Friday, June 16, 2006

Give a Man a Fish

"Give a man a fish, he eats today. Teach a man to fish, he eats every day."

Sports fans are fickle. We want veteran experience and leadership. We want youthful energy and exuberance. The grass is always greener on the other side. The backup quarterback needs a chance. Cinderella just needs a pair of new shoes.

Historically, the Red Sox training program for young pitchers hasn't borne much fruit. We've had the Boston Massacre with Bobby Sprowl, and a series of spot starts over the years yielding only bus tickets back to Pawtucket. But something IS changing. Jonathan Papelbon is the prime example, with save 21 tonight, and Manny Delcarmen has pitched creditably at times. But tonight was Jon Lester's road debut, with a crackling fastball and hard curve, picking up a victory with a one-run five-hit performance with five strikeouts and a quality start.

The Sox haven't thrived on Interleague play, absent the DH, and historically with a team built more for bashing than small ball. But times they are a changin', with the natural rivalry shifted to Philly from Atlanta, and the Braves struggling.

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back, Kapler. Good guy and talisman Gabe Kapler arrived back on the scene today, with the Sox placing Matt Clement on the DL. Kapler's known as a consummate clubhouse guy, a good addition for a team that looked like it had just lost their best friend in Minneapolis.

The Sox also released Mike Holtz after acquiring Victor Lopez for David Riske, and signing no-name pitcher Kyle Snyder from Kansas City. The Sox must have some super-secret information to add Royals' castoffs.

So, with a rotation of Schilling, Wakefield, Beckett, Lester, and ?, Sox fans are climbing back in from the window sill.

No comments: