"It's safe to say the impact of losing Alex Rodriguez was far greater than the Red Sox' loss of J.D. Drew."If I'm reading that correctly, Nick Cafardo learned that Alex Rodriguez is more valuable than J.D. Drew.
Wouldn't it be news if losing J.D. Drew ended up being more important than losing Alex Rodriguez? I mean, Rodriguez is a three time MVP (and he was robbed at least another two other times), and is the highest paid player in baseball by a ridiculous amount. SHOULDN'T losing him be worth more than Drew, a declining player in the fifth year of a five year contract?
I like J.D. more than most Sox fans, and I think he's generally earned the contract they gave him. He was excellent at the end of 2007 and was one of their most productive players the next two years. They likely don't make the playoffs in 2008 without the way Drew played in the first half. He's never gotten enough respect from Sox' fans, because people believe that, since he's not the helmet-slamming type, that he "doesn't care." That's sort of ridiculous, but whatever. Fan's can be unreasonable sometimes.
What was the point of what Cafardo wrote though? As a man who is paid about writing about baseball for a living, shouldn't he be a bit more objective, or at least reality-based? So did he write that to further tear down Drew? As though he should be embarrassed at being less valuable than Alex Rodriguez?
You know what's funny, though? Since Rodriguez went down, the Yankees are 18-9, while the Sox are 12-6 without Drew. Exactly the same winning percentages. Of course, this has more to do with the fact that the rest of the Yankees have done a good job, but it certainly doesn't enhance the argument that the loss of Rodriguez has significantly crippled the Yankees. Furthermore, while Josh Reddick has probably taken the right field job for the rest of the year due to his play during (and before) Drew's absence, Yankee 3B have played pretty well with Rodriguez out. Eduardo Nunez has hit a respectable .281/.328/.386 in his starts at third. Eric Chavez has mashed at a .344/.364/.438 clip - a performance good enough to convince Joe Girardi that he, rather than Jorge Posada, is the team's starting DH going forward. When Rodriguez does come back, the presence of Chavez (if he stays healthy - a HUGE if, of course) will mean they are a better team than they were before Rodriguez's injury.
All of that is digging deeper than we need to though. The fact is, either Nick Cafardo a) didn't previously realize that J.D. Drew was less valuable than Alex Rodriguez, or b) has made it a point to knock down Drew every chance he gets, as if Drew doesn't get enough grief. Either way, it should be considered as exhibit #5,923 why Cafardo is not competent or qualified to be the top Red Sox columnist for the Globe.