Sunday, September 27, 2009


How much psychic energy should we expend worrying about the Sox these days? Not so much.

Just as in the NFL, you have to make the playoffs, then we'll start to worry. The Sox have four starters pitching well into the playoffs, and the deepest bullpen. What SHOULD we care about?

  • Jason Varitek. The Captain's offense has disappeared in the second half and everyone on the opposition looks like Jacoby Ellsbury.
  • Manny Delcarmen. This looked like it would be Delcarmen's breakout season, until recently when he's struggled mightily. Still with the combination of Papelbon, Wagner, Bard, Okajima, Ramirez, and Saito ahead of him, Terry Francona has plenty of options.
  • Road worriers. The Sox haven't shown much on the road recently, even splitting a pair in Kansas City.
  • Fortune 500. The old deal about guys making a fortune and playing .500 ball...or less against good teams. That's what the playoffs are about, showing that you can beat the good teams.
  • Coaching defections? Should we worry about other organizations poaching Sox staff in the offseason? That's going to be a hard one to get Sox fans riled up about. It's not like Dale Sveum is coming back to coach third base.
Why don't we focus on 'what worked'?
  • The versatility of Kevin Youkilis moving seamlessly from first to third...forget about left field.
  • David Ortiz had a resurgence the second half, hitting .254 with 15 homers. Only J. Bay had more for the Sox with 16, while Pedroia, Drew, and Youkilis all had 9.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has become a legitimate leadoff hitter, and the big inside 'hole' in his swing shrank.
  • J. Bay had a solid second half after a brief struggle.
  • V. Mart bolstered the offense with a 25 game hitting streak and clutch hitting.
  • Alex Gonzalez plugged the leak at shortstop and had unexpected offense, even though he nearly never walks.
  • Jon Lester became the best Sox lefty since...who knows when. Yeah, I know Bill Lee won 17 games three times; would you rather hit the Lester cutter or the Leephus?
  • Bay, Martinez, Youkilis, and Drew all had second half OPS over .900.
  • Balance. The Sox are third in runs, fourth in ERA, and fourth in fielding percentage.
  • As much as the Sox have struggled on the road, they've excelled at home.
  • Jerry Remy made a booth comeback.
No reason to nibble on the finger nails. The twin championships of 2004 and 2007 have simply exorcised the demons of yore.

No comments: