Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Three Month Observations

As we approach the All-Star break, maybe we can analyze the good, the bad, and the ugly about the 2009 Red Sox.

The Good.
  • Locking up Lester, Pedroia, and Lester was a key move by the Sox
  • The Sox seem to have the key ingredient (pitching) to deal with the tectonic shift away from performance-enhancing drugs toward more speed and defense
  • Jason Bay has proven himself to be an elite player, capable of beating up on the dogs and cats and the lions and tigers.
  • The Red Sox bullpen is the best in their modern era.
  • The front three of Beckett, Lester, and Penny give the Sox a chance to win 70 percent of their games...or more.
  • Nick Green has far outperformed expectations.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury continues to mature as a player, and is on pace to set a Red Sox stolen base record
  • Jason Varitek has maintained his defensive skills and had a mean reversion to offensive productivity, although June wasn't his best
  • Tim Wakefield, may he make the All-Star team, but maybe getting voted on by the fans would be best.
  • J.D. Drew is 21st in the AL in OPS. He's above Ian Kinsler, Adam Jones, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and Carl Crawford to name just a few.
  • Terry Francona continues to be the Sox' version of Walter Alston.
  • Has ANYBODY caught Tim Wakefield better than George Kottaras?
The Bad.

  • Injuries are still out there. Mike Lowell has plenty of heart, but not enough hip. All of this makes the versatility of Kevin Youkilis even more critical.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka's non-excellent WBC adventure has been the skunk at a garden party.
  • David Ortiz's first two months were beyond forgettable.
  • The Amica pitch zone shows that the umpiring isn't too special.
  • Julio Lugo's range suffered early, but to his credit, he hasn't been a distraction.
The Ugly.

  • Dustin Pedroia's haircut
  • John Henry and Mark Teixeira won't be bosom buddies.
  • The weather in June. Boston fans get three months of decent weather, except June fell off the map this year.
Second half musings.

  • Will the Sox be able to get another bat?
  • Clay Buchholz.
  • Where does Jed Lowrie fit into the picture? Is he better than Green now?
  • Can Big Papi return to a 20 HR, 90 RBI, .250 season?
  • If John Smoltz pitches like tonight, he will be a factor.
  • Tampa still makes me a little nervous.
  • Who will be next user outed?
  • My dream World Series? The Red Sox and the Giants. The Giants fans deserve it, and they've got the pitching.
And in the category of "you never see that", half the team runs off the field with only two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Well, almost three outs. It didn't take "Bull from Night Court" Masterson to get the final out.

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