They don’t give away much of their other plans for the clubs, but Kenny’s famous “I can’t spend a dollar if I only have 50 cents,” quote gets a little update. The Sox budget has crept up to 75 cents. (But perhaps, with the rate of inflation, 75 cents gets you what 49 cents got you last year. Have I taken this too far?) Kenny says that the budget downsizing comes naturally with his plan of getting younger. How’s 19 for younger? A full 20 years younger than the Sox’ oldest slugger (Jim Thome), Dayan Viciedo is making the move from Cuba to the Sox organization looking to, perhaps, challenge talent-challenged Josh Fields and Yankee acquisition Jason Betemit.
Of Viciedo, Ozzie said, “I'm going to tell the fans and media: Don't expect this kid to play the first year like "the Missile" did. He's supposed to be a good player. We're going see in spring training.” Well, my expectations are much higher than what they were when Ramirez was acquired. If your All-Star, Should’ve-Been-World-Series-MVP third baseman isn’t coming back, you better have something up your sleeve. If your pocket cards are Josh Fields and his brilliant numbers, you’re not taking home the jackpot any time soon. The truth is, Viciedo has credentials. By 15, he was already playing with the pros. He was an All-Star at 16. But spring training will be the deciding factor.
Ozzie won’t miss Swish much. Even the fun attitude he brought to the club at the beginning of the year wasn’t there by the end of the year. Quite honestly, that part is fine by me; what do you have to be cheering about when you’ve been batting under .200 in the last month?
They both say they look forward to the next year with a younger team, while still carrying the veterans that can still compete. I’m not as optimistic. While I like the idea of the team getting younger, we’re quite possibly looking at someone who is brand new at second base, third base, centerfield, as a backup catcher, and possibly right field if all the Dye trade talks come to fruition. That is, Getz, Viciedo/Betemit/Fields/whoever, Anderson/Owens/Wise, and Cole Armstrong, is it? While I was excited about the prospect of Getz on second back in the day, and I’m sure the Anderson/Owens/Wise combination will produce as much as Swisher did, the rest add up to a whole lot of question marks.
So, while the big bosses answered some questions, they also inspire some:
-What of Toby Hall?
-Will the youth of the youth movement be enough for the team to contend again next year?
-What will the starting lineup look like next year?
Stay tuned for more news. And if you’re ever bored, [add me as a friend on Facebook.]