Friday, October 17, 2008

Some Good Thinking to Start the Weekend

I've been not posting out of spite until somebody else actually stepped up and did something. Who am I kidding. It was really just Pricing Boy that I was waiting on to do something. Anyway, now that others have proved that they at least have a semblance of interest in maintaining the blog I'll go back at it.

A couple of pre-weekend thoughts:

1) The most subtly fascinating sub-plot of the entire Celtics camp is the whole Sam Cassell saga. I'm still not sure how he coaxed a one year contract out of the team when he clearly is worthless on the basketball court and nobody seems to want him around. What's even funnier to me is his whole desire to make the Avery Johnson straight from washed up point guard to the coaching staff move when Doc seems to want no part of that one either. It's a truly bizarre situation. Imagine if the Sox signed Eric Gagne to a one year deal last winter, then cut him in spring training, and made him the bullpen coach against Tito's wishes? Isn't this exactly what this Cassell situation is like? If he makes the team then the jokes of him somehow being able to blackmail the ownership group or Danny Ainge no longer become jokes, they become statements that must be taken as facts.

2) I like this version of the Red Sox about 100x better than last year's version - World Series title or not. The amount of perseverance they have shown with all the injuries that have hit them since day one is what has endeared me to the team. Not to mention the whole moving forward after the Manny saga thing. I was not prepared to see their season disappear with a pathetic whimper as it seemed destined to at about 10:30 on Thursday night. Right now I almost feel like I won't be crushed if they lose in Tampa - which I don't think they will to be perfectly honest. Of course that is a lie, but last night's victory was really, really satisfying and if Beckett goes out and stinks the joint up again on Saturday then I think I'll be okay with it. Who am I kidding. I will be incredibly upset. But these are the things I try and tell myself to brace for possible failure. Lucky - or unlucky? - for me I don't think they will fail.

3) I was feeling the Papi homer on Thursday night, I'm not going to lie. And once he crushed that I knew they were winning that game. Papi obviously has not been their best player this year but he is still their most important. Nothing energizes the team or the crowd like a big October hit from David Ortiz. Nothing.

4) OK Red Sox fans, this is going to sound like heresy but in the last two postseasons their most clutch player has been JD Drew. That may be tough to swallow but it is the truth. He had their biggest hit last year - THE Grand Slam - and he has three of their biggest five hits in the postseason this year with his K-Rod homer, his 8th inning homer in Thursday's game, and of course his 9th inning walkoff. If you are wondering the two other biggest hits to date this year you'd have to go with Jason Bay's homer off of Lackey in Game One of the ALDS and Papi's homer on Thursday. I guess Jed Lowrie needs to be thrown in the mix somewhere there too for his walkoff hit in the clinching ALDS game. Regardless of all that there is no denying that JD Drew has had some MONSTER hits for the Sox in the past two postseasons. That is a fact.

5) Another thing to think on is that you must admit the Red Sox pitching is lined up far better this year to take Games 6 & 7 than it was last year. Last year you had the Big Question Mark going in Game 6 except it was a partially injured/ineffective Schilling instead of Beckett so call that a wash. But this year in Game 7 you have the resident Ace going instead of Dice-K. That's a big difference. Huge actually. Of course a Game 7 still has to happen, but if the Sox can get there I really like their chances.

6) Unfortunately, this year's Rays team is really, really good. Better than last year's Indians squad. My hope however is that after their bats have been crushing the ball the last four games that they will go quiet for the final two. Kind of like the Yanks in 2004. And yes, my old roommate Jay has put the highest honor an opposing player can reach onto the head of BJ Upton by saying that he has reached "Sheffield in 2004" status as far as how terrified you get when the guy steps to the plate. It gets no better than that and I think everybody out there would agree with me too. Upton has been an absolute terror this series.

7) If you are worried about winning two consecutive on the road, consider that the Red Sox could have and should have done this in 2003. It was a long time ago, but they stole Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, a game which JOHN BURKETT started and obviously should have won Game 7. No need to recap that debacle, but let's just say that the pre-2004 Red Sox playing two must win games in Yankee Stadium is a bit more daunting than the 2008 Red Sox playing two must win games at Tropicana Field. And John Burkett will be nowhere to be found except maybe at a bowling alley somewhere in the Tampa-St. Pete area.

So there are some positive thoughts for you to head into the weekend!

1 comment:

Mullins said...

Hey! Where's my post from a couple of weeks ago?