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July 13, 2005
The Duke's legacy
Little tidbits as we wait for the second half of the season to begin . . .
-- There hasn't been a whole lot of love for Dan Duquette in the years since he was dismissed as Red Sox GM, but did you realize his much-maligned farm system produced three All-Stars this season? Justin Duchscherer, Shea Hillenbrand and David Eckstein may not be our idea of baseball's elite, but all of them were in Detroit last night.
-- And what do the Red Sox have to show for all three? Doug Mirabelli (acquired for Duchscherer in midseason 2001) and Pawtucket's own Chris Narveson (acquired last March for B.K. Kim, who, of course, had been acquired for Hillenbrand in 2003). They got no return for Eckstein, whom they lost to the Angels in a waiver claim.
-- Even the Haywood Sullivan farm system was represented at Comerica Park last night, in the person of Roger Clemens.
-- My feeling is it won't be long before the Theo Epstein farm system starts making its presence known at All-Star games. For the first time in more than half a decade, there are actual prospects at McCoy Stadium -- Dustin Pedroia, Jon Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen. Additional talent is bubbling beneath the surface in the lower levels of the organization. There's no guarantee any of them will become All-Stars -- there's no real guarantee any of them will become quality major-leaguers -- but the odds are certainly stronger than they were, say, two years ago, when people like Adrian Brown and Jon Nunnally were the cream of the PawSox.
-- Will any of them make their presence known at Fenway Park before the end of the season? Good question. Pedroia's mentioned most often -- mainly from the crowd sick of watching Mark Bellhorn strike out -- but he's not on the 40-man roster and they'd have to make a series of moves to promote him. Since the organization isn't as down on Bellhorn as the fan base, I wonder if they'd go through the necessary roster gyrations . . . especially since handing a starting job, or even just the platoon half of an important job, to a rookie with about a month of Triple-A experience isn't S.O.P. in the heat of a pennant race.
-- Papelbon, though . . . that might be a different story. If the Sox' relief corps continues to struggle (and they don't pick up a dependable arm between now and July 31), Papelbon might be too tempting an apple not to pluck off the tree in an attempt to solidify the bullpen.Of course, he's not on the 40, either, but those gyrations might not be so daunting if pitching was the payoff.
-- On further review, Duquette cast quite a shadow over Comerica last night. In addition to the three products of his Red Sox farm system, he also had a product of his Expos farm system (Vladimir Guerrero), two of his Boston free-agent signees (Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon), two Boston trade products (Jason Varitek and the chosen-but-not-present Pedro Martinez), and a Red Sox draftee (Mark Teixeira) who didn't sign with Boston. That's quite a haul.
-- Too bad for him, though, that the only Star he'll be associated with down through history is Clemens. You remember. Something about the twilight.
Posted by Art at 11:49 AM | Permalink