Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Open Letter To Terry Francona

Dear Tito,

In my 35 years as a Red Sox fan, I've seen many great players, as well as complete stiffs come through America's Most Beloved Ballpark. There are players who've surprised me by being big game performers - guys like Dave Henderson, Marty Barrett, and Todd Walker. There've also been players who choke when the pressure is on, see Schiraldi, Calvin and Clemens, Roger.

Through my countless viewing experiences of Red Sox baseball, I've developed a keen eye for talent and can tell you with utmost certainty that Manny Delcarmen is on the Schiraldi/Clemens end of the spectrum. He's got a $5 million arm and a $0.02 head. Manny can play a valuable part in a bullpen, by eating innings in blow outs or when the Red Sox are behind. However, he cannot hold a lead, has never been able to hold a lead, and after 5 years and 212 regular season appearances, he will never be more than he is - a Kyle Farnsworth type.

Please, for heaven's sake, stop pitching Manny in close games. I don't understand why you continue to use him in a role in which he is not suited? Particularly, when there are other pitchers out there in the pen (Saito, Bard, and Okajima) who can pitch in close games and get valuable outs.

I am not one of those fans who constantly criticize the manager of the local nine. You are the best. Red Sox manager. Ever. Unlike Jimy Williams and John McNamara, I rarely find much to criticize about your managerial strategies. However, you're one weakness is you are too patient with some players. Delcarmen is one of them.

After the All Star break, the trading deadline is 2.5 weeks away and teams will be in high gear trying to plug holes in their rosters. During that timeframe, only pitch Delcarmen in non pressure situations, so he has some good performances, and then Theo can drum up some interest in Manny and deal him.

I don't care that he is a local yokel, I don't get caught up in that nonsense. What I see is a pitcher who will be a major liability come October and I want him off our roster by then. Please manage him accordingly.

Best Regards,
Kevin Flynn

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