ESPN's Eleven Biggest Position Battles....Sox Number One On Their List!
I just came across this article at SI dot com. It listed the top eleven position battles/question marks for major league baseball teams. And heading the list, at the top, number one with a bullet? The Boston Red Sox, and, of course, their search for a closer. Here's what SI had to say. And it's a great article....click on the title for the entire piece. And I'll be back with a word or two, even though the 2007 Sox bullpen has been a topic of interest and verbage here at PRSF for a long time. Read on, from SI.....
"Spring training lasts a scant six weeks, so it's a tad unreasonable to expect that teams come up with all the answers before Opening Day. Simply figuring out what needs to be figured out is hard enough to do.
Still, there are teams with deficiencies so glaring (and, possibly, so damaging) that addressing them at the start of spring training, head on, is the only chance these teams have at ever finding the right answer. Here are 11 potholes on 10 different teams that need some urgent attention as teams begin their first full-squad workouts this week: (Peter here...and I'm printing only number one. Click on the title of this post for the entire informative article)........
1. RED SOX CLOSER
This is the most high-profile position battle on any roster. With last year's closer, Jonathan Papelbon (35 saves in '06), pegged for the rotation, the Sox are searching for a capable replacement. This spring, they'll be looking hard at veterans Brendan Donnelly, Mike Timlin, Joel Pineiro and Julian Tavarez. But if either Craig Hansen or Manny Delcarmen (or longshot Devern Hansack) can pull a Papelbon, the Sox will have a deep, dangerous 'pen. Hansen, a closer at St. John's with a mid-90s sinking fastball and a nasty slider, projects as the closer sooner rather than later."
Peter here...earth shattering news? No...for every up-to-date Red Sox fan, it's almost old news. But the if's and the who's are so important to our '07 chances. As SI said, "deep and dangerous." With our rotation, that combination would be irresistable and lethal for other AL teams, catapulting us into the post season as a favorite on ANYONE'S list of teams to beat. And yes...it's going to happen! I have a feeling someone will shine out in the 'pen, and with our 6 guy (right now) rotation and the set-up men already in place, that's the ONLY missing piece....the "shut 'em up and then we'll shut 'em down" guy who will take care of any ninth inning woes.
Thank you Bruce Springsteen for your words, 1978 words, from the song RACING IN THE STREET. You'll find it on his DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN album. A revelation, and his first after his 1975 nationwide calling card, BORN TO RUN. Enough about Bruce.......this is about our Sox!
Enjoy this warmer (yes!) Tuesday, my friends. FAITH! Sox faith!