Saturday, April 03, 2010

This Whole Season Thing

I really wonder sometimes if what the "fans think" is just what the "media says the fans think." I read that "at the first sign of a slump," fans will be calling for the benching of David Ortiz. Yet if I ask any actual humans, I feel like they would say, in such a situation, "oh crap, Papi may be in slump. Those happen. Good thing he's David Ortiz."

Then I read about "concerns" with the offense. Yet if I take a glance at the lineup, I see that it's really good, and even if it wasn't, well, we've got the best pitching in the league anyway.

Then I read that the Red Sox are somehow trying to "fool" us by saying that pitching and defense are most important, since that's what they concentrated on in the offseason. This whole concept seems odd to me in so many ways. Didn't it kind of hit us all like a ton of bricks in 2004 (if not way before) that pitching and defense IS what it takes to win? Before that I was still stuck in that "let's just hit home runs" mode, but I learned that if you have solid starters, and if your defense makes all the plays, you win. The Yanks got Teixeira last year and won it all. Not because he can hit, but because every throw to first by Jeter and A-Rod had the accuracy of that tennis ball shooter from American Gladiators, and Teixeira picked them all. But oh wait, I don't need to be defending pitching/defense anyway, because our offense IS good! I just don't get it.

Obviously we don't have Manny anymore (but if you're gonna complain about that, remember how you drove him out of town for literally no reason), but there's no shortage of "thumpers," despite what talk show callers say. Those people for seem reason "forget" many of the players on our team.

I look at this team and I see three aces in the rotation. One of the best closers in the league. A lineup that's strong all the way down. I'm pretty sure regular people see this too.

The one thing that bothers me is when the team tells me that all you have to do is make the playoffs, and then you've got a 1 in 8 chance of winning it all. This tells me that they really don't care about winning the division. I understand every team that makes it needs to win 11 games. And I understand staying healthy and lining up your rotation and all that crap, but it seems to me that if you just play to win all year, you go into the playoffs with momentum and you keep winning. And home field advantage does matter, so you try to get it. I would prefer we win the division by 10 games, but it seems like we need to root for other teams to be battling us so that we play to win every night. I heard Theo today say something about soon having a young team and going from there. That's great. But this year we have as good a chance to win the World Series as any other team. So win it with this team. Then win it again with next year's guys next year. Thank you.

This should be an interesting team; I understand the argument that the upgrades to the starting pitching and outfield defense will make the overall team better, but I'm eager to see how it plays out on the field. I think the upgrades to the offense at SS and at catcher (by getting a full season of VMart) are what's really being overlooked. I worry less about the offense than I do the bullpen, particularly Delcarmen and Ramirez, but also to a lesser degree Okajima.

Papi had a pretty volatile 2009 season by month; an ugly April, an abysmal May, a fantastic June, an adequate at best July and August, and then a good September. Regardless of what the fans think, I doubt that Theo will allow him to get off to the same type of two-month start that he did last year without making a move. One solution that seems kinda obvious is a DH platoon with Lowell, given that the biggest issue with Papi is that he's been pretty poor against lefties for two seasons now.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States