August 31, 2007

Question: When does being in first place with a 5-game lead heading into the last month of the season feel like second place?

Answer: When you’re the Boston Red Sox and you’ve just been swept in a 3-game series with the New York Yankees, that’s when.

I can’t figure out this team at all, and I can’t remember a season where they’ve been so successful (at least thus far), yet so frustrating to watch. Defensively, they’re OK – even a joy to watch at times, especially the glove-work of third baseman Mike Lowell (after a slow start) and second baseman Dustin Pedroia. First baseman Kevin Youkilis has also done a nice job in turning himself into a quality glove on the left side. Pitching-wise, they’re also OK as well both starting and bullpen wise, though I’m a little concerned about Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima, and feel they may be hitting the wall and feeling the effects of their first Major League Baseball season.

What’s so frustrating is their absolute inability to hit. And not only not hit, but to not try and generate runs by bunting and hit-and-running a little more. The problem is, the Sox are way too focused on taking pitches and working pitch counts up, and therefore have become (at least in my view) far too passive in their approach to hitting. As a result, they suck against good teams. Anybody can smash around crappy pitching staffs like the Chicago White Sox as they did last weekend, but to embarrass themselves offensively like they did against the Yankees this week shows an inherent weakness that will kill them, even if they make it into the post-season. The fact is, you can take pitches and work pitch counts all you want against sucky pitchers, but if you try to do that against good staffs, you’ll get mauled. As they did against the Yanks.

And don’t even get me started about the $14.4 Million Dollar Man, J.D. Drew. He swings like a girl, takes way too many pitches, and refuses to take the bat off his shoulder even when he has a two-strike count against him. Thanks a lot, Theo. Trot Nixon would look damned good in a Sox uniform at $8 mil per year right now.

Which brings me to my final point – this team has NO FIRE whatsoever. Outside of Varitek and Pedroia, all you have is bunch of “professional hitters” that go about their business, not getting too up, not getting too down. Take today, for example. Yanks’ reliever Joba Chamberlain throws two balls at Youkilis’ head, and I’m thinking, WHERE ARE THE FIREWORKS? Of course, with this team there were none. That wouldn’t have happened in the days of the so-called “idiots” and Johnny Damon and Kevin “Cowboy Up” Millar, I’ll tell you that. Those guys knew what it would take to get a team fired-up when it hit the dog days of late August-early September. Even were this team to continue to struggle as it is doing and drop out of first place, I guarantee you’d see no difference in the demeanor of manager Terry Francona or his players.

And to me, that’s almost as bad as watching them suck wind as bad as they did against the Bronx Bombers.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:06 | Comments (3)
3 Comments »
  1. Right on about the hitting. This is the Bill James OBP team that they wanted. Works great against Chicago. Comes up a little short against the better teams, better pitching.

    However, the “passion” thing is over rated. Just got to be able to hit in the clutch. But it would be nice to have a rally guy like Millar on the team. At least it would be entertaining.

    Comment by Goose — August 31, 2007 @ 6:10 am


  2. Too add insult to injury you have Johnny Damon beating you guys up too. That sucks! If you guys blow a fourteen game lead it will be like the World Series win was just a dream!

    Hey I am surprised that the GWS let the anniversary of katrina slip by without pontification! I have heard rumors of his visits to the Crescent City. I myself will be getting married there on october 6. The ceremony and reception will be held in downtown New Orleans The thought just crossed my mind that maybe the GWS would like to be in attendance, since it doesn’t seem like his baseball calendar will be extending that far! Please rsvp via my email or give me a call!!

    Comment by Dollar Bill — August 31, 2007 @ 7:37 am


  3. Thanks for the comments, guys. This past weekend shows that what happens during a Red Sox-Yankees series isn’t the end all and be all. The Yanks have stumbled since, and the Sox got to play the Orioles. But I still suspect their ability to hit good pitching. Let’s see what they do against a decent Blue Jays staff.

    As for you, Dollar Bill, great to hear from you. Drop me an e-mail at darichard@att.net so we can chat!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — September 3, 2007 @ 5:08 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info