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Give The Ball To Your Ace

By: Ira H. Perkins IV

Imagine for a moment you're a big league manager. It's you who makes the final decision about whose going to get the ball on the season opener at home. If it's my call I am giving it to the ace of my staff impending any injury or too little rest. If this is starting to make any sense then why is Beckett getting the ball on April 6th? Don't get me wrong I think Beckett is a fantastic talent. Still he's a strong number two guy.

I have to go back to some recent stats I've posted only to put my inquisition into a better light. During spring training Beckett made good throwing for two wins and an ERA of 2.63 in 24 innings of work. Even still stack those numbers up against Dice-K's preseason numbers. In the WBC he strung together three wins zero losses in only 14 innings pitched. The weakest he's looked if nothing more than statistically is his spring training appearance where he reached a no decision, walking three and giving up two runs. Combine those Dice-K performances and Beckett has a slightly better ERA but he also had to work harder and walked away with one less win.

Let's consider for a moment the angle of 2008 season performances. Of the two amazing arms I am putting the ball in Dice-K's hand since it would seem he's the bigger threat opening day. Dice-K took nine games at home while Beckett took five. Plus by season's end their total winning percentages were ever so stratified. Dice-K with .857 and Beckett at .545. I think Terry Francona is the best manager in the bigs. Being that as it is he is also undoubtedly in a better position to see each pitcher pitch by pitch, the nuances of their performances and overall diagnostically come up with a winning game plan. For that I feel like we can walk away from day one of the regular season smelling like roses but really you're going to sit your ace?

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