Statistics have a special allure for baseball fans. Many of us know of baseball's Pythagorean Theorem and Moneyball introduced many fans to statistically-based player analysis. But statistics don't tell everything, especially about our idiosyncratic devotion to certain players, past and present. So, in a departure from statistics-based analysis, I present my 'wish list' of Red Sox acquisitions that aren't going to happen from around the American League. Well, actually, I will use some stats, because I can't help myself. Because we have arrived in the new 'positive attitude' era in Boston, I'm not going to make any negative comments in this column.
Baltimore Orioles: Tough choice with two logical candidates, Melvin Mora and B.J. Ryan. First, who wouldn't want a guy with quintuplets? Mora must want to play two everyday, just to avoid diaper changing. As for Ryan, a strikeout pitcher like his namesake. Pick: Ryan.
Toronto Blue Jays: We've got the Remdawg, and Toronto has the O-Dawg, slick fielding 2B Orlando Hudson, who hums the ESPN Da-da-da, Da-da-da while trying to make highlight plays.
Tampa Bay D-Rays: Speed kills. Gotta love Carl Crawford. Johnny Damon back to his native Florida and Crawford in center. Nice.
New York Yankees: Okay, so maybe we don't want any Yankee players. I'd bet that Matsui would look pretty good in Sox home whites. A very tough Japanese import...
Minnesota Twins: the easy choices are guys like Johan Santana and Joe Maurer. 23 year-old first baseman Justin Morneau has major power potential, and the Sox need first base solutions long term.
Cleveland Indians: Travis Hafner hit 28 homers and had an OPS of .993 in 2004.
Detroit Tigers: Don't need to check out the roster here. Bonderman, Jeremy Bonderman. Roger Clemens 2. 22 years old, throws hard, throws strikes.
Kansas City Royals: Zack Greinke isn't a big guy, but an ERA under 4 and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) ratio of 1.17 gets my attention. Plus he's got a 330,500 salary, so that doesn't hurt, either.
Chicago White Sox: I love Mark Buehrle. Great name for 'Hangman' a crafty lefty who knows how to win, having won at least 14 games a season for the past four years.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, USA (LAACUS) - So you don't like the Lakers, maybe you could like the LAACUS. Garrett Anderson, Orlando Cabrera, or K-Rod? I guess I'll take Darin Erstad, another guy in the Nixon mold, plays hard, plays hurt. Trot is a better player, but if he's on the DL, Erstad fills the inspiration gap.
Oakland A's.: Gotta go with a Moneyball player, Nick Swisher. Swisher's a product of the Oakland system who's going to be a staah.
Texas Rangers: Mark Teixeira. He's rightfully our guy, drafted by the Sox but never signed. Pennywise and pound foolish? 25 year-old (As of April 11) switch hitter with a .930 OPS and 38 dingers in 2004. I'd trade Hanley for him.
Seattle Mariners: Ichiro. Is he the best 'average' hitter in baseball? His overall production isn't quite as good as a healthy Trot, but Ichiro has a higher average (.374) against lefties over a three-year span. He steals about thirty bags a year and is a great defender. He paved the way for other Japanese players, who proved they had what it takes to make it in MLB.