Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bob Lobel: The Demotion of Jackie Bradley Jr.

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Just as I start to peck away about the demotion of Jackie Bradley Jr., I hear on the Sox/Angels game I’m watching, the exact same thing from Orsillo and Remy stealing the thunder.

“The greatest centerfielder, bar none, in the last decade at least.” 

Stopping short of saying all time, it’s not out of the question that, when the sample size continues to grow, if it continues, he could occupy that lofty position.

Best of all time centerfielder is no small thing. It’s a tough position with many demands, but JBJ always seemed to amaze in the short time he was here. 

Just don’t put a bat into his hand. 

It was painfully obvious that it was a foreign object to him.  Not all the time, however!  The spring training that propelled him past Pawtucket right to Boston was amazing. He hit everything. Everything except the big time. 

Some guys are easy to read by their body language. Christian Vasquez is a perfect example,  You can see the future written all over him. Holt is another. The thing about JBJ is that his moves were so sweet, it appeared that even the most difficult of plays were no big deal to him.

Well, they were a big deal to everyone else. The difficult part is having to send a great defensive player down to AAA to relearn how to hit. Maybe assigning Dwight Evans as a personal batting coach for him or Mike Easler, one of the best hitting coaches to ever sit in the Red Sox dugout.  

It’s now up to him. JBJ has it, because you just can’t show it and then stop showing it. Maybe he comes back in September. Maybe they have other plans for him. 

I’m betting there is no chance Jon Lester is coming back. There will be plenty of interesting moves and signings. It’s amazing to me to listen to Red Sox fans complain and go on and on about how cheap the organization has become. 

Easy to forget what was and what is. With the new commissioner maybe there will be new Red Sox ownership in the not too distant future.  

A comment on the pitch clock being proposed to mercifully speed up a game that borders on boring far too often. Lets say it’s 20 seconds long: Does a throw over to first back use up the clock? When it gets down to five seconds will the hometown fans count it down to rattle the opposing pitcher. I think that would be great, but there is a lot of tick-tock tinkering to be done.

Personally, not just for the health of the game, but for the sheer fun of it, 38,000 fans counting down 4, 3, 2, 1,  maybe, just maybe, will replace the wave. 

We can hope, can’t we? Hope for JBJ and the clock that saved baseball.

1 comment :

Fenway said...

I am all for the pitch clock.

JBJ is just lost at the plate.