Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Musings, April 11

Not a great week but not a bad week either for the Sox. The got smoked in Toronto but we'll chalk that up to sleep deprivation and being travel weary. We got a picture perfect performance from the Dice Man on Tuesday, an egg from Lester on Wednesday and a "last man standing" game last night out of the ageless Timmy Wakefield.

I'm eager to see how the Sox stack up against the Yanks this weekend although it's way too early to really worry much about who wins and loses. Unfortunately, the weather forecast does not look promising. I'm going to assume that Sunday's game will probably be a washout - let's hope that doesn't end up being a doubleheader at the end of September when neither team needs an extra game.

Here are my five musings for the day (feel free to add your own):
  1. Sox need to start looking for one or two more arms for the bullpen. I feel pretty good about Delcarmen although he's been Jekyl & Hyde so far. Obviously Papelbon is picking up where he left off and Okajima looks like he'll be closer to 1st half of 2008 than 2nd half. Beyond that, yikes. I know their getting Timlin back soon (not sure how excited I really am about that as much as I love Mike). Beyond that, it's pray for rain right now.
  2. Has the real J. D. Drew finally come to play for the Red Sox? Last I checked, he was hitting .440, 2 HRs and an OPS of .893 - WOW! I could be the typical asshole Sox fan and make a snide comment about it being just about time for him to go on the DL. I'll refrain.
  3. Speaking of DL, having to sit Mike Lowell for two weeks hurts. It hurts less with Sean Casey here and Youkilis at third but I like having Casey as a back up/late in the game substitute option much better.
  4. It's hard to remember that Jon Lester is only 24 and should have some of his best years still ahead of him. He has moments of brilliance (game four of the 2007 World Series), especially with his nasty curve. Then there's his penchant for walks. I really hope that someone like Schilling will sit him down and tell him to cut the crap about nibbling with his pitches vs. just throwing it and letting hitters hit. That's why the Sox have great defensive outfielders like Manny Ramirez... umm, wait. Retract that. Maybe walks aren't that bad after all.
  5. Is it me or does it feel like Schilling being out of the starting rotation has a compounding effect. Before every game, I keep wondering when are our really good pitchers going to be out there. Yeah, we've got Beckett (in spite of his bad back/hip) and Dice K has stepped up his game (although he's still a number three in my mind) and then we have Lester, Bucholtz and Wakefield. Don't get me wrong, I like all those guys but I'd feel much better if we had a rotation of Beckett, Schilling, Dice K, Lester and Wakefield (imagine how good Santana would look right now penciled in at no. 2)!
One major annoyance that I can't help but mention (anyone following me on Twitter knows what I'm talking about). Why the hell do you put your most popular team (Red Sox) vs. one of MLB's other favorites to win it all (Tigers) on a freaking local access channel so that you can air a Bruins' playoff game on NESN? Really? This seemed like a good idea? Probably not after the Sox won 12-6 while the Bruins got smoked 4-1 (big surprise) in their first of what will be four straight losses to the Habs. Grrrrrrr!

That's all I got for now. What am I missing? Anyone else excited for the NBA playoffs to start? Anything short of the Eastern Conference Finals for the Celts this year will be a major dissapointment. No pressure though. Getting a little excited about the NFL draft. Dying to know if the Pats keep their lottery pick or trade down instead...


Doug Haslam said...

Agreed on the bullpen. Arms were shaky out of the gate, and having some stockpile-- even in AAA- would feel better.

- Yes, this is the real J.D. Drew. Expect a big season. He is a younger, better Trot Nixon.

- Dice-K looks awesome. 1st game was his old self-- too many pitches, but he has been aces since then. I like him.

- Lester needs to hang around with Beckett. He just figured out the "go-after-them" strategy, and Schill and Beckett could help turn him around.

- I'm not hanging my hat on Schilling;s return-- or Timlin's for that matter. Both are a year older and, obviously, prone to injury.

- As for Lowell- the Sean Casey deal has already paid off. Covered

diane said...

Tonight we shall see what may be

Debra Murphy said...

Hi Aaron - gotta give all our pro teams a little love - our boys in black and gold have performed above expectations. They were predicted to be last never mind playoffs - and without Bergeron. Given it's early in Sox Nation, we can be kind and give them some respect. I actually enjoyed the games this year. It's too bad Montreal has their number.

Now for the Celtics - what a season! Got tix through a silent auction for the second game in the playoffs. Will be my first playoff game (of any sport)! Haven't gone to a Celtics game in ages.

We need Spring to happen for real (not just the teaser yesterday) for the Sox to really get going. It's raining now already - who knows how this first Yankees series will turn out.


Adawg said...

Diane - yes, we will see! I look forward to the 19 tete-a-tete's with the Yanks this year.

-Debra, good points. I shouldn't bash the Bruins so hard. They did perform about expectations and they are in the playoffs. I was more frustrated at Verizon/Comcast for not having their acts together.

I do hope Spring comes sooner than July this year! ;)

Bryan Person, said...

Some of my thoughts:

* Bullpen definitely shaky after Delcarmen, Okaki, and Papelbon -- and it's only April. Their arms shouldn't be falling off yet!

* I actually don't mind the Crisp/Ellsbury platoon for a while. As much it feels like a foregone conclusion that Crisp is likely to be traded and the kid will take over the position full-time for years to come, he can still learn a thing or two from watching Coco field his position. Let's not forget that Crisp *should* have collected a Gold Glove for his off-the-charts performance in CF last year.

* I saw one of Lester's last starts in 2006 before it was announced he had cancer. It was a real gem of a game. Lester tossed eight shutout innings and Pap came in to close it out in a 1-0 Red Sox win. And Lester didn't mess around in that game, like he usually does. Just threw strikes. He's got to be more aggressive and start throwing strikes early in the count.

* Starting Rotation: I agreed with ADawg that the group from 1-5 is good but not great. But I really don't miss Schilling. I've kind of had enough of the big lug, if truth be told. I think that once Beckett is truly back in gear, we'll all feel much better.

* Sox/Yanks: I'm not all that fired up about this series. I'm still feeling my way into the '08 campaign, if truth be told. But maybe some kind of fireworks tonight or a dopey move by A-Rod will stoke things up once again.