Well the John Farrell Era has begun as the Boston Red Sox have inked their first free agent since Farrell became manager. It’s not glitzy or big but it’s a start as Boston came to terms with veteran backup backstop David Ross. Ross, who was with the Sox in 2008 and played eight games for them, was with the Atlanta Braves for the last four seasons playing about 55 games each year.
Stats on Ross
Ross has been in the league since 2002 and has played with six different teams. He has a .238 BA and has caught 39% of runners stealing. The 11-year vet is 36 years old and overall a reliable catcher. In that time, he’s appeared in 602 games. He’s been with the Reds, Braves, Bucks, Dodger and Padres as well as the Red Sox.
What’s He Bring?
Here is the down and dirty on Ross. He is a better-than-average backup and like Jason Varitek, is one of the best catchers at managing pitchers and running a game. He’s also a great clubhouse guy. All of these aspects are extremely positive especially when considering how bad things were last season for Boston in the locker room as well as on the field.
Is the signing of Ross a good thing? As Wayne from Wayne’s World would say, “Cha!” This is a fine signing. There’s great value in getting a free agent like Ross for $6.2 million in what is a two-year deal. That’s chump change for Boston. I see this move as yet another positive sign that the Red Sox are going to attend to details to ensure that this team has depth and a solid veteran presence and maturity. Ross is not a big part of the picture but he’s a small part of the big picture.
The Red Sox have also added Toronto’s Brian Butterfield as third base coach, the White Sox Juan Nieves as bullpen coach and have interviewed Richard Schu of the Diamondbacks as hitting coach. The coaching staff is coming together and it’s certainly being made up of guys that manager Farrell can work with.
Man, do I hate instant negativity and of course with so many writers who cover the Red Sox it seems to be a requirement that they be as pessimistic as can be. The latest negative on Farrell is the fact that he’s a former pitching coach and those guys tend to be bad managers. I love that type of observation. We might say that U.S. generals tend to be bad political leaders and some like Grant have been horrible but others such as Washington and Eisenhower have been quite good. Hey, give Farrell a chance! He hasn’t even managed one game yet.
I am optimistic about the 2013 Boston Red Sox. This is mainly because it seems as if GM Ben Cherington and the rest of the front office is attending to business in a responsible manner. I’m looking forward to a great hot stove season and an exciting 2013 at Fenway Park.