As a kid, you knew you had to believe in Santa Claus if you wanted that Red Ryder rifle. Now you have to believe in the Red Sox medical staff if you want a playoff position.
Not since Tiny Tim tiptoed through the tulips (or Mike Aviles turf toed through the game) has there been a team strategy like the Boston Red Sox present to the world.
Boston brass has a lot of brass by coming up with the "Four Day Medical Plan" for Carl Crawford. No, it's not a diet on an infomercial.
The Sox decided to claim the medical staff insists that Crawford must have a day off every four games. This allegedly would save Crawford's arm from "Tommy John surgery" for two months.
Though this procedure is usually reserved for pitchers, the Red Sox signed a $140million outfielder that turns out to be a unique case.
Manager Bobby Valentine presumed this was a recommendation that he could reject. He never thought to discuss it with Crawford (who later commented he was embarrassed by suddenly being benched).
Crawford was humiliated by a benching without knowing that the doctor's orders were to sit against left-handed pitchers.
Valentine admitted his decision "would never be done again." He called his decision to ignore the medical advice as a "no-no."
How does sitting down every few games save Crawford from throwing from left field? One presumes he would be better served by ordering him never to throw to the infield, but to hand off all catches to Jacoby Ellsbury.
We would like to see Crawford receiving assists by under-handing the ball to Jacoby.
All this controversy usurped the usually interesting Sox-Yankee series in the Bronx before trade deadline.
Every ball to the outfield will now be a baseball "gapper"-a credibility gapper. In fact, it now seems everything thrown at Bobby Valentine is now in the gap.