Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Smoltz Completes The Red Sox Pitching Roster...A Catcher Is The Last Piece Of The Puzzle

John Smoltz, the newest member of the Red Sox, was introduced to the media on Tuesday and proudly held up his new Boston jersey. He'll be wearing number 29 and might be ready to pitch well before we had all thought. Theo Epstein said John breezed through his physical and astoundingly might be ready to pitch by the BEGINNING OF THE SEASON! Here's part of what Theo had to say...

“The reason that we’re acquiring John Smoltz is to put him in a position to get back to 100 percent and dominate in the most important times of year for us,” said Epstein, “that works backward from October, the stretch run, the second half of the season. I like the depth of our staff. You’re never deeper than you are the day before spring training begins, when no one’s thrown in anger yet,” Epstein said. “We’re aware that this year 30 teams are going to be out there looking for pitching depth. We’re trying to add as much depth as we can now so that hopefully we can wait as long as possible before we have to find someone."

Peter here, and here's some of what the man himself said to the assembled media...

“The uniform has changed but the desire won’t change, or the work ethic,” said Smoltz, who since 1988, exclusively with the Atlanta Braves, has won one world championship and one Cy Young Award. “I think the opportunity to build this team as general manager Theo Epstein has to win another championship is certainly right up there with all the other teams in this league.”

Peter once again...these quotes came from an article penned by the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman. When I first read it a little earlier, the "eye-popping" moment came when Theo said that Smoltz passed his physical with flying colors and might, repeat might, be ready to pitch by the beginning of the season. Wow! We have six starters in the rotation now, so God forbid if an injury occurs, we are covered. Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Smoltz, Penny and Wakefield make for a deep and talented starting rotation, but Boston will only have five of those guys actively pitching every fifth day. Who will they leave out? My guess is Tim Wakefield, although he's fairly useless coming out of the bullpen unless it's in the very early innings. That would mean that the starter of the game got shelled, so we don't want that. I'm stumped...when Smoltz is ready, who would you remove? I'd like to know with a comment if you can.

Boston has to find a catcher, although I'm not sure if they will. I don't see why they haven't inked Jason Varitek to a one year $10 million deal...that's what he would have received had he accepted arbitration. Ten mill...not bad. I'm certain Scott Borass (misspell intended) talked him out of that one, though. Hey Scott, you greedy f*cking fool, the economy is down and so are the free agent signings so far. 'Tek wants to come back to HIS team...make it happen, you pig.

Wow, I got that off my chest. I never liked that guy anyways. All the pieces of the 2009 puzzle are in plus except for one. I say "great job, Theo." The Yankees trumped us with their acquisition of Teixeira, and they will be the prohibitive favorites to win the AL East, but the Sox will pace them every step of the way, day by day, month by month, game after game after game. And that's the way we want it, isn't it? Click on the post's title for more Sox stuff, and as always, BE WELL.


At 1/14/2009 9:53 AM, Anonymous Lisa K. said...

No matter what we may think of Boras, he's not Svengali. Varitek is a grown man, and it's ultimately his decision. If he doesn't sign, it will be because he chose not to, not because Boras wouldn't *let* him.

I can take Jason Varitek or leave him at this point, but it's getting awfully close to pitchers and catchers!

At 1/14/2009 11:40 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

I think they'll take it slow and easy with Smoltz. Start him out with some relief and spot starts until June when his incentives kick in, then see where the team's needs are at that point. After a couple of months under the belt it will probably be easier to see what direction to go. Keep plans flexible.

At 1/14/2009 3:25 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

You're right, Lisa...'Tek could have accepted the ten million buck arbitration...but I think Borass has something to do with his decision...hope it's not too late.

BFW, I thought so, too. But the article I read earlier made it seem that JS will be ready sooner, even if he's not immediately needed.

THANKS for the comments...the story unfolds. As always...have a great night.


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