Skip to main content

Playing Pepper

Here are a few random thoughts (mostly about baseball):
  • Adrian Beltre really should take a pitch or two. I feel that it dilutes the whole lineup's approach when one guy clearly doesn't buy in to the general approach.
  • Speaking of Beltre, about the infield grass in Fenway, he said recently: "But when you’re playing in or you get slow ground balls, it’s like a snake coming at you, so you have to kind of take a guess where the ball’s going to go. I guess through the course of the season I’ll get used to it... It’s not nice. It’s not a good field. It’s a snake. The grass is a snake coming at you. It not only affects your defense, it affects your confidence. Like you get in that mind-set that, ‘Oh, where’s the ball going to go?’ So you start thinking instead of just reaction. I hope that I just get all the ground balls back on the dirt, not on the grass.’’ This is not ok. Youk almost lost his face and a wicked hope Thu. night. I understand having a slow infield or a fast infield, but a bad infield? I play softball on the National Mall sometimes, dodging tourists, diving across manhole covers, and dealing with consistently inconsistent bounces. Shouldn't the Sox infielders expect more than might the FEC's softball team?
  • I was wrong about the Sox not re-signing Beckett. Sometimes I like being wrong.
  • It really annoys me to see so many stolen bases, but I also know that they are less important than getting the batter out. Maybe V-Mart can turn it around but I doubt it. I have to wonder how good a catching coach Gary Tuck really is. The Sox and the media talk about him like he's a god but we can't throw anyone out and I think it's mostly Tek, V-Mart, pitching coach John Farrell, and the pitchers doing the pitch calling.
  • Jon Lester wins the Cy Young in the year he doesn't completely suck in April.
  • "Welcome to the club Darnell McDonald," said Vaughn Eshelman and Creighton Gubanich.
  • Speaking of Sweet Darnell, why do baseball players insist on beating each other up if someone has a walk-off hit or closes out a big game? Hug, jump, etc. But pig piles, pounding on helmets, busted lips like McDonalds? Please stop before someone breaks a rookie pitcher when he throws a no-no. I'm surprised Buchholz is fully ambulatory still.
  • Why are five of the pitchers on the Sox staff from Texas?
  • I was alarmed to see that Friday night's pitcher for the Orioles, lefty rookie Brian Matusz, is getting paid $13 million this year. I know he's very talented and was picked #4 overall, but it's just further proof of how out of whack the salary "system" is in baseball. I don't care that people get paid a lot, but it's not as closely tied as it should be to real value. Jacoby Ellsbury is getting paid $496,500 (see Sox salaries here). That's a guy with a career .298 batting average, team record for steals, very good defender, 23rd pick in the draft, and popular franchise player getting paid about the league minimum. Top picks should be able to get a big signing bonus to - as it implies - get them to sign (and everyone from every country should enter the league through the draft), but then they should get paid according to experience and productivity. Ellsbury, Buchholz and Daniel Bard together make about what Hideki Okajima gets. Ridiculous.
  • I need to look up if the Sox could actually just release Papi. I was consistently supportive last year but you only get one year of being this bad for long stretches. He's pretty much worthless, and I really say that as I guy who looooooooves Papi. But a DH who can't H is SOL.
  • I like the way Josh Reddick plays. I saw him hit an opposite field dong last year in Baltimore. He has electric talent and if he learns plate discipline he'll take over for JD Drew after next season - if not before.
  • Part of me wants the Sox to move V-Mart to DH, dump Papi somehow, and platoon Tek and AAA catcher Mark Wagner. Wagner cannot hit (yet?) but his arm is golden.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chris Sale, Bullpen Reboot, Hot Stove Checklist Addition, Sell High

CHRIS SALE TRADE: The Sox just got ace lefty Chris Sale for America's top prospect Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, another Basabe, and Victor Diaz.  That's a true ace for a potential superstar who clearly needs more seasoning, a golden arm who seemed to be a possible headcase, and two lottery tickets.  This is a very good trade for the Sox. While the Sox would have found room to play Moncada once he was ready, he didn't exactly fill a void with Peddy blocking him at second, Panda getting another shot at 3B this year, and 3B prospects Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec - and maybe Michael Chavis - not too far off possibly.  Moncada might not be the biggest pain felt here. After trading Anderson Espinoza for Drew Pomeranz - a trade that is looking worse these days - the trade of Kopech leaves very little high-end pitching talent in the system right now.  There is now a very large drop off after Jason Groome.  Also, the loss of Basabe, Diaz, Dubon and Pennington today just really d…

Sox Season Preview

Starting strong isn't a necessity for making a championship run but it sure helps.  Unfortunately, these Sox will need some real luck to get off to a great start.  They're starting off the year without their #2 starter, starting their 3rd best catcher, lacking a platoon partner for either 1B or 3B, missing their two best set-up guys, and expecting All Star caliber play from a rookie.  That said, all these issues should resolve themselves by mid-June and even a bad Sox '17 team should be in fine position to make a second half run.  But Sox fans will likely be pulling out their hair for the first month or two.

Things do have a way of working themselves out with good teams.  Last year, the Sox started the year with a pronounced lack of home runs, their best pitcher was the last guy to make the rotation (Wright) and we had gone through 2 catchers and lost a live Panda.  Things turned around with the team ending up 7th in the AL in homers - and by far the most runs - the league…

Sox' Phantom Depth

Two former top outfield prospects who can play a little defense and sometimes be a threat at the plate and a 1B/OF with two years receiving votes for NL MVP.  These guys are the surplus players just off the Red Sox expected 25-man 2017 roster.  And its unlikely any of them will be able to significantly help the team this year even if they played up to the highest expectations.

Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, and Allen Craig are all Red Sox as of today and you could make a pretty easy argument why it's plausible that each one could be strong contributors to a major league team this year - and two of them likely will, but that team won't be the Red Sox.

Brentz is a former first round pick who can hit the ball a mile, has a cannon arm, and is athletic enough to roam the outfield.  He hit rather well last year, especially against lefties, during his tenure as the Sox starter while Chris Young and Brock Holt were hurt - and Andrew Benintendi was in A-ball.  What has held him back ove…