Monday, April 11, 2005

Week in review

In the first full week of competition the Red Sox have gone 2-4. They've scored the fewest amount of runs in the AL East while allowing the most. They've made a dramatic 9th inning comeback twice only to lose in the bottom of the inning both times. The bullpen has been awful. The Yankees beat them. The Blue Jays humiliated them. All in all it has been one of the worst ways that the Sox could've started off the season. The team has given us plenty to worry about so far. But should we remain worried? Instead of talking about the individual games, let's take a look at the players.

Should we worry about....

Manny Ramirez? Only the hardcore worriers in the audience have given Manny a second thought. The guy can hit. There is no question about that. He's batting .200 and his only extra base hit has been a double, but for Manny, it's only a matter of time. He's going to put up MVP caliber numbers this year. When he gets hot he will be scorching the ball.

Edgar Renteria? If I hear one person say that Orlando Cabrera is a better player than Edgar, I will physically beat that person. I will admit that I thought the Sox should've just re-signed Cabrera, but Renteria is a better player in nearly every aspect of the game. Renteria will come around. He's a much better player than the guy we've seen at short the last week. He's a fairly good hitter and a good defender. At the end of the season he'll have had a respectable season in Boston. And that Orlando guy that you love so much? Take a look at him. He's batting .158 out in Anaheim.

Mark Bellhorn? He's struck out 11 times?! Wow, that's just nuts, right? Sure. But that's what we're expecting from the guy. He's going to break strikeout records this year, but he's still going to remain a productive player. Chances are if you didn't see his value last year, you won't see it this year. So you're just going to have to trust me that he's a good player to have on the team.

David Wells? I'd love to say that there's nothing to worry about. I'd love to look back on his career to see how consistent that he's been and to see how he's a much better pitcher than the guy that's been blown away in two starts so far. I'd love to say that I'm not worried. But I am. I was never completely confident in the signing, but I was hoping it'd turn out to be a good one. So far it hasn't. Looking at the spring he had and the two starts he's had I don't know if I see things getting better. The good news is that he settled down in the second half of the game against the Jays. The bad news is he had already let up back to back to back homers. I'm worried about Wells. But look at the bright side. Once the season is all said and done he can't possibly be worse than Derek Lowe.

Matt Clement? If it were an official statistic I'm sure Clement would be leading the league in jams. He's had baserunners all over the place. The control that he showed in spring is completely gone. He's hitting batters and handing out free passes left and right. He's throwing 100 pitches and not making it out of the 6th. The good news is that so far he's kept the Sox in the game. Both games he's pitched have been close. And while he's getting into an alarming number of james, he's getting out of most of them. While it appears as if Clement won't be the Cy Young contender that I was foolishly hoping for, he's going to be a very good #2 or #3 starter. As long as he keeps the Red Sox in the game he's doing his job. And he will have a few brilliant games this year, I can promise you that.

Curt Schilling? He got shelled in a minor league start and that might be a little worrisome. But let's wait until we see Curt throw a major league pitch before we jump to any conclusions. I think we all have a feeling that Curt will be fine anyways.

the bullpen? Yikes...Keith Foulke has blown a save already and he's being hit in every game he enters. Matt Mantei can't find the strikezone. Mike Timlin and Alan Embree aren't looking horrible, but both are showing their age. They're showing a reluctance to use Blaine Neal and the longman, John Halama doesn't even have 2 innings yet despite the fact that the starters aren't lasting very long. I know I'm worried. Foulke should settle down, but I'm not confident in Mantei, Embree, and Timlin. I think we might be looking at a long year. In Theo we trust, of course, but he doesn't exactly have a wonderful track record of putting together bullpens. This could be trouble.

the Red Sox in general? If you're worried about the team after six games then I don't even want to talk to you. This is a playoff caliber team. This team is going to win at least 90 games, likely more. This team is almost guaranteed a playoff spot. Many, many things would have to go wrong for this team to go under. The team has far too much talent to not be a powerhouse in the American League.

It's been a rought week, but come October none of us will remember the rought start. We'll only remember that the Sox are there, competiting for the championship.

Speaking of championships.....we're about to see a ring ceramony.

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