other than his being the face in the opposing dugout for half-a-dozen games.

Guillen had a good run for a couple of years early on, but then become a cartoon character by his own choosing; but I seem to recall that he was well respected by his players early on. I really don't know much about Acta, other than the awful roster he had to work with. We all know about Valentine; no more needs to be said.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I agree, Lex but two things:

1. Cafardo brought it up.
2. It would be one thing that if no one wanted to play for these guys and they were good managers. Their records show that they're not very good, on the poor side of average, actually. At least with Belichick, he probably is a jerk but you could point to his rings, his won-loss record, etc. One out weighs the other with GVA, they don't seemed to be well-liked nor do they win.

And that's surprising about Rivers, I thought that even when he was starting out with the Magic most of his players liked playing with him. I think that was the hair across Bill Simmons' ass the first year that Rivers coached the C's.
 

E5 Yaz

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LL probably took away Cafardo's lunch privileges for that omission
 

wutang112878

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As expected, lazy Nick has 'its not your fault' article defending Bobby who 'had no chance' The way Nick writes it and discusses the problem it really turns into an opinion piece by Nick and not grounded fact base reporting. Really a disgrace of a column if you ask me.

Valentine was a fish out of water from the moment he was hired to change the “beer and chicken” culture of the Red Sox clubhouse. The push for change was met with great resistance by veteran players that management did not clean out until the megadeal with the Dodgers in late August got rid of $264 million worth of bad contracts in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett.

So Bobby might have had a chance if only management could have pulled off one of the biggest trades in baseball and wipe the entire team slate clean before Bobby started. Gotcha

Those efforts by Valentine were never supported by management, starting with a remark he made in April during an interview on Channel 7. Responding to a question about Kevin Youkilis, Valentine said of the third baseman, “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”

Because it would be too much to ask to change the culture without trashing players publicly.


Valentine often couldn’t contain his emotions and said things he shouldn’t have said. But that should not have been a surprise, because he has always been that way. He never deviated from who he was, as much as the Red Sox tried to suppress him.


How could the Red Sox not have done their homework on Valentine? He has always ruffled feathers, always put his foot in his mouth, yet they seemed surprised.

.....

Cherington, who preferred Dale Sveum and Lamont over Valentine, did not recommend Valentine be the manager, despite public comments by Lucchino that Cherington made the hiring. We never bought that one, nor did we buy that Valentine wanted all the holdover coaches that Cherington “recommended” he consider.

Put 2 and 2 together here Nick. You say that LL essentially made the hire, and then wonder why the RedSox were surprised with Bobby's actions. Rather than asking 'why were they surprised' why not do a little work and get some answers from Larry, you know kind of do your job as a reporter.

Valentine never trusted the holdovers and vice-versa. It was a terrible arrangement from the start. Pitching coach Bob McClure was eventually fired and Randy Niemann, one of Valentine’s coaches, was named pitching coach.


While this sucks, and it certainly was as moronic setup, remember that Bobby must have agreed to such a setup. If Bobby didnt ask about this during the hiring, shame on him for not asking. If the RedSox said he could hire his own staff, then dictated this to him, then shame on them. Rather than implying blame, it would be more appropriate to find out the specifics here, rather than just be lazy and use this as evidence that Bobby was doomed and it was the organizations fault. Its possible Ben detailed how this would work to Bobby and Bobby agreed to it, and then this really isnt an excuse for Bobby. Again, that would involve Nick doing some work, its much easier to leave such questions unanswered and make implications.

Valentine was unable to do a lot of things he’d done in other places. He had to adhere to instructional methods that were already in place.

While the Red Sox thought Gary Tuck’s method for teaching catching was superior, Sox catchers didn’t get appreciably better. Valentine has his own ways to teach catchers, but he wasn’t able to implement them.

Again, something that should have been hashed out before the hiring. But in Nick's world I guess the organization should have changed all of their methods that were already in place to suit Bobby before he had even proven that he could manage here. Yeah, that makes sense.

Another great implication that Tucks method were the problems and Bobbys were the answers.

Valentine will walk away with a $2.5 million severance package, providing he adheres to a clause in his contract that prohibits him from bad-mouthing the Red Sox. How long the clause is in effect for is not known, but Lucchino wrote the language himself and Valentine signed off on it.
Its really amazing that Nick was able to get this level of detail, most likely from Bobby himself, but obviously couldnt be fair in his article and get information from the other parties involved.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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God, the thing that annoys me the most about Cafardo is his passive-voice bullshit: "How long the clause is in effect for is not known..." - Well, yes it is known, Nick. By people other than you. Instead of, "I was not able to learn..." or, as Nick would put it, "we were not able to learn how long...," we get the idea that it is "not known," much like the final resting place of Atlantis and just, exactly, happened at the moment of the Big Bang.

