The Embarrassing History of Pete Abraham & JBJ

It's so fun to be the bandwagon driver...until it careens off of a cliff!

Listen, there are times in life that I would rather be wrong, honestly. I care more about the Red Sox than I do about being right. I’ll admit that when Ryan Dempster was initially signed, I was less than encouraged by his subpar stats in the American League with the Rangers last season. I even fired off a bitter tweet declaring that both he and the team would finish with losing records. It was a knee jerk reaction, but the sentiment remained that I wasn’t a big fan of his. So, if he continues his strong start to the season, I’ll be wrong, and I’ll be happy to be wrong.

I picked the Red Sox to finish 3rd in the division. You can’t even begin to imagine how happy I would be to be wrong and have them finish above that prediction.

So let’s start by dismissing this first Pete-Tweet, that those of us who love this team would actually not be rooting for the players on the team to succeed.

I wish that I was wrong about Jackie Bradley, Jr. After remaining on the fence about JBJ for a most of his fantastic Spring Training, I finally read and understood enough to get the basic premise of the decision that the team was facing. You have a 22 year old kid who tore up the Grapefruit League. He has never had a single at bat above the AA level. By bringing him up on the first day of the season you run the risk of losing a year of service time for him in the prime of his career, or having to send him down for 20 consecutive days later in the season. Fire Brand editor Hunter Golden’s piece summarized this all nicely.

However, Pete Abraham decided to make it his personal crusade to get Jackie Bradley on the team. He would use anything that he could to make his case.

He used peer pressure.

It’s not even a decision at this point, he had a 2-run single! What else do you need to see, Ben Cherington?

What’s scary is that this guy is the primary connection to the team for a lot of fans out there. They didn’t even know that there were some very reasonable arguments of why he should not have started the season with Boston.

He used the ticket sale angle. People will pay money to see this guy play!

Ticket sales haven’t exactly been a problem for this franchise, and according to Francona’s book trying to build a team that people wanted to see led us to spending lots of money on Carl Crawford. How about we just get back to building a baseball team that is based on who plays baseball the best, because when you win in Boston ticket sales take care of themselves.

Pete even referenced nostalgic fans from Bradley’s alma mater the University of South Carolina.

Listen, guys, if Gamecocks fan swear by the guy then he must be ready to hit major league pitching. He just has to be.

He refused to acknowledge that there was even a reasonable argument against his stance.

Finally, he used sarcasm.

Even on a bad day, the kid goes 1 for 4 with a walk. You must be a real idiot at this point if you don’t think he should break camp with the club. But prudent baseball operations people don’t get caught up in the great Spring Training numbers and forego a pre-exisiting plan. It’s shortsighted.

Regretfully, the Boston brain trust (#BlameLucchino) agreed with Pete, and as you know Bradley started the year with the Red Sox in New York. When the news broke that he would be on the Opening Day roster Pete promptly pulled all of his muscles vigorously patting himself on the back for a successful crusade.

Do you want to know why Pete doesn’t care about the Red Sox in 2019? Because he isn’t a fan of the team. He doesn’t care about the Red Sox. He was a beat reporter for the Yankees before coming to the Globe to cover the Sox. This team is about a paycheck for Abraham, not a passion. So, please try to excuse us for caring about and consider the future of the organization, Pete. I’m not just a Red Sox fan for the first half of April (or until my job is unceremoniously eliminated), I’ll be a Red Sox fan in 2019 and beyond.

After appearing in 11 games he’s batting .097 and slugging .129. The same player that Pete promised would make the team better is wielding a beyond dismal -0.3 WAR.

At this point he’s just trolling. We all know how many wins the club had last year. There are distinct moments like this when you are reminded that he is not a fan of the team.

Trollin’, trollin’, trollin’, keep your PeteAbe trollin’…

Then in a blaze of cross-sport glory, Pete decided to immediately turn the grusome and emotional injury of Louisville’s Kevin Ware into one more time to grind home his all-too-publiczied view on Bradley’s status.

This was straight trash. I was honestly embarrassed for him. I may not agree with the guy all of the time, but he generally carries himself like a professional. What kind of a person watches a young athlete suffer a potential career-ending injury and while the guy is still laying on the floor with his bone literally protruding from his leg says to himself “I need to make this about the guy that I have a creepy obsession with”?

What was crazy to me is that even though Kevin Ware broke his leg, Jackie Bradley, Jr. still couldn’t hit major league pitching. After all, Pete made such a compelling argument that the two things were related.

Finally, Wednesday brought us this sad surrender from our good friend Peter.

