The beauty part of a new baseball season…is it seems to be filled with hope and a renewed sense that your team has a chance. The 2012 version of spring training did little to provide the average member of Red Sox Nation any hope. For the most part…we were left with more questions than answers….questions…it appears that will linger long beyond the start of the 2012 campaign.
You heard your parents say it a million times when you bought some cheap piece of crap toy that broke or shit-the-bed right away…”you get what you pay for for”. Well cliche’s are cliche’s for a reason. New target for my anger Ben Cherrington went trolling for players on the cheap…and the end result is, the Sox have a pitching corp that almost no team is envious of. Andrew Bailey which was the cornerstone of all the moves made this season by Cherrington, most likely will not pitch a meaningful inning in 2012. You saw this coming a mile away…Bailey whom has a tremendous upside..also had a fatal flaw…it was hard to keep him on the mound. Guess what…the guy got hurt doing doing jumping jacks …and it was all down hill after that. Now the Sox are faced with Alfredo Aceves closing out games for them, a role that is brand new for him.
Cherrington also went cheap on starting pitching as well, even though we were told that the Sox had no budget constraints this off-season. The end result of Cherrington’s exploits are Felix Dubront and Daniel Bard rounding out the rotation. In both you have two pitchers whom have never thrown 150 innings in a season nor has either ever been a MLB starting pitcher (Dubront has made 6 spot starts). Bard, whom was tapped to be a starter in the fall did alot to earn our trust this spring. His ERA matched his minor league days…just north of 6.00…err shades of John Lackey anyone. You tell yourself we have two top of the rotation type of starters in Beckett and Lester…until you remember that neither guy could win a game when it counted last season in September.
The Sox will be the Sox where offense is concerned one would think. I do think Adrian Gonzo is poised for a great season…but let’s hope he doesn’t comes up in meaningful late game at bats. The Sox at some point will get back Carl Crawford back…but @ this point how hopeful can we be on that front. The top of the Sox line-up will hit…they are soft at the botttom of the line-up but I do think Bobby V will be creative in that area…as he does have the horses to put up runs…he just doesnt have the pitching to prevent them.
The bottom line here is look for the Sox to finish in third place in the AL East and out of the money round in the playoffs. I think the Sox will be hard pressed not finish in 4th…but pride prevents me from picking them any lower than 3rd in the division. I think the Yankees have enough to get by the pitching rich but hitting poor Rays. The O’s will as always play great in September when they have already lost 90 games…because hey after all they are the O’s.
In 2002 a book was written about A’s GM Billy Beane, you might have heard about it…it was called Moneyball, they made it a movie and it was nominated for a few awards. Well I will give you a sneak preview. Starting tomorrow I am starting my new book, which will chronicle Ben Cherrington’s first year on the job called DummyBall. The title is a bit cliche and devoid of much thought…but what the hell..Cherrington didnt waste a whole hellva of a lot of time putting the 2012 Sox together.
As always you can follow me here or on twitter this season @rsndaily.
posted by Jonathan Dunlow