February 14, 2012

Everyone Is Asking The Same Questions As Camp Opens

Michael Silverman (Herald) has nine questions for the Red Sox as spring training camp begins:
No one can declare these Sox are better than the 2011 version. Their rotation hasn't been demonstrably upgraded, their bullpen will be without at least one key component and there are enough looming intangibles related to last year’s implosion to cloud just how good this team will be.

The powers that be on Yawkey Way have placed a lot of faith in the notion that a couple of tweaks were all that were needed to cure the 2011 team. As the Sox look to end a two-year playoff drought, we all will discover if their faith was justified or blind.
Tim Britton (Providence Journal) asks three questions - rotation, shortstop, right field - and notes that the club has been more concerned about changing attitudes than personnel:
Coming into 2012, it's about change and challenge. The Red Sox aren't embracing a change in roster so much as a hopeful one in attitude, with hunger and conviction slated to replace hype and complacency. There are legitimate questions regarding the constitution of the lineup, the rotation and the players' mindsets.
Ian Browne (mlb.com) also has three questions: rotation, shortstop, Carl Crawford. Browne projects both Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves to be in the rotation. While an official decision has not been made, Bard spent the winter building up his endurance and arm strength. "I've been throwing a lot and everything feels great. This is what I want to be doing."

Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston is asking "10 Questions in 10 Days". Number 4 is: "Will the 'pen survive without Pap?" The others dealt with the rotation, outfield, and shortstop.

ESPN's Buster Olney called David Ortiz "a dinosaur" and talked about a change of philosophy throughout the American League when it comes to DHs:
There's no question that there's a real shift in philosophy that's been going on around the Red Sox, around baseball. I think David Ortiz is a dinosaur — he'll be one of the last guys where you'll see a team devote a lot of money to someone to be a designated hitter. I think teams, for the most part, like to keep that position more flexible, to give injured guys rest.
Finally, Herald columnist Gerry Callahan says the Red Sox need Josh Beckett to pitch well this season. Indeed. ... Beckett (and the Truck!) arrived in Fort Myers this morning.

10 comments:

Rasputin said...

How can people say, presumably with a straight face, that the rotation isn't improved.

How are people forgetting just how godawful Lackey was last year?

allan said...

Amen. Lackey was once-in-a-generation (or -two) shitty.

Bard may not be Verlander, but my god, he'll do better than a 66 ERA+.

laura k said...

a two-year playoff drought

See also: three-game hitting streak, two-game win streak.

FenFan said...

Olney may have a point. Ortiz can still swing a bat but last year demonstrated that he is a defensive liability. Hiding him in right field worked for one game but are you going to chance that in a World Series when you are in a National League park? Francona was not interested in sitting Gonzalez and I don't think Valetine would be, either.

allan said...

He definitely has a point, although "dinosaur" might not have been the most tactful word. A one-dimensional DH is a poor use of resources if he makes 12+ a year.

That mindset goes right along with Cherington's moves this winter, getting versatile guys who can play 2-3 positions.

Jere said...

"Hiding him in right field worked for one game"

Pics or it didn't happen.

FenFan said...

"Hiding him in right field worked for one game"

Pics or it didn't happen.


You're right, my memory let me down (not the first time).

I was thinking of when Francona put Adrian Gonzalez in right field for a game against Philadelphia on 29 June last season; Ortiz played first base that day. Three days later in Houston, Gonzalez and Ortiz again started in right field and at first, respectively. Then, in the bottom of the sixth with Boston up 4-1, Gonzalez moved to first, Reddick took Ortiz's spot in the batting order playing left field, and McDonald moved from left to right field.

He definitely has a point, although "dinosaur" might not have been the most tactful word.

True.

laura k said...

Pics or it didn't happen.

Would a box score or a game story have sufficed? Or only photographic evidence?

Jere said...

"Would a box score or a game story have sufficed? Or only photographic evidence?"

I checked those. So had he stuck with his story, he would have had to offer up some other kind of evidence--preferably the kind that actually shows Papi out in the grass. (Not Photoshopped.)

laura k said...

I checked those.

Gotcha. I should have realized that. :)