Thursday, December 24, 2009

Barely Winter, No Discontent

The Red Sox have created flexibility this winter and a fair degree of media silliness. Let's examine some flexibility and silliness.

  • Dan Shaughnessy accused management of parsimonious behavior suggesting that the Sox were trying to rebuild on the cheap. "Nothing easier than spending somebody else's money, eh?" Silliness.
  • The Sox acquire outfielder Mike Cameron. Exit stage left, Jason Bay. As mentioned before, the "Winner's Curse" means overpaying, just because other people are bidding for merchandise. We all recognize that in an industry where the AVERAGE salary (not just AVERAGE player) gets around three million dollars, there's a lot of overpaying. Cameron has always been a terrific defender, has some pop, and strikes out a lot. It's what you're doing when you don't strike out that counts. Flexibility. Here's the top 20 career list in strikeouts...some pretty good players on the list.
  • Casey Kelly is highly regarded throughout baseball for potential. Is he 'likely' to be contributing to the Sox in August or September? Some organizational people privately project that. Reminds me of the 'curse of unlimited potential' applied to Ken Brett, back in the day. Cool the jets, people. Silliness.
  • The John Lackey Watch has begun. The number one for Lackey on the comparison list for John Lackey is Josh Beckett. Lackey is to Beckett what Luis Tiant is to Catfish Hunter. Look it up. Flexibility.
  • Jeremy Hermida comes to the Red Sox. Platoon or puzzle piece in some future deal for Adrian Gonzalez. Flexibility.
  • The Mike Lowell saga, is he coming, is he going, a medical love story. Everybody likes Mike Lowell*. Well, *that is, a healthy Mike Lowell. All the talk is about his thumb, and we seem to have forgotten that the poor guy (healthwise) can't run and has constricted range. Silliness.
  • "I'm okay with Casey Kotchman at first base." Come on, Terry, that's the organizational guy speaking, but Red Sox Nation doesn't share your enthusiasm, absent Kotchman getting some Brady Anderson kickapoo joy juice. Silliness.
Red Sox plans have plenty of reasons for optimism, including a new shortstop, the additional of John Lackey, maturing players possibly in Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, and Jacoby Ellsbury, and a full season of Victor Martinez.

Concerns? Well, we have to see whether Daisuke Matsuzaka looks more like Godzilla or the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and whether Jonathan (one-pitch) Papelbon will throw something besides the fastball this season. Papelbon's 38 saves belied a dramatic fall in his strikeout-to-walk ratio and rise in the WHIP ratio. Clean inning just wasn't something we heard too much.

Sure, you say, if Papelbon is all you have to worry about, then the Sox are golden. Frankly, it's never that simple.

Seasons greetings to all, and to all a good night.

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