Thursday, August 7, 2008

4 Thoughts for the 4th Day of the Week

1) If I was in-market, I'd probably try and catch the Pats preseason opener. Or at least the first few series while the starters were in. I'm in DC though so I'll miss it. Oh well. Wait a minute! They are playing the Ravens and I just checked and the game will be on our answer down here to NESN, MASN. Sweet!! (That's the Peter Angelos owned Mid-Atlantic Sports Network for those of you who may be curious.)

2) Other than the Pats having a chance to beat up on Old Man Favre and watch him throw some inexplicable picks twice this year I think the best thing about him landing in the AFC East is that now there is a man in the division even more unlikable - from a fan's standpoint at least - on a national stage than Bill Belichek. Sure he'll always have the Peter King's of the world on his jock but I have not talked to a single person this offseason who does not pretty much think the guy is an asshole and wishes that he would just go away.

3) So the Sox are making a move to claim Brian Giles off of waivers eh? Sign me up for an endorsement there. While Giles is not the player he was during his prime in Pittsburgh (OPS+ of 156, 157, 150, 177, 145 between 1999-2003) he still is a very capable hitter. This year, calling the most extreme pitcher's park in MLB, Petco Field home he has a 124 OPS+ and is hitting .296 with a .391 OBP. While he does not hit for much power these days (only 6 HR to date), he still does obviously hit and get on base very well. Granted, I have no idea where they'd play him and he seems to be an insurance policy if Mike Lowell's a little more hurt than he lets on or Papi aggravates his wrist but I guess the logical answer would be that they would move him to first and Youkilis to third. Actually that answer really isn't obvious considering that Giles has been a corner outfielder for the bulk of his career, I'm just not sure where they would fit him in the scheme of things. I know their outfield is a bit undermanned since Brandon Moss left but Giles would require more PT than Moss - and I'd say Coco too for that matter - so I'm just not exactly sure where he fits. He also puts a bit of squeeze on Sean Casey's playing time if in fact he is going to be used at first.

Reading between the lines here though, I'd take this move as a sign that the team may still be a little worried about David Ortiz' wrist. He's been back for almost two weeks now and has just 1 HR to show for it. Of course I could be wrong though. Regardless, I love the idea of picking up a quality and patient hitter to add to their team some how, some way. It may be a bit tough to find at-bats for him moving forward but I think Tito can do it.

As for what they have to give up, well I have no idea. My guess is that they just need to pickup the balance of his salary and throw one low-level prospect into the deal to make it work for the Padres as it seems like a salary dump to me. There is also a club option for $11M on Giles' contract for next year and I'm sure the Red Sox won't pick that up. So considering that all the Red Sox conceivably have to give up for a full time player with an OBP near .400 is just some money and a low-level prospect? Again, sign me up.

4) Color me very curious to see how this weekend series against the White Sox turns out. The Sox have been absolute trash on the road all year, and extra awful against good teams. Therefore this four game set in Chicago against the first place White Sox will go a long way towards telling if the team really has fixed itself (relatively speaking) or if the 5-1 mark post-Manny is just a reflection of playing the Royals and A's. To be honest, I'd be content with a split.

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