1. the CHB. And I quote, from his latest piece:
He signed with the Red Sox in January, and the Sox plan to use him [Baldelli] as a fourth outfielder - no small job on any team that employs J.D. Drew.
The rest of the piece is okay, but it feels unnecessary to backhand J.D. Drew like this. It's not a shock that he's the CHB's new target, I suppose. I don't know. I think there's fragile and then there's fragile. I think the implication that is often made about Drew being soft is unfair, even if accusing him of being fragile isn't exactly a crime. And you know, based on his history, that the CHB wasn't exactly not implying softness.
2. Lack of faith in MDC.
I think the differences between both camps here lie in whether you rely much more on game-to-game visual of his performance, or whether you trust the statistics to tell you more about the level of talent in a RP. Everyone and their mother who has ever read this site knows that I like to use FIP to back my S. up. And f, I'm going to use it now. Want to know who was second among last year's RPs in the Sox pen in FIP? I'm sure you can guess, it was Manny Delcarmen. Ramon Ramirez, a new addition, is second among our current relievers, but the point I'd like to make is that a lot of people seem to want to bury MDC at the bottom of the depth chart. The way in which he's pitched and his talent level would suggest that he should be no lower than 3rd behind Paps and Ramon Ramirez. There are reasons he's asked about in trades, and reasons why we turn down the teams who request him. He's good. Edit: Just now realized that Saito is actually ahead of both Ramirez and MDC. Nothing changes as far as my point is concerned, which is that MDC isn't even close to a problem in the bullpen.
I'd also recommend that you take a moment and look at this article by Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts. He divides all RPs into quadrants based on their GB and K rates. You'll notice a lot of the best relievers in the northeast quadrant, and as Lederer notes, we have 4 of them. Who are they? Well I'm glad you asked: Paps, Saito, Ramirez, and Okajima, Masterson, Mf'nDC.
The next time you hear someone say: "Manny Delcarmen just isn't very good", remind them that he's better than a lot of relievers on his or her s'ty team. And if they respond by saying they're a Red Sox fan and MDC is on their team, then just end the conversation. Nothing productive is going to happen there.
3. Our Grapefruit League record.
0-3. Sure, wins and losses in the spring don't mean a thing. But I want wins, d'it.
4. Jason Varitek, starting C.
5. Julio Lugo, starting SS.
Okay. So #4 is kind of too frustrating to talk about, but somehow 5 isn't. I guess it's because Lugo is the more obviously wrong choice for his job, simply because we have a much better option ready to roll. I've seen the recent diary on this subject, of course, but I'm kind of tired of the angle that's obviously being worked here, that this is what Lugo is being paid to do, Lowrie has more potential versatility, yada yada f'n yada.
Lugo, being paid more, should be asked to do more. Lowrie should stand up and say, y'know, I make the f'n minimum. Why isn't the $9M dollar man asked to stand in at 3b and play 2b on those rare occasions that DP doesn't start? He's paid more, he should have more responsibilities.
I want Jed Lowrie as comfortable at the plate as possible, and if committing to him at SS is the way to go for that, then I want it. Anecdotally, Lugo does appear to have more range and a stronger arm than Lowrie. I'm not sure anyone would dispute that claim. I'm just as sure that no one would dispute the claim that the only possible shortstop with worse hands than Lugo would be a f'n oak tree. I don't know what I mean by that, but I think the visual works.
6. No contract extension for Lester?
Logically, it's a risk, and one we should be looking at more next season or possibly at the ASB this season? Illogically, Jon Lester makes hitters his B., and I'm not sure you can put a pricetag on that.
Ed: To be fair, I'm quite happy with the Sox overall this season. Looking good, good offseason. That being said, I'm certainly entitled to be annoyed here and there.
Open thread time. Anything about the Sox that's pissing you off? Or to spin this more positively, anything about the Sox that you're particularly excited about this season? Let's f'n hear it, boys and girls.