Yes, it's (already) March 13 and in the wake of a completely meaningless exhibition game, things are not looking good for Jonathan Papelbon's replacement.
Repeat after me: "It's only spring training. It's only spring training. It's only spring training." ...Now, because Borges is not clinically insane (presumably; I admit I'm not a doctor), he also includes some soothing passages, like:
Andrew Bailey is (repeat after me) the Sox' only closer. Think about that for a minute, and the sore lat and three scalded hits take on a little added significance.
One inning, good or bad, proves nothing this time of year. ... So three hits — even as loud as the ones yesterday — don’t really mean all that much.But then he cannot help himself, immediately following that with:
But if that's the case, isn't the same true for the three outs that followed?Borges follows it all up with a comment about Bailey's "seemingly fragile health". Again, this is all par for the mediot course in Boston, where, as our level-headed columnist puts it, "baseball and agita, even in the spring, often go hand in glove".
What is also strange is his comment that Bailey is the only closer, as if Boston will have to (OMG!) forfeit the ninth inning if Bailey is out of action for whatever reason. Just a few days ago, Bobby Valentine mentioned the possibility of Alfredo Aceves being used as the closer on some days, and Mark Melancon finished 47 games for the Astros last year - 10 more games than Closer Bailey finished for the A's. Yes, Bailey missed time last season, so his number of appearances were down, but as we have seen time and time and time again, just about any pitcher can be a closer.
But as we have also seen time and time and time again, with Camp Valentine being run like a well-oiled machine, everyone gripe-free and having fun, the team winning nearly every game in sight, agita must be invented if it does not actually exist.