We’ve got fat guys showing up fat, our first baseman shows up without a glove, we’ve got another team/reporter relationship controversy, and now the players are fighting each other and breaking each other’s bones. Red Sox spring training, baby! Catch the fever!
No, but really. What the fuck is going on here? Michael Kopech is the No. 2 pitching prospect in the Red Sox system behind Anderson Espinoza, and a top five prospect in the organization overall, and this is not his first strike, either. If you don’t keep up on the Red Sox farm system, then Kopech’s name might sound familiar to you, as he received a 50-game suspension last summer for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Instead of owning up to it, Kopech followed the path of his predecessors and claimed that he had never heard of the drug that he tested positive for, and never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. The old Barry Bonds defense.
Kopech is back in the news today, because he apparently got into an altercation with one of his own teammates and fractured his hand, which just so happens to be his throwing hand, too. Great, grand, wonderful. The report didn’t say which teammate the altercation was with or what sparked the incident. When he tested positive last summer, I chalked it up to being young and dumb. He’s a 19-year-old kid, and 19-year-old kids do dumb shit. We’ve all been there. But now there’s a trend here, and that should be concerning for the Red Sox, if it wasn’t already. The report states that general manager Mike Hazen said the Red Sox will be handling this situation internally, but you’d think that he would’ve had his wakeup call already.
I’ve had a couple of interactions with Kopech, and by all accounts, he’s a highly driven kid who works hard and has the right attitude in terms of what he wants to accomplish in his baseball career. But his actions have yet to reflect his words. He’s not projected to reach the majors for another couple years, but he’s putting all of that in jeopardy with his poor decision making. When you’re a first-round draft pick, this kind of behavior is inexcusable, but maybe we’ll find out more details in regards to what happened so that this doesn’t look so bad on him. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe we find out more and it looks worse for him. Maybe this gets swept under the rug, and we find out nothing. Regardless of what comes out after this, it’s a bad look for him, and he needs to get his head out of his ass.