Checking in with some linkage to this week's Red Sox podcast, where the topics of the day were the emergence of Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz's generous attempt to make John Lackey look capable, and the short memories of fans who are turning on Adrian Gonzalez.
Well, that's how I saw it, anyway. Tune in to learn whether Steve Silva and host Daigo Fujiwara dared to disagree.
While I'm here, a couple of half-formed thoughts on Middlebrooks.
* He's a wonderful prospect, and his start has been a blast, justifying the belief of some that he should have come up sooner to give this laconic team a jolt. But let's not jump to conclusions and suggest his immediate success means fellow prospects Jose Iglesias and Ryan Lavarnway would do the same. Iglesias is starting to hit a little by his standards down in Pawtucket (.243 with a .601 OPS), and I do think Lavarnway eventually takes Jarrod Saltalamacchia's job. But neither is quite ready -- Iglesias offensively, Lavarnway defensively -- and patience is more likely to produce rewards than rushing them up now.
* That Scottsdale Scorpions AFL team must have been something to see, with Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Middlebrooks in the lineup last fall. But the three prospects aren't equal -- Harper is four years younger than Middlebrooks for starters, and has more raw talent than any prospect since probably Alex Rodriguez. And Trout, who is baseball's best prospect if Harper isn't, appears on the verge of a breakout if Mike Scioscia plays him every day. As promising as he is -- and he looks like a 25-homer guy with an .850-.900 OPS and good defense at his peak -- he's not quite their peer.
* I'm not saying they should trade him for a couple of bratwursts, but Kevin Youkilis would make a wonderful Milwaukee Brewer, and not just because he looks like he could be related to their mascot.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.