- I’m with Brandon McCarthy, Spring Training in a World Baseball Classic year is outrageously long. The first week or two I am so excited to see live baseball and the green grass again, but by the time you get this late in the process it borders on torturous. I just want to close my eyes and have it be April 1st at 1:05 already. And by the way, if you don’t follow Brandon McCarthy on Twitter, why are you even on there?
- I can’t blame the Red Sox brain trust for not knowing what exactly to do with Jackie Bradley, Jr. yet. I think about it far more often than it would be healthy to admit, and I’m still not sure what I’m rooting for them to decide. As much as I would love to see him break camp with the team, (and even more so see a defensive outfield of JBJ, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Shane Victorino) I’m just not sure it’s worth messing with the service time of a Scott Boras client. The earlier he comes up, the earlier we have to be in the situation we currently are with Jacoby. Have I mentioned my pure disdain for Scott Boras recently?
- I continually find myself thinking that if the Red Sox can turn it around enough this year to get back into that 90 win range that they can pin the one year catastrophe firmly on Bobby Valentine‘s incompetency and move on. Don’t you feel like that has to be a motivator for players like Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Dustin Pedroia? If I was a player on last year’s team I would be saying pretty loudly, “Hey this team averaged 93 wins the 5 seasons before that loser arrived. If we can get back close to that level this year, that 69 win season gets put completely on his shoulders not ours.” If you’ve seen the intensity, pace, and seriousness that Lester has thrown with this spring, you know that this theory isn’t entirely fabricated.
- With David Ortiz hurt I had the same initial thought as many of you. Let’s DH Jonny Gomes and let Sweeney/Nava/JBJ (or anyone else who won’t be quite the trainwreck Gomes will likely be in the field) man left field for the time being. But Fire Brand editor Hunter Golden is right, assuming the ideal lineup is going to have Ortiz at DH at some point this season, sooner or later Gomes is going to need to get comfortable in Fenway’s tricky left field. Wouldn’t you rather have him getting those reps in April, then in July? And listen, Manny played left field in Boston and won 2 World Series titles in that time. Gomes can’t be a worse fielder than Manny, right? (File this under things I will be repeating to myself as a ball skips off the monster over Gomes’ head and bounces all the way back to the infield.)
- Last year I made the mistake of drafting Jacoby Ellsbury in the first round of my AL Only Fantasy Draft. That makes an injury like his twice as decimating because it wrecked the only two teams I really care about. That’s why it is better to draft players that you hate. When CC Sabathia got hurt, my fantasy team took a huge hit, but so did the Yankees. Of course, this isn’t going to stop me from drafting Jon Lester 3 rounds too early this year.
- If any player really needed to start the season healthy it was Stephen Drew, and that is admittedly not fair to him. JD Drew averaged 121 games a season in his five year run with the club. To me, that was the second most frustrating thing about the JD Drew Experience (with the first obviously being his love of taking called strike 3’s where his bat never left his shoulder, and then watching him calmly stroll back to the dugout with the same attitude and temperament that I have when walking to my mailbox.) Personally, I blame Stephen’s choice of #7. It’s not like your brother was a beloved icon in Boston, and you’re honoring him by wearing his number. You were tempting fate, and fate chose to hit you in the helmet with a baseball already. Now, along with a lot of you, I’m going to be rooting for Jose Igleisas to hit the ball every now and then so that he can Wally Pipp Drew right out of the lineup. I liked the one-year high risk/low reward signing, but I have also been dying to watch Iglesias play shortstop day in and day out. Sorry Stephen, it’s not your fault, we can blame JD for this too.
- I thoroughly enjoyed this Jason Stark piece on the Worldwide Leader about the Red Sox Rotation. The whole thing is definitely worth your time to read, but my favorite parts were two Clay Buchholz comments. The first, on Jon Lester:
“That’s the Johnny that everybody knows. It’s been fun watching him work. The guy’s a horse. Throws 85-pitch bullpens. It’s like the old Josh Beckett. It’s fun to see him work.”
Yes, just to clarify, it’s like the old Josh Beckett, the 2006-2009 Josh Beckett, not the fat grumpy jerk that we remember in more recent times who would have rather played a round of golf than throw a bullpen session.
The second quote on my 2013 Spring Training fling, John Lackey:
“I think with him being his old self out there, you see him laughing, going through the drills, being healthy and knowing in his mind that he’s healthy, is a big plus for us, because obviously the Red Sox wouldn’t have signed him to the contract they signed him to if he wasn’t as good as he is.”
What I would give to have been with Theo when he read that quote. I’d like to picture him reading it, slamming his fist and say, “Well Obviously, Clay!” and then firing his coffee cup against the wall across his office before summoning Jed Hoyer to “get in here and clean up the mess.”