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.


Popular posts from this blog

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

The 2018 Red Sox Biggest Liability: Infield Defense

This Red Sox team is stacked.  At the moment, the biggest concerns seems to be the Mookie Betts hasn't been hitting and the fifth starter is likely going to be the perfectly capable Brian Johnson or Hector Vazquez for the first month or so.  But this team does have one real problem with it - and another possible one I'll write about later.  The infield defense has the potential to be pretty bad.  Given that I'm usually the one seeing hope in dark Sox times, I figured I'd try to dampen everyone's spirits now that we're cloaked in the warm glow of J.D. Martinez in a Red Sox uniform.

Based on what new manager Alex Cora has said so far, the Red Sox most likely Opening Day infield will be Hanley Ramirez at first, Eduardo Nunez at second, Bogaerts at short, and Devers at third.  That's a group that has the potential to really hit, but they also all have big defensive question marks.  It's not great when Bogaerts is your best defensive infield starter.  For the…

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…