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 season...in 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!