Friday, December 16, 2011

A Red Sox Offseason to be Forgotten

Coming off one of the worst, if not the worst collapses in all of sports, the Red Sox should be thinking about improving their team in a significant way.  There has been major turnover in the management of the team.  Theo left, Terry left and we can all wish that Larry joined them.   Theo Epstein Ben Cherington took over as general manager.  Could he sound any more like Theo, it’s literally humorous how similar they are.  Cherington, without a manager, decided that Bobby Valentine would be a good hire.  Does anyone really believe this was Cherington’s pick?  What a farce, this has Larry written all over it.

Let’s get into the Valentine signing a little bit.  Did you know he invented the wrap sandwich, got his clothes dry-cleaned at age 16, won a science fair in high school, re-invented baseball in Japan, was going to be the heir to OJ Simpson at USC, and is a great ball room dancer.  Does anyone care?  This just shows how much of an egomaniac he is that he needs to brag about all these things.  Why would one of the biggest markets hire this guy to be their managerial position?  If he was that great of a manager, someone would have hired him since 2002.  Yeah, he hasn’t managed in America in a decade.  But boy was he great on Baseball Tonight.

Enough on the manager, in major league baseball, I am a firm believer that you can’t win if you don’t have the players.  Unlike any of the other team sports, baseball can’t win on well-designed plays; you win based on individual performances.  So, you need players.  Let’s recap what has gone on so far this offseason.  Jonathon Papelbon walks, JD Drew, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield look to be done as well (Thank God).  Paps will be tough to replace, but you can find closers anywhere, you don’t need to overpay there. 

How come there hasn’t been any improvement to the starting pitching staff yet?  As much as people want to blame the beer and chicken, it was the pitching that let them down.  I mean maybe the Red Sox are figuring it will be addition by subtraction by not having Lackey and Dice-K this year.  One idea is to move Daniel Bard to the rotation.  Do we really expect Bard to be a good starting pitcher for us?  Jumping from 70-80 innings a year to 180-200 innings will not be easy.  He can’t crank it up to 98 all game long and he can’t just get away with 2 pitches.  The one time Bard in the minors he had an ERA over 7 and walked more guys than innings pitched.  Usually guys are in the bullpen because they couldn’t crack it as a starting pitcher.  But realistically who is going to pitch after Lester, Beckett, and Buchholz?  Are the real possibilities Andrew Miller, Joe Saunders, Felix Doubrant, or Bard/Aceves.  Is that really the best a team with a $175 million payroll can do? 

Moving on to the other moves this offseason (or lack thereof).  Sox brought in Mark Melancon from the Astros for injury plagued Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland.  Let’s just say that’s the only move I like this offseason.  They brought back David Ortiz for another year, when is this guy gonna get the boot like the others?  There is no one I’d rather on my team than someone who interrupts a press conference to flip out about 1 RBI being taken away (I wish he ended up with 99 RBIs on the season).  Let’s not forget Nick Punto, a guy with a .249 batting average and 14 home runs in his career.  Another stellar move was bringing back former Red Sox great Kelly Shoppach who hit a robust .176 last year.

On the bright side the Yankees pitching staff isn’t much better and ticket prices in 2012 are staying at 2011 prices.  Ohh and don’t forget it’s the 100 year anniversary for Fenway Park, remember to buy a brick before they are all sold out. 

- The Boss


Sara Amaral said...

I appreciate your opinion, but I disagree with a lot of this. Yes, baseball is based on individual performances more than other team sports, but you can't overlook the importance of team chemistry. 2004 and 2007 - years the Sox won and had great chemistry without huge star players. I believe that the cause of the collapse last season was because of poor chemistry, which in turn affected individual performances. Baseball is more of a mental game than almost any other sport. What goes on behind closed doors in players' personal relationships affects performance on the field.

That being said, I'm starting to convince myself that I like Bobby Valentine as the new manager. I think the front office wants to bring back that loving, care-free mentality to the locker room to get the players back to their '04 and '07 personalities. (Hey, maybe we'll sign Manny again since he's reinstated and only serving a 50-game suspension now.) Maybe that's not possible, but I think they're trying. Even though Tito was a player's manager, he couldn't handle the egos anymore. Just like your Donald Sterns post, it was just time for a change. He lost the ability to get through to players. Unlike Stern though, someone could force Tito out. I'm looking forward to see what Valentine can do with this group of players.

Also, Alfredo to the starting rotation! Love watching him, plus his name is fantastic.

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