Alfredo Aceves received a vote of confidence in spring training from the Red Sox. They could have dumped his sorry carcass back in a Florida swamp and left him with marshmallows to feed the gators.
No, the Red Sox brought him along, a remnant of the good old days when Sox pitchers were malcontents and troublemakers.
So, to show his gratitude, Aceves had one of the worst innings in Red Sox history. Two balks would certainly qualify as a major headache, but walking a bunch more, giving up a home run add to the performance.
Then, he also made an error. If any player has ever single-handedly lost a game, Aceves is the winner of the contest.
We almost feel as if he knew that his days with the team were numbered, about on a level with his new ERA (8.66).
Aceves actually has won a game this season, which in Red Sox team management means he will be with the team until the trade deadline in August.
One opposing coach commented during a brawl recently that he saw Satan in Aceves's eyes. It is more likely that he saw Norman Bates. When Beelzebub appears to Aceves, the pitcher will claim the devil made him do it.
Don't expect any Red Sox front office reaction any time soon to the putrefying performance. If had pitched a no-hitter, they'd offer him as trade bait. If he were Jose Iglesias, they'd send him to the minors.
But this is Alfredo Aceves who has the staying power of J. Edgar Hoover. He must know where the bodies are buried.
ERRATA ERATIC: Shortly after we filed this story, Aceves was on his way to Triple A Pawtucket.