Monday, December 13, 2010

Pause for Pessimism

Sometimes you just gotta keep it real. Even in the wake of one of the most historic weeks ever for the Red Sox' organization, the people who are cueing the duck boats are completely delusional. Yes, the Red Sox' offense is greatly improved, and having an offense as good as the 2011 offense projects to be will help mask some of the obvious shortcomings associated with this team. Pat mentioned this last week, but unfortunately he was the only one. So it's time for a reality check.

1. First, let's just reiterate, like we will between now and the day he's signed, that Adrian Gonzalez's contract is currently set to expire on September 28, 2011.

2. Gonzalez and Carl Crawford's presence will not change the rotation. All statistical reason except for those who believe the AL East is different from anyone else would indicate that John Lackey might bounce back from last year. However, by how much? All statistical reason unless you drink the Kool-Aid would also indicate that 2007 was the real abomination of Josh Beckett's career work. I'm excited to see what's going to happen with Daisuke Matsuzaka's season, but that excitement is certainly tempered with anxiety. As it should be.

2a. The bottom line here is that the much-improved offense, though it certainly had its bad moments when players like Daniel Nava were literally playing everyday, was not the problem with 2010 Red Sox. It was the pitching. And that pitching is in a situation of what you see is what you get for the next three baseball seasons. Carl Crawford won't fix that.

3. Same goes for the bullpen. It can be argued that the Red Sox bullpen, like the Jets' defense at Hofstra, was a jackass last year. They will not blow as many saves, as there won't be quite as many close games. Or so we hope. But even if they implement the changes I recommended last week (featuring Michael Bowden), they will be average at best.

4. Other things unchanged by last week include the fact that a lot of guys like Crawford lose their speed at ages not much older than Crawford's. I wrote about this back in November, and one of the cool things about facts is that they never change. You can still look at Tim Raines, Kenny Lofton, Jose Offerman, and even Rickey Henderson and start to worry about Crawford's skills. One of my co-workers said that they can see Crawford bulking up a little bit as he hits the other side of thirty in a few years. I'm not positive whether this thing happens frequently after the year 2004, but it's not impossible.

5. Crawford, as we've discussed as recently as yesterday, is not one of the top nine players in the league.

6. Other quick hits include the fact that I read this weekend that Crawford's friends would not be surprised if the Houston native will be temporarily intimidated by the big city and therefore might scuffle off the bat. That's scary. Also just want to mention that playing in front of the big wall will minimize the impact of his left field mastery.

7. Saltalamacchia and Varitek. Hold on to your hats.

8. The Yankees, Lee or no Lee, are still the team to beat in this division.

Whatever, I still like the acquisition.

1 comment:

TimC said...

1. Please tell the Liverpool fans.

2. Please tell the Red Sox fans.

2a. Papelbon makes more than Gonzalez, right?

3. I think this is more of an issue in the playoffs and I think they can sneak by during the 162. Still, a pickup now or in mid-season would be big.

4. Ichiro? But still interesting, I think Crawford does possess some hitting ability and a larger frame might make him more of the not-a-leadoff-hitter that he was for a bit in Tampa. That does not change the fact that they signed a guy's physical skills for a contract length that is surely too long for those skills to actually exist by that contract's end.

7. Pink hats?

8. A serious point, is Tampa definitely #3 now? Seemed like they had enough talent to deal with FA losses like this but I'm not the guy to ask here.

A couple extra thoughts:

-You would not build a blog around him, but Jon Bandi is a guy who will give you 15-20 good paragraphs a week off the bench and provide reliable support for the alpha dogs. A good role player capable of his night, but certainly not on the level of a DV or a PF- he's an Amare to their Kobe's.

-I LOVE the acquisitions.