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2009 Boston Red Sox Prognosis

2009 Boston Red Sox Prognosis
By GosfatherKnowsBest
June 1, 2009

Despite the opinions of some of the more unrealistic members of RSN, who believe strongly the Sox should be 51-0 at May’s end, a more reasonable perspective may be to view the Sox as having slightly under performed to date. As many of us in “The Nation” are prone to live and breath based on the most recent performances of our boys of summer, I thought an examination of the team from a physician’s point of view might be interesting.

Heart Health ~ Our patient is indeed fortunate to have more than one heart as arguably both Jason Varitek and David Ortiz are the heart and soul of this year’s team and represent ½ of those still remaining from the 2004 Championship. While “those in the know” routinely spend their time analyzing Big Papi’s woes and rationalizing why he must be euthanized for the sake of the team etc. I see far too few posts and commentary recognizing the contributions of a revitalized “Captain Crunch,” after his fall from grace during the 2008 campaign. Regrettably, many “loyalists” have the “what have you done for me lately” mentality and are unable to see the present-day David Ortiz for what he is now, a talent brimming with potential, struggling with confidence, in need of support.

Arms & Legs ~ The pitching staff has been a ½ empty ½ full story as the starters have struggled with a lack of consistency and dominance and the bullpen, until 2 outings recently, the Papelbon blown save against the Mets and an uncharacteristic loss by Ramirez this past Saturday against the Jays, have been stellar. Led by the remarkable speed of Jacoby Ellsbury, the Sox have a 70% success rate on the base paths this season, including his memorable steal of home against the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball.

Hands ~ The defense has been disappointing and has clearly been the target of our Nation’s wrath on several occasions, with perhaps Lopez’s dropped throw while covering first, Greens “airmail throw” into the stands, and the confusing antics of Julio Lugo at short as the most noteworthy evidence of sub par efforts.

A Knuckle ~ Perhaps the most important victory to date was turned in by Veteran knuckle ball pitcher Tim “Shaky Waky” Wakefield back on tax day when he came within 5 outs of his first career no hitter against the A’s in Oakland. His gem halted a string where the Sox had dropped 6 of 7 road contests and propelled the team to a streak where they reeled off 11 straight wins including sweeps against the O’s, Twins, and Yankees.

Blood ~ The lifeblood of the organization is the farm system, which has produced at an amazing level the past few seasons. Several of the transfusions available in the minors in the form of quality pitching may mean the difference.

Brains ~ As “Tex” struggled with the Mendoza line for much of the year; many in the Nation were lauding Theo for having the intelligence not to sign the 180 million dollar albatross. As the Sox offense virtually disappeared in Minnesota and Toronto for a time and as “Tex” was a daily feature in the long ball department, our viewpoints rapidly changed. As this is a marathon, not a sprint, we will not know until season’s end, the true wisdom of Theo’s calculated gamble and bargain basement shopping spree. However, this much we know: by not spending the cash on “Tex” and any of the other potentially overpriced mercenaries available, Theo has positioned the Sox to be able to compete for the available talent to fill the voids in a reasonably solid roster during the trade season, which may begin in another 2 weeks or so when Brad Penny becomes contractually eligible to move and John Smoltz returns to major league form.

Prognosis ~ Most importantly, our patient has a strong will to live and despite whatever setbacks may present themselves later on in the season, there is ample evidence to support a full, complete recovery, and reason to believe “The Knuckle” will be sporting another Championship Ring in November.

1 comment:

  1. What a clear, concise, objective view of the Sox! Nice to read someone who does their homework, has obvious baseball "smarts" and can put the emotion of the Nation aside and focus on fact and substance. Great job, Gosfather!