Re: Time for some small ball.........
posted at 8/5/2012 1:21 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Time for some small ball.........
[QUOTE]Once again, the only real right handed power you can count on for next season is Middlebrooks. Ross might be tired of the circus and sign elsewhere. The idea of Ryan Kalish as the full time RF is revolting. Lavarnway, I hope can be what we want him to be, but who knows? Speed on the Red Sox is irrelevant, because they don't play small ball, no matter who the manager is. Salty is HR or strikeout. Kind of a poor man's Dave Kingman. As for no pitching since Pedro, didn't Beckett finish second to CC in Cy Young voting one year? Didn't Lester have an ace season last year?
Posted by rightymclefty[/QUOTE]
Yeah, Beckett has had a couple of amazing seasons. He's also come right out and been absolutely terrible the next season. He's been as inconsistant as any pitcher I've seen. Lester has had some great seasons as well, but he hasn't ever been able to come out and be the ace...take the team on his back and say, "I've got it guys, just get me a run". I'm not denying that they're very talented pitchers...I'm just saying that they aren't that dominant ace that the top teams/pitching staffs need.
As far as big power bats are concerned? They're very few and far between at this point. Since the end of the 'roid era, there's not a ton of folks out there who can hit for power and average. And they're terribly streaky. Salty fits the bill as well as anyone, from a position that doesn't usually have it. Gonzalez and middlebrooks are your 4/5 guys, and Jacoby, CC and Pedroia are your get on base guys. After them you have potential power in Lavarnway, a very streaky guy who can hit big when he's hot in Salty, whoever the heck your right fielder winds up being, and then a guy in Ciriaco who's shown he can hit in key spots and has blazing speed. If he learns to bunt well I think he could be an extremely dangerous weapon. That's a pretty solid lineup, and let's not forget, it's not like these guys have had issues putting runs across in general. Their issue has been that the run support isn't coming at the right times.
If you compare that lineup to the 04 or 07 lineups, there really isn't a huge dropoff in power. The two big bats both seasons were Papi and Manny...where else? 04 had Damon, Manny, Nixon as the OF Millar, Mueller, Cabrera and Bellhorn with Tek as C and Papi as DH
07 had Jacoby/Coco, Manny and Drew...Youk, Lowell, Pedroia, Lugo...Tek and Papi.
I honestly think this lineup is better than either of those ones when healthy. If they keep Ross around for the right price that'd be great. Especially if they can find another dirt dog type player to platoon him with. Kalish might wind up being that guy. The big thing that I think this team is lacking compared to those, besides the top 2 SP from 04, is the attitude. Millar especially brought that swagger to the 04 team and mixed with the confidence of Pedro and Schilling made them a group that knew they were good enough to win, even down 3-0. 07 had a hungry Beckett (no pun intended) mixed with the youth of Pedroia, Youk and Jacoby. Both teams had that goofiness of Manny and Papi to go with the solid presence of Tek. It wasn't that they were the most talented teams...but they were the best TEAMs.
These guys need an attitude adjustment, and it needs to come from cutting off the heads. Beckett, obviously has become a huge problem. He's just a lightning rod of negativity, even if it isn't always deserved. But the fire is gone. Papi...while I love him to death and will be forever greatful for what he's done for this team...has turned into a huge diva, and another huge pile of negativity. I had seen the same thing from Youk the past couple of years. He would scowl and bark any time an ump dared to call a close strike he didn't swing at. Just stuff like that. 04 and 07 had that can do attitude, not the negative "people are ganging up on us" type of attitude these guys seem to. I think with Beckett and Papi out of here, Pedroia and Lester and even Crawford can step up and be the leaders of a fun, young, talented, athletic team. Bobby V can win with a team like that as long as they take the shackles off of him. An eager group that's bloodthirsty for lack of a better term will go out and attack.