While the Yankees made inking Joe Girardi for a multi-year deal (what was the rush?) a priority and Jeter their number two priority, and while the Tampa Bay Rays are figuring out how to stay competitive while slashing payroll, the Boston Red Sox made one of the wisest moves of the off season by signing Curt Young as their new pitching coach. Young will replace John Farrell, who left the Red Sox organization to manage the Toronto Blue Jays.
Both the Yankees and the Red Sox needed pitching coaches. The Yankees have fired Dave Eiland. Curt Young was the best candidate on the market after Oakland inexplicably allowed Young to walk by not increasing their offer to him beyond a year. The Red Sox and Terry Francona knew what they wanted and Young was the top of their list. While the Yankees were splitting attention on other things, the Red Sox pounced and got their man.
Curt Young should be perfect for the Red Sox, a team that will sink or swim with its home grown pitching talent. Lester, Bard, Buchholtz and others will benefit from Young's resume, which can be summed up with Anderson, Braden and the young Oakland A's pitching staff. Young would also be a good guy to get Beckett back on track and would have the type of resume that could make Lackey even better.
Francona is thrilled of course, and who could blame him. He himself alludes to the smartness of the Red Sox' move: “We really caught a break here. We got a really good pitching coach. I’m excited for that. I’m pleased because our expectations are always high, and we got a really good guy for the job.”
It really is no break when the Red Sox management has their heads in the game more than anybody else. Love them or hate them, the Red Sox are really, really smart.