Found March 26, 2013 on New England Sports React:
Jackie Bradley Jr. showed Sox fans that even a little guy has opposite-field “pop,” being congratulated here after lacing a three-run homer to left in the Sox’ 7-6 win over the Phillies this past Sunday.       Somehow, without ever suiting up for Boston (or even Pawtucket, for that matter) the name Jackie Bradley Jr. has become synonymous with Red Sox baseball.  Bradley has lit up the Grapefruit League both at the plate (he was hitting .444 as of Friday) and in the field.  He has become the hottest topic in Fort Myers, hotter even than David Ortiz’s heel, although the latter issue certainly informs the former.     The question everyone is asking is, “When will Jackie Bradley Jr. be in the Majors?”  It’s not an easy question to answer if you’re Ben Cherington.  There are more than a few disparate arguments–all of which have merit–that he must consider and filter through.  The question that he’s trying to answer now is, “Do we bring him up, or do we send him down?”  It’s a question that alludes to the state of limbo Bradley — and with him, the Red Sox franchise — is in.     BRING HIM UP NOW!  The Red Sox and their fans haven’t seen a player as exciting as Bradley since a young blade named Jacoby Ellsbury.  Yes, Pedro Ciriaco was a Yankee-killer last year…but he’s not Jackie Bradley.  Sure, Daniel Nava hit a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw in the Majors…but he’s not Jackie Bradley.  Will Middlebrooks looks like he has 30-plus home run power for years to come…but he’s not Jackie Bradley.  Bradley looks like a 4-1/2 tool player, with average, speed, defense, and the best arm in Boston’s outfield in a while.  The only thing he doesn’t quite have yet is power, although he has the swing to spray balls off the Green Monster for doubles.  Why wait?     SEND HIM DOWN!  Yes, he is good.  The spring stats are great.  But since when do you make major organizational decisions based on what someone does in Spring Training?  Most of the at-bats Bradley has had this spring have been against guys just getting in shape for the season.  How many times he has gotten in the box and seen all fastballs?  Or all curveballs?  He hasn’t really been pitched to yet.  Again, that’s not the opposing repertoire I want to change the course of a franchise for.      WE HAVE TO WIN NOW!  In the last two seasons, Red Sox fans have endured ( and for a lot of them, I use that word very loosely) the worst September collapse in Major League history and the worst full season record since 1965.  The “future” you refer to is one extra year of arbitration for Bradley in 2019.  Nobody pays $8.25 for a beer next month hoping the team will be good six years from now.      WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE TO WIN “NOW”!  Here’s how it works: if Bradley starts the season in the Minors (and he only has to be there for 11 days), his arbitration “clock” starts later and he remains under team control until the 2019 season.  Forget the beer, is a couple of wins in April more important than retaining a potential superstar for an extra year of his prime?  Or, to put it another way, where would the Red Sox be this year without Jacoby Ellsbury?  Six years ago, the Sox kept Ellsbury in the Minors despite the “win now” pressure, and now he’s still here, instead of taking a walk after last year’s debacle.     DAVID ORTIZ IS HURT!  There is a spot for Bradley now, and we are going to need him.  It is possible to delay his clock another way.  If at any point this season, Bradley spends 20 straight days in the minors, the Red Sox still get to keep him until 2019.  So why not keep him until Ortiz is healthy, and then send him down until July or August?  That will allow enough time to make a trade and keep Bradley here for good.      WHERE DOES HE PLAY?!  Bradley is a center fielder by trade, and he was playing right field while Shane Victorino (he of the newly minted 3-year, $39 million contract, lest we forget) was off at the World Baseball Classic.  So do you ask the kid to change positions again?  Or do you move the expensive new toy?     And then there’s Jonny Gomes.  Yes, he can DH in Papi’s absence, but what then after that?  Bradley and Victorino can handle themselves against lefties, so there’s no need to platoon, and they obviously play superior defense.  Gomes is supposed to be one of your “clubhouse” guys.  Is he still going to be Mr. Camaraderie if he’s forced to sit on the bench?     Let’s not forget about John Farrell, either.  Yes, he’s coached in Boston before, but he’s never managed here (read Terry Francona’s book if you want to know the difference).  Now he is dealing with a public relations nightmare instead of managing a baseball team.  Doesn’t seem fair to anyone…     I think ultimately what will happen is Bradley will be sent to Pawtucket and made to force the Red Sox to bring him up.  They want nothing more than to see him tear up AAA and turn into a local legend before he ever sets foot on a Major League field.  That way, whether the big club is thriving and playing well, or struggling to start a third straight season, Jackie Bradley Jr. will be exactly what they need. -Torrance Kilcoyne
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Red Sox OF Jackie Bradley is overrated

Jackie Bradley made a huge error today and it cost the Red Sox an out. Bradley even struck out today as well. Cliff Lee didn't even know who Bradley was before they faced off today. There, some negative things about Bradley have to be said before we call this guy the next Yaz. The truth is, Jackie Bradley is overrated. Now, before you go and burn me at the stake, think about...

