Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A new level to the rivalry

They’ve been bitter rivals for over a hundred years. But never have things become this serious. The hatred escalated to a whole new level in yesterday’s game. This goes beyond anything that has happened before….

Nipple pinching....

It is ON now, bitches!

(please excuse me while I look for an image hosting site now that I don't have AOL...)

Ok, ok, not all that much happened last night. Not even the media could pick a scrap of new rivalry material out of yesterday’s game. The Yankees won the first game between the two teams this year and they won it without breaking much of a sweat, taking the game by a score of 9-2. Jason Giambi hit his first home run of the spring. He does look to be in better shape then he was last year according to Jerry Remy and Don Orsilla. He might be in the running for comeback player of the year award this year. That guy’s performance is the biggest question mark in baseball right now.

Much worse than the news that the Sox were defeated by the Yanks is the news that Curt Schilling is looking more and more questionable for opening day. The Sox ace still hasn’t thrown to live batters and a case of the flu set him back a few days. He’s still feeling good, but it’s looking like he won’t be our opening day starter.

The Pen – The Red Sox bullpen has plenty of potential. Despite the lack of a lights out type setup man, this could be one of the deepest bullpens in baseball. Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin, and Alan Embree return for another year of being our top trio. Foulke proved to be Mr. Reliable, especially when it came time for the playoffs. Had I been the one handing out the World Series MVP Award, it would’ve gone to that man. Timlin and Embree are another year old and are both approaching 40. Do they have another year left in them? John Halama was brought in this year to be our long relief man. Halama is a hell of a pitcher…as long as he doesn’t start the game. When the guy comes out of the pen, he puts up very respectable numbers. Along with whoever is the odd man out of the rotation, we will have plenty of guys to back up our starters if they have a bad game. So far all signs point to Bronson Arroyo being starter number six and being banished to the bullpen. It’s a mistake, but Tim Wakefield has seniority and Francona may stick with him. The big question marks in the pen are Matt Mantei and Byung-Hyun Kim. Those two, depending on health, should round out the pen. Both are former Diamondback closers, and both have great stuff. Neither is expected to produce much so anything we get from them will be bonus. This year’s pen should be better than last year’s, but it is a little more high risk thanks to injuries and age.

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