Just What I've Been Saying All Along!!
This Tony Massarotti article, part of which you will see here and all of it if you click on the title, echoes exactly what I've been moaning about since before players and pitchers reported to their spring training sites. I'm not alone!! Read this, for instance, from today's Herald of Boston, MY second city. I have a few choice words to lay on you afterwards.....
"The Red Sox [team stats] have roughly three weeks to go until Opening Day, but already the signs are worrisome. The longer the Sox go without a closer, after all, the more suspect their bullpen becomes.
And lest there be any doubt, the Sox will go nowhere if their bullpen is ineffective.
No matter how good their starting rotation and lineup are. A good bullpen doesn’t ensure you of a trip to the playoffs.
But a bad one will almost certainly keep you out.
For the Red Sox, barring some entirely unforeseen development, the simple truth is that they do not have a closer in camp. (At least not yet.) Maybe Craig Hansen eventually will develop or maybe Joel Pineiro will emerge, but there is not a known commodity in the bunch. That means that the Sox appear to have big questions in the seventh and eighth innings as well as the ninth."
The 7th and 8th, as well as the ninth. Timlin is hobbled. Hansen is hurting. Piniero has been largely hideous. I could go on and on, and sure, one can say that it's still early. But spring training is close to its halfway point. Don't forget, it's March 11 already, the first day of daylight savings time. And the club is no closer (no pun) to annointing its savior than they were in the last days of February. It's not like the stork is going to drop a wonderful bundle on the mound in the middle of the night, when the park is dark and eerily quiet, a bundle that, by morning, will develop into a fully grown 24 year old lights-out closer ala Jonathon Papelbon. Maybe in the Twilight Zone, but not in reality. But sometimes I think the club has been looking for just such a miracle, or just such a zone. A pitcher already on the team roster who will jump into the phone booth, shed his clothes, and emerge as Closerman! Able to rescue entire seasons with his right arm, a single appearance at a time, holding a one run lead as if it were a soft boiled egg, protectively effective EVERY TIME, every save situation. Well, that's who we had last year. His name? Jonathon Papelbon. The club is awaiting the arrival of Sir Papelbon number two....and it ain't going to happen. I hope it does. Every Sox fan hopes it does. But reality comes a calling. So Theo, it's your turn. Make a move......do something. The delicate balance that makes the Boston Red Sox of 2007 look so very good can and will be demolished, eradicated, just plain old smashed to bits without a back end for innings 7, 8 and 9. I have faith, a faith that is wearing thin. And anyone who thinks that the plan "closer by committee" has a chance of success, well, remember recent history. Red Sox history. So this is how I feel. I love the Red Sox. I always have. I always will. Remember that, please.
Hey, everyone. Thanks for reading, and have a healthy and happy and warm (!!) Sunday. I'd love to read your comments, pro or con, nasty or nice. Red Sox comments all! You see, that's why I do this. To be able to hear from you. You make me happy, and I hope I do the same for you.