February 20, 2008

Center Stage

There won't be much drama in Fort Myers this spring.

There is a question of who will be the 5th starter (and the possibility that Clay Buchholz begin the year in Pawtucket) and perhaps the final bullpen spot. ... And who starts in center field.

Obviously, the team has said very little about either Coco Crisp or Jacby Ellsbury, but Terry Francona has noted that "coming into camp, we're not going to forget as an organization that he's [Crisp] the incumbent."

Coco's desires are clear:
I think everybody wants to play everyday and if you don't, I think there's something wrong with you. I don't want to sit on the bench. I could cheerlead with the best of them, but that's not where I want to be. ...

A lot of people say, well, I don't deserve it. Well, that's understandable too. I didn't have a good offensive year like I did in the past. I think I proved ... that my defense is way better than what people thought. People think that my offense is terrible. Now it's time to show them that my offense really isn't. ...

I would honestly rather be somewhere else and play than be on the bench. I'll take whatever comes and deal with it. It's no knock against Boston. The fans have treated me well. It's ultimately for myself.
Ellsbury, a rookie, is saying the right things:
I went into the offseason and worked hard to be the center fielder, but it's their decision and I'll respect it either way. ... I have the most respect for him and he's definitely a great teammate. I know both of us want it ...
The team's first full workout will be on Friday.

JD Drew has been bowling in the off-season to keep his lower back strong.

Sean McAdam quotes Tom Werner: "I do remember in our first press conference we said we wanted to win multiple championships and people laughed at us. ..."

14 comments:

James said...

I say we play Crisp for about a month or two, and see what he can do. It would be nice to have two good centerfielders when teams start making trades. If we show we're willing to keep Crisp around, we'll get a lot more than if we have him on our bench and he's shooting his way out of time.

Amy said...

If we could trade Crisp effectively, then I would trade him in a flash (though I do like the guy, despite his terrible performance at the plate). Then again, perhaps if Drew continues not to perform, we could platoon Crisp, Drew and Ellsbury until it is clear which two deserve to be out in the outfield. Of course, I don't know how well Crisp or LBJ play right field.

Josh Wilker said...

I have been thinking all along that they should trade Coco, but now I wonder if the best move is to keep both. With a rookie in center and two aging injury risks on the corners, a fourth outfielder could end up with nearly as much playing time as the starters. It sounds like Coco would never go for this setup, however.

redsock said...

I don't think Ococ or Lyndon have the arm to spend much time in RF.

Josh Wilker said...

I wouldn't make either guy a permanent rightfielder, but I think their great speed (i.e., range) would make either one a viable occasional replacement for the rest-needin' Drew, especially against lefties (instead of Kielty).

On a broader note, I wonder just how much, empirically speaking, a rightfielder's "gun" is worth. My personal hunch is that it might be a tad overrated, and also that a good arm in centerfield can be nearly if not equally as important (considering centerfielders get more balls hit to them).

Josh Wilker said...

I meant to say "against RIGHTIES (instad of Kielty)"...

Patriots Film said...

Josh, Ellsbury would not be a vs. LHP upgrade. Kielty, however, should be.

The Gun may be a little overrated, but I doubt that's what's going to go down. I think the appropriate course of action would be leave Ellsbury in AAA, give him a very specific goal to work towards, and see where you're at in the month and a half or so that is necessary to keep ellsbury under our control for an additional year. win win!

Jack Marshall said...

Coco will be traded. Bet on it.

All the talk about keeping him around all season is eyewash. He doesn't have the arm to play right, and really brings little to the offense. I thought his first year was ruined by injuries (like everybody else's season that year), but last season tore it: the Sox offense needs some bat in center. Coco had his chance, and I think Schilling going down eliminated the last possibility of him sticking.
Ellsbury has the IT factor like no Sox rookie since Nomar. He'll be in centerfield, and I, for one, can't wait.

L-girl said...

Ococ or Lyndon

Joy Nation gets into shape for the season.

Jack Marshall said...

L-Girl: Please let me in on an inside joke I obviously missed. Why "Lyndon"? Especially when I was sure the nickname some wag put on Ellsbury after his stolen base won free Taco Bell tacos for everyone (I got mine!) was going to stick: "Tacoby Bellsbury".

For the life of me, I can't find the connection between the Native Ameican kid with the prep school name and LBJ. What is it???

redsock said...

Well, first of all, L finds him quite attractive. So in game threads, whenever he did something good, Laura would post: "That's my boy!"

Early in the game thread on September 3, Laura raised the the need for a proper nickname. Click here and search for "6:53". I come up with the magic words at 7:11. I like Lyndon, but LBJ had had greater staying power.

Have you seen the Glossary?

Jack Marshall said...

Thanks! The Glossary cleared up a lot; what a great idea. In a couple hundred years, JOS will have abandoned English entirely, and will need its own Dictionary.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Can't wait to see My Boy again!

L-girl said...

And Jack, I would have answered if I had seen your comment sooner.