Ah, The Pitch, one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes with one of my favorite returning actors, Mr. Ed Wynn. He plays a pitchman, these days called a salesman. He's good, too, but he must to come up with his finest pitch, a "pitch to end all pitches" in order to save the life of a sick little girl who lives in his building. Who does he have to make that pitch to? Why, Mr. Death, of course. I won't give anything about it away but if you can get your hands on it, watch it and remember I told you so.
I told you that to tell you this. I wanted to go over the current state and the possible future needs of the 2010 Boston Red Sox pitching staff. Let's start with, oh, the starters. Numbers one through four should be a lock with Beckett and Lester as co-aces followed by Buchholz and Matsuzaka, who has communicated to the team that he will report to spring training in tip-top form. That'd be nice. They would make up a great quartet, wouldn't they? There is a need for a number five slot starter. Timmy Wakefield probably will be back after possible back surgery to aleviate his leg problems but he will remain a big question mark until the 2010 season nears. The Red Sox will not take any chances and will acquire a starting pitcher...bet on it.
The bullpen, for the most part, was great last year. For the most part. The memory of the Papelbon implosion is still crystal clear but it will be just that...a memory, not a nice one at all. Billy Wagner has departed and he said yesterday that he is considering retirement. While pitching for the Sox, he amassed an ERA of under two so there are teams out there who would want him. But if that inner drive isn't there, he will retire. He did say yesterday that he has no reason to return because he's done just about everything other lefties have done in the past. I still think he could be a force for someone next year in his preferred role as closer but that's entirely up to the man himself. Daniel Bard, the future Boston closer, will take over that critical eighth inning role, and he'll do it well. I'm sure of that. We'll see what Theo comes up with for other areas of the bullpen but there are no urgently pressing problems.
Tomorrow I'll address the inner core of aging veterans, guys like 'Tek, Lowell and Big Papi. Tough decisions may have to be made but I'll go into that Thursday. I'd still love to read your comments about this pitching post and you can click on the title of this post for more Red Sox coverage. Remember, cheat Mr. Death and as always, BE WELL. See ya.