Monday, July 31, 2006

No Noose is Good News

Young River: People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome. - from Serenity, the movie.

"What have you done for me lately?," is an age-old refrain familiar to sports fans. The Red Sox did not mortgage the future to pick up someone else's albatross, showing unusual patience.

Maybe we give baseball executives too much credit. Did the Red Sox exercise patience or were the demands of their prospective trading partners so outlandish (Andruw Jones for Hansen, Crisp, and Lester) not to merit mention? We'll never know. Oh to be a fly on the cellular tower.

So the Sox go into the dog days with Schilling, Beckett, Lester, Wells, and the Mystery Date. Of course, Tim Wakefield could heal quickly and regain his form, but then again that is the cost of increasing age. Wells has stunk up the joint tonight. Let's call it what it is.

I don't see the starting pitching quite good enough to win the whole enchilada at this point. Craig Hansen has pitched well in inning one (1.10 ERA) and blown up in the second frame. Sounds like a closer potential. The Sox could certainly bring back Kason Gabbard, or go with the Kyle Snyders of the world. Stretching out Papelbon to get him into the rotation isn't realistic, and you rob Peter to pay Paul.

On the positive side, Wily Mo Pena has shown the tease that brought him to the Sox. Pena ripped a triple into the triangle and then crushed one towards the Pike for his fifth homer of the season. With Trot Nixon out for an extended time, we'll see what Pena brings to the table.

Meanwhile, Pawtucket has no Adam Stern in the lineup, so he may be Boston bound, and Jacoby Ellsbury continues to hit over .340 at Portland, while picking up his eighth steal the other night.

I'm on board with holding the talented, low-salary pitching crew that offers salary flexibility going forward. As mentioned last night, VALUE is more than talent, and developing the young pitching offers a chance to compete EVERY year, not just this year. Sox fans have heard 'wait 'til next year' for so many years, that we're actually capable of doing just that.

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