As I wrote just yeterday, I am admittedly a bit troubled now with the Thome for Rowand deal, believing we gave up too much, and could have possibly gotten Thome without sacrificing such a solid defender, an outstanding teammate, and a great guy in Rowand. Still, I have paused for a moment, perhaps in an attempt to justify the move in my own mind by remembering how I felt when Maggs left the Sox last year for the Tigers.
Magg’s departure along with Carlos Lee’s was not popular with many of us fans, including me, and I can remember hearing on the radio in the winter of 2005, dire predictions that the Sox would finish about where they did in 2004 and maybe worse. We all know what happened, but the point is this… was the loss of Maggs, who was a better hitter than Rowand, and a pretty good defender in the outfield himself, any less of a loss to the Sox than Rowand is? I believe on the field, Maggs is the better offensive player. Rowand probably has a slight edge on Maggs defensively, but Maggs is pretty good in the field too.
Where Rowand I believe is different is in the clubhouse. In 2004, it sounded like Maggs was more concerned with his contract than with his team. Rowand has never been a "me" guy, and his replacement is fortunately, not a "me" guy either. That is one thing to take solace in. My only point is, I don’t believe on the field, we lost much more than we lost when Magglio left. Unfortunately, we did lose something in the clubhouse. Hopefully Thome can blend right in, which I believe he will. Kenny is a smart guy, and he did put the team in the position for a Championship. He didn’t mess with the chemistry during the season, as so many feared he would, so… I think we should give him a break and see how it all works out.
I sincerely miss Aaron Rowand, and do believe we might have given up too much. But Kenny knows more about what is behind it all… things nobody will probably ever know. Maybe he simply did what had to be done. He may have tried to keep Rowand too, but couldn’t. In the end, he tried to make his Championship squad even better. Let’s hope he did….