Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Hello and good morning on this really cold Thursday early AM. The temperature in my backyard is holding at 17.8 degrees F. Brrrr. But the hot stove is heating up, sparked (haha) by the Coco Crisp deal. The Red Sox traded the fleet outfielder to the Kansas City Royals in what will prove to be a major transaction. They acquired Ramon Ramirez, a right-handed set up bullpen guy who will be the perfect foundation of the bridge to salvation. That salvation, of course, is Jonathon Papelbon. Ramon was the main set up man for the Royals. In 71 innings last year, he recorded 70 strikeouts. Right-handed batters hit only .153 against him. He's a perfect fit. If the Sox don't include Manny Delcarmen in a trade, and no way do I think that will happen, the bullpen, at least for late inning guys, has NEVER been in better shape. Here's what Theo Epstein and the man himself had to say...

“In Ramirez, we believe we’ve acquired a young, controllable reliever who can really help our bullpen,” Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. “He has a plus fastball, 92-95 mph, and an outstanding power changeup . . . that’s a swing-and-a-miss pitch for him against left-handed and right-handed hitters. He’s very quietly had a tremendous amount of success in the majors over the last 2 seasons. He pitched effectively - very effectively - for the Royals in the eighth inning last year. We were looking for an upgrade in depth to add to our bullpen.”

“As far as my role goes, it doesn’t matter what I do. That’s up to the team to decide,” the pitcher said from the Dominican Republic. “As far as my demeanor, you can call me fearless. I like being aggressive. I like attacking the strike zone."

Attack away, Ramon. Plow through an effortless eighth inning, a lot of 'em, and hand the ball over to Tito to put into the mitt of Jonathon Papelbon. A one run lead would be safe, much safer than in 2008 when the bullpen, at times, was in shambles. The one constant was Paps. We hope you become another one of those constants. I must say goodbye to Coco. You were a gentleman when Jacoby Ellsbury took over the starting centerfield postion, but you were always there with an AMAZING catch just when we needed it. Good luck to you, my friend. By the way, he'll probably bat leadoff in KC.

Well, that's a wrap for today. Click on this post's title for more on Coco, Ramon and the Moose retirement. Boy, did he go out on top! As always, BE WELL.


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