From Jim Donaldson -
Hope Theo Epstein still has that gorilla suit in his closet.
Because if the Red Sox somehow manage to lose the A.L. East to the Yankees — again, for the 10th consecutive year, after having led them by 14 1/2 games — or, even worse, are quickly eliminated from the playoffs, he’s going to need it to slink out of Fenway Park next month.
Let’s check out the Boy Genius’ off-base percentage this season.
As all devoted Sox fans know, Theo and his stat-geek, baseball-fraternity-boy buddies put great stock in players’ on-base percentage. Off-base percentage, in the case of general managers — especially those with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend — measures how often they make a move that is way off-base.
So, what’s your favorite Epstein deal this season?
How’s that Eric Gagne trade working out?
Do you think J.D. Drew is worth $14 million a year?
Julio Lugo, Boston’s fifth shortstop in four years, was signed to a four-year, $36-million contract, but couldn’t be bothered running hard to first base with the game — and, arguably, the division title — on the line Wednesday night in Toronto.
And, while we’re talking money, it should be pointed out that Daisuke Matsuzaka, who cost the Sox $103 million, is 7-10 since May 30 going into his start Saturday night in Tampa Bay against the last-place Devil Rays, against whom he is 1-3 this season.
Is it any wonder, then, that it seems the Red Sox have been winning in spite of the moves Epstein has made this season — not because of them?
We don’t even want to talk about last year, when Theo let Johnny Damon go to the Yankees and replaced him with Coco Crisp; traded Bronson Arroyo to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena, and gave up Cla Meredith in order to get Doug Mirabelli back.
The Sox may yet regroup and win the A.L. East, then go on to play well in the postseason.
But if they don’t, Theo might want to keep that gorilla suit handy.
I wonder if Brian Cashman will do for Theo now what Epstein did for Brian back at the end of May?