Are the Red Sox as good as they were last year? They were a third place team that landed with a thud after the injury bug infested the team in so many places that an exterminator would have been powerless to stop it, infected himself. The answer is a resounding NO. Why? Look at the title of this post and remember that the current thinking seems to be that the club will enter spring training without a closer. WITHOUT A CLOSER. Someone, the front office hopes, will win the job in spring training. This brings all sorts of bad vibes to me. 2004, that magic year when everything seemed possible and then IT WAS, was possible only because Keith Foulke was masterful all season long, and then was the MVP for many of us in the World Series. Last year Jonathon Papelbon put out the late inning fires without peer in the AL. The NL too! Until his injury. Bullpen by committee failed miserably. Hansen seems not ready to be the full-time "count on me every time out" go-to guy. So we seem to be about to enter the season with a huge big fat bloated question mark. I know it's only early December (my birthday tomorrow!), with plenty of time to fill this possibly fatal hole. I hope Theo and company do it. Because without a closer, even with the improved offense in right and shortstop, and a rotation, hopefully WITH DMatt, that looks real good, excellent with DMatt, we're only good until the ninth inning. Then the need in a one run game is a 1-2-3 inning. 9th inning heart-stopping suspense was not something we had to get used to last year. Thankfully. But Paps is better suited to the rotation, where the stress on his shoulder and his insistence on rearing back and whizzing the ball past the hitter, which he did quite well while mixing in his cutter, will be tempered by the mix of pitches required to be able to throw for seven or hopefully eight innings. And after eight innings, where are we? Right back to the subject at hand. Theo, do something. Some team needs a DH supreme that WMP will become. He's a starting point...we must acquire a closer. That's my opinion, and you know I'm never shy to leave it out there. And I've been right far more than wrong. Or I have selective memory. Maybe a little of both. It's been a while since I turned back time and read my blog from start (Nov. '05 until now). I will soon.
Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by every day. I mean it...you mean the world to me. And I'd love to hear your thoughts on this....ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS. Are we better, RIGHT NOW, than '06? Or?????????