"More Days in First Place. More Days in First Place. More Days in First Place."
Red Sox media and fans rightfully took that as a man looking through his horse blinders thinking the Sox 2001 season was a success. Even with the fact that they didn’t make the playoffs.
Duquette was seen as a man who was withdrawn from the media, fans, and especially from opposing GMs.
He didn’t answer the phones and often ignored when GMs called to discuss potential trades.
Duquette was abrasive with Red Sox Nation. He was seen as a villain when Boston lost Mo Vaughn and Roger Clemens to free agency. Clemens was supposedly in "the twilight of his career."
When you look at his overall body of work that he presented to Boston, he put together a good core of the 2004 and 2007 World Championships. Yet, he doesn’t get the recognition.
Sure, Duquette made a couple of bad moves. He traded Jamie Moyer, who was thought to be done, for Darren Bragg in 1996. Bragg was an average player who didn’t last much longer in the league. Meanwhile, Moyer is still going strong, currently in Philadelphia.
He drafted Mark Teixeira out of high school, but due to some hostile tactics toward Teixeira, Duquette was unable to sign him.
Look at what Duquette did to build the core of that 2004 and some with the 2007 World Championship teams:
Via Free Agency
1995: Tim Wakefield
2001: Manny Ramirez
2002: Johnny Damon
1997: Heathcliff Slocum for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe
1998: Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. for Pedro Martinez
2001: Justin Duscherer for Doug Mirabelli
2000: Manny Delcarmen
2001: Kevin Youkilis
2002: Jon Lester
He was also responsible for drafting the likes of Nomar Garciaparra and Kason Gabbard, and signing Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez
Where’s the love for Duquette? How come he doesn’t get credit from Boston for aiding in the construction of the two titles?
Duquette put together three of the five starting pitchers the Sox had in 2004. He fleeced Seattle by getting Varitek along with Lowe. He was responsible for the core of the outfield and the offense with Damon and Ramirez. He ended the on-going issue of who can catch Tim Wakefield by trading for Mirabelli.
Look what he did for 2007? Along with Wakefield, Ramirez, Varitek, and Mirabelli he built through the draft with Youkilis, pitching phenom Lester, and bullpen stalwart Delcarmen.
How much more proof do you need? Where’s the credit?
All in all, maybe Duquette knew what he was doing. We all hated him, but maybe he had it right with Clemens. With the ongoing steroid allegations revolving around Roger, I guess the Duke got it right. Without steroids, Clemens was in the twilight of his career.
He had it right with Mo Vaughn. Refusing to sign him after the 1998 season, Vaughn ate himself of baseball. Maybe Duquette saw something there.
Maybe after all, Dan Duquette had it right?
Nah! In Theo We Trust.
But some of the credit has to be directed to Duquette.