posted at 7/5/2013 12:27 PM EDT
In response to Marioguy424's comment:
The Red Sox have the best record in the American League, and are on pace for their best finish since 2008. They have the most productive offense in baseball. They, considering the trading of Tyler Seguin, the implosion and rebuilding of the Celtics, and the Aaron Hernandez trial, are the best hope for Boston Sports at the moment.
However, I am still going to violate the old adage "When the devil is sleeping, let him be," by asking a few questions about their success.
1: This year was supposed to be a bridge year, and we didn't acquire any big-time free agents. How did we go from the worst team in the AL to the best in a flash?
I'll take a shot...
2013 wasn't necessarily a "bridge" year. You'll never hear a baseball executive use that term again. The Front Office knew that they had the core talent to be able to get to the playoffs where anything can happen. They needed to clean up the clubhouse and bring in the "right players," while also keeping the "future" intact. They obviously did a terrific job. There weren't any big name free agents they had a lot of interest in. Zero mutual interest in Greinke and once the Sanchez & Hamilton numbers got to a certain level, they were out. Some people think that there isn't a GM in baseball who would have given Hamilton that deal (Angels owner Artie Moreno negotiated that one).
2: As well as Ellsbury and Pedroia have been doing, they seem to have lost power. Pedroia is hitting .325, which would put him on pace for his best average season since 2008, and his .405 OBP is the best he's ever had. Likewise, Ellsbury's .303 is the second best he's ever had, and his 33 steals lead the AL. However, Ellsbury's 2 homeruns put him on pace for a mere 4, which would be the worst total he has ever posted in a full season, and Pedroia's 5 put him on pace for around 10, which would be his worst total since 2007, when he hit 7. That even includes 2010, when he hit 12 homeruns in half a season. Why do you think their power numbers are down, and do you think they will heat it up in the second half?
(Note: "Bellsbury" bashers, stay away!)
Homeruns are down throughout the game. I think there are several factors attributed to this.
3: This is an honest, deal-with-the-facts question. When is Buchholz slated to come back? (Please tell me I spelled his name right.)
Not sure. They are not going to rush him back and they don't need to. It looks like they are going to be serious contenders this year, so having a healthy Buchholz with a lot of gas in the tank for September/October can't hurt.
4: Back to opinions! Until Buchholz comes back, we will need to rely on a makeshift ace to hold down opposing teams' bats enough to ensure that we can bludgeon them with our league-leading offense. Now, here is the question: who do you think will function as "acting ace": the magical- E.R.A.- below- 2 John Lackey, or a rebounding Jon Lester? If you can somehow argue someone else, feel free, but I do not foresee any species of Internet User other than a Troll arguing that.
Pitching "slots" are overrated and fairly meaningless after Opening Day until the post season. Their rotation has been excellent overall.
5: How much of a positive influence has John Farrell had on the Sox, and how much of Valentine's negative influence contributed to the Sox finishing in last in 2012?
Farrell is well respected throughout the game while Valentine lost the Clubhouse before they left Fort Myers. Both managers have or had strong influences for very different reasons.
6: Everyone agrees that a deadline acquisition would help the Sox in a tight Al East. The question is, what do we need more: a reliever to fix a hurting bullpen, or a bat at third base so we can move Iglesias to short and finally get rid of the hole at short which has existed since Drew stopped performing. Michael Young and the previous Red Sock Jonathan Papelbon, in particular, have come up in trade conversation, and they are both on a sinking Philadelphia team. This is my question: which of these two would you want to acquire at the deadline, and who would you be willing to ship to Philadelphia in order to acquire them?
I would be very surprised if the Sox brought in any of the Philly guys & just as surprised if they don't acquire some bullpen help. Barring injury, I doubt they do much else, unless they move Drew.
7: This is the big one, which has only been proposed by the trolls on this board but is a legitamite question:
HOW is David Ortiz performing so well? I am tempted to say that he is using HGH, but I don't know how that could improve your average. His age 37 performance is better than his age 32, 33, and perhaps even age 34 performances. Do you think he is using PEDs? If not, what is causing his 2007-like performance?
He's healthy, he's adjusted his approach (Attributed to Adrian Gonzalez) and he still has terrific bat speed. He hasn't seen many pitches lately, so hopefully Napoli goes on a tear soon.
I have two rules for this thread: remain civil, and DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.