They Build Them Up So They Can Tear Them Down

A sampling of what’s being said about Jackie Bradley Jr today after his first game in the Majors.

Dan Shaughnessy:

First walk. First hustle on the basepaths. First strikeout. First run. First RBI. First “tremendous” catch.

How long before Dr. Charles Steinberg produces “The Ballad of Jackie Bradley Jr.?’’

How long before Yawkey Way is renamed JBJ Way?

How long before we’re eating loaves of Jackie Bradley Jr. Bread?

More Shaughnessy (From CSNNE)

I think that when he gets a hit we’re going to have to name the field after him, because it’s all coming here … The catch is going to be highlight reel stuff, but getting the guy in on a first and third with one out, that’s a little thing. Getting to second base on the Iglesias grounder to the hole, little thing. All the pitches against Sabathia, seven-pitch at-bat in his first at-bat, little thing, and that wins games.

Jackie MacMullan

The 2013 season is exactly one game old, but already young Bradley has come to personify the infusion of new life and renewed hope for the Red Sox.

Boston thumped its perennial nemesis, the New York Yankees, 8-2 Monday afternoon and Bradley’s fingerprints were all over the victory. The Kid got on base three times (all walks), scored two runs, had his first RBI and made an acrobatic grab in left field to save a run in the third inning.

Ron Borges

To Bradley, who seems as unaffected by all this as Opie in Mayberry, it was “fun.” It wasn’t stressful, not nerve-racking. It was what this time in his life is supposed to be.

We’ll try to remember all this unmitigated praise in the future when these same folks are tearing him down for not living up to expectations, or his agent is asking for too much money.

The whole thing about sending Bradley to the minors so that they can “control” him for an extra year just cracks me up. When the Patriots did that with Vince Wilfork and Benjamin Watson (remember they signed them both to the maximum years allowed for rookie contracts and held them to those contracts) they were deemed “cheap” by the same people insisting the Red Sox are being foolish by giving up a possible year of control by keeping Bradley in the majors.

  • bsmfan

    Big problem which the media, sports talk included, let linger was the perception of him being some sort of Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. He’s good but not close to those two. As any descent analyst will tell you, those two are very rare. I don’t know if this was a result of someone local either doing the actual comparison or not wording an article strongly enough. Outside of talent, the “Mike Trout” situation in regards to the Angels kept being brought up with their playoff situation.

    Did anyone get outside the bubble here to realize those two guys are once-in-a-generation talents? It’s not to discount JBJ but there seemed to be a lack of throttling going on. I’ll take one prospect list from Keith Law:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1516995-xander-bogaerts-four-red-sox-minor-leaguers-among-keith-laws-top-100-prospects

    Rankings?
    JBJ: 40
    XB: #5 up from 62 in 2012

    Trout/Harper were constantly top-5 if not 1/2 in his list.

    Unfortunately, with Trout/Harper just coming in and making these big impacts, many rookies will be compared to them, even without mentioning by name. This doesn’t excuse lazy analysis or, as you said, building them up so they can be trashed for “not meeting expectations” and also use it as a segue into future columns trashing a team’s farm.

    On ESPN yesterday, quite a few “rookies” who were playing in the games got similar treatment by even their analysts. I have to wonder if other writers in markets are doing the same with their own talent.

    • Rick Mc

      Sports radio listeners don’t want complexity /Michael Holley,

      Also, please don’t link to Bleacher Report.

      • bsmfan

        My bad on that one. I try to avoid BR but it was the only place that quoted the #’s from ESPN Insider I could find without spending 20 minutes searching ESPNBoston archives.

  • bosox3054

    Baseball players have arbitration, though, if I understand the process correctly. So in 2017,18 JBJ would be getting good year-to-year money, in line with his production. Not the monster guaranteed money a true vet gets, but still good money. Whereas Wilfork was way below market value based on production. Every situation has different nuances that lead to different opinions, you can’t lump them together.