And how does that even work?

Nick: "so, Bobby, what were the terms of the severance?"

Bobby: "well, they gave me next year's salary and we've got a non-disclosure agreement that Larry wrote and I signed off on."

Nick: "gotcha. So, how long does the NDA last?"

Bobby: whistles...

No, probably he heard something third hand and put the "not known" crap in there to cover his ass. He pretends to be a reporter, but not very well.
 

ifmanis5

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Great takedown above. I'd like to add to this:

Valentine was a fish out of water from the moment he was hired to change the “beer and chicken” culture of the Red Sox clubhouse. The push for change was met with great resistance by veteran players that management did not clean out until the megadeal with the Dodgers in late August got rid of $264 million worth of bad contracts in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett.

Valentine was a "fish out of water?" A 62 year old man, who LIVES IN CONNECTICUT and had decades worth of MLB experience was somehow out of his element like Donny from The Big Lebowski? How exactly? Nick doesn't say.

Also, AFTER the megadeal that got rid of the deadbeats to LA, I guess we could expect a great record in September/October right? Nick may not know they went 7-22 (including 12 of the last 13!) but the rest of us do. When can the Globe trade Nick's lazy fat ass to LA?
 

Mo's OBP

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Finn of course has another reality check for Globe readers who may think the Globe's "On Baseball" guy is anything but the worst writer the Globe prints. Yes, even worse than exemplar of the meritocracy John E. Sununu.
 

TheoShmeo

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From Sunday's notes column re trading Ells:

"This suggestion will make many people crazy. Ellsbury is beloved by the pink hats in Boston, and there might be a mutiny if Cherington trades him. But if they believe they can’t re-sign him, then a deal could be in the offing."

If loving a guy who put up an MVP or MVP runner up season in 2011 makes me a pink hat, then sign me up.
 

bloodysox

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I actually think he made a fair point there. I like Ellsbury but I would trade him in a heartbeat for the right deal.

Many "pink hatters" would be irate if Ellsbury were to be traded, even if we got a haul of prospects in return.

Cafardo is a lazy moron, but I can't really knock him for that passage. Everything else he writes, on the other hand...
 

TheoShmeo

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I actually think he made a fair point there. I like Ellsbury but I would trade him in a heartbeat for the right deal.

Many "pink hatters" would be irate if Ellsbury were to be traded, even if we got a haul of prospects in return.

Cafardo is a lazy moron, but I can't really knock him for that passage. Everything else he writes, on the other hand...
Disagree. Trading Ellsbury only makes sense if they believe they wont be able to sign him to a reasonable deal and they get an adequate return.

Not wanting to trade Ellsbury unless both of those things are true goes beyond pink hat type rooting.
 

mt8thsw9th

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Disagree. Trading Ellsbury only makes sense if they believe they wont be able to sign him to a reasonable deal and they get an adequate return.

Not wanting to trade Ellsbury unless both of those things are true goes beyond pink hat type rooting.
When I think Boras I think "reasonable deal".

"Adequate return" really comes down to how realistic your views are as to what he's worth, as he's really had one great season sandwiched around two lost seasons. He's not young, and the odds of him matching 2011 are incredibly slim as it was a historically good season. 2008-2009 seems like reasonable baseline, and he's playing for a contract so there's a good chance he'll be quite motivated. The latter bit is why he'd be quite attractive for a team going for it in 2013, which the Red Sox should not be aiming for at the expense of the next 5 seasons. Signing Ellsbury into his 30s doesn't help that.

If they can get someone cost-controlled for Ellsbury, you do it in a second. The guy's more likely to play 70 games than he is to be an MVP candidate. It's time to move on.
 

touchstone033

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"This suggestion will make many people crazy. Ellsbury is beloved by the pink hats in Boston, and there might be a mutiny if Cherington trades him. But if they believe they can’t re-sign him, then a deal could be in the offing."

If loving a guy who put up an MVP or MVP runner up season in 2011 makes me a pink hat, then sign me up.
I think I need to go out and get a pink hat, too. At this point, though, I'm hoping for Ellsbury's sake they trade him. With the team set to suck for a few years and guys like Cafardo taking potshots at him all the time and getting the talk-radio crowd riled up, it won't be fun for him if he stays.
 

touchstone033

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Cafardo also suggested today that the Red Sox should sign Swisher, Napoli, or Hamilton if we don't make a trade for Joe Mauer.

At this point I think he's just fucking with us.
It drives me crazy that these guys practically drove Gonzo out of town on a rail, and then they turn around and urge the Sox to go out and sign older, worser free agents for a less efficient cost.
 
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