Skip to main content


Yesterday, the Sox released catcher Josh Bard and decided to ostensibly hand the job of catcher-to-Wake to George Kottaras. At the risk of being "that guy", I must say that I called this one months ago and even asked the folks at the Globe why they weren't talking about this. They didn't respond - and I wasn't able to post my nah nah nah comment on their blogs yesterday either. So let me revel in my righteousness here.

On Nov. 3 of last year, I wrote this to Nick Carado, linking to this post of mine:
Nick - has anyone talked about whether the Sox could re-sign Jason Varitek and ask him to take on knuckleball duties next year? This would allow a young catcher to get his feet wet on a team with Tek, while not having to catch Wake (a la Josh Bard).
Then, on Feb. 3 - I guess I feel righteous indignation on the third day of the month - I wrote Tony Massaroti an email entitled "Bard vs. Kottaras":
Hey Mazz,

My question/comment is about the back up catcher position. I don't understand why you and Cafardo imply that Josh Bard has the leg up. Assuming the Sox don't complete a trade, it seems that Bard is the worst choice among Brown, Kottaras and Wagner. With Varitek back in the fold, why do we want Bard - a thirty year old who can't hit lefty, is average defensively and obviously is not popular with Sox fans - as Tek's understudy? That would be another year of not moving forward in developing a replacement for Tek. It seems the favorite would be Kottaras who is out of options, bats lefty with power and must have some skills since we traded David Wells for him. Wagner and Brown are defensive studs who seem to have Kevin Cash-like bats, but at least they're 24 and 26 years old respectively - and don't cost millions like Bard. There hasn't been much reporting on your site about what the scouts say about these three, which seems to presuppose either a trade or Bard. What's the deal here?


P.S. Any talk about having Varitek catch Wake then splitting the other 4 starters either by assignment or by lefty/righty platoon?
While my self-righteousness is coursing through me, I thought I would nonetheless see if I had my facts straight, that the Globe had in fact dropped the ball on this. I found a good article I hadn't seen from Feb. 15 by Amalie Benjamin covering the backup catcher competition - where she does say Bard is the favorite. Tito told her: "Josh Bard is certainly the veteran of the group. We have some history with him. We know him. You have Dusty and George that have been together in Triple A. We know George is out of options. We definitely need to take this six, seven weeks that we have down here, and try to get a better understanding of where we are with all three of those guys."

Lastly, a few things about Kottaras I haven't seen elsewhere: he grew up play fastpitch softball in Canada rather than baseball, which could help him wield the big knuckleball mit. He was traded to the Sox for David Wells so he must have been considered a decent prospect. He has power and a good eye. points out: "while his arm is strong, his throwing motion still lacks quickness, and he only throws about 20% of runners out. Good at blocking balls in the dirt, and gets to bunts and fly balls well. "

The point is that this is the best move for the Sox team this year, in the future, for the fans (who will never support Bard), and for the team finances. I'm just not sure why this wasn't more obvious once 'Tek was signed.


Popular posts from this blog

Hanley Exits Stage Right

Hanley Ramirez has been released by the Red Sox.  With Pedey coming back, this had occurred to me as an option but a very unlikely one.  It seemed like having three catchers was a luxury they couldn't afford, or they'd send Brock Holt down temporarily or put Nunez on the DL just because he really is always injured so why not.

In the end though, they realized keeping Hanley didn't make sense.  If he came out of his slump, you're likely going to get stuck with him for next year or have a conflict with him and the fans when you bench a productive player.  But it was more likely he'd have good moments but never be all that good.  He's been terrible for about 3 weeks now.  Cutting bait with Hanley means you have more money for next year (Kimbrel & Mookie perhaps), you don't have the headache of however he's going to act if/when you bench him, and you keep other options on your roster.  As for the money, you're already spending it either way so don…

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

Opening Day & Possible Unlikely 2018 Contributors & Breakthroughs

It's opening day and the Sox are playing the Rays.  While the beauty of baseball is that any team can beat any other team on any given day, the Sox should - and need to - dominate the Rays this season.  The Rays are going to try a 4 man rotation (a very good idea btw with the way the game is trending) - but then they lost one of those four.  Rumor is that they are close to signing Charlie Hough.  Their best player is Kevin Kiermaier whose very solid, but essentially their best player is Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Even if Wilson Ramos returns to All Star form and C.J. Cron finally becomes decent, this will be a pretty bad team.  They'll get a jolt when star SS prospect Willy Adames arrives but otherwise the Sox need to feast on the Rays this year if they hope to win the division.

The Sox opening day lineup meanwhile has a couple of sorta-surprises from where we started spring.  Hanley is starting at 1B over Mitch Moreland despite a righty starter, and Christian Vazquez is catching Chr…