March 28, 2007

A Joyful Sound

My chat with BLBR on the 2007 Red Sox can be heard here.

18 comments:

MikeT9485 said...

I hate to admit it, but the Sox could certainly perform at a .500 level all season long without something "happening". With Pedroia a question mark at the plate, and Coco and Tek performing as they are this spring, the sox are not going to score 7 runs a game this year, which puts more pressure on a pitching staff that seems filled with mediocre arms.

Other than Paps in the closing position and Donnelly and Romero (neither of whom have had a great ST), I don't like any of the arms in the pen. Timlin is aging and I have no confidence that he'll be able to perform consistently this year since he's already on the DL. Okajima has had problems keeping the ball down this spring, and is a HR risk, which is not something you want in a lefty specialist who will be facing good lefty batters like Giambi. Pineiro has been on the decline for years, and though he's had a promising spring out of the pen, he's a big question mark for dependability over the long season. Hansen and MDC really need some more time to develop in the majors, and while I think MDC can eat up some outs if needed, he would just be another mediocre arm in the pen.

Schilling is aging. Beckett has been inconsistent. Matsuzaka could break down by the end of the season. Wakefield is wakefield (winning % around 500). Lester won't be back until June? And fifth starter?

If something does "happen", it doesn't take much more than one or two major injuries to really make this team crash and burn and finish third or even fourth in the division.

(Just thought I'd add some pessimistic input at the end of spring!) ;-)

redsock said...

If something does "happen", it doesn't take much more than one or two major injuries to really make this team crash and burn and finish third or even fourth in the division.

4th? Below Tampa or Baltimore? That's crazy talk!!!

There are a lot of Q, but there always is in March. And you can say the same things about the MFY. If Posada, Jeter or Slappy went down for a few months, it would be similarly bad.

I'm looking forward to Schilling's changeup, Beckett's spring has been worlds better than his 2006 season, Dice seems like the one guy who will NOT break down, Wakefield was league average last year and should match that again, two months of S. Lips/Snyder before Lester returned shouldn't be horrific.

With very, very few exceptions, bullpen performance is a roll of the dice. Let's hope Theo gets some good luck this time.

Varitek really can't do worse than he did last year with the stick, though I guess he could hit like Mirabelli ...

I'll complain plenty this summer -- as you can see, Oscar has returned to the avatar -- but I'm going to wait and watch a few weeks worth of games (or a few innings, at least) before I start venting.

Jere said...

"With Pedroia a question mark at the plate, and Coco and Tek performing as they are this spring, the sox are not going to score 7 runs a game this year,"

The lineup is improved, though. Our 3-4-5 alone could produce 7 runs a game....

(I haven't listened to the podcast yet; no sound at work.)

redsock said...

I know you were probably exaggerating with the 7 runs a game, but:

The only teams that have scored an average of even 6 runs a game in the last 50 years:

2000 White Sox
1999 Cleveland
1996 Seattle
1994 Cleveland

The last NL to average 6 runs per game? The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers.

And the last AL team before those 4 above? The 1950 Red Sox.

Woti-woti said...

Good interview, Redsock, you covered a lot of factual ground very well. I'm amazed the whole 'curse' thing even comes up anymore. Then your host revealed he's a Cubs fan. Surely he doesn't buy into this crap?

MikeT9485 said...

7 was certainly an exaggeration.... And I only say all this because coming into the last week of ST, with all the optimism and excitement, I have to do something to keep myself from reading Sox news and analysis when I should be working.

L-girl said...

I'm listening to it right now. I'm happy to see he plugged your book on the website!

L-girl said...

"Line-up construction is something I go back and forth with."

The hell you do. Plan on being quoted this season. :)

L-girl said...

Here's something else I liked:

"The manager that season was too dumb to do it."

I like how you don't use his name. Like I don't call someone the president.

redsock said...

The hell you do. Plan on being quoted this season.

Hmmmmmmm. I think I've been fairly consistent.

The possible tiny increase in runs may not be worth the cost in not having the players be comfortable. It was very clearly the case with The Pro, as I said.

Or it may not be worth the circus the media might create because something looks "weird".

redsock said...

MikeT9485 said:
I hate to admit it, but the Sox could certainly perform at a .500 level all season long without something "happening".

They played .500 ball for a huge part of the 2004 season.

On August 7 (a couple of weeks after Tek fed Slappy a leather sandwich), I wrote:

"If 2004 is the most frustrating season (I'm not convinced (yet)), it's because of pre-season expectations. We saw management remove the one and only reason Boston failed to go to the World Series and they added Schilling and Foulke. We all agreed: This was the most-talented Red Sox team of our lifetimes.

I'll support this team until the very end of the season -- whichever day in October that may be -- and I'll watch every pitch of every game that I can, but this summer hasn't been a whole lot of fun. I've said this before -- even the victories have left me pissed off. Last year, I felt good even after a loss."

Jere said...

You did a great job on the interview, Allan. Sounded like you get interviewed every day.

What in the world did the guy mean by "Boston fans obviously tend not to follow the farm system"??

MikeT9485 said...

By the way, loved the interview. Great job.

I've been enjoying your blog since probably last May, but I usually don't find the time to comment. I check in just about everyday, and I love reading all the discussion. I hope you don't find it condescending when I say keep up the excellent work! (That's just my teacher voice coming out.)

~Mike

redsock said...

I was assuming he meant more of the casual fan -- someone who wouldn't know Lester or Papelbon until they were in Boston.

I can't imagine too many casual fans checking out his website for the podcasts, but having that type of fan in mind was something he told me beforehand.

Jere said...

But what other team's fans know their team's system better than we do? I mean, when I learned Lester's name, I swear I was in bell bottoms and sporting a leisure suit--and I wasn't even seeking it out, I just started hearing it everywhere.

redsock said...

There are fans of other teams who are obsessive, too. Even some MFY fans. (The host suggested that fans of the Devil Rays might follow their system more than the big club because it sucks -- I'm not so sure about that.)

I don't follow the minors all that much. I know the Top 5 propsects, have heard of the Top 10 plus a few more, but that's about it.

When I read on SoSH some posters (who love following the drafts and the low minors) talk about how X is moving up to AA, so that means Y and Z will be fighting for the CF job in High A, I have no idea who they are talking about.

Jere said...

"When I read on SoSH some posters (who love following the drafts and the low minors) talk about how X is moving up to AA, so that means Y and Z will be fighting for the CF job in High A, I have no idea who they are talking about."

Me neither. But it seems like I read that stuff from Sox fans more than anyone else. Maybe it's just because I don't delve into message boards and websites of other teams too much.

L-girl said...

What in the world did the guy mean by "Boston fans obviously tend not to follow the farm system"??

That baffled me too.

I don't think Sox fans follow the minors more obsessively than diehards of any other team, but why would it be less? Perhaps it was just a meaningless segue.

I agree with Jere and Mike, it was an excellent interview.