Monday, July 25, 2005

Amateur Hour

Ultimately the General Manager, through the field manager determines the 'acceptability' of play of each player. Management, not players, remain accountable and responsible for the team on the field. Money can't play, and I don't mean Don Money or Norm Cash either. All of which brings us to the strange case of Kevin Millar.

Millar is Mister Intangibles. He isn't particularly consistent at the plate, can't run, and his defense is mediocre not average. Obviously, his tools as wordsmith ("Cowboy Up") and clubhouse demeanor exceed his day-to-day contribution on the field. One can only wonder when this neo-Greenwell can wear out his welcome via underachievement.

Okay, let's look at the numbers. For the whole season, which is the only standard we have, not July, but we'll get back to that. Of the fourteen regular first basemen, Millar is tenth in OPS (.754) and tied for last in homers (4). He is twelfth in slugging percentage, tied for last in both runs scored and runs batted in (RBI), and last in the combination of runs plus RBI.

Okay, so he's done 'better' lately. In July, he's slugged a mighty .818 OPS, with no homers, five RBI, and scored 10 runs.

So, you might argue, that because of the overall strength of the offense, you might be able to tolerate his offense if he were a great defender. Well, there's the rub. He's not even close, with mediocre range and mediocre hands.

Why does Terry Francona keep running him out there? Astrology, a OUIJA board, compromising photographs, orders from the front office, or mediocre competition? Anyway, last year Theo repaired the 'fatal flaw' by getting the 'ball-hawk' Mientkiewicz, who at least could pick it at first. If only Sox fans would picket Millar at first. Could Roberto Petagine or Kevin Youkilis be any worse? I doubt it.

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