Wednesday, October 14, 2009


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 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.


At 10/14/2009 10:49 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

I loved watching The Twilight Zone when I was a kid and I remember "The Pitch". I believe it was "submitted for my approval".

Here's a list of viable free agent starters (* = option year) - who do you like?

Brandon Backe HOU
Erik Bedard SEA
Daniel Cabrera ARZ
Jose Contreras COL
Doug Davis ARZ
Justin Duchscherer OAK
Adam Eaton COL
Kelvim Escobar LAA
Jon Garland * LAD
Tom Glavine ATL
Mike Hampton HOU
Rich Harden CHC
Livan Hernandez WAS
Tim Hudson * ATL
Randy Johnson SF
John Lackey LAA
Cliff Lee * PHI
Braden Looper * MIL
Jason Marquis COL
Kevin Millwood * TEX
Brett Myers PHI
Vicente Padilla * LAD
Carl Pavano MIN
Odalis Perez WAS
Andy Pettitte NYY
Joel Pineiro STL
Sidney Ponson KC
Jason Schmidt LAD
Jarrod Washburn DET
Brandon Webb * ARZ
Todd Wellemeyer STL
Randy Wolf

At 10/14/2009 7:32 PM, Anonymous johnbee418 said...

Hey Fan. The only starter name I'd like is not on your list. That would be Justin Masterson. Cleveland is about certain to make him a starter, so they'd welcome Papelbon for their closer. We'd still have Bard and the other guys, so no problem, right? Outside of transferring Wakefield to the front office, the pitching staff doesn't need anything else than the above.

Now for the BIG activities. For the very least, get rid of Magadan. He and Francona have developed a theory that not only doesn't work, it's debilitating. That is of course, don't swing the bat until you take strike one. Also, take all close pitches because WE WANT TO WEAR OUT THAT PITCHER AND GET INTO THEIR BULLPEN AND RUN UP THEIR PITCH COUNT. That is the most laughable phrase I've ever seen...and I said it. But that is the theory of hitting of two of baseball's biggest busts...Terry Francona and Dave Magadan. Those two never hit .300 even in batting practice. Is there anyone else besides me who was sick and tired of watching Red Sox batters strike out because the only pitch they swung at was a curve ball in the dirt after taking two fat strikes while they were "wearing out the other side's pitcher"? Come to think of it, get rid of Francona along with Magadan.

There a couple of outfielders in the National League who probably could be picked up with a few of our farm hands. The team is not as bad as their finish. Next year could be a walk-away. Keep the faith.

At 10/15/2009 10:00 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Hello Mr. Serling...errr, BFW and the missed (yes, I missed you!) JB 418.

BFW, I'll digest your list and reply when I can (soon).

JB, I know the Sox need a number five starter but the rumors are that Timmy will have surgery for his nerve problem, most likely originating from a disc in his back. Even if he comes back pain-free, Boston NEEDS another starter. And Paps is NOT GOING ANYWHERE. I guarantee that statement. To get a big name, the club might include Buchholz and/or Bard in their talks. I think that would solve absolutely NOTHING!!! It would be a minus, bigtime.

Thanks to both of you. Keep in touch. Pete

At 10/15/2009 12:20 PM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

john - I was just looking at free agent starters. Trading for a starter practically opens up the whole world. I agree with Pete, Wake will be a spot starter and Paps ain't going nowhere.

I am with you on tired of seeing our batters look at strikes that are fastballs with no movement - I always think, what the hell are they looking for? Then I'm sickened by seeing them setup for the breaking ball in the dirt flail.

Pete, I looked up that Twilight Zone episode and I found out it had a different title other than "The Pitch". It was called "One for the Angels". Is that a prophetic mistake? If that team from California, playing for the spirit of Nick, wins the WS it could truly be "One for the Angels" and I will give you credit for "calling" it.

At 10/15/2009 4:23 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

You're right, BFW. The pitch he made to Mr. Death WAS one for the angels. I love that episode.

Ed Wynn was flat-out brilliant in everything he did. Pete


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