Nice post Bill. Count me as one of the pessimists, as I am sure you all know. I want to be excited but I just see to many question marks and ifs and not enough knowns outside of the pitching staff. I really think we are one big thumper and perhaps one consistant hitter away from being contenders.
Oddly enough, I want to be pessimistic. I really do. But I have managed to catch about 10 games this spring and find myself liking what I see. Last night’s game against the Braves was a carbon copy of what I have been seeing all spring. Bunting, stealing and timely hitting. Nothing flashy, but a lot of fun to watch and root for. Plus, let’s face it, the defense this year is head and shoulders above the train wreck last year and so is the pitching. We get back those 25 games that were lost last year to the 4th and 5th starters and bad D and I like our chances. I am not predicting a WS trophy, but I am predicting that this will be a team worth watching.
Are we really better defensively. I havnt seen a game so I am going to take your word. However, in my eyes, we are maybe slightly better. Pods and Pierre are a defensive wash. Noodled arm guys that run real fast. Rios can go get it, but so could BA. That is virtually a wash. CQ is definately a downgrade over Dye defesively. While not horrible, not great. Getz was a really solid second baseman and while I expect Gordo to be good, its still a wash. Perhaps Teahan is better then Gordo was, but I relaly think if Gordo had time and a full offseason at third he would have been fine. Part of that is that I am pissed that they got rid of Getz. I really think that was a poor decision by Kenny and it flew in the face of what they were preaching with this team. PK, Alexi, and AJ are exactly the same. We are marginally better on paper. I will agree with the pitching staff, but on paper we are marginally better.
The new ballpark is going to work against the Twins. Just wait and see.
As for Detroit? Very streaky club.
Central title very qwell could be a realistic goal, but I want WS. And yes, the new ball park could work agaisnt the Twins, but it could also help them. Look waht Yankee Stadium did for the Yanks last year. It turned a 12 homer a year guy in Damon to someone who hit 24. You can never tell how a ball park is going to play and wither or not it will hurt you until you actually play there. If it starts playing like Petco, it will definately play into the Twins favor versus a stadium like Yankee stadium or even Comisky.
One thing about the infield, Beckham and Ramirez seem to read each others minds. They play very well off each other. Teahen seems to be a vacuum for anything that is around him. I have already seen him make a coupe of killer stabs that would have been singles last year. As to the outfield, CQ is healthy this year and I have seen him run down stuff that would have eluded him last year. I will agree with center and left, but those positions will hit better for us this year than they have in the past. Also, both Pierre and Rios use the cut off better than BA ever did, so I am not as worried about their ability to hit home on a fly every pitch.
Put it this way, if they make the playoffs, and I think they will, I like our chances due to the pitching and the overall D.
So the fact that he has never EVER made it through a single full season, the fact that he has played over 100 games once, the fact that the Diamondbacks were willing to get rid of him because he could never stay healthy doesnt concern you at all? Really?
Sox have a decent shot at the Central title. Need the following:
1. Pierre to be a decent lead-off man. Team struggled last year until Pods returned.
2. Get enough extra-base hits so they don’t need to make 4 singles to score one run.
3. Have the middlemen hold on long enough for Putz, Thornton and Jenks to take over.
As long as Carlos has finally learned not to stand on home plate during his at bats, he should stay relatively healthy.
Why? IT hasnever been his batting style that caused him to get injured. He punched a bat one year, breaking his hand. Last year was that plantar faciatis thing that really never got healed towards the end of the season. I am fine with his stance. It works for him.