“Suspension Bridge”

“We’re all
in suspense, wondering what’s going to happen next
” … Gosfather

 

IMG10.jpg

“All things considered, we’ve done a really good
job. We need to keep winning as many as we can until we get all our regulars
back and we’ll be in a position for a really good second half as we get
healthier and healthier.” “We’ve gotten a lot of contributions from unexpected
sources. That’s kept us winning games at a pretty good clip, all things told.”
Red Sox
Bridge
Architect & GM Theo Epstein 7/11/10

 

“All things considered” our
Sox (those of whom we still recognize) have done an outstanding job to be where
they are in the standings despite a horrid start to the 2010 campaign and a
rash of injuries to key and backup personnel the likes of which  I have never seen in my 49 years as a
fan.  Consider this imposing lineup;  1b  Ryan
Shealy, 2b Eric Patterson, SS “Wild Bill Hall,” 3b Adrian Beltre, LF Daniel
Nava, CF Mike Cameron, RF Darnell McDonald, DH David Ortiz, C Kevin Cash, P
Robert Manuel.   Not many household names
in the group, and yet, during the Sox 14-3 thrashing of the Blue Jays on July 9th,
this was actually the assemblage on the field for our “Boys of Summer.”  ………….  
MERCY!

The Sox find themselves
only 3 games back of “Duh Rays” for the Wild Card lead with 54% of the regular
season games played to date, a deficit they still have ample opportunity “to
bridge” on their way towards an improbable post season berth, given a disabled
list consisting of elite talent several MLB teams would be hard pressed to ever
field including:  Beckett, Buchholz,
Tazawa, MDC, VMart, Tek, Pedroia, Lowell, Hermida, & Ellsbury.  Several other regulars have also seen time on
the DL, or been playing banged up and hurt for weeks now.  To their credit, the Sox have been able to patch
together a “quilt lineup” which has seen contributions from previously unknowns
such as Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava, whose folklore arrivals in Fenway
will long be remembered as key if the Sox should prove victorious at year’s
end.  

 

Some stats to ponder:  1. “Mr. Versatility,” “Wild Bill Hall” leads
the staff with a 0.00 ERA with one perfect inning of relief.  2. The Sox BP ranks 13th in the AL with a ******** 4.71
ERA thus far.  3.  Sox SPs not named Jon or Clay have combined
for a 20-20 record and a 5.2 ERA. 
4.  Against the “AL Dregs of
Society” Royals, “The Tribe,” and “The Zeroes” the Sox are a dismal 12-11.  5. Despite the auspicious debuts of Mac and
“Danny Boy,” the Red Sox outfield as a group ranks 13th in the AL in OBP and 11th
in OPS, not the stuff legends are made of.  6. Despite being acquired to shore up the left
side of the infield defensively, the tandem of SS Marco Scutaro and 3b Adrian
Beltre lead the AL
with a combined 25 errors.  7.  In 25 combined ABs with the bases loaded, Adrian
Beltre and Big Papi are an anemic 3 for 25 (all singles) with 6 RBI, while  JD Drew is 4 for 9 with 13 RBI with the bases
juiced. 8. In 8.3% of the innings pitched by Sox arms, the quartet of “Wake,”
MDC, RR, & “Oki Doki” have allowed 37% of the Home Runs the staff have
surrendered   9. Of the 40 holds the Sox BP have amassed
thus far, Daniel Bard has almost ½ of them (19)   10. 
Jacoby Ellsbury and Eric Patterson have both played in 9 games for the
Sox so far this season.  Patterson leads
Ells in most offensive categories including: 
BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, TB, and HR.

 

Sox MVP to Date:  Tie ~ John Lester & Kevin Youkilis

Sox Underachiever to
Date:  Tie ~ Too many to mention

2nd Half Player
to watch:  Josh Beckett

 

 

Needs:

1. A return to good health
and no additional injuries

2. BP retrofit ~ the health
of the arms is not the question, the talent is

3. 25 working parts on the
roster without “deadwood” taking up space. 