I’d like to picture Pete tweeting this, pouring himself a glass of scotch, and blasting “Didn’t We Almost Have it All” on his iPod as uncontrolled tears begin to roll down his cheeks.

Listen, we have not seen the last of Jackie Bradley, Jr. Not by a long shot. I believe completely that the kid is a future star. I’m rooting for the kid, just like I have been every time he’s come to the plate over the last 2 weeks. He’ll go down to Pawtucket and get some AAA at bats under his belt. He’ll figure out the pitching on that level like he has at every other stop in his college and pro career. I have no doubt that we’ll be watching him lead off and play centerfield for the Red Sox for years to come. Thankfully though, his upcoming demotion will ensure that those years to come include 2019.

Categories: Ben Cherington Boston Red Sox Jackie Bradley Jr. Larry Lucchino Pawtucket Red Sox Pete Abraham Ryan Dempster The Boston Globe

I'm a native Mainer and life-long Red Sox fan living among way too many Yankees fans in New York. I spent most of my childhood convinced that Spike Owen was going to be awesome, sooner or later. The last time I punched a wall was October 16, 2003. My bucket list included personally thanking a Red Sox player for 2004, something I was finally able to check off when I met Trot Nixon. Follow @JK7_

31 Responses to “The Embarrassing History of Pete Abraham & JBJ” Subscribe

  1. Jeff April 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM #

    One simple question for you, as you show off your 20/20 hindsight.

    If Jackie Bradley Jr. had started the season in AAA, who would have made the club instead? What superior option did the team have, with Ortiz hurt?

    • Jack Keller April 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM #

      I would have been fine with Sweeney taking the roster spot, and he and Nava sharing the time.

    • Daniel Poarch April 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM #

      It's not "20/20 hindsight" if you've been saying it the whole time. But thanks for playing!

      • Jack Keller April 18, 2013 at 4:00 PM #

        Haha – yes, that's true. Right here. In March. http://firebrandal.com/2013/03/28/roster-power-ra

      • Chip Buck April 18, 2013 at 6:33 PM #

        Amen, Daniel and Jack, JBJ spending 15-20 games in the majors isn't the end of the world. His promotion was always tentatively permanent. If he goes down now for 20 days or so, his service clock will be low enough that he can stick around for that extra season. I would have much preferred Sweeney (and said so on Fireside Chats in the season ramp up episode), but JBJ was the bold choice. My concern was that he wasn't ready, and he wasn't. Good news is that it's fixable. No harm, no foul–hopefully.

  2. Brian April 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM #

    Great stuff. This problem will work itself out. Clearly he needs some AAA time.

  3. Seth April 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM #

    This would have been a lot better had it been written by Pete Abraham.

  4. Matt April 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM #

    Funny, when PeteAbe was covering NYY down here, we all swore he was a Red Sox fan because of how horrible he was. I guess awfulness knows no loyalties.

  5. Gueststeve April 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM #

    I was with you until you criticized him from not being "a fan." Does he have to be a fan to be a good — or bad — writer? Silly.

    Besides, anyone who hasn't switched from The Globe sports to the PROJO must be addicted to the aggravations.

    • Jack Keller April 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM #

      Yeah, good question. I wasn't criticizing him for not being a fan. I don't need someone who cheers on every move of the organization, that wouldn't be a good beat writer. I want someone who reports the news and lets people decide how to process it. But I pointed out that he isn't a fan as a justification for why he is willing to say "Who cares about 2019?" Because he doesn't, and based on the fact that it's just a job for him, he probably shouldn't. Writers root for story-lines. JBJ making the team was a great Spring Training story.

      And yes, you nailed it. On the day of the Kevin Ware tweet, I stopped following Pete and picked up the ProJo Sox writers. They are a world better and much less frustrating.

  6. PeeteyPabl0 April 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM #

    I think by 'fan' he meant not someone who's very fond of the organization…

    But yeah Pete frustrates the heck out of me. Good writer, lazy reporter, doesn't come off as a very good person. I just don't like the way he talks to fans on twitter and other places. No need for it really. I mean I get that Red Sox fans can really suck to deal with sometimes, but everyone deals with those crappy fans. He also gets really petulant about certain things almost out of nowhere.

    I dunno I guess I don't care too much either way, but fun to see him get served up some humble pie!

    • Hunter Golden April 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM #

      This mostly all day. I think Abe's is a pretty accomplished writer and at times – is among the best in Boston But his general attitude to the fans and tendencies to throw random and very public temper tantrums about things – I think – holds him back. I appreciate his skepticism towards the organization because honestly – I think that's needed in order to separate yourself from what's happening and makes your reporting better… that being said, the cynicism regarding the team's win total or whatever is over the top.

