Can we get some consistency here, please?
Just one week after Theo Epstein indicated that there could be a competition for the starting shortstop role in Spring Training, Terry Francona reaffirmed that Marco Scutaro would be the team's starter come April:
So rather than worry about an infield competition, because Scutaro is our shortstop, [Jed Lowrie] gives us something that I don’t know how many teams can say they have.
I will spare you the arguments in favor of Jed Lowrie. They've been thrown around often enough that most know them by heart at this point. Suffice it to say that this comment has a number of fans shaking their heads, and wondering when if the Red Sox' front office and bench are on the same page.
Maybe it's our fault. Epstein's comments could easily have been misinterpreted, after all. While saying that "the players will determine their own roles" certainly sounds like a clear statement, that only came after he said that Terry Francona will have the final say. Perhaps, with Jed Lowrie's impressive finish to the 2010 season, Sox fans were all too eager to see management giving him a chance to take over, and jumped to conclusions.
What is clear is that both players consider themselves everyday players at this point, and either way, somebody is going to be disappointed. The question becomes, what harm would there be to making it a competition, especially if there are as many at bats to go around as Francona seems to expect. Is it really all that important to show blind loyalty to veterans?
For now, Marco Scutaro is the Red Sox' starting shortstop. We'll just have to see if Theo Epstein--or even Jed Lowrie--has anything to say about it.