Jackie Bradley Jr. Has Chick-fil-A Combo Meal Named After Him Called ‘JBJ Special’

Jackie Bradley Jr. may not be a superstar in Boston just yet, but in Columbia, S.C., he’s kind of a big deal. In the Five Points area, right near his University of South Carolina campus, the Red Sox prospect actually has a combo meal named after him at the local Chick-fil-A, according to Masslive.com. Although it’s not officially listed on the menu, the folks behind the counter...

Your Morning Dump...where Bradley sure looks ready

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. Bradley, whose play has been the talk of spring training, was in the lineup and in left field, starting at that position for the first time this spring. Noting the big crowd expected on the road and the presence...

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s Amazing Spring Will Truly Test Business of Baseball, As Outfielder Can’t Do Much More

We’re taught at a young age that hard work is rewarded. Perhaps there should be a disclaimer. Jackie Bradley Jr. added to his impressive spring resume (again) on Monday, and he’s making it harder and harder (again) to defend any decision other than penciling him into the Red Sox’ Opening Day starting lineup. Bradley entered Monday’s game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning...

Jackie Bradley Jr. Impresses Red Sox Assistant Hitting Coach ‘More and More’ Everyday, Continues Strong Spring Training Effort

document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-form-37110a5dbfdf062b8f9f9474eabb2078').submit(); Jackie Bradley Jr. has been making a strong case this spring to be considered for an Opening Day roster spot with the Red Sox. Bradley Jr. got his first start of the spring in the outfield Sunday against the Phillies. He hit a three-run homer in the second inning off of Phillies left...

Your Morning Dump...where the Bradley debate is still going on.

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. Here's the Jackie Bradley Jr. question, plain and simple: Are you willing to give up a full season in 2019 for nine games in 2013?  That's it, nothing more and nothing less. The idea that the Boston...

Do you want Jackie Bradley in Boston? The pros and cons

Jackie Bradley Jr. is an exciting prospect, but there are pros and cons if he starts in Boston Jackie Bradley Jr. may legitimately be the first truly exciting prospect that the Boston Red Sox have had since Jacoby Ellsbury or Dustin Pedroia first took the field in the Boston Red Sox uniform. He shares many of the same qualities that Jacoby Ellsbury possesses when he is having a good...

Reggie Smith, Fred Lynn, and Jackie Bradley Junior

Jackie Bradley Junior and Reggie Smith have many things in common, but also many things different with the Red Sox. Reggie Smith was a 22 year old rookie center fielder that was touted for ROY before the season even started in 1967. The Boston Globe headlines a week before Opening Day said : Chances for Sox’ Reggie Smith To Become 1967′s Top Rookie: display_pdf   After an...

Promising Prospects: Jackie Bradley Jr, Yasiel Puig, and Javier Baez

Follow @DSchmelzerTSB on Twitter  This time around in Promising Prospects, I am going to profile three guys who are all highly rated prospects in their respective organizations. There are no sleepers in this bunch. Also, all three of these players have had huge Spring Training’s with their club, and one guy is making a case to make the majors much sooner than anticipated. Jackie...

Red Sox-Marlins Live: Jackie Bradley Jr. to Lead Off As Jon Lester Gets Final Spring Tune-Up

11:42 a.m.: The lineup cards are in, and Red Sox fans will get another glimpse of Jackie Bradley Jr. This time, the hot-hitting outfielder will lead off for the hometown club. Bradley didn’t record a hit on Tuesday, but that’s simply because the Red Sox had an off-day. Otherwise, Bradley probably would have been good for at least a couple. (If the rest of the spring is any indication...

Buster Olney makes boldest JBJ claim yet

Sox fans and to some degree the wider universe of baseball fans have become quite smitten with Jackie Bradley, Jr. His banner year in the minors last year, leading up to him stealing spring training with his five-tool skills, finds Bradley at the center of the debate as to what the Sox should do with him right now, with everyone weighing in. I'll leave that alone, because you...

Red Sox 7, Phillies 6

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit back-to-back home runs for the second consecutive day, but rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Boston Red Sox roughed up Cliff Lee in a 7-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Bradley hit a three-run homer in the second inning and finished with four RBIs. He had a sacrifice fly in the third as Boston scored three more times off Lee, who...

Ted's Army Season Preview Part Two

Baseball is finally here. While Spring Training can hold people off, many are fiending for the season to start. We're right there with you. We look forward to the brutal grind of the baseball season. The braintrust behind Ted's Army came together and put out expectations for our beloved Boston Red Sox and how they would fair in the 2013 campaign. Without further ado... I...

Red Sox-Twins Live: Clay Buchholz Aims to Close Out His Spring on Positive Note As Sox Host Twins

5:12 p.m.: Jackie Bradley Jr. is still awaiting his roster fate, but he won’t have an opportunity to pad his resume on Thursday — at least to begin the game. Bradley will be out of the lineup, as the Red Sox’ outfield will instead be patrolled by Jonny Gomes, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino — from left to right, respectively. That was the original outfield plan before...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.