Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
posted at 1/30/2012 11:21 PM EST
I have to admit to always having a brighter outlook than the Sox have warranted the last 3 seasons. But that still doesn't mean that they won't live up to my expectations this year. Like moon, I see the RF situation as improved and cannot imagine CC doing anything more than getting better, since 2011 was simply his worst year ever.
Before the '75 season, I thought we'd compete in '76 or '77. I didn't feel any different about '86 than '85. 2004 surprised me. It seems we do good when I don't think too highly, and worse when I like our chances.
I try to be objective, but know I am more optimist than it usually warrants.I thought the Sox had a lot of starting pitching last off-season and a lot of questions in the bullpen. Oops.
I liked our starters too, but knew we were thin after Wake (6th starter).
But this off-season Ben C has brought in enough young arms and arms with experience but questions that the bullpen and rotation have a lot of questions, and a lot of flexibility. It is frustrating as a fan, not knowing. But then, roles were much more defined last year and I thought I knew a lot about what to expect. NOT. So, I am optimistic that the flexibility will return good results. Who stays and who goes, and how they deal with all of the out of options guys is their headache, not mine. But they will have plenty of options and guys to fall back on. In that regard, the current roster is better off than last season as well.
I almost always think we need one more solid pitcher before every year, but this year, I think it is crucial. (Actually, 2 would be nice). I really want to see Bard and Aceves in the pen, but that only will happen if we have 5 healthy and solid, performing pitchers.
Can't say I am as confident in making a prediction as I was in 2011 or 2010, but this team ought to win more games than last year's just by virtue of not having a historic collapse in September (the odds of the Sox breaking their own record in that regard are about the same as the odds that the Mayans were predicting the end of creation by ending their calendar in 2012).
I agree, and I also think that not being the favorites will help us not get off to such a slow start either.
And if the Sox were a plausible 100 win team last year, as many surmised, then they ought to be about as plausible a 100 win team this year, by virtue of having as good or better offense, as good or better defense, and pitching that likely outperforms last season's as long as they suffer the normal amount of injuries.
I know we have enough questions and problems that we could have a bad year, but on paper I am feeling good about this year.
RF will be a huge plus.
LF will be a plus.
A L-R catcher platoon and a maturing Salty could lead to gains there.
SS will be better overall... yes, better.
3B and a healthy Youk will be a plus.
AGon is going to explode.
Ells and Papi may decline, but not by much.
Pedey is Pedey.
Addition by subtraction with Lackey, Weiland and others.
Bailey and Melancon give us twice the innings as Papelbon.
Full year of Morales, Doubront, and Tazawa.
Bard and Aceves give us more innings than 2011.
There is a lot to be excited about!
Just get us one more solid starter...two and I'm in La La Land.