 

 

 

Now, back to Theo’s quote. “All things considered, we’ve done a really
good job.” 
Well, not everybody’s
done a really good job.  A Team built on
the premise of pitching and defense, who in reality, has been the benefactor of
a surprising offense and only a 3rd of the pitching staff whom might
be regarded as “quality arms,” and whose left side of the infield defense ranks
last in the AL is not in keeping with the master bridge builder’s architectural
scheme.  We need to keep winning as many as we can until we get all our regulars
back and we’ll be in a position for a really good second half as we get
healthier and healthier.”
Which loosely translated may mean, I spent way
more money in the “off-season” than I should have on retreads, has beens, and
never was types and I’ve got no coin left in the coffers, nor do we have any
blue chip trade prospects, so what you see is what you get until the hospital
ward empties.  “We’ve gotten a lot of contributions from unexpected sources.”  ~ “I’m shocked these guys have won as
many games as they have, they’re really not that good.”

 

 

Prognosis:

 

1.       
“Big 3”
Remaining Strength of Schedule ~ Edge goes to the Yankees with the Sox having
the most difficult path to the playoffs.   

2.       
2nd
Half History ~ Edge again goes to the Yankees, especially given, AFraud and
“Mr. Ed” are just starting to show signs of heating up.

3.       
Intangibles ~
Edge goes to the Red Sox, after 2004, “Still We Believe”

Theo & Francona.jpg

What type of Bridge Engineer
Theo is remains to be seen.  I thought he
and the Sox staff did a great job preparing for and executing this year’s amateur
draft and some of his international selections show considerable potential down
the road.  However, his judgment relative
to gauging MLB ready talent remains suspect at best.  The failure to address the BP, both last fall
and since the early season struggles, and the calculated gamble to sit idly by
while competitors seek upgrades, (Especially our post AS Break foes ~ “The Rump
Rangers”), may very well result in a “Bridge Year Disaster” for us. His work
this year is far from over and the next few weeks both on the field, with the
Sox replacement parts, (many of whom appear to be below standard grade
specifications), and in the confines of Theo’s Ivory Tower, with whatever
additions, if any, he is able to stabilize the bridge and the roster with,
should determine what the Red Sox 2010 Bridge will resemble upon completion.
Bridges are extraordinary creations and are oft times engineering marvels which
are awe inspiring………………………………..   Which Bridge do
you envision for our 2010 Red Sox?

Bridge construction.jpgbridge highest in the world.jpg

 

Go Sawx!

July 14, 2010 Red Sox Grades
Personnel Grade Comment
Atchison C Getting Better
Bard A- Great
Start ~ Hopefully not overused
Beckett D Needs
to become a #3
Beltre B+ Offensive
Surprise/Defense ?
Buchholz A- Solid
#2 SP
Cameron C- Getting
Better ~ Kudos for “Gutting it Out”
Cash D Non-Factor
Dice K C Needs
to throw fewer pitches and not tax the BP
Doubront C+ Potential
Drew C “Same
Old Same Old” ~ needs to be in the lineup daily
Ells Incomplete Does
he really want to be in Boston anymore?
“Wild Bill Hall” C- “Mr.
Versatility”
Hermida C Delivered
Some Clutch Hits Early On
“Luckey” D+ “I
Want My Money Back” (Sitcom Star?)
Lester A Solid
#1 SP
Lowell Incomplete Totally
Wasted Roster Spot
MAC B Great
Story ~ Shame he’s out of options
Manuel D+ Potential
MDC D Which
MDC will show up in the 2nd season?
Molina D Non-Factor
Nava B Potential
“Oki Doki” F The Farewell Tour Might Have
Begun 
“Big Papi” B+ Consistency
is the only issue
“Paps” B+ Needs
to throw his secondary pitches for strikes
Patterson D Non-Factor
Pedroia A- A
return to complete health is most important long-term
Reddick F Failing
to meet his potential with numerous opportunities
Richardson B+ Could
be the go to lefty if Oki Doki’s Done
RR D Evidences
the “Deer in the Headlight Look” too often
Scutaro C Has
performed as expected ~ average
“Tek” B Delivered
Some Timely Bombs Early On
“VMart” B Looking
for more from this likeable leader
“Wake” D A
Great Sox Career May Be Coming to an End
“The Youka” A Have
to love what he brings to the field on a daily basis
Pitching
Coach John Farrell
C “Throw
First Pitch Strikes” should be heard more often
Hitting Coach Dave “The Turnip” Magadan C- The
Numbers Do Lie ~ The Sox offensive success is a product of talent and effort,
not from his advice
3rd Base Coach Tim Booooogar D- Bonehead
decisions have directly cost the Sox 4 games and assorted injuries, notably
to Pedroia & Youk
“Terrycloth” B+ By
far, his most challenging season in a Sox uniform
“Theo” C He
has yet to prove he’s a capable evaluator of MLB talent

 

Red Sox 2010 Heartbreakers

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Red Sox 2010 Heartbreakers

June 24, 2010

 

“You can’t win them all”
was never more evident after suffering a heart wrenching loss last night to a
gallant Rockies Team, despite the Sox chasing the Major’s best pitcher, Umbaldo
Jiminez.   Here’s a look at the year’s 10
biggest disappointments from “The Gosfather’s” perspective thus far.  Buckle up, because our “Boys of Summer” are
going to lose a few more before the season’s over and the true measure of a fan
is not how loud you cheer when your team wins, rather, how staunch your support
when they struggle.


  GGOTGA = Gosfather’s Goat of the Game Award.

GO SAWX!

 

10.  April 25th ~ “Zeroes” 6-7  GGOTGA = BP (Oki/Atch/Scho)

 

9.  April 30th ~ “Zeroes” 4-5  GGOTGA = BP (Bard/RR/MDC) 

 

8.  May 1st ~ “Zeroes” 2-3  GGOTGA = “Papsmear”

 

7. May 15th ~
“Tigggers” 6-7  GGOTGA = BP (Oki Doki/RR)
& Boooooogar

 

6.  June 10th ~ “Tribe” 7-8   GGOTGA = Bard

 

5.  April 7th ~ “Evil Empire” 1-3  GGOTGA = “Papsmear”

 

4.  June 23rd ~ “Rox” 6-8  GGOTGA = “Papsmear”

 

3. April 17th ~
“Duh Rays” 5-6  GGOTGA = Cameron

 

2. April 17th ~
“Duh Rays” 1-3  GGOTGA = Boooogar

 

1. May 17th ~
“Evil Empire” 9-11  GGOTGA = Papsmear
& Dice K

There’s a reoccurring theme
here.  The Sox BP makes “The Lowlight
Reel” in 80% of the disappointments.  As
stated in the pre-season and numerous times since, the BP remains the Sox
biggest concern in 2010 and nothing Theo has done so far seems to evidence he
is aware of, or is worried about, the glaring weakness in the Sox arsenal.

Top 10 Reasons Why I’m Not Sold On Adrian Beltre Yet

  1. His 11 errors leads the Red Sox, all MLB 3rd
    baseman, & the entire  American
    League

 

  1. He is only hitting .233 during late innings in
    close games with only 1 Bomb and 4 RBI

 

  1. He didn’t make good on his promise to pummel
    umpire Jake Scott into the ground after Scott cost us a sweep of the Jays on
    May 12th
    beltre scott photo.jpg

  1. He gets mad if Sox players trying to
    congratulate him touch his head.

 

  1. He single handedly wiped out most of Jacoby
    Ellsbury’s season so far.

Beltre Ellsbury Collision.jpg

 

  1. “The Scowl.”

 

  1. He is hitting an anemic .143 (2 for 14) with
    the bases loaded.

 

  1. He presntly leads the Sox in the dubious GDP category with
    12, twice as many as Big Papi has to date.

 

  1. He apparently wasn’t happy enough to just knock
    out Jacoby Ellsbury, so he went out and did the same thing to Jeremy
    Hermida.

 

  1.  He
    employs Scott Borasssssssssssss as his agent

 

This article is intended as
an attempt at humor.  I actually see
myself jumping on the Beltre train to the Post Season by Summer’s end.   Go Sawx!

Beltre Congrats Photo.jpg

 

The Dirty Dozen

by GosfatherKnowsBest                      Patriot’s Day 2010

Our beloved Sox have been more about blunders than baseball basics thus far.  Fortunately, there is plenty of time to correct the numerous flaws we have been witness to over the past two weeks.  My simple suggestion for righting the ship ~ a return to fundamentals.  Reduce every aspect of each game to the simplest of parts.  Pitchers need to throw first pitch strikes, hold the runners on and throw off would be base stealers timing by mixing up deliver speeds.  On defense, put the leather on the ball and for the sake of Gos, catch those routine fly balls, line drives, and grounders, AND make strong accurate throws.  At the dish, go up there with a plan: continue to exercise plate patience, pitch recognition, and situational awareness.   Lastly, cut down on the home run swings and use the entire field.           Enjoy the rest ~ Stay well!

                                                                                          GosfatherKnowsBest

BigPapi.jpg

For the Third Year in a Row, “The Greatest Clutch Hitter In Red Sox History” gets off to a dreadful start.  The Leash is Shorter This Season and Sadly, The Gentle Giant Could See His Illustrious Red Sox Career Come to an Abrupt Ending, Perhaps Sooner Than Anyone Would have Thought Possible Only Two Short Weeks Ago.    


Bogar Blunder.jpg

Bogar’s Blunder
Cost the Sox Dearly In Game 10
He Broke a Fundamental Rule for 3rd Base Coaches ~
Never, Never, Never Make the 1st Out of the Inning At Home ~
Dale Sveum Will Tell You

JDDrew.JPG

Never much of a fan favorite given DirtDogs Trot Nixon and Dewey Evans Patrolled RF for The Sawx for Decades, “Nancy” Drew Seems More Lackadaisical Than Ever ~ Is That Even Possible?

Beltre Ellsbury Collision.jpg

Since the April  12th Collision Between Major League “Veterans” Adrian Beltre and Jacoby Ellsbury, Which has Relegated Ells to the Sidelines, the Sox are a Woeful 1- 5.  Most Baseball Players Learn to Call for the Ball in Little League.  Missed That Lesson Huh Guys?

Sox Bullpen Band.jpg

These Guys Have Been Playing Anything But Sweet Music!

Dave Magadan.jpg

Dave “The Turnip” Magadan” Why He Is Still Employed by the Red Sox Remains One of Life’s Greatest Mysteries. “Why Why Why?”
                                                                             “AJ Burnout” 2009 


Cameron Error.jpg Clank! 
And just like that, the game was lost.  This guy is a former Gold Glove Winner?  How?  When? Add his “Mendoza Line Like Batting Average, No HRs, and No RBIs  and He’s Been a Major Disappointment Thus Far.  Must be the Kidney Stones.

Lester

Memory Lane


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The 2004 Turning Point ~ Tek Takes Out Arod’s Grill

        tek arod.jpg


Run Arod Run!

Arod Purse.jpg

Let the Games Begin!

Boston globe Oct 2004 ALCS.jpg

Oh The Humanity!  ~ There is a God!

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Diablo’s Nightmare

Spanish Oct 2004.jpg

Theo’s Bridge Won’t Fall Down

by GosfatherKnowsBest   Easter Sunday, April 4th, 2010

“We’re kind of in a bridge period.”–Red
Sox GM
Theo Epstein

Bridge: connect or
reduce the distance between (i.e. 2009 – 2012)

 “We still think if we push some of the right
buttons we can be competitive at the very highest level for the next two years.
 It can be done. It’s hard. It’s
sensitive. You expose yourself in certain areas. There are always
vulnerabilities that come about. But if you get lucky, it can be done.”
Red Sox GM Theo
Epstein

Engineer: a person
(mastermind) who uses scientific knowledge to solve practical problems (i.e.
saber metrics)

Red Sox GM/Engineer Theo Epstein:  Bridge Builder Extraordinaire (We Hope)

Exposure ~ Most Sox fans who
express concern about the 2010 “Boys of Summer” mention the lack of a big
bopper  and the uncertainly of the
offense to produce runs in abundance. 
While these concerns may be unfounded because 2/3rds or more of the
regulars should surpass the 20 HR mark and pound “The Monster” regularly with
doubles, of larger concern may be the bullpen. 
The loss of  last year’s late
season addition, lefty Billy Wagner, and dependable Takashi Saito, potentially
replaced from Theo’s K-Mart shopping spree, coupled with the serious question
marks surrounding MDC’s struggle to bounce back after an atrocious second half,
and Papelbon’s ability to establish his secondary pitches for strikes, pose
enough questions to warrant attention. 

New Kids On The Block ~ Theo sure pushed those
buttons feverishly after JH opened up his wallet.  The Sox by far outspending the traditional
mercenary hungry Yankees by a margin of $137MM to a relatively paltry
$20MM.  The fact he signed most of the
mercs to short-term deals makes the dollars spent more palatable.  Newcomers Scutaro, Lackey, Cameron, and
Beltre are all established players with the talent to succeed at the highest
level in a Boston
uniform.  How they perform under the
pressure of playing in front of the fanatics comprising Red Sox Nation remains
to be seen. 

Depth ~ Theo improved the role
players and the bench this year compared to last.  Hermida and perhaps Reddick are upgrades over
local favorite Rocco Baldelli and having Mike Lowell as a late inning PH could
pay huge dividends in clutch situations with RISP, something sorely lacking in
last year’s arsenal.  Hall is versatile
and having another team paying the majority of his salary is a welcome change
from our usual role of playing Santa with former players such as Lugo and Renteria.  Hopefully, Captain Tek will greatly benefit
from the reduced load he has to carry and this will result in some offensive
contributions from time to time, in what should be his last hurrah as a
player.    

Consistency ~ I do not believe every player on this team needs to have a career
year.  However, they all need to have average
years minimally, and a few of them have to excel.  A quick start to the season (Are you
listening Big Papi?) is imperative.

Competition ~ The two primary
competitors for the Sox in the race to become “The Beast of the East,” The Rays
and the Yankees, both improved during the off-season.  The Rays added a top level closer in Rafael
Soriano and the Yankees addressed their SP pitching, solidified the BP roles,
and improved their OF defense. 
Additionally, the Rays arguably possess the best depth in the minors
with several “Top 50” prospects in the organization.  Elsewhere in the AL, the M’s made perhaps the biggest splash
during the off-season with several moves, notably the addition of former AL CY
Young winner Cliff Lee, and should have a great chance to end “The Halo’s” run
of supremacy in the West.  I loved what
“The Twinkies” did over the winter, especially blocking the Yankees from
getting reigning MVP Joe Mauer, and if not for Joe Nathan’s unfortunate season
ending injury, they would be a force to be recognized come playoff time.  I’m also not discounting the Pale Sox
pitching and perhaps “The Tigggers” making the Central an interesting, down to
the wire, battle for the Central division title.   

“Help is on the Way” ~ Perhaps Theo’s biggest
strength has been his ability to judge potential talent and stock the Red Sox
minor league system accordingly.  Many
would argue, myself included, he tends to overvalue some of the potential on
the farm and should part company with some of his “Blue Chips” in order to
acquire some proven MLB talent.  If he is
somehow able to pry Adrian Gonzalez from old friend Jed Hoyer without
mortgaging too much of the future, the foundation for Theo’s bridge will finally
take shape and should stand proud for the next several years. 

Intangibles ~ Something we rarely
have heard about our beloved Sox –
Team Speed!
Even 37 year old Mike
Cameron motors.  Because this team will
not be solely reliant on Earl Weaver’s favorite play, (the 3 run bomb), the
2010 Sox team may actually try to manufacturer runs more often.  Who knows, one or two of them may actually
learn to sacrifice bunt?  Team speed is
not just about stealing bases, it’s also about taking the extra base and
forcing the opponent’s defense into errors, prolonging innings, and raising the
pitch counts, (an art the Sox have excelled at for years now).  Conversely, the Sox brain trust will have
hopefully worked with the Pitchers and Catchers this spring to keep speed
merchants from the Rays and the Halos honest on the basepaths, something they
were dreadful at during the regular season and adjusted to successfully in the
ALDS. 

DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE ~ much has been written about the Sox improved
defense this season.  Just the absence of
Julio Lugo and Nick Green “The Error Machine” dramatically improves the
defense, reduces the number of baserunners and, most importantly, reduces the
SP pitch counts, all of which saves critical wear and tear on the suspect
BP.  As one of the throwbacks to the
60’s, I’m not into the stats and saber metric study to the degree others
are.  Suffice to say, the projected run
savings equates to a number far in excess of what we lost by the defection of
JayBay to the Metropolitans.                                       

The Long and Winding Road ~ The Sox struggled mightily away from “The
Friendly Confines” last year.  As
presently assembled, quicker, able to cover more ground laterally in the field,
able to go station to station on the bases and not reliant on the Homerun for
run production, I would expect them to improve on their road record this
season.  If they play to their usual
success level at home, they have to be considered as AL East favorites.

“Wait till next year” ~ Though I’m picking the Red Sox to win the AL East this season, I’m not
selecting them to win their 3rd WS Championship in 7 years.  Instead, I have penciled in the Rays to exact
their revenge on the Fightin Phils in November. 
However, should the Sox land the before mentioned AGonz, I reserve the
right to change my mind.  In fact, given
the Sox Pitching depth, strong core, and talent on the farm, with Agonz
playing  gold glove defense at first and
mashing 40+ over “The Monster” annually, the Sox would have a great chance to
establish a little dynasty over the next several years.

Gosfather’s Projected 2010 “Dirty Dozen:”

  1. “The
    Saaawx”
  2. “Duh
    Rays”
  3. “The
    Evil Empire”
  4. “Fightin
    Phillies”
  5. “Twinkies”
  6. “Rockies”
  7. “Cards”
  8. “M’s”
  9. “Pale
    Sox”
  10. “Bravos”
  11. “G-Men”
  12. “Dodger
    Blue”
  13.  Unlucky 13th ~ “Da Tigggers”



 

Gosfather’s Projected 2010 Award Winners:

AL MVP ~ Tampa’s
Evan Longoria

AL CY Young ~ Seattle’s “King Felix”

AL ROY ~ Baltimore’s
Brian Matusz

 

NL MVP ~ St. Louis’s
“King Albert”

NL CY Young ~ Philly’s “Doc”
Halliday

NL ROY ~ Atlanta’s
Jason Heyward

 



Gosfather’s Projected 2010 AL East Final Standings:

Red Sox –

Rays (3)

Yankees (5)

Zeroes (22)

Jays (25)

 

Gosfather’s Projected 2010 Playoff Results:

ALDS ~ Sox over Twins

ALDS ~ Ray’s over M’s

ALCS ~ Rays over Sox

NLDS ~ Phillies over Rockies

NLDS ~ Cardinals over Braves

NLCS ~ Phillies over Cardinals



 

WS ~ Rays over Phillies  

                            
                   

   
             

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Theo’s Bridge Won’t Fall Down.doc

Red Sox 2009 Halfway Home

Red Sox 2009

“Halfway Home”

GosfatherKnowsBest

July 6, 2009

 

The 2009 edition of the
Boston Red Sox arrived at the midway point of the campaign with a comeback win
against a Mariners team whose pitching is vastly under rated and proved so by
taking the season series 4-2 over the Sox.

 

The Sox record of 49-32
(.605) ranks first in the American League and 2nd overall trailing
only the Dodgers, who make a living toiling in the National League and whose
record in inter league play was once again less than stellar against their  stronger American League opponents.

 

Stat wise the Sox have
produced the following results halfway to the finish:

à       
Best home record
in the majors [26-12]

à       
5th
best road record in the majors [23-20]

à       
3rd
best run scoring team in the majors

à       
5th
best runs allowed in the majors

à       
2nd
best runs differential in the majors

à       
3rd
best OBP in the majors

à       
3rd
in AL team
ERA

à       
7th
best Team fielding % in the AL,
after a woeful defensive start

 

Mid-Season Grades

Overall ~ A-

Pitching ~ B

Offense ~ B

Defense ~ C

Coaching ~ B+

Intangibles ~ B+

 

Prognosis

The Sox have played the
fewest home games of anyone thus far in the AL East Division other than the
Orioles, and if you count the 6 remaining games the Sox have scheduled at “Fenway
Park South” in Camden Yards, their schedule is much more favorable than their
rivals, as the Yankees have 3 series on the West Coast yet to play, the Sox
having completed their west coast swings early on.

 

Despite sub standard
starting pitching early on and the virtual disappearance of Big Papi’s contributions
from the lineup until June, the Sox found a way to compete regularly and find
themselves atop the AL East heading towards the ASB.  This is a resilient team and they have proved
they are capable of winning both the close, 1 run type affairs, and by coming
from behind late in games.

Perhaps their best efforts
of the year where in early June when they met 4 division leaders consecutively
and came away with a 9-3 advantage, humbling all except the Rangers and reeling
off 7 straight series wins to close the month.

The fact they are undefeated
[8-0] against “The Evil Empire” is nothing short of amazing, though with the
talent laden Yankees, they will not run the table this year during the 10
remaining games, not counting another potential ALCS.  Still, if they had not dominated “Da Bombers”
so convincingly, their slim one game lead would be a deficit.  They have also struggled against those pesky
Rays again [4-6] and have to find a way to beat them given their 8 remaining
contests and also have 6 tough games remaining against a vastly improved
Rangers team, all of them in the sweltering heat of Texas.

 

Keys to the team success
thus far where the virtual lights out performance of the bullpen until early
June and the consistent performance of 1st time all-star Tim
Wakefield in the rotation.  While
everyone in the pen has been blemished the last few weeks, they still rank
amongst the majors elite.  The starters
have come around and aces Beckett & Lester seem to be firing on all
cylinders now, getting quality starts around 80% of their past several
outings.  Brad Penny has been a pleasant
surprise and proved to be a competitor during his head to head match up against
“CC the Clown” in June.  Veteran and
Future Hall of Famer John Smoltz’s potential upside is enormous, the B&B
boys provide an insurance plan in Pawtucket, and the pitching staff overall is
the deepest in the majors.

 

The offense has been
inconsistent all year, especially on the road, and in order to make the
playoffs, will have to provide more station to station, 2 out, clutch, and
timely hitting.  Seemingly, they have all
cooled the last week or two and perhaps the All-Star break will be a welcome
respite for those not attending.  The Sox
have assembled a bench which is as good as any in the majors and their
versatility should only be improved by the returns to good health of Mike
Lowell and Jed Lowrie.  What rabbits Theo
may pull out of his magic hat come the trade deadline should intrigue us and
hopefully, he finds a way to add some additional offense without mortgaging our
future.  The successful return of Dice K
should also not be ruled out later in the season and he may get another chance
to extend his lead over Arod in the WS RBI department, presently [2-0].

 

This team has all the
qualifications and talent to compete for another championship this summer.   Thankfully, there is plenty of baseball left
to play and the members of Red Sox Nation will hopefully be proud of their
“boys of summer” once again come the rigors of fall.  GO SOX! 

2009 Boston Red Sox Prognosis

2009 Boston Red Sox Prognosis

2009 Boston Red Sox Prognosis
By GosfatherKnowsBest
June 1, 2009

Despite
the opinions of some of the more unrealistic members of RSN, who
believe strongly the Sox should be 51-0 at May’s end, a more reasonable
perspective may be to view the Sox as having slightly under performed
to date. As many of us in “The Nation” are prone to live and breath
based on the most recent performances of our boys of summer, I thought
an examination of the team from a physician’s point of view might be
interesting.

Heart Health ~ Our patient is indeed fortunate
to have more than one heart as arguably both Jason Varitek and David
Ortiz are the heart and soul of this year’s team and represent ½ of
those still remaining from the 2004 Championship. While “those in the
know” routinely spend their time analyzing Big Papi’s woes and
rationalizing why he must be euthanized for the sake of the team etc. I
see far too few posts and commentary recognizing the contributions of a
revitalized “Captain Crunch,” after his fall from grace during the 2008
campaign. Regrettably, many “loyalists” have the “what have you done
for me lately” mentality and are unable to see the present-day David
Ortiz for what he is now, a talent brimming with potential, struggling
with confidence, in need of support.

Arms & Legs ~ The
pitching staff has been a ½ empty ½ full story as the starters have
struggled with a lack of consistency and dominance and the bullpen,
until 2 outings recently, the Papelbon blown save against the Mets and
an uncharacteristic loss by Ramirez this past Saturday against the
Jays, have been stellar. Led by the remarkable speed of Jacoby
Ellsbury, the Sox have a 70% success rate on the base paths this
season, including his memorable steal of home against the Yankees on
Sunday Night Baseball.

Hands ~ The defense has been
disappointing and has clearly been the target of our Nation’s wrath on
several occasions, with perhaps Lopez’s dropped throw while covering
first, Greens “airmail throw” into the stands, and the confusing antics
of Julio Lugo at short as the most noteworthy evidence of sub par
efforts.

A Knuckle ~ Perhaps the most important victory to
date was turned in by Veteran knuckle ball pitcher Tim “Shaky Waky”
Wakefield back on tax day when he came within 5 outs of his first
career no hitter against the A’s in Oakland. His gem halted a string
where the Sox had dropped 6 of 7 road contests and propelled the team
to a streak where they reeled off 11 straight wins including sweeps
against the O’s, Twins, and Yankees.

Blood ~ The lifeblood of
the organization is the farm system, which has produced at an amazing
level the past few seasons. Several of the transfusions available in
the minors in the form of quality pitching may mean the difference.

Brains
~ As “Tex” struggled with the Mendoza line for much of the year; many
in the Nation were lauding Theo for having the intelligence not to sign
the 180 million dollar albatross. As the Sox offense virtually
disappeared in Minnesota and Toronto for a time and as “Tex” was a
daily feature in the long ball department, our viewpoints rapidly
changed. As this is a marathon, not a sprint, we will not know until
season’s end, the true wisdom of Theo’s calculated gamble and bargain
basement shopping spree. However, this much we know: by not spending
the cash on “Tex” and any of the other potentially overpriced
mercenaries available, Theo has positioned the Sox to be able to
compete for the available talent to fill the voids in a reasonably
solid roster during the trade season, which may begin in another 2
weeks or so when Brad Penny becomes contractually eligible to move and
John Smoltz returns to major league form.

Prognosis ~ Most
importantly, our patient has a strong will to live and despite whatever
setbacks may present themselves later on in the season, there is ample
evidence to support a full, complete recovery, and reason to believe
“The Knuckle” will be sporting another Championship Ring in November.

1 comments:


Anonymous
said…

What a clear, concise, objective view of the Sox! Nice to read
someone who does their homework, has obvious baseball “smarts” and can
put the emotion of the Nation aside and focus on fact and substance.
Great job, Gosfather!