Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
posted at 10/15/2011 7:58 PM EDT
In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
[QUOTE]If ever a thread had the right title, this one does. As fivekatz says, it is high time to ignore the fireworks about September and look at what we got for 2012. Easier said than done.
As for September, my take is to blame it all on the two guys leaving, Francona and Epstein,
See what I mean?
and keep remembering that on August 27 this team was headed for 100 wins and a great postseason, we thought. For five months they were a great team. Had the pitching not collapsed, Moneyball might have been supplanted by Beerball as the smart approach to winning baseball. I think both of them had a great run. Francona's getting a break by avoiding what would surely have been samson agonistes in 2012. Epstein is getting rewarded with an astounding five year deal with the Cubs ownership. 2012 is not different from any other year--management has to figure out who to hang onto and who not. Pitching is the biggest problem. Lackey probably needs to go
, no doubt at significant cost. How many takers will there be for a high-priced 14-game winner when healthy? And I'm betting he's damaged goods.
Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz absolutely do not need to go and will be, if healthy (a big if), a great cornerstone for 2012. Maybe Bard and Aceves both need to start, but, if that works, it means rebuilding the bullpen will be even harder. Keep Papelbon if possible ($36M for three years?). Ortiz has had a fantastic career in Boston
and been, hands down, Theo's best acquisition. But he's almost 36, has no versatility, is a lefty bat in a lineup that needs another righty bat, is talking like he wants to leave, and had a lousy September--1 dinger and 8 rbi's. Offer him no more than $20M for two years and maybe just $16M. If he walks, so be it. Thanks to the press, this may not even be in Boston's court any longer. And who replaces the lost season-long production from Papi?
That said, while moving Youk to DH and backup 1B and 3B looks great, it also means the Sox won't have that great bat at 3B. Aviles/Middleton or someone acquired will really be replacing Ortiz in the lineup, which probably means a drop-off.
You can say that again. I doubt Youk is ready for the DH role.
Dump Tek and Wake. Tek actually had a pretty good year, but in September he couldn't hit and couldn't throw anybody out except AGon, who plays for us. The trend on Wake's knuckler
in 2011 was that it became both more hittable and harder to catch. In September his 7 "unearned" runs were more than any other Sox pitcher had for the entire season. Harness will continue to blather, but the simple fact is that Wake's unreliable knuckler was the proximate cause of 21 runs in 24 innings. His pursuit of the Sox wins record is now laughable.
What's laughable is your inability to recognize 1st half/2nd half unearned runs disparity against Wake, despite the fact his control was much better in the 2nd half. Blaming him for shoddy defense and inherited runs shows UR bias.
Keep Ellsbury at almost any cost. Fangraph rates him the best player in MLB. He was certainly the best player the Sox had this year and far and away the best in September. Thanks to Youk's big mouth in 2010, Jake thrived on being the outcast of poker flats in 2011. Assume CC can only improve and that he, Pedey, Jake, AGon, and Youk are the cornerstones to the 2012 lineup. Get a good righty bat for 3B or for the outfield. If Lavarnway has any hope of being that guy, I would bring Tek back for one more year. On that note, I was very impressed with Lavarnway's two starts in the final two games, one of which he personally took over and won. Sign Scutaro for another year
and hope someone else (Iglesias?) will emerge to replace him by the end of the year. Let's see. You want Middlebrook or Aviles at 3rd and Scut at short.
Well, that should make the left side porous enough.
Keep Lowrie and Aviles unless someone else better is obtainable. For manager, almost anyone with experience will do provided a battery of psychology tests confirms he won't succumb to the ridiculous pressure on any Sox manager. The preliminary tests should be conducted by georom and bosox1941, who will simply keep telling him that every Sox manager is required to win all 162 regular season games and that all losses are his fault and his alone.
To summarize 2012: forget September by blaming it on Theo and Terry; retain those parts of the April-August 2011 team headed for 100 wins who can reasonably be expected to help in 2012; key non-helpers are Lackey, Wake, Tek, and Ortiz.
Posted by maxbialystockNow UR talking sense!