Runs, Hits and Errors: Who’s Been Naughty and Who’s Been Nice


It’s that time of year again. A time when you get to look back – in the Red Sox case, it’s too painful to look back past September so we’ll stick to the off season – and sometimes forward to see who has been or will be naughty and nice. Without further adieu…

Dec 19, 2012; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, right, poses for a photograph with right handed pitcher Ryan Dempster at a press conference at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Management – Nice
Fans can quibble about some of the moves made in the offseason but one thing is for sure – Boston management has been by far the most active group in Major League Baseball. Boston has a new shortstop, left fielder, center fielder and catcher as well as additions in both the starting, relief  and closing pitching positions. With any luck, they’ll have a new  first baseman before the season starts. All of this has been achieved while spending roughly half the payroll windfall they netted after the deal with the Dodgers in August of 2012.

Alfredo Aceves – Naughty
Once and for always, forever in perpetuity.

David Ortiz – Naughty and Nice
Nice that Boston’s greatest clutch hitter is coming back for another two years. I like the guy. He’s good for baseball. He’s naughty because of the cheap shot they ain’t respecting me Pedro Martinez stance he took during the early part of his contract negotiations.

Cody Ross – Nice
Nice guy. I wished Boston has been able to keep him. He was good in the clubhouse and good with the fans. Anyone who is likable in the midst of a season like 2012 has to have some special sauce going on.

All glove. No stick. Step aside. Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Igelsias – Naughty
In a recent interview on WEEI, Dustin Pedroia said (who anointed Pedey the spokesperson for the team anyway?) that Iglesias was “upset” when the Sox signed shortstop Stephen Drew. Jose, get over it and learn to hit. Boston wouldn’t have to sign Drew if Iglesias had it locked down. The clock is ticking on his ability to exhibit that he’s learned how to hit. You want to nail down a starting position in the bigs? Hit dammit.

"The era of light-hitting shortstops – in Iglesias’ case featherweight – is over. The old school wisdom of shortstops taking away as many hits as they’re not getting is outdated. Over the past 30 years shortstop batting averages have risen by 20 points. Sorry Jose; .118 doesn’t come close to cutting it."

Joel Hanrahan – Nice
Boston gets a real workhorse closer. Bailey moves to a setup role. What happens with Daniel Bard will determine if he’s naughty or nice.

Stephen Drew – Nice
This one’s more of a gut feel than anything. Disregarding his serious ankle injury at the end of the 2011 season that impacted his 2012 season, Drew has been healthy and his numbers have been solid. That’s my story and sticking to it.

Will Middlebrooks – Nice
While I’m going with gut feelings, Middlebrooks will have his growing pains in 2013, especially after not being the hunter anymore but will continue his progress. He’s young, strong and got the right attitude.

Jacoby Ellsbury – Present yet to be opened
You can’t really make an assessment about a guy who’s profile is lower than whale turd. Come on Jacoby. Do something or say something. Throw me a frickin’ bone!

Shane Victorino – Nice
Victorino is a natural Dirt Dog. He’ll be great in Boston. So said the smug sports writer.

October 3, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Jonny Gomes (31) after the win against the Texas Rangers at Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 12-5 to become the American League west champions. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jonny Gomes – Naughty But Nice
Gomes’ tattooed bad boy image is more show than tell. Besides, when Gomes isn’t one of yours you hate him. When he’s on your side he’s a helluva lot of fun in a Kevin Millar sorta way.

Are you bringin’ a present for me
Something pleasantly pleasant for me
That’s what I’ve been waitin’ for
Would you mind slippin’ it under the door

Four winds are howlin’
Or maybe that be growlin’
My legs feel like straws
Oh my, my, me, my
Kindly would you reply
‘Zat you, Santa Claus
– ‘Zat You Santa Claus, Louis Armstrong