What's in a Name?
BOSTON -- In their constant quest to add depth to the bullpen, the Red Sox on Thursday acquired right-hander Jermaine Van Buren from the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash.
What's in a name? Apparently, the Red Sox have devised a new strategy to rebuild their troubled franchise. The Sox have gone 'Presidential' in acquiring Jermaine Van Buren to supplement their other Presidential resident, Trot Nixon.
What are the possibilities here? Neither Terry Adams (Philadelphia) nor Russ Adams (Toronto) merit consideration. Milwaukee's Mike Adams (ERA 2.70) definitely deserves some effort. Homer Bush didn't see action in 2004 and David Bush looked 'Bush league' against the Sox in 2005.
Of the Carters, unfortunately the best, Gary (Hall of Fame) and Joe (memorable World Series home run) are long gone, and Lance Carter (was he the D-Rays headhunter?) leaves much to be desired. The Sox have gone the Cleveland (Reggie) and Clinton (Lou) routes in the past in their once fruitless quests for the brass ring. Joe Kennedy had his moments with Oakland, once they rescued him from Colorado. With just 7 homers in 2005, former Sox farmhand Lew Ford could be out there. Of course, we hear the Sox have far more interested in a Torii (Hunter) than Democrats or Republicans.
Among the Jackson clan, forget about Edwin (Dodgers) or Damian, especially if we're trying to reduce Johnny Damon's headaches. Conor Jackson is another story, a power-hitting prospect first baseman from the Diamondbacks. Plus, we have lots of connections in Arizona, as the quislings defect from the defunct BoSox bargain basement baseball barracks. There's always a Johnson out there, and the best of the Johnsons out there is Nats first basemen Nick. As for the rest of the Johnsons, the most interesting might be Florida's Josh Johnson, but we've got our limit on Joshes already. We could certainly do worse than acquiring Sox nemesis Ted Roosevelt Lilly, but never mention John Truman Wasdin.
We might need outfielders if the Sox fulfill Manny's wishes, and Craig Monroe slammed 20 homers, 89 RBIs and had a .446 slugging percentage in spacious Comerica Park. Don't even think about Reggie Taylor. Craig and Jack Wilson may have peaked with the Pirates, although nobody's going to make us forget about Earl Wilson who had a no-hitter for the Sox and won 20 games for the Tigers. Preston Wilson has pop in his bat but lots of holes in his strike zone, and for gawd's sake, let's try not to remember Mookie Wilson.
Well, the Sox don't have time to ponder all the presidential aspirants, especially when they're trying to find the right caliber general manager. Of course, they wouldn't have this problem if they hadn't found the right caliber to finish off former GM Theo Epstein.
-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check