The Exhibition Games Are Over!
The Boston Red Sox played their last exhibition game yesterday in LA, losing to the Dodgers by a score of 8-0. Clay Buchholz started strong but faltered in the fourth. He needs to learn, as he himself said. And now the pundits and media members are intent on telling us who will win the American League East. The person who comes closest to mirroring my own feelings is the Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti. He had this to say in the Sunday edition, and then I'll be back with my two cent's worth...
"Call me (Tony Massarotti) crazy, but I’m picking the Toronto Blue Jays to win the American League East this year.
Baseball usually comes down to pitching, after all, and here is the truth: The Jays have the deepest staff in the division. What Toronto needs now is to find a way to stay healthy, particularly after consecutive seasons in which injuries have derailed a Jays team that, at times, has pitched and hit with the very best clubs in baseball.
Now the Jays just have to do both at the same time.
For the Red Sox and New York Yankees, all of this comes back to the Johan Santana deal, a trade that neither club was willing to make. It is difficult to determine which club may end up regretting that moreke these very Sox and add Santana instead of, say, Bartolo Colon, and the Sox would be more than favorites to repeat as champions. They would be nothing short of a juggernaut, having effectively taken the World Series trophy and clobbered their opponents over the head with it.
Before anyone interprets this all as an indictment on the Red Sox and their offseason approach, you’re missing the point. The Red Sox have a good team again. They might have had a great one. The Sox could have made the Santana deal and probably kept either Jon Lester or Buchholz, even they if gave up Jacoby Ellsbury, too. They will have three more drafts before Santana turns 32 years old, and they could have had Santana and Josh Beckett at the top of their rotation -- with Jonathan Papelbon backing them all up -- for at least the next three seasons. They chose not to.
Can the Red Sox win another championship this year? Of course. Once more, that is not the point. Take these very Sox and add Santana instead of, say, Bartolo Colon, and the Sox would be more than favorites to repeat as champions. They would be nothing short of a juggernaut, having effectively taken the World Series trophy and clobbered their opponents over the head with it."
Peter here, and it would have been a 21st century roundball massacre for the Sox. And what gets me is that the club KNEW about Schill's bum shoulder, but they were in a defensive only mode, making sure the Yankees could not land Santana before they showed that their interest was gone. A mistake? We'll all find out. To me, the Sox starting pitching, with the exception of Josh Beckett, is suspect. The better the starting quintet performs, whoever they may be, the better the chances are for the Sox to repeat as AL East Champions. I have to call it a toss-up right now. The Blue Jays, the Yankees, the Red Sox...how can I choose? My heart belongs, and always will, with the Sox, but my realistic mind knows that Toronto will be there every step of the way. The Yankees are close to being in the same starting pitching boat as Boston. If I HAD TO PICK right now, I'd list the top three AL East teams in this order...1) Toronto 2) Boston 3) NY Yankees
So there it is. We all know so very much can and will change during the 2008 season, and pitchers will be obtained to help the cause. It already HAS, in fact. The Red Sox have just signed Japanese righthander Terumasa Matsuo from the Shikoku Island League. He was the MVP of the league just last year, going 15-3 (!!) with a sparkling ERA of 1.72. Nice! Every little bit helps when it comes to our rather thin starting pitching. He's going to report to extended spring training down in Ft. Myers. Good luck, Terumasa, or "T," as I will call him.
To one and all, have a great Monday as the last day of March is upon us. April and its Fool's Day approaches quickly. Click on the title of this post for all the details of yesterday's last exhibition game with the Dodgers, and as always, BE WELL. FOREVER.
P.S. I NEED your comments...am I doing something wrong?? Readership is so low I think it's MY fault. Yet I've always been me, and always will. I'd love to know what you think, for every day, every morning is tougher and tougher for me. I'll never give up, but I'd love to know how YOU feel. Thank you so much. Your blog buddy Peter, a little sad, a little blue. But that's part of life. I'm used to it.