  • GStill45

    The Red Sox need buzz, JBJ is bringing it.
    The extra year of control is irrelevant. I don’t think this ownership group is going to be around in 2019 when they’re paying $20+ million as a result of not starting him in the majors.

    Or maybe he dumps Boras for Jay-Z, and the Sox lock him up long term.

    • Rick Mc

      You said it yourself. It’s about control, not cost. You give up 9 games now for a whole season in his prime.

      • latetodinner

        Thereby guaranteeing that the walk year is filled with tension, accusations and fan disappointment. Sox management needs to learn that putting the best team on the field needs to be the baseball opps people priority. As long as business decisions are trumping baseball opps decisions fans will loath ownership and the team will not be winning championships.

        • Lou From Accounting

          Exactly.

        • Rick Mc

          You realize he has a walk year either way? Your whole post is meaningless.

        • latetodinner

          So you clearly do not understand the subtlety of baseball players egos and negotiations. If the Sox do not screw around with the kid’s accrued time for business reasons (as opposed to legit baseball reasons) then there is a chance that the negotiations for a long term contract at the end of the 6 years will not be contentious. A chance. No definitely won’t. His agent is still Boras who will want the kid to get to Free Agency and cash in. However, if they dick around with his accrual time for business reasons and not baseball reasons…then there is no good will and there will be zero chance of a reasonable and reasoned negotiation.

          At the same time…unrelated to the JBJ contract situation is the idea that the Baseball ops people are responsible for putting the best team on the field. If they can’t do that because the business people are making decisions that have nothing to do with the baseball pops…then you have chaos and bad teams. You have an organization putting together a TV show not a competitive baseball team and in the Boston Market that is death with the fans.

        • Rick Mc

          Name me one player who had his service time delayed and became upset. Evan Longoria clearly was held back and he ended up signing a team friendly long term deal.

        • latetodinner

          Jacoby Ellsbury

        • Rick Mc

          How did the Red Sox manipulate his service time? He debuted on June 30, 2007 after starting the year in AA.

        • andy

          I would also add that in 2007 the Sox had Manny in left, Drew in right and Coco Crisp in center (who gave them incredible defense). The decision on Ellsbury was based on his needing to play.

          Also, the decision re: Bradley was a baseball one in that Ortiz was hurt, therefore Bradley now has an opportunity to play. If Ortiz was healthy, Bradley might have been sent to Pawtucket because, again like Ellsbury, the most important thing is he needs to play.

        • alex

          Ellsbury wasn’t held back – he got fast tracked during that 2007 season. He went from AA to playing in the World Series in a matter of months.

  • bsmfan

    Chuck Fairbanks passed today at 79. For local coverage, Chris Price is leading the way with lots on him and his role in the NFL/Patriots. If interested:

    https://twitter.com/cpriceNFL

  • DrakeW

    How long before Shank retires?

  • Kingkelly

    Curly-haired boy friendless has a new book out. Look for a 5 yr renewal of his low erg day job. For years now, the Globe has continued to run his mail-it-in mix of stirring up occasional trouble, hurling an occasional turd at team execs (especially when they share some exclusive tidbit with the Herald), and otherwise doing his best to avoid a sports hernia. As one staple, he issues commemorative bricks paying homage to his past column formats. The latest brick, a cornucopia of cliche line about new It Boy players, was already ancient and tedious before Bill Parcells left town. I’m booking memory storage now for even more memorable masonry when the Sox have their first reunion with Tito in Cleveland. The anticipated Two Cities tale will be a deja vu sleepwalker for sure… Boston has many high brow museums, Cleveland has one museum for people with tatoos… Boston’s river became a top 40 hit for lovable filth, Cleveland’s river was celebrated in song for spontaneous combustion…

    • HighWireNickEsasky

      You forgot Oil Can’s quote on building Cleveland stadium near the ocean.

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