by Mark Lawrence, International Editor
Some years back, I opined that John Farrell was pretty much the best and only choice for Red Sox manager and his performance in that role has – to this point – been exemplary. But, as the 2015 campaign gets off to a pretty good start, I’m sitting down here wondering why that young Matt Damon lookalike and team phenom Brock Holt is not getting a lot more playing time.
It would be very easy for me to shoot my fat mouth off about the intricacies of managing a major league ball club, but as I grow older and – astonishingly – more serene about these things, I realize that there’s got be a very sound reason for this situation – after all, this is genial John Farrell we’re talking about, not the ego-driven inventor of the wrap sannitch.
This year’s team is at the very least the equal of any other outfit in the AL East – this has been amply demonstrated thus far – and the current lineup seems to be working well enough. But it does seem that, on the odd occasion that the Brockstar is given the opportunity to contribute, he always manages to do so in a fashion that approaches the spectacular. As I write, Holt is sporting a .424 batting average, admittedly achieved over a mere thirty three at-bats in ten games, but it’s the RBI’s and total bases that count. He is – as my fictional MLB10 manager often calls me – a run producer, as dramatically evidenced in Baltimore recently. He’s also a run saver – his impressive performance all over the diamond has been a delight to watch.
So this all begs the question – why aren’t we seeing him in the line-up more often? There’s a bunch of answers to that question and I’m not going to speculate – after all, I’m not exactly qualified to do so. Farrell was recently quoted about Brock – “He’s a damn good baseball player” – and that is putting it mildly. And all over the interwebs, fans are urging Farrell to play Holt every day and why not? One fan suggests that they play him until his average drops below .270 – and as everyone knows, the fans have far more insight about running a ball club than those appointed to do so!
But here’s the point. What we all need to remember is that John Farrell has – by virtue of his position – not only the requisite tactical knowledge to successfully manage, but the strategic intelligence to maintain his club’s performance. It’s an absolute dead-set certainty that Farrell is privy to information that we are not – after all, there are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, Red Sox Nation, – and that singular knowledge must be coloring his decisions.
So, I don’t think we need fret young Brock’s situation, just yet. As long as he continues get some at-bats, continues to hone his already terrific skill set and continues to contribute to the team’s success, his time will inevitably come. And when it does, we’ll witness some baseball to behold.
I can’t wait.