      So yeah… good writer who loses out on a lot because he can be kind of nasty sometimes..

      • Chip Buck April 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM #

        I have to admit that 95% of my dealings with Pete Abe on Twitter have been very positive. He's always been responsive when I've had a question and usually very cordial. He and I have had a couple (literally two) of online spats, but when we took off Twitter to email, he seemed to be pretty level headed. Unfortunately, the other 5% of the time, he can come across as extremely defensive and even rude. (Trust me. We can smell our own.) Honestly, I don't think he intends it to be nearly as bad as it comes across. Tone really does not come through via text, so excessive sarcasm can come across as overbearing pessimism; especially when people are already hostile towards him (rightly or wrongly). We all need to cut him in a break, but there are times where he needs to be kept in check.

  7. Cliff April 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM #

    Pete drinking scotch? I don't see it. I have a friend who's a bartender at an establishment Peter swung into one last year, and after polishing off two plates of buffy wings with 5 Coors Light, he starts ranting about how the place should carry linguica-infused vodka, and how someone's White Russian was a "fag drink".

  8. ZackPack April 18, 2013 at 5:32 PM #

    Yeah the fan stuff is kind of weird here, but everything else is served up hot and steamy for a guy who deserves it considering how he treats fans. After all the clap trap about 'accountability' in 2011, this guy clearly doesn't think it applies to him.

  9. The Big Dean of Mean April 21, 2013 at 2:56 AM #

    I can't stand Abraham. Good writer, horrible human being. He deserves every bit of crap he gets.

    • soxfan in san jose June 20, 2013 at 8:29 PM #

      I'll vouch for that. Abraham is a miserable, petty bundle of insecurities wrapped up in the guise of a somewhat competent writer. I don't understand how he's lasted in Boston this long, especially given the mean spirited manner with which he treats the fan base that frequents the Globe's web portal. Here's hoping they soon replace him with an intern – even a novice in his place would be addition by subtraction.

  10. Dave April 22, 2013 at 5:35 AM #

    I don't get the constant harping about 2019 and how Boston fans who are in it for the long run care about the service time issue. As Bill Simmons on ESPN.com rightly pointed out (as he pushed people aside to jump on the Bradley bandwagon), the Red Sox aren't really a team that needs to worry about service time and when they have to start paying big money to their players. 2019 really means next to nothing. The issue, and one that Red Sox fans and management did not focus on nearly enough, was that Bradley batted .271 in 229 AA at-bats last year, suggesting he probably needed more time in the minors even after his great spring. The service time issue should be taken out of the equation by anyone discussing this.

  11. TheSawx April 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM #

    Sweeney – Schmeeny. JBJ was a major contributor to winning game 1 in NY. In addition, it sure was nice to have the equivalent of 3 center fielders, for the first 6 games of the season. His couple of weeks in the majors was worth it. And whatdayaknow? He still gets to go down to AAA, and we all still get his 2019, and we got JBJ in those first 6 games.

    Love the take down of Pete, but let's not make you some genius or something.

    • TheSawx April 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM #

      To clarify: 6 games of NY and Toronto outfield.

      If this were May, and an outfielder went down, and we needed JBJ to come up for a few weeks … even with barely any time at AAA … NO ONE WOULD BAT AN EYE. This was basically the equivalent. It just happened to come in April instead of May. He got a taste, take what you learned and improve on it. Trust me, the Sox were going to get him down for 20 days after this stint – you worried way too much about it. It was gonna happen. They were going to get 2019. What would have been the worst case scenario for you? And your precious 2019 (not that I don't agree that it would be nice to have that year cost-controlled)? I mean, the only way they would have had trouble sending him down, once Ortiz came back, was if he was absolutely on fire. That's the worst case scenario for you! Gosh! The horrors!!

  12. TheSawx April 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

    Sweeney – Schmeeny. JBJ was a major contributor to winning game 1 in NY. In addition, it sure was nice to have the equivalent of 3 center fielders, for the first 6 games of the season (in New York and Toronto). His couple of weeks in the majors was worth it. And whatdayaknow? He still gets to go down to AAA, and we all still get his 2019, and we got JBJ in those first 6 games.

    And do you really think the Sox weren't going to get that 2019? It was going to happen. If in May, the Sox had an injury, and they called up JBJ for a few weeks, after only a small sample of AAA at-bats … NO ONE WOULD BAT AN EYE. What would have been the worst case scenario for you? That he came up here and absolutely tore it up? Gosh! The Horrors!

    Let's not make yourself out like a genius. This article is not only a take-down of Pete, it's your way of pumping up your own ego.

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