The Boston Red Sox pitching depth took another hit with the suspension of Steven Wright. Is it time to end the Red Sox-Wright relationship?
Steven Wright continues to discover inventive means to sabotage his career with the latest flooding the baseball universe as Wright has bagged an 80 game suspension for a second violation of MLB’s drug policy. Wright displayed the usual perfunctory response as being unaware of how a banned substance entered into his system. Undoubtedly some intricate form of osmosis takes place with each miscreant.
The dual school of thought arises when a player is bagged with a drug violation, but it is depended upon their position within the baseball food chain. A Ryan Braun is certainly not going to be subjected to the same level of caterwauling as a Wright. For the Wright’s of the baseball world, the knee jerk reaction is to simply cut bait and fish for a more reliable (clean) player.
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Wright has accumulated more baggage that Mrs. Howell had on that infamous three-hour cruise. The pair of drug suspensions and the ominous 15 game suspension over a marital confrontation that went bad. Simply stated is Wright needs to be taught a lesson and a social media canning is taking place. I, however, have no intention of joining in the fray and extracting my pound of flesh from Wright.
The Red Sox certainly have an issue with drug violations since their minor league system has had a more than fair share nailed for putting additives in their system. The Red Sox even signed a suspended for life Jenrry Mejia during the offseason. Mejia – a three-time offender – was reinstated by baseball and hopefully will avoid becoming a four-time violator.
I could construct a nice list of Red Sox players during the reign of current owners who have question marks circulating around their careers. Manny Ramirez was twice down for the count, David Ortiz was subjected to unsubstantiated rumors, and Eric Gagne can be mentioned. That, however, is three certified stars and not a down and out knuckleball pitcher.
Wright is valuable to the Red Sox or at least potentially for half a season. Cutting Wright to the winds accomplished nothing except placating the more vociferous executioners. The monetary savings are in the baseball fiscal structure just minimal – half of Wright’s $1.375 MM. So just forget the money. Baseball chump change.
What is important is can this guy eventually help you? A cursory examination of Wright’s pitching credentials shows this is a very capable pitcher when healthy. And healthy is the keyword for Wright with an ill-fated shoulder issue pinch running and multiple knee issues including surgery. That knee reportedly is still not pristine and therefore trolling for a positive is a half season may actually be a conditioning plus.
Pitchers are both temperamental and fragile and fragile is the optimum word considering breakdowns happen with such regularity. Will the rotation be a fixed item for the season? Will you get 150 starts from the basic five? Based on history they will need someone to jump into that rotation.
Wright offers up a knuckleball and at 34-years-old that is just about mid-career for his type who generally pitch well into their 40’s. The elusive pitch offers a tantalizing change from the usual dominant or hopefully dominant heat throwers on the baseball landscape. Wright also has versatility and can start, relieve and possibly close.
If the Red Sox want to make some type of ethical and moral statement it should have been issued when Wright had a noted domestic issue, but now? Fans of baseball love a good story and Wright rehabilitating his career and his persona could be one. It was for David Price.