Sunday, February 10, 2008

Red Sox Spring Training Questions Ala Gordon Edes

Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe has assembled and published his "Top 10 Spring Training questions" that hover around the team we love. I'll tackle them all, five today and five tomorrow. Here we go. My comments will be bracketed...

1. Schilling's shoulder...
"Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling will not be ready for the start of spring training because of shoulder issues." (Peter here, and we know the rest, or we THINK we do. Schill received a cortisone shot yesterday, but Dr. Morgan has not changed his opinion that without a doctor and a scalpel, Curt's career is ovah. I hope not.)

2. "The center-field conundrum: Whither Coco?" (This one is a toughie, but it IS a problem that other teams wish they had. Ellsbury or Coco. Coco or Ellsbury. For me, the choice is simple. Jacoby Ellsbury has the better bat and he doesn't give up much at all when it comes to catching the ball in centerfield, With his speed, faster than even Mr. Crisp, he can run down line drives hit into the gap and turn them into outs. My vote...go with Jacoby.)

3. What will the prime of Josh Beckett look like?
"It's not humanly possible to be better than he was last postseason -- 4-0, 19 H and 4 ER in 30 IP, with 35 K's, only 2 BB's and an ERA of 1.20." (It should be a treat to watch our 28 year old star and ace of the Sox rotation, a rotation of five with the loss of Schill. No one pitched as well as he did in the post fact, ALL SEASON LONG. And to be able to send him to the mound every five days is a blessing indeed.)

4. What's the early line for Year Two on the Rookie of the Year, Dustin Pedroia?
"Unlike last year, Pedroia won't come to camp bent on having to prove he can play, the skeptics growing in number when he hit .182 in April. The kid hit .333 after May 1, including 36 doubles in his last 119 games, had more walks (37) than whiffs (36) after that date, and had a dream moment in the World Series with a Game 1 leadoff home run. Overlooked was his defense -- he made just 6 errors, made terrific turns on DPs, and exhibited better range than advertised. He had offseason surgery on his left wrist and has worked out religiously, so what's to worry?" (Offensively and defensively, Dustin had a Rookie of the Year type of season. He has the award to PROVE it! Expect more of the same as the years go by. He's pure gold. 24 carat and brilliantly blindingly bright.)

5. How will opening the season in Japan affect the team?
"The Sox will be the first team ever to open the season with a three-country road trip, heading to Japan, Oakland, and Toronto before heading home." (Much Ado About Nothing, as good old William once said. Yes, the jet lag will be severe. But the powers that be have built off days into the schedule...plenty of time for the players to get accustomed to the 12 hour time difference. It won't be easy, but it should not cripple a championship team like the Boston Red Sox.)

OK, it's me without the brackets. I'll post questions six through ten tomorrow, bright and early, with my comments again in brackets. It's foggy here in the pre-dawn light, and all of us have been warned to stay off the roads. I'm watching the early AM news right now, and the traffic/accident report sounds more like a Monday morning one...hectic and busy instead of the placid and calm normal Sunday conditions. But there's a strong cold front on our doorstep, due to plow through north central Connecticut in about three hours. 40 MPH plus winds and a couple inches of snow will accompany that arctic air blast, and temperatures will plummet through the twenties into the teens as the afternoon progresses. Right now it's a relatively balmy 30.4 degrees F.

To everyone, have a great Sunday, and remember to click on the title of this post for the entire Gordon Edes list, including questions six through ten, which I will write about tomorrow. BE SAFE! I'd love your comments to magically appear in the comment section. C'mon, you can do it! These questions are perfect fodder for your comments!


At 2/10/2008 12:38 PM, Blogger redsox.njdevils said...

Wow, those questions pretty much summed up everything that I've been thinking about lately!
So, like you asked for :), here are my comments on each question:

1. I don't really know what to say about this one, except that I hope Curt's okay. We have enough younger guys (ex: Lester, Buchholz) to pull the weight, but it just won't be the same without Schill.

2. I'm agreeing with you: Jacoby is the better choice. Sure, Coco has made some of the most amazing catches I've ever seen, but he's not really that great of a hitter. Jacoby, on the other, is just a tiny bit behind Coco with the glove and has a much better swing. Plus, Jacoby's younger, so we'll get a few more years out of him.

3. I can't wait to see Josh pitch again. With the awesomeness he already has, added to a tiny bit of frustration for not winning the Cy this year, I think it is possible that he can be better next year, which makes me really, really glad he's on our side.

4. Hopefully, Dustin's "24 carat" season will continue when he turns 25 next year!! Actually, it will be even better because he won't be playing with a broken left hand!

5. I think we'll do fine in Japan. The A's will have jet lag, too, so it's not really a disadvantage. Besides, we have more to prove over there with two Japanese pitchers and a WS title. Did you see the starting time for Opening Day? 6:05 am. And the exhibition game the Friday before that starts at 11:05 pm. I'm glad I have off for Spring Break that week or I'd have to use my phone to have updates text-messaged to me!
Thank's for giving me a chance to let all of that out! I can't wait for Spring Training on Thursday (or for the second round of questions tommorow)!

At 2/10/2008 12:56 PM, Blogger Wayne's World said...

1. You know my feelings on Schilling (Pretty much the same as yours). I'm glad he's the type of guy to sit in the dugout and pass on knowledge though. I'm betting his pitchers notebook is gonna be real handy for the young pitchers he'll be mentoring.

2. Coco will probably be traded before the deadline, and maybe even before spring training games start (Depending on IF they go after another arm). That might be a stretch though (Going after another pitcher), because of the depth we have already.

3. Josh is going to turn into the most dominant pitcher in the game over the course of the next few years. That was his goal when he came into the league, and last year will be his launching pad for that in my estimation.

4. I just hope his surgery didn't have any after effects, though with his youth AND tenacity, I doubt it will.

5. Not sure about the trip theory honestly...I hope you're right though. I figure the results of the trip to be a 1 or 2 game over 500 affair.

I look forward to reading your assessments of the rest tomorrow!

P.S. You slightly mentioned sawxheads on another blog. Do you have a login there as well?


At 2/10/2008 1:38 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Hi Sox/Devils!) 1) I hope he's OK too...I don't expect much with the way he's hurting.


3) He is on our side, and we wouldn't have it ANY OTHER WAY!

4) Again, I agree...if he's any better than last year, watch out MVP candidates.

And 5) Or you can get updates right here...if I'm awake!


At 2/10/2008 1:42 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

WW, I think that Coco will be moved somewhere...he's already said he does NOT want to be a number four guy in the outfield. As for the trip, I think it's just a trip. With the scheduled days off, they (we) should be OK.

I'm not sure about sawxheads...I will look and leave another comment. THANKS!!

At 2/10/2008 5:50 PM, Blogger RoxMySox19 said...

course we can exchange links :) and thanks for the comment :)

At 2/11/2008 2:55 PM, Blogger Mainecatwoman said...

If Jacoby Ellsbury hits better than .280 this year, I'll be shocked.

At 2/11/2008 4:12 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/11/2008 6:37 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Hi MCW, and everyone...I deleted my last post because, well, just because. I wasn't making sense. Not at all. I was sad.
Lisa, I think that Jacoby will be a spark plug while batting first, right before Peds. And then Papi and our Manny and...and....on and on!! We go from there....have a great night!!!!!!! The 2008 season is starting to stare us right in the face. I wouldn't have it ANY differently.


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