The Boston Red Sox: Defenders of the 2004 World Championship!! "Whoever plunges into his experiences with the momentum of hope, will remember so that he cannot forget." - Soren Kierkegaard.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bring it on!!!

Nonny, nonny, the gang's all here! Unfortunately, I had to take Manny Ramirez off of my "Who's Hot in the World of Men" list. Until further notice, Manny is only hot from the neck down, which disqualifies him from being on the small, highly selective "Who's Hot" list since complete overall hotness is required. The standings are expected to change as soon as Manny gets that dirty mop off of his head.

And speaking of cool people with wack haircuts:

I got my hurr did again. Posted by Hello
Arroyo jokes need not apply. ;)

It's that time of year again: time for every baseball periodical in the world to predict the Red Sox second to the Yankees in the AL East. What else is new. But I say Fuck That! Not only are the Red Sox going to go deep into October again this year, but they are going to finish first in the Eastern Division and keep the boot tight on those pinstripey motherfuckers' necks. That's my prediction. But than again, I've also predicted that the Indians will win the AL Central this year, so what the fuck do I know.
Every magazine I've read - Street & Smiths, Athlon, Lindy's and the Sporting News baseball preview - has brought up questions concerning the starting rotation for this year as the main thing holding the Sox back to second place. For one thing, will they stay healthy? My Magic 8Ball says "No." Last year the entire rotation - even Pedro - was healthy for the entire season. But there are a couple of question marks this year, namely Schilling's ankle and Wade Miller's rotator cuff, closely followed by David Wells's back. However, there are six starters for five spots in the rotation, not to mention John Halama, who can spot-start in a pinch, which provides the Sox with some protection should anyone go down. Another starting rotation question: Will the 2005 rotation be equal in production to the 2004 staff? Again, a lot will depend on Wade Miller's return to health, as well as Clement's ability to adjust to the tougher AL batting lineups. If healthy, a starting rotation of Schilling, Wells, Miller, Clement and Arroyo should be able to come quite close to matching last year's win totals. Remember last year that Wakefield was very inconsistent and that Arroyo's 10 wins were not reflective of his solid performance. This year, Wakefield will hopefully be in the bullpen and Arroyo up somewhere around 12-14 wins which, for a number five starter, ain't that bad.

The one area about which no one had anything negative to say was the offense and the bench. Well no kidding. Top to bottom, the batting order is a machine. Hopefully we can put all that "career year" bullshit from 2003 to rest, finally. I have to say, however, that as much as I love Mark Bellhorn, I don't really expect him to have a year like last year, but hey, I could be wrong. He did hit 27 homers one year, so I guess anything can happen. But I expect him to be dwelling near the bottom of the lineup for most of the year.

Hanley Ramirez was universally picked as the best prospect in the organization - yet another shocker. But one magazine suggested that, should the Red Sox season be a failure, Theo could trade Ramirez to fill a hole. I think that this would be a mistake. By all accounts, Hanley is very near to being ready for a shot at the majors, and I'd love to see him take over centerfield next year. He has mentioned a willingness to move to the outfield, and he was tearing it up in the Dominican Winter Leagues this year, so I would assume that his slugging ability is just about there, too. I think that there is also a good chance that we will see Kevin Youkilis join the starting lineup next year as well - maybe even earlier if Bill Mueller's knee continues to be a shit-pit mess. Jon Lester, Jon Papelbon and Abe Alvarez were all mentioned as the organization's top pitching prospects, and position players Dustin Pedroia and Brandon Moss were given a nod as well.

And that is my brief tour of the baseball magazines' take on the 2005 Boston Red Sox, for whatever it's worth. Um, I have no way to end this post, so uhm, goodbye, and stuff.