Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Red Sox thoughts heading into Spring Training...

Some important info here. I’m so excited to be talking / thinking about the Sox. My outlook is a lot more optimistic than usual. Don’t worry though, I’ll probably be my old, miserable self by opening day. I just can’t wait for some baseball. As you read this you’ll probably notice at some points I tried to write using stats and stuff, and then I got bored with that and started rambling.

Also, thanks to http://www.baseball-reference.com/ for all these stats that will be used today. This site is a great way to kill a few hours / days.

1B Youuuuukkkkkkkkkkkkk. Last year was the first time Youk appeared in 100 or more games (147) and responded with 13 HR, 72 RBI, and a .281 batting. Obviously you’re hoping for more power from your 1B but more than anything, I’d like my mom to stop asking why everyone is booing him every time he is up.

2B I was going to write how Dustin isn’t ready and how the Sox should have resigned Loretta. Then I realized Dustin was born on August 17, 1983, making me a full 6 months older than him. He’s 23 and not turning 24 till August! So while I sit here at my entry level job, he’s going to be playing 2nd base for the Sox. At some point, you have to see what your young guys can do and I’m excited to see if he’s got it or not.

SS Julio Lugo has a lot of questions. How bad is his defense? Did he smash his wife’s head into the hood of his car? How will he respond to the crazy fans of Boston? An Alex Gonzales fan at Hot Stove Cool Music asked Theo why the Red Sox thought it was necessary to go get Lugo instead of resigning and he replied, “Because he can hit”. So, hopefully, he’ll hit.

3B Obviously if we trade for Todd Helton tomorrow this is a big waste of time. Actually, this blog is probably a pretty good waste of my time whether we trade Lowell or not. As for Lowell, he won the distinguished award of, “Amanda’s Favorite New Red Sox” last season. And made my favorite catch of the season (the one into the stands)

RF Ah, J.D. Drew. Welcome to Boston. I strongly suggest you hustle in your first few weeks here if you know what is best for your health. I am glad I am not replacing one of the most beloved Red Sox players of all time. Here’s some comparisons of J.D. Drew over the last 9 years, and Trot over the past 10.
Sim Player From To Yrs G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB
+---++-------------------+---------+--+----+-----+----+---+---+---+---
J.D. Drew 1998-2006 9 960 3161 605 905 160 33 162 509 529
Trot Nixon 1996-2006 10 982 3285 547 912 204 28 133 523 454

They are pretty similar stats, with David Jonathan getting the slight edge in most categories, with one less season, but similar games played. Trot is also a year older. I have obviously heard all the “Nancy Drew” comments, but I’m expecting big things from JD. I think he’s worked out his injury problems, and is excited to play in front of a rabid fan base like Boston. (or at least this is what I keep telling myself).

CF Here is what I know about Coco. They made those stupid brown Crisp shirts for him. His dad is an official card carrying member of Red Sox Nation. He lets little kids pour milk on his head. It takes an extraordinary amount of time for his pinkie finger to heal. That being said, we really don’t know much about Coco, but I do think his finger wasn’t healthy all season and that caused a drop off in his numbers. I don’t think he will ever be Johnny, but I think he plays a better CF than Johnny, and with the batting on this team, he won’t need to put up big numbers to contribute. (and he won’t)

LF Yesterday, Tito held court with the media at Fenway, and said he hasn’t spoken to Manny since December but that Manny had talked to a few of the clubhouse attendants. Is there a more bizarre super star than Manny? This off season, Manny Ramirez was again speculation of a number of trade rumors, but once again, nothing came to fruition. I really do feel bad if Manny really does hate it here, but it is obviously in the best interest of the Red Sox to keep the career average .314 AVG, 42 HR’s and 135 RBI behind David. I fully expect Manny to put up his same 300/40/130 numbers he has been putting up his entire career. Sure he’s a baby sometimes, takes a long time to return from some injuries, but all those walk offs we’ve got to see David hit over the past 3 season would not have been possible with out #24 batting behind him.

DH David Ortiz. Just saying his name makes me happy. No other Boston athlete has come close to making me as happy since 2004 as David has. No one even comes close. I mean, doesn’t just looking at that picture put you in a good mood? My favorite in person moment at Fenway last year came in the bottom of the 9th, 2 strikes, 2 outs against the Texas Rangers.



Also, in the interest of full disclosure, David was the only player to pinch my cheek and say, “Hi Sweetie” at a nightclub last season.

SP Assuming everyone can stay healthy, our starting pitching should be one of the strongest in baseball.
Curt – I think the Red Sox should just give Curt his 13 million and not have to listen to him talk about being a free agent all season. Mainly because I don’t want to have to listen to him talk about being a free agent all season. If a 4 years older David Wells is pitching this season, Curt must have two years left in him right?
Joshua - Probably the most frustrating pitcher to watch last year. However, he’s not yet 27 and throws gas. Hopefully the new pitching coach can talk him into throwing more off speed and breaking balls, and hopefully he’ll give up less than 36 HR’s this year.
Diasuke – Remember during the Pedro era when you’d wake up and think to yourself, “Pedro’s starting tonight”. That is what I’m hoping for out of the Matsuzaka era. But I’ll take 15-5 3.25 ERA.
Jonathan – I wish he was still closing and we could have Lester / Clay / Hester in this spot, but the medical staff knows more about subluxation (sp?) and shoulders than I do, so I’ll take their word for it. I think he’ll be great in the starte’rs role as long as he too, mixes his pitches more. I almost jumped from the upper deck of the Trop last year when he blew the save with two strikes on the guy because he came at him with fastball after fastball after fastball. In his own defense, I think Corkey Miller was his catcher that game.
Tim – The one starter whose jersey I do not currently own, and it’s not because I don’t love him, it’s because, well, Curt, Papelbon, Beckett and Matsuzaka just seemed more exciting. That, and I need a day to wear my Ortiz and Lowell shirts. (I’m not sure how I’ll work Jason into the mix yet). You know what you are going to get with Tim. A ton of innings, great pitching when the knuckleball dances and a shellacking when it doesn’t. Either way, I love Tim.


Bullpen


I’d be a LOT, and I mean a lot more confident about Craig Hansen’s chances to close if I hadn’t seen him at the Purple Shamrock wearing this coat. I showed my dad this picture the following day and he huffed, “Trade him” before walking away in disgust. However, he was very nice and didn't even seem annoyed we were bothering him.





As for the rest of the pen, it will be interesting to see how Pinero, Timlin, Lester, and the rest of the young guns get it done. Hopefully Lester is feeling strong. I was a little concerned when I read that his hair is growing back (makes you realize how much his body has been through), and that he went down to Florida early to give his body time ot adjust to the temps down there. Obviously the most important thing is that he is cancer – free and should be able to contribute at some point. Donnelly has big game experience from the WS with the Angels (and I bet he has a cool Orlando handshake as well).
Bench
I really think Alex Cora has naked pictures of Terry Francona somewhere. I think he played way too much last season, none the less, I think he’ll be good to have to play behind Dustin and Lugo. I love Doug. Oh, and Wily Mo is extremely handsome in person. I thought everyone should know that. Too bad he seems to strike out every time he’s up.




2 comments:

Katie said...

You should talk about all of us more. Simmons talks about his friends all the time.

That is all.

Steviec15 said...

yes, talk about me too!