Alfredo Aceves: Peace, man, peace. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Did Alfredo Aceves strike you as this kind of guy when he played in New York? From a distance, he seemed like a versatile pitcher who could start or long relieve, a throwback to the swing-men of the past, or at the very least, Ramiro Mendoza. As our Over the Monster colleague Marc Normandin pointed out today, Boston gambled on Aceves' bad back and won in a big way -- but that was last year. Now he's pitching badly and acting out in public:
Aceves was angered by losing out on a rotation spot to Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront ...Then came the struggles as closer. Aceves would claim he was doing his job -- hey, he was throwing hard! -- and when Bobby Valentine removed him in favor of the now-healthy Andrew Bailey, Aceves lost it... When Aceves returned, he and Dustin Pedroia argued in the dugout, to the point where third base coach Jerry Royster had to get in the middle of them. Valentine went to Aceves to help calm him down, but Aceves batted him away ...Then there was Wednesday against the Yankees, where Aceves, relieved by Valentine, handed the ball to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and headed to the third base side, then made a point of walking around the entire mound in order to avoid passing by his manager.
The Red Sox have had a miserable season, and Aceves has been a big part of that, pitching poorly and then acting like a jerk when he reaped the entirely predictable consequences. Perhaps the Yankees signing him was less of a triumph of scouting the Mexican League than it first appeared to be, and instead was the result of their gambling on a talented pitcher who was known to be a poor personality. Either way, this is one of those situations that you wouldn't have predicted from Aceves' three seasons in the Bronx... Though it's interesting to think about how Joe Girardi might have handled it.