Re: A Realistic Look At 2013: Part I
posted at 12/30/2012 4:43 PM EST
In response to jidgef's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
In response to jidgef's comment:
Congrats Moon on having the only readable thread on the board. The childishness and namecalling is so rampant that I have become an infrequent visitor and even more infrequent poster. At least this thread remains mostly about baseball.
I just booked flights to Fort Myers and will be going to every Spring training game again this year. Last year was my first year at ST so I didn't know exactly what to expect, but what I saw was a pretty disfunctional team whose best player was Pedro Ciriaco. Unfortunately, things didn't get much better once the starting gun sounded. I do believe, and I am also hoping, that this year will be much different. Bobby V NEVER had any control over this team; it was apparent in the spring and even more so as the season dragged on. While a few players have been jettisoned for the alledged good of the clubhouse, I really believe Bobby set the tone for clubhouse disfunction and threw gas at every spark. But enough about last year; this thread is a forward looking thread.
Ben obviously approached this offseason looking for veterans on shortish (is that a word?) contracts who would not only improve clubhouse chemistry but also deliver solid, professional, if not spectacular, performance. Heading into 2013, I think we are better, or at least potentially better, at every position on the field than the team that finished last season. I know that isn't saying much, but even the more established players, Pedey, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Lester and Buch should all deliver more than they did last season. A full season of WMB, versus his injury shortened one should also be an upgrade. Victorino might not equal Ross's offensive productivity, but he is a big defensive upgrade. Drew should be an upgrade over Aviles. The addition of Ross should upgrade the productivity both offensively and defensively behind the plate. Nava had the second best OPB on the team last year, but I still think a tandem of Kalish and Gomes will be more productive. Obviously firstbase is still a question, but a typical Napoli season would outperform, at least offensively, the combined productivity that position delivered last year.
But the real keys to significant improvement this year are Lackey, Dempster and Doubront. Now putting all your eggs in that three-man basket may not sound like World Series potential, but the potential is still there for solid productivity leading into what should be an outstanding bullpen.It would have been nice to pick up a number 1 or 2 starter, but they are very hard to come by and other teams are just not as interested as we would like them to be in improving the Boston rotation. I would not be shocked to find any one of Tazawa, Ruby or Morales, or all three, to throw significant innings as starters this year.
If the kids are as good as their hype, then Ben approched this offseason smartly, by holding onto them and "bridging" with veterans who are capable of competing for a playoff spot. And if we're going nowhere in July, we have some veterans who will be easier to move than we've had and we can start playing the kids. I am always looking through my red glasses.
Nice summary of our situation Jid.
I do think we are better, but I was hoping for more of a longer viewpoint with our signings. None of the guys we signed rates to be better in 2014 and/or 2015 than next year, so that makes it look like 2013 is "the year", but then when I look at the overall quality of this team, I just don't see us as serious contenders for a ring. That makes me wonder at the wisdom of the team philosophy this winter. Playing it half way would have been my last choice of strategy.
I never thought we were looking at a one year retooling. If all the stars of tomorrow are still a year or two away from Fenway, then their primes are four and five years away. Ben has just bought a couple years of a fairly competitive team that at the very least will be more likable and entertaining than last years ugliness. Moon, you nailed it a long time ago when you said these huge contracts would cripple us for years; they are and they will, even after the big dump. Ben is making the best out of a very bad situation I think.
Well, the AGon trade relieved us of much of the "crippling effect", although we still pay the Dodgers $3.9M the next 3 years. However, we basically just replaced the money saved with shorter term contracts, but no better productivity and no real hope for any improvement from those signed to 2-3 year deals.
The "very best" could have been to sign one big name to keep the fans happy (Hamilton or A Sanchez) and then sought younger options to fill the gaps, but with hopes that they'd get better or stay the same up to 2015 since they wouldn't be 32-33 or older by then.