Thursday, June 30, 2005

Off Day Thoughts

Thoughts while in Red Sox denial:

- There’s no need to move Keith Foulke out of the closers role just yet. You have to understand a couple points about that grand slam Travis Hafner hit on Tuesday night. First off, the ball would not have been a homerun in any other ballpark, the ball was a lined shot down the right field line that might have been foul in a normal stadium’s dimensions. Secondly, Travis Hafner is a proven major league slugger and not some unproven rookie that’s never seen the spotlight before. It was a clutch hit in a nice situation, but Timlin, as great as he’s pitched this season, is a perfect setup man. The closer responsibility may be too much.

- It appears Johnny Damon has grabbed that final outfield slot for the AL All-Stars, ousting Ichiro by a good margin on the last day (today). This is not official, but it will be a tremendous and well-deserved accomplishment for someone that is having a career season like Johnny. He’s my hero and always will be. Hot wife, too. But really, this means Manny, Tek, Papi and Johnny are all starting for the AL team. Yes, you read that correctly, the Red Sox make up four of the nine starters in the lineup. And our boy Tito will be filling out the card.

- Good to see Mirabelli and Bellhorn bust out yesterday with back-to-back homers. Jeez, when Bellhorn keeps his head down, focuses on the ball, and delivers that shortened, relaxed, smooth swing of his- he really looks good doing it. And other times, when he tries to kill any pitch and pulls his head, he looks like a complete fool. Oh well, you take the good and the bad with Bellhorn, who is a perfectly reliable ninth hitter in the bigs. All these callers on WEEI this week were complaining about him and saying we need to pick up a new ninth hitter or move Mueller to second and Youk to third, or any other crazy combination. I say “bah” to all that crap and think back to Game 1 of the World Series…

- Curt The Hurt made a rehab start for the PawSox last night and was really impressive. Along with a good stat line, Schill was smiling in the postgame interview and doesn’t feel pressured by the organization to come back sooner than ready. It’s great to have five excellent (at times) starting pitchers already in the rotation, then be able to add an ace to your staff after the Break. The single most important pickup any time will make before the deadline is Schill to the Red Sox. And the coolest part is we’re sitting in first place.

- A trade rumor going around may find Gary Sheffield heading to the Mets for Mike Cameron, Miguel Cairo and a prospect. I can definitely see this happening, even with Sheff ranting about how he “won’t accept this.” Well Gary, you just might have to. Sheffield is one of the only Yankees without a no-trade clause, a huge factor in why the Yanks would want to rid him of his contract and age. He’s getting very old, losing some speed and power in his bat, and the Yanks are officially looking for a new identity and makeover. They don’t want to trade prospects anymore, they want to trade major league players for other major league players. Sheff may be the first.

- I don’t want to say this either, but I strongly believe Kevin Youkilis will be gone before the deadline, especially if we want help in the bullpen or in other areas. It sucks, I know, I love Youk as much as all of you. But the guy has shown major spurts this season, and teams like the Twins and Padres may be looking for a young third baseman for the stretch run and the future. The logjam between Mueller and Youk at third will not work forever, and even though Mueller is a free agent after this season, it looks as though the Sox will resign him.

Mr. All-Star Johnny Damon, lead us into this series with Toronto…


At 12:23 AM, Blogger the rook said...

thoughts regarding 3rd base... i enjoy watching youk play too, he will make a fine everyday player and has shown some versatility covering 1st base too. but you're right, if we want bullpen help, he may be one of the best ways to get it. mueller knees may be a liability but he still fields and bats very well. he's more expensive, of course, but the sox aren't haveing any payroll problems anyway so it doesn't make that much of a difference. it doesn't make sense to hold on to every prospect we have when they can be used to help of fix gaping holes today.

At 1:13 AM, Blogger Zach said...

Yeah, you're right on man, I just think Theo would rather trade Youk than Hanley or Dustin Pedroia. That could be our middle infield for the future, and Youk has already proven he can swing the bat = perfect trade bait. And that bullpen needs to be addressed quickly.

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