Great. With the Red Sox announcing Curt Schilling will be coming out of the bullpen, now we're going to have everyone in Nation creation submitting his or her own profoundly radical ideas.
Perhaps the Sox can erect a suggestion box at 1 Yawkey Way. I can only imagine some of the submissions.
Play Doug Mirabelli as the DH more consistently.
More Bud Light!
Johnny Damon closes since he knows so much about it.
The Orioles are still a threat to win the AL East.
Although, admittedly, some ideas are more fundamental than others.
Give Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brass this, when it comes to being proactive (just a buzzword that dumb people use to sound important), they aren't afraid to try new ideas and directions in order to improve their club. With Keith Foulke heading to the disabled list for 4-to-6 weeks, and a too-competitive market for a closer of any worth, they look to their rehabbing pitcher, shelled the other night in Pawtucket and said, "Eh, why not?" Why not indeed? What's to lose? You need Schilling as your ace down the stretch, no doubt, but in the meantime your starting rotation has been fine. Turns out the area you thought you needed him the most can wait. The bullpen needs dramatic fixing. And you just happen to have your best pitcher on hand to do the job.
It's almost a no-brainer. Besides, how much worse can he be than Foulke?
Mr. Damon? Hmm?
"You've got a lot of upset people in here," Damon told Nick Cafardo of the Globe ''I don't think he's ready to be our closer. I think Bronson [Arroyo] or Timlin are the choice as the closer. Mike Timlin deserves to be it…Schilling's a little too old and it takes too long to get loose to be in that closer role."
So Arroyo, who has all of one career save, and Timlin, who hasn't closed full-time in six years, are the people's choices, but Schilling isn't ready and is too old? Makes sense. Wonder if Hanley Ramirez is too young to take a certain center fielder's spot in the lineup next season.
Damon went on to say the Red Sox were panicking, "We're [four] games up and it feels like we're 10 down," he said.
Well, son of a gun, he's right, the Sox are four games up on the Baltimore Orioles, 4 ½ ahead of the New York Yankees. In fact, a Baltimore sweep of the four-game set this weekend still ensures the Sox will be tied for first place while baseball's best, or semi-best (Shea Hillenbrand and Kenny Rogers are going to the All-Star Game, while Matt Clement and Mike Timlin stay home) convene in Detroit, the professional sports hotspot for 2005-06.
Four games. Even with a combustible closer, a long-ball lefty setup man, no true ace at the front of the rotation, and a second baseman with a government patent on striking out, the Red Sox are in first place by four games. Take it and run.
There is the matter of those pesky Yankees, red-hot one week, more dysfunctional than the Bundys the next. But for the Orioles, the digital clock may be approaching midnight in the Mid-Atlantic. That's not easy to say for someone who has waved the Lopez, Bedard, and Chen flag so valiantly in the faces of non-believers this season.
This upcoming four-game set has some worried in Baltimore that the season could be on the line for the slumping Birds. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun even uses Dan Shaughnessy's decree that the race is over as proof. Sound familiar? It was your very World Champs who barged into New York around this time a year ago, 5 1/2 games out of first place, suffered through Nomar-gate in a sweep at the hands of the Bombers, limping home 8 1/2 games back.
The Sox didn't win the AL East, but they did instill enough confidence in the ensuing months that a certain wiseacre guaranteed they would (only to end up with a dripping, wet yolk on his face one early October morning). And in my defense, they did end up winning, you know, the World Series.
Then again, if the Orioles had a Pedro and a Schilling, I'd have a bit more faith in them than I do now.
The Red Sox did pick up one of the aforementioned, but I guess the cliché "banished to the bullpen" doesn't apply here.
Who goes to the bullpen when Schilling comes back? After months of debate, turns out Schilling.
Didn't see that one coming. Now how about more Kevin Youkilis at second?