Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
posted at 10/25/2011 7:59 PM EDT
A few random thoughts...
Boom/Harness, give it a rest!! You've both been great contributors for a long time, we don't need to be regressing to Softy levels of name-calling and childish nonsense!! And if either of you posts again that "I don't want to keep arguing this, but..." I'm going to break my keyboard! Enuf already!!
Ignore doesn't work on posters who keep getting banned and resurfacing with new handles, ie Softy/Hank, Law/ourman. What does it take for the Boston Globe to convince you that you're not wanted? How many bannings?
OK, I got that off my chest, now on to baseball...
It appears Harness was correct about Lackey's ineffectiveness; it was injury related. How else does a pitcher deteriorate so quickly? And don't tell me conditioning because he looked better (slimmer) at the start of this season than he has ever looked.
Unless Lavarnway is going to be our regular catcher, which I seriously doubt, he needs to begin the season catching five to six games per week at AAA. We would be wasting his developmental time DHing him or using him as an MLB backup. See how he's doing both with the bat and behind the dish in the summer and make him force his way into the lineup.
I think Scutaro has earned the starting SS job for next year. As the season wound down, he, along with Pedy and Ells were our most reliable hitters. I don't think he is a great defensive SS, but his bat and his toughness make him at least above average. I think this is the winter that Lowrie should be moved in a package for pitching help; I like Aviles better as an all-around infielder/hitter. And Iglesias will still be in play come summer.
Cherington said today that he would look first for an "in-house" solution in right field, apparently looking at Reddick and Kalish, as well as a right-handed hitting role player. Whichever one fails to win the job should be packaged along with Lowrie, as it's senseless to keep them both. I like Kalish's overall game over Reddick, but I think both could become league average players, nothing more, nothing less.
Cherington also said he is in discussions with both Paps and Papi. I think we should retain both unless the money/years are ridiculous. I've read about Lavarnway being able to DH, or Youk, and while I like the roster flexibility of NOT having a dedicated DH like Ortiz, his production is simply not easily replaced. And Papelbon's production is extremely difficult to replace. Paps is the key to building the entire bullpen, which this year's playoffs are proving to be a very intricate piece of the puzzle.
And finally, while the media has had an orgasmic frenzy dissecting all the sub-plots and back-room stories surrounding the collapse, we can't overlook that the collapse took place on the field because our pitching was non-existent in September. All the rest is background noise and if we fix the pitching (getting a new PC is a good start) and start winning like we did for four months, all the clubhouse chemistry and drama will be forgotten. Cherington talked today about the old "low-risk-high-reward" aquisitions, and it certainly worked for the Yankees this year, and they didn't have three solid starters like we do.