Friday, March 5, 2010

Five Storylines to Watch in 2010

I get these emails all the time from an information security website talking about the "Top 10 new threats of 2010" and stuff like that all the time. Now it's my turn. Baseball Tonight is on television, teams are playing games again, and it's baseball season again. Also, it's Boomer Day, so happy Boomer Day to everyone out there.

1. Is Jason Bay the new Johnny Damon? Homeboy seemed a little bit pissed off in this Globe article from Monday. He didn't have many nice things to say about the Red Sox medical staff. But very few players are as special as Johnny Damon, and they can let things die eventually. I have a feeling Jason Bay will have better things to talk about--like the Mets--instead of talking about how much the Red Sox disrespected him. But who knows.

2. Will whoever was cutting onions in the Red Sox clubhouse last year stop this year? Probably the most memorable part about the 2009 Red Sox was their ability to cry. I documented this exhaustively back in August, but the Red Sox might as well have been the audience at a Dashboard Confessional concert. Will the Red Sox grow up and do their jobs again? Or will they start crying about Boston fans, the media, the conditioning staff, their spot in the rotation, playing time, or their irresponsible use of vitamins and supplements? All of the crying that was what I know I will remember about the 2009 Red Sox made them a very dislikable team, to the point that I was happy that Papelbon blew that save so I didn't have to watch them again. I hope the 2010 version is more likable.

3. Francona had the worst season of his Boston career, by far, last year. He started drinking Bigelow Green Tea and started to lose his mind. His use of the bullpen was horrendous. His insistence on sticking with disasters like Brad Penny and John Smoltz when they clearly didn't have it was bad. His pinch-hitting tactics were deplorable, like lifting a red-hot Alex Gonzalez for Josh Reddick and his .197 average. Not once but twice on rainy nights did they go into a rain delay with a big lead just to melt down. To the Orioles and Royals. Looking back on old posts, I saw Lowell sitting on the bench in an obvious pinch-hit situation, but put into the game in a low-leverage situation. The Varitek loyalty may have cost the team three games. Francona needs to quite the Bigelow Green Tea and start thinking again.

4. Beckett's playing for some serious money this year upon his impending free agency. Beckett's best season was 2007, and with the exception of that season, he has not been that good. People around here use Lackey's contract as a "starting point." Really? Should be interesting to see if he brings his A-game this year. If so, that's good news for the team.

5. The Red Sox farm system is not as good as it was a few years ago, as many of those prospects have graduated to the big leagues. But it's still worth watching. People are talking about Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish, and Casey Kelly. I'm more interested in seeing what Josh Reddick can do. And I'm the most interested in Lars Anderson's season. This is by far the biggest year of his life.


the gm at work said...

Another one is whether Papelbon is going to suck this year. Who knows, this one might be a whole post of its own. Shaughnessy wrote about it today, saying that last year was "one bad inning, one playoff flameout." He clearly wasn't paying attention.

Anonymous said...


I'm curious about Beckett and Ortiz this year, because it's a contract year for both. If Beckett was motivated enough this winter to get into shape (he came to camp pretty heavy after 2007) and stays healthy all year, he may be able to perform at 85-90% of what he did in 2007. As for Ortiz, he hasn't been an impact player since 2007. He's probably looking for one more contract. There's been a lot of concern about the offense this coming year--if Ortiz gets after it, that could go a long way toward easing those concerns.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

Does "gets after it" mean making some supplement miscalculations? That would be fine with me. I welcome rooting for bad guys.

Also Gunn, anytime we can get an update on the Colby Women's Basketball team would be great.


Anonymous said...

Anyone know where clay buccholz was last night?

only in nj.