Monday, March 12, 2012
Hey Red Sox fans... don't worry about right field
An odd thing has happened in some of my baseball discussions over the last week or so. I've been asked by a few people about the Red Sox right field situation.
"They can't POSSIBLY be going into the season relying on Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney, can they?"
One person asking me that, fine. But a couple have. And it confuses me like nobody's business.
The Red Sox have a new GM.
The Red Sox have a new manager.
The Red Sox don't have a captain anymore.
The Red Sox are coming off a monumental collapse to end the 2011 season.
The Red Sox have lost their closer.
The Red Sox have an inconsistent, injury prone rotation.
For first time since 1918, the Red Sox will have management that is NOT charged with the task of winning the World Series we've been waiting for generations.
And they are in a division with the Rays and the Yankees who have forced the Red Sox to third place finishes the past 2 seasons.
Keeping all that in mind, people are worried about the right fielder?
Even with Carl Crawford's injuries (and lousy 2011 season), the Red Sox have three potential MVP candidates in their lineup (Gonzalez, Pedroia and Ellsbury) not to mention Big Papi and Youk.
That's 5 kick butt players in their line up. So people are worried about the #6 hitter?
With the Red Sox rotation riddled with question marks, it doesn't matter if the Red Sox clone Hank Aaron and put him in right field. They'll still finish third.
Yeah, Jon Lester is solid. But Beckett is good every other year and crappy the other ones. He was good last year. You know what THAT means for 2012. Clay Buchholz is turning into Ben Sheets/Rich Harden. He's great when healthy, and never is. Dice-K is supposedly back in June. I assume they mean 2012. And the rest of the rotation are former relievers making the transition.
Forgive me if I think that's a bigger problem than the #6 hitter.
And Cody Ross's involvement reminds me of another fact.
Was John Jay considered a world beater when 2011 started? Allen Craig?
In 2010 who was clamoring for Aaron Rowand or Andres Torres?
Chris Duncan and Juan Encarnacion in 2006?
Scott Podsednik in 2005?
How many times do you see a team go all the way to the World Series title with someone less than an All Star in a key outfield position?
The great Joe Torre Yankee teams started the likes of Shane Spencer, Chad Curtis, Glenallen Hill and an over the hill Tim Raines in the outfield and won multiple World Series.
So maybe some combination of Sweeney, Ross, Kalish or the 15th caller on WEEI will make right field work out in 2012.
Chances are the Red Sox aren't doing squat this year anyway.
And taking the "We need to win NOW with All Stars everywhere" could turn them into the Mets.
There are bigger problems with the Red Sox than "Our #6 hitter isn't an All Star."
Stay focused, lower those expectations and don't get lost in the minutiae.