Monday, April 24, 2006

Taking Stock

A nice day off before the road trip continues and I think it’s about time we sit back and look at how things have been going thus far. In order by jersey number:

2 Willie Harris: Who? Oh, the guy who replaced Adam Stern. He can run, field, and not hit. Didn’t we already have a guy like that? OH YEAH! Adam Stern.

3 Mark Loretta: I am loving what I see from this guy. He’s a timely hitter, a patient hitter, a good fielder and a snappy dresser. Whatever he does, he does it professionally. He has drawn some favorable comparisons to the dear departed Billy Mueller and that’s a damn good thing.

7 Trot Nixon: He missed some starts due to a leg injury, he has been platooning with Wily Mo and his hat is looking really gross. All that stuff aside, Trot is killing the ball. This guy is still as hard-nosed as ever and some decreased playing time won’t affect his impact on the lineup. When he’s actually playing, that is.

10 Coco Crisp: Broke his finger on April 8th and got an extension on his contract anyway. The front office obviously likes what they’ve seen with him and is willing to go the distance. I just want to see him back in the line up. Youk has done a great job replacing him, but I would like to see a little more action from the guy we are sticking with through 2008.

11 Alex Gonzalez: This guy is wearing a big sign that says “As Advertised”. A-Gon is a fielding wiz who is second to none in the infield. As an upgrade over Rent (remember that terror?) he is irreplaceable in the field. At the plate? Not so much. As of right now he is batting just over his weight… but it’s a long season.

16 David Wells: Looks like he just about ate himself out of a starting spot. This Hungry Hungry Hippo is on the DL for who-knows how long. The current rumor is that he might retire and be done with it. Well, that’s just freaking great. I know it’s a near physical impossibility, but try not to let the door hit your huge ass on the way out.

18 Dustin Mohr: He has been doing a serviceable job replacing Coco in center. In reality he’s another guy who can’t really hit. How’s that finger, Coco?

19 Josh Beckett: Except for a small (and hopefully not TELLING) breakdown in Toronto, Josh has been “Ace the Second”. He is 3-0, has a 2.54 ERA, eats gun powder and farts fire. If he and Schill can stay healthy, it’s the best one/two punch of any staff in the league.

20 Kevin Youkilis: His emergence has been one of the bright spots with this Red Sox team. Getting the leadoff spot with Coco hurt has really helped Youk as a hitter and he has been taking advantage of the AB’s. He has been great with the glove at first base too. Finding the right batting order for him when Coco does return could be a problem.

22 Wily Mo Pena: The fielding mishaps are well documented, but can be explained away by youth, lack of experience and plain old nerves. The hitting is what the Sox got this guy for and that’s what needs to pick up soon. If he gets the AB’s, he has an outside shot at 200 strikeouts. Take a pitch, Wily.

23 Alex Cora: Remember him? Cora is the guy who usually rounds out the worst lineups this team can field. As an offensive step down from A-Gon, Francona usually puts him in the game when he is resting somebody else in the infield or if he has money riding on the opposing team.

24 Manny Ramirez: Oh thank God he is starting to hit. Manny is just about to settle into one of those grooves where he hits everything that can possibly be pitched. Once he really gets off on a tear maybe everyone will forget he is wearing a ski cap under his helmet. Probably not.

25 Mike Lowell: Not a Zombie! He is actually alive and hitting. Lowell is a doubles machine and can still field like a Gold Glover. Check back in September to see if he's still this hot, but as of right now it’s nothing but an improvement over his dismal 2005 showing.

29 Keith Foulke: Losing his job to Papelbon might have been the best thing for him. As a middle reliever, Foulke has pretty much been top notch. It’s also very comforting to know that when he comes into a game there are other options if he screws up. VERY comforting.

30 Matt Clement: As the number 3 starter he makes a pretty good number 5 starter. Clement has been inconsistent so far this year. He always allows a ton of base runners but has been getting better about not letting them score all the time. He just better not collapse down the stretch like he did last year. Duck this time, Matty.

33 Jason Varitek: He has had a slow start and it might have to do with a pain in his ass. No really, his butt hurts. Tek should be able to find his swing once his embarrassing muscle pull is healed up and the sooner the better. His new back up (Bard) is having problems of his own.

34 David Ortiz: Papi got a contract and he will be OUR Papi for many years to come. Thank goodness too, because with Manny being in prolonged slump, he has been carrying this team offensively. This guy does everything (except play the field). He even bunted through the shift on the same day he hit one out. He’s a beast, he’s a monster, he’s Big Papi.

37 Rudy Seanez: This guy stinks. He needs to be taken out into the back woods of West Virginia where he can find some nice hillbilly to make him his “Wilderness Bride”. Hey there Rudy…you gots a purdy mouth.

38 Curt Schilling: The prognosis on Schill after last year was not good. He looked hurt, old and just about done. Now at 4-0 with an ERA well below Wells pant size, I think Schill just told every one to “shut the hell up”. He also said a bunch of other stuff, then he said it on the radio, and then on TV, and on the internet, and in the paper, and I bet he would come to your house and say stuff too. Thanks for your input, Schill.

39 Adam Stern: He fields like the Canadian Olympian we remember from the WBC. Unfortunately, he hits like the Canadian Olympian we remember from women’s figure skating. Tito sent him to AAA to get some more AB’s. Keep swinging, Stern.

46 Jermaine Van Buren: One performance in a losing game and he gets shipped back to AAA and replaced by Delcarmen. To tell you the truth, if he wasn’t named for a president, I would have no idea who this guy is.

49 Tim Wakefield: He has pitched MUCH better than his 1-3 record indicates. Wake has had NO run support and is working with a new catcher that can’t…well…CATCH. I hope circumstances improve for our boy Wake, because he could easily be 3-1 right now.

50 Mike Timlin: A bullpen staple for years, Timlin is starting to show his age. Maybe it was all the extra work in the WBC, maybe it’s still the stigma he has with inherited runners, and although his record doesn’t show it, he has looked less and less reliable as the games progress. This bullpen has enough problems and doesn’t need its veteran to break down.

51 Julian Tavarez: From Williams to Rice, Pedro to Manny, the Red Sox and their fans have always put up with the anti-social crazy types as long as they get the job done. If Tavarez keeps pitching like a gimp, he is going to lose his immunity. Ask Carl Everett what that’s like.

54 David Riske: Pitched like crap in one game and then went on the DL. Maybe he should change his name to Sucke.

55 Lenny DiNardo: A lefty who was to be the long reliever in the pen and is now spot starting for Wells. DiNards got put in a tough situation and is doing what he can. Too bad he’s not that good. Why did we trade Bronson again?

58 Jonathan Papelbon: 11.1 innings and still no runs. 8 saves, 9 strikeouts, but not a run to be seen. He made a bet with Youk that he could go 10 innings scoreless, he won and now he looks like this. I can no longer think logically about this guy. He is just too awesome.

77 Josh Bard: His only job is to catch a knuckle ball and hit every 5 days. It’s not working out so far. Bard is just one bad start away from Tek sneaking into his hotel room and giving him the “Code Red” from A Few Good Men: “General Wakefield did you order the Code Red?” “