January 28, 2012

Valentine: We're Going To Do Something Special

Kevin Youkilis, a master of understatement, says the Red Sox "didn't have the best vibe in the clubhouse" last year.
It was very different. It was noticeable early, but when you win, winning heals all the wounds. But we definitely didn't have the right attitude in a lot of ways. We were worrying about things that we shouldn't have been worrying about and not playing the game of baseball. I think this year, with the coaching staff that's coming back, they saw things we can change. We're going to all can sit down and talk about it ... It's exciting to have [Bobby Valentine] on board. He's really pumped. It's fun to have him going. It's going to be a tougher spring training. We're going to be working our butts off with Bobby. Not that we didn't before, but I think we're going to be hitting a lot more of the fundamentals.
How September happened in Boston, I'll never know. But when it happened I knew I was going to get a chance to do something special. And we're going to do something special next year. Fans feel disrespected. I think the guys get it. ... They went home with a bad taste in their mouth and are going to do everything they can to get that taste out.
Well, according to numerous reports, the players did not "get it" even as the season was acting like the Titanic in mid-September, so we shall see what got got over the winter.

A Red Sox team with a lot to prove could give us a summer of fun - and some of the early projections (found in this flip-floppy Jonah Keri article*) paint a rosy picture for the Red Sox. Clay Davenport (formerly of Baseball Prospectus) has Boston winning 98 games and finishing six games ahead of the Yankees:
Davenport projects Boston to score the most runs in MLB yet again and have baseball's second-best record (behind the Rangers' 102-60 mark). ... CAIRO puts the Red Sox at 94 wins and in first place by a whisker. ... ZiPS calculates Boston for 89 wins and a wild card battle with the Angels.

* - Shorter Keri: Trading Scutaro was stupid, unless the deal works out and makes the Red Sox a better team, which could totally happen, thus making it a great decision.

Roy Oswalt is leaning towards signing with the Cardinals. ... Edwin Jackson says he has received some three-year offers, but is considering a one-year contract that would put him back on the market next winter, Beltre-style.


9casey said...

I don't see it yet.....

This team seems very flawed to me right now.

laura k said...

Me neither, Casey. I'm finding it impossible to be excited about this team.

But I'll be there, watching every game.......

allan said...

It kind of seemed like it was a witch hunt. What player did this? What player did that wrong? We’re a team. We lose as a team. We all failed. There wasn’t one player that didn’t fail because we lost. We all failed. We’re going to make a difference this year, and that difference is going to be winning.

allan said...

This team seems very flawed to me right now.

No more flawed than they were at this time last year - when everyone and his grandmother were picking them to go all the way. (Maybe a little more flawed in the rotation.)

Despite some turnover, the lineup is still beastly. We had the worst hitting in the AL from RF; Ross and Sweeney should absolutely improve on that. LF: middle of the pack to a bit better than average (believe it or not (5th in avg, 7th in obp, 3rd in slg)), and Craw has gotta be better this year. Scutaro was a tick above average at SS and I think Aviles can match what he would have given us.

Lester and Beckett return, Buchholz replaces Lackey, Bard transitions to the rotation, and who is #5? EJackson? Wakefield? Or maybe Padilla or Silva drinks whatever Small/Colon/Garcia drank for the MFY. And a hopefully fixed Dice returning at the break. Pen seems good, with Melancon and Aceves setting up Bailey. Plenty of low risk arms stockpiled in Paw.

If we don't improve on last year's 90 wins by 2-3 more, I'll be shocked. 95 wins seems like a sober guess. And having a second wild card should help us tremendously in any case.

9casey said...

We have to be able to overcome injuries with major league type ballplayers and last year that wasn't there.

And i dont see that available on the roster right now.

In the al east your backup 5 or so has to be able to contribute.

Yook can say all he wants, he has to stay healty, period.

We may improve but when it counts we cant have the likes of Kyle Weiland pitching.

davedave said...

a lot of teams have gotten stronger including the evil one

allan said...

Dear Season: Will you get over here NOW?????