Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bob Lobel: Pandas in Boston

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Hanley, LeGarrette, Jonas, or Kung Foo Panda?  

Which one is not like the others?

It may not be the one you think, but clearly these are four pretty unique names that lit up the telephone lines and grabbed the ink for headlines in the toy store of the sports world. 

Try this: Which one has had a bad start to his Thanksgiving week?  

Hint, go with Jonas! 

It was amazing to watch his body language and facial expressions as he stood on the sideline in his uniform that didn’t need washing as much as he didn’t need a shower. Belichick is getting tougher as he closes in on the end of a Hall of Fame coaching career and this Jonas Gray story is becoming as much a part of his legacy as the hoodie. 

Doubtful that Jonas will introduce the coach at his Canton, Ohio ceremony. At least that’s the way it looks at this moment. Back to the initial question of which one of the four doesn’t belong with the other three. You think Jonas, right? 

That’s the way I started this and had Jonas as my first selection. I was wrong about my own question. The true answer is LeGarrette.

Why? Simple. He was the only one who played in a real game this weekend. Each of the others has a career ahead that is full of doubt and question marks. People can't figure out why Kung Foo Panda would leave the Giants for the Red Sox. Fair question since both cities have often been compared to one another on many levels. 

Even in the baseball wars, both have been extremely successful by today's standards. I'm saying the difference wasn’t money or the uniform, it’s the league, stupid! 

The unique rules of the American League are perfect for a player like the Panda. Overweight, still pretty young, and a teammate with an overweight, much older, but still productive David Ortiz. Kung Foo guy can play third for a couple of years, then move to DH after Ortiz leaves. 

It's a no-brainer for extending his career while assuming the numbers will  be enough, especially at Fenway, to put him into legendary status. The American League is the right place at the right time for the right guy. Everyone was counting the money, but it was not about the money!

In this case, that does ring true. Meanwhile, we don’t have a clue on the future of 200 + yards  gained,  sleepy  Jonas Gray.  LeGarrette and his team seem to have title dreams in their heads, and the Panda with Hanley have made the Red Sox viable again.  

Now throw in a few pitchers, which you can count on because if they don’t, why throw that money at Sandoval and Ramirez? Yet again, another example of this team not being your father's Red Sox. 

That’s your Thanksgiving gift for 2014.

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