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Showing posts from July, 2009

Papi Pills

First, I'll admit that I am a biased Red Sox fan. Second, I'll tell you that I have not been one to talk about the steroids era and baseball cheating much.

I have left myself willfully ignorant of all things "controlled substance." The fact is that baseball is entertainment. These men are not my - nor should they be anyone's - moral beacons.

On the other hand, I do not condone cheating. That said, it is less offensive to me when it does not mean a competitive advantage.

The fact is, as so many players names are exposed from the list of 103, it has become clear that so many players - elite and plebeian alike - were taking things to enhance their skills.

As this interesting and seemingly reputable recent op-ed in the NY Times points out, baseball players - and I'm guessing all elite athletes in all sports - have always done everything they can to physically and psychologically survive and excel during a season. He notes the substance use of the era-diverse like…

More Trade Talk

Adam LaRoche
Victor Martinez

Simply, the Sox should not trade for Victor Martinez. The 30 year old catcher/first baseman for Cleveland is a powerful switchhitter with good on-base skills. Since the first of June, Martinez has batted .213. I believe he's signed through this year with an option for next.

I would take Martinez if he were cheap. But I wouldn't give up much for him. At first, he's learning the position and I doubt he's a steller defender. I don't think he's a much better hitter than Adam LaRoche and would take up a spot that Lars Anderson and Aaron Bates might fill in the next 2 years.

As for catcher, Tek will be the starter next year and by the time he's done - if the Sox traded for and signed Martinez - Victor would be a 32 year old catcher. That doesn't strike me as exactly a "catcher of the future" that the Sox need.

Meanwhile, the Sox picked up Adam LaRoche who is a very good defensive first baseman and not a big step down …

Trade Fever

The Sox are slumping, clearly. Now that they have traded for Adam LaRoche, it's like they broke the seal on a feverish panic - at least on the Globe's web site - for a major trade.

Nick Cafardo wrote that the Sox got LaRoche and are struggling so they clearly are going for Roy Halladay. The problem with this lacking logic is that getting LaRoche has nothing to do with getting Halladay.

Halladay is very possibly the best pitcher in the game today but he's 32 years old. I would never trade for him except that he's under contract for next year as well.

The other issue here is the nature of the Sox recent struggles. It's offensive - and offensive. The Halladay magic pill would be a nice one to take in a lot of ways, but it won't help Jason Bay snap out of it. The problem with the Sox is that last night they had two batters (Youk and Peddy) who could hit.

The pitching will be fine. The bullpen is great. The starters all lost their rythm coming out of the all …

Bates Alive

When Mike Lowell was injured, he was replaced by Jeff Bailey, who hurt himself too, and the Sox needed a righthanded corner infielder to platoon with (an also-hobbling) Mark Kotsay. They turned to rookie Aaron Bates.

Bates is 6'4" and 25 years old. He dominated single A Lancaster in 2007 but had stalled at AA Portland since arriving their in '07. That is until this year when he eliminated a big leg kick and started kicking ass at Portland. He was called up to Pawtucket from there and eventually Boston for a week which included 3 starts.

While I think anyone had to be impressed by his game yesterday, hitting a ball down each line and a ball off the top of the centerfield wall in Fenway, what is most telling about his chances for getting another call-up this season is that Tito seems to like him defensively. That might mean we'll see him again.

Twice this week, Tito ran for Kotsay late in the game. Makes sense because Kotsay is a bit banged up in the legs. But, Tito…

The Royals

I just wanted to mention before everyone gets up in arms about the Sox losing a game or games to the Royals, that the Royals aren't terrible. If they had any offense, they might even be good. This is a team that is just a few bats and another arm from being the Mariners. Ok, not a ringing endorsement, but anyway.

The Royals have a true ace (Greinke) and two developing young starters (Hochever and Bannister) and a ssolid veteran (Gil Meche) in their rotation. The bullpen is potentially very good with a wonderful closer (Soria) and some veteran bullpen arms (Cruz, Mahay, Farnsworth and Wright).

The problem is they cannot hit and they can't buy break with their prospects. They invest a lot in top draft pics, but don't get much. So far, great prospects like Mark Teahan, Alex Gordon, and John Buck have been good at best. They've had two breakout rookie shortstops (ROY Angel Berroa and Aviles last year) who have inexplicably fallen apart after year one (Note: I don'…

Give it a break

I really don't like articles like this one by Mazz. He muses about whether or not the Sox are fading. Now, he's not saying they are, but by bringing it up he pretty much is. Just ask Fox News if that works ("Is the president going to put Gitmo detainees in your backyard? Let's ask an expert from the Heritage Foundation...").

The Sox might fade. This might be the beginning. But losing 2 of 3 to Seattle and one game to Oakland is not a sign that they are fading.

Seattle is pretty good. They were my darkhorse pick to make the playoffs in the A.L. They have pitching and defense. With just a little offense they can win some games. The games we lost to the M's were 1) an extra innings game and 2) a game we win if Pedroia were 5'10" (missed a pop-up). I hate this doomsday sh-t.

Remember the begining of the season, how the Sox were never going to hit? That panned out. Great job guys.

The Sox aren't hitting because:
They faced Felix Hernandez.Ja…