Season Review: Nick Punto

Jim Rogash

Do we really have to talk about Nick Punto?

Nick Punto is not particularly good at baseball.

I don't mean to say that Nick Punto might not actually be a professional baseball player ala Brent Lillibridge. On occasion, Punto would have a day or two where he seemed to wake up on the right side of the bed and had everything go right for him, resulting in a couple of big games that only an actual baseball player could achieve.

Outside of those days, though, he was just about the worst free agent in terms of sheer ability that the Red Sox have signed to a major league contract in quite a while. Just about his only skill was taking four-to-five-pitch walks when the guy on the mound either A) had no idea who Nick Punto was or, more commonly, B) had completely lost control. He could not hit, he had little-to-no power, and if he came out positive according to defensive metrics, it often seemed like he was completely lost in the infield, bungling a few routine plays early on.

No, it's not clear why Ben Cherington felt the need to sign Nick Punto to a two-year contract to begin with. Unless he was a believer in Nick Punto's career year in 2011, then it's all just another piece of the terrible budget mess we had to deal with last offseason, tied into the terribleness that was the Marco Scutaro salary dump.

Thankfully, Ben Cherington slipped him into the massive deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, meaning that we won't have to put up with him any longer. Sure, he was by far the least important piece, and with all the rest of the money leaving the team could've just eaten his contract and told him not to show up for work anymore. But there's some extra peace of mind knowing that the Sox are free of this embodiment of 2012's awfulness, and that we will never again have to watch him hit leadoff.

No, seriously, Bobby had him start the game batting leadoff or second eight times. That happened.

My God.

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