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Where am I?

Someone told me that the Sox have won only two games in the first seven, I called that person a liar and spat on their floor. My mom shouldn't talk such foolishness.

I am truly sorry to get a late start on the season, folks. My fan(s) are (is) disappointed and rightfully so(s).

I am not worried about the Sox. Yet. The fundamentals remain strong: they have great starting pitching, great bullpen, very good defense, and above average offense. The worry comes from early under-performing by key players and the losing that follows, especially when you play maybe the best two teams in the league. The fact is that the Sox barely lost two series to two teams that would be reasonable picks to face each other in the ALCS. Then the A's piled on a bit. That game must remind us that baseball is not a game that is meant to be viewed through a one-game lens.

The Sox greatest worry is Jon Lester. He looked so strong the first few innings of his first start, but he has been hit hard ever since. While I've seen enough baseball to know that balls do indeed fall based on luck, bad hitters break bats against good pitchers' good pitches and end up heroes, I also know that, if I weren't so happily biased, I'd know that Lester is in a precarious position. He was an ace last year, but there are a few legitimate questions and worries remaining. While I think that modern baseball orthodoxy's proclamation that anything more than a 25-30 inning jump in a season for a young pitcher is arbitrary and far too concrete, I do worry about Lester going from zero to 60 so quickly. Additionally, I wonder why we think we're immune to flashing in the pan. Why wouldn't Lester be dominant for a year then drift off. Why is he better than Justin Verlander? Honestly, all that said, I still believe in the kid. But I have to wonder about him.

Ok, I've already written too much and, guess what time it is, time to get to the point. Why the Sox will be alright:
  • Smoltz and Buch - let's say that Lester does break down, that Wake's back really gives out, what then? Well, the Sox run a starting staff nine deep with pitchers that would likely start for any other team. We have John Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, and Justin Masterson all perfectly adequate starters.
  • Papi and Peddy - The Sox have a bunch of players - Pedroia, Ortiz, Lowell, and Drew - who, if healthy, are guarenteed to produce at, at worst, a better than average clip. None of them have shown up.
  • Before last night against the A's, the Sox had only lost one game by more than a couple runs. They had played the Angels and the Rays, both of which most people expect to be powerhouses in the league, only rivaled by the Sox and Yanks. My point is basically that we're only EIGHT GAMES INTO THE SEASON.
  • Brad Penny - the guy looked like a horse again. He is a big time winner and had the same stuff he did a few years ago a last week. There is a very good chance that he will be a very very strong starter this year. I have no doubt that he was a better deal than A.J. Burnett with the Yanks - they have about the same chance of dominating (and of failing) and we're paying much less and for only a year. For Burnett, on the fifth year of his deal, I wouldn't be surprised if his arm is held together with staples and duct tape.


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