I am a New York fan, plain and simple. I despise the Red Sox and absolutely hate everything they stand for. So why would I be writing a piece trying to diagnose Red Sox front office miscues?
Because the Red Sox are beginning to look a lot like the Yankees of a few years ago.
The New York Yankees, and Brian Cashman more specifically, used to run their organization on fear. The anxiety of the pink slip from "The Boss" always appeared to be a motivating factor when it came to trading for aging veterans and paying for over-priced, "prized" free agents.
More importantly, the Yankees, circa 2002-2008, were constantly looking over their shoulder at the consistently improving Red Sox team. The Red Sox team that harvested young talent from the farm system with a sprinkling of underrated veterans with a passion to win. This proved to be successful for them in both the 2004 and 2007 seasons, culminating in World Series titles.
In that time, while the Yankees outspent them every year, the balance of power had distinctly shifted. For comedic relief let's look at some of the players that the Yankees have "experimented" with from 2002-2008:
Raul Mondesi, Jeff Weaver, Robin Ventura, Jose Contreras, A-Rod, Jason Giambi, JaretWrigth, Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano, Kyle Farnsworth
Most important about this was that all the while, players from their championship teams were either traded away, not re-signed, or simply retired. It was a revolving door of mediocre players that were signed on potential. Well..."potential" gets coaches fired.
Some, including myself, would definitely argue that it was completely Joe Torre's doing that kept all of these teams afloat.
But I digress. This offseason the Boston Red Sox have signed John Lackey (five years, $82.5 million), Mike Cameron (two years, $15.5 million), Marco Scutaro (two years, $11 million), and Adrian Beltre (one year, $10 million). Are these guys solid players? Yes, they are. But the question is, how many championships have these players won combined? One. By John Lackey, before he was even a major part of the team's success.
When you reach out and sign guys that do not have any real connection, there is a chance that things may not necessarily work like originally planned. There is no doubt that the Red Sox have responded to the Yankees' recent success along with their acquisitions this offseason.
In what seems to be an odd turn of events, the Yankees appear to know what they are doing for the first time in a while. Javier Vazquez is a very solid fourth starter, and with the addition of Nick Johnson, the Yanks have solidified themselves as the clear American League front runners.
There is no doubt that this year, just like those past, will produce a competitive division that is decided in the last month of the season. But on this current pace, the Red Sox must beware of the products they have purchased; because unlike your local department store, there is no 30 day return policy.