19 Hours to Takeoff

The last couple weeks have been very busy for me, all with the Olympics, school, sports, and life in general. I know this happens a lot, and I always end up apologizing for stopping every few weeks. Life is busy, and mine is very busy right now, but I have to face the facts that I don’t have a lot of time on my hands and that I should use whatever free time I do have to do the things that matter most to me, one of which is blogging.

MLBlogs is always one of my top priorities, but I sometimes just don’t get around to it. During baseball season, there is more to write about, so everyone posts more, but during the winter months things have been straight up dull. The few huge trades of the offseason came early on, and most of January up until now have drifted along at a sluggish pace, with nothing much going on. However, we have now nearly reached Spring Training, and then the season.

 

As the countdown clock on the MLB.com homepage alerted me this afternoon, we are roughly 19 hours away from the entrance of pitchers and catchers to all Spring Training camps (some are already there). On the eve of this glorious day, as I really have nothing negative to reflect on involving the offseason, I must say that things are good in the baseball world.

The Red Sox are looking like an above-average team at this time. All baseball fans know that the sport we love is at times extremely unpredictable, so there’s really no telling what will happen to the Sox this year. Who knows what I’ll be saying in the middle of August. Last year, we consistently “had the Yankees’ number” in the beginning of the year, but spring turned to summer, and then… well, you know what happened then. Last year, a certain team from Boston was also expected to have a fabulous pitching staff. This dream was soon forgotten, as Dice-K conveniently chose not to disclose the details of an injury suffered during the World Baseball Classic.

After the Matsuzaka’s collapse, the rest of our staff slowly declined. We had a good pitching staff, but not a great one. Additionally, these next couple years will be some of the last in which guys like Josh Beckett will be able to pitch at top form. I hate to admit it, but he’s aging, and no one lasts forever. In the end, surprisingly, it was relief pitching (even our closer, Mr. Papelbon, of all people), that really killed us, both literally (e.g. Game 3, ALDS) and figuratively.

 

If the pitching staff can stay strong throughout the season and hold on for that final push at the end into the playoffs, we will be helped enormously just by that effort. However, there is still a gaping hole that has been occupied by Manny, Ortiz, and Bay, respectively: the power hitter. We need an offensive spark, someone that can clean up the bases and drive in runs. There aren’t many types of offensive players that directly translate into wins like a power hitter does. Several guys could step into that role, but right now no one seems to be ready. I’m still hoping that we might acquire someone that fits this role, but it seems unlikely.

So, aside from the normal griping and doubts about the team, I am pretty happy right now. Because, in 19 hours, we will have takeoff. Away we go!

 

 

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8 comments

  1. santosis

    I put up a post today that echoes some of your concern regarding our offense–without Bay, there really isn’t a strong 30 HR candidate on the team.

    Personally, I think you’ll see Adrian Gonzalez in a Red Sox uniform by the end of the season, and I expect it will cost us Clay Buchholz to get him. Maybe this is just one of those rumors that gets repeated every season–but something tells me that the Red Sox impending offensive woes (especially if Ortiz repeats last season’s slow start) will demand a mid-season offensive upgrade.

  2. Fenway Bleacher Creature

    santosis- I’m gonna check out your post as soon as I can, it sounds good. That’s exactly my worry, and I do agree that something will be done about. Epstein is not so bad that he would just leave a problem like this unfixed. It would be a dream come true to get Gonzalez, but for now I still have my doubts. Fingers crossed!

    23gonzalez- I can’t wait!

    Mlbthroughateen- That’s awesome, and I think it’s how a lot of Sox fans feel right now. Haha thanks!

    -Fenway Bleacher Creature

  3. sox4life13

    Personally, I’d love to see Adrian Gonzalez in a Red Sox uniform at the trade deadline, but that’s only going to help the last two months. Hopefully, the 0 for 7 start for Ortiz is not a sign of things to come. He needs to become the Ortiz of old, and Beltre needs to find another 40-HR season within him now that he’s in a more friendly park and a stronger lineup with more support. Cameron should be good for 15-20, and Hall’s a solid contender for a pinch hitter. Also, Martinez is around for the full season. There’s a lot of if’s in this reply, but wishful thinking counts for something, right?

    The homerun threat isn’t there like it was with Bay, but the lineup is full of people who can hit 10-20, from top to bottom. 20×9 = 180 HR, which is less than last year, but we also don’t have someone like Bay wiffing every second time at the plate. If the first two games against the Yankees are any sign, it states that we can contend offensively against the best lineup in the game, against some of the best pitching, and with an improved defense and rotation. We should be okay, provided Okajima stops choking when we need him …

    http://sox4life13.mlblogs.com/

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