Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

Archive for the month “April, 2010”

Just what the doctor ordered?

Well, that was a bloody good victory.  What a story book ending! Darnell McDonald, a 30-something-year-old, lifelong minor leaguer turns into Roy Hobbs in his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform! That’s what baseball is all about, moments like this.

Savor it.

Because it isn’t likely to be repeated (oh, but what a story if it is!!!). I mean, what are the odds that this former first round pick of the Orioles is going to suddenly become a star after kicking around for a decade in the minor leagues? Not too good.

And let’s not forget that last night’s win was aided by some shaky outfield play from Josh Hamilton of the Rangers. Plus, the Rangers are on a six game losing streak.

Look, I’m not trying to put water on the cozy fire. This was a great win. It might be the turning point to this, as of yet, abysmal season. I’m just saying, let’s not put too much pressure on Mr. McDonald to repeat this performance. Although I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him or Josh Reddick replace J.D. Drew in right field. Drew has been even worse than David Ortiz — and that’s pretty hard to do these days.

So let’s enjoy this win, and hope it is the start of a long winning streak that gets the Sox back into the thick of things in the A.L. East.

Sobering statistics!

There’s a lot of angst hovering in the air of Red Sox Nation, but the pundits keep reminding us there is still a long way to go in this season. That’s true, but here are some sobering numbers to consider:

For the Red Sox to reach their stated goal of 95 wins, they will have to win 91 out of the remaining 149  games on their schedule (or .611 winning percent).

Meanwhile, for the Sox to finish ahead of Tampa Bay, the Rays have to lose 65 games out of their remaining 149. That means they will have to play under a .565 winning percentage.

Impossible? Not at all. But the Red Sox can’t afford to dig themselves any deeper into the hole, because they’ve already got a steep climb out.

Can you spell SLUMP?

For the first time ever, the Tampa Bay Rays have swept a four-game series from the Red Sox after clobbering the hometown team on Patriots Day, 8 to 2. One of the few bright spots had been the performance of new hurler John Lackey, but he got hammered in this one.

Here’s how I spell “slump”: Sox Lose Until Missing the Playoffs!

Time to hit the PANIC button!!!

Well, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. Or maybe not. There are now only two teams in all of major league baseball with fewer wins than the Red Sox, after they lost their fourth straight yesterday in disgraceful fashion to the Tampa Bay Rays. The season is just two weeks old and the Red Sox are already five games out of first. If this trend were to continue, they’d finish 67 games out come the end of September. That’s not going to happen. The Rays and the Yankees are not going to win 75% of their games, and the Sox are going to improve… at least a little. Nevertheless, I don’t see the 2010 Red Sox improving that much.

It’s clear that this vaunted defense is not as good as advertised. Cameron seems to have lost a step in center field. Scutaro is becoming an adventure at shot stop. And no one respects the arms behind the plate.

And the so-called depth of the lineup has proven a delusion. The pre-season concerns about David Ortiz seem well founded despite Chad Finn’s rosie-tinted hopes. The whole lineup is in a funk with the exception of Dustin Pedroia and… gasp! Jason Varitek. It doesn’t help that Jacoby Ellsbury has been out for the past two series. (If anyone doubts the importance of having the speedy Ells at the top of the lineup, the one win in the past six games without him should make them reconsider.)

The starting pitching hasn’t lived up to its billing either. Beckett and Lackey seem fine, but Lester has been terrible, while Buchholz and Wakefield have been inconsistent at best. But I’m not too concerned here. Lester will get in a groove and it looks like Dice-K might be ready to begin contributing effective innings again soon. What worries me more is the relief pitching. There is not one hurler in the bullpen who I have confidence in when the game is on the line. And that includes Jonathan Papelbon. The bullpen is going to be a nagging concern all season.

So, to reiterate: The offense stinks, the defense is average, the catchers couldn’t throw out the first pitch at a little league game, the starting pitching is inconsistent, and the bullpen is shaky. Gulp!

Is it time to stick our heads in our ovens? Not quite. This team will get better. But it was never destined to win the 95 games that the front office deems a success. The team was a piece-meal job from the start. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Theo admitted as much when he said this year (and perhaps next year) are bridges to better teams to come. We forgot about that when he soon afterward signed John Lackey to a huge and lengthy contract.

Even when the team starts playing up to its potential, the 2010 Red Sox are at best a 90-win team… and that won’t get them a playoff spot. We have to deal with it, and hope that Theo doesn’t feel pressure to mortgage the future in an attempt to capture those extra five wins.

In short: Fans should panic. Theo should not.

What would he have gotten if he’d pitched a no-hitter?!

Last night, Josh Beckett got shelled by the Yankees in the Red Sox season opener, then signed a $68 million contract extension through 2014. I wonder what his payday would have been if he’d pitched a no-hitter!?

Regardless of Beckett’s performance, beating the Yankees 9 to 7 was a nice way to start the 2010 campaign. So much for the pitching and defense notion, huh? Kevin Youkilis is the best player on this team and maybe this year is the year we’ll all start to realize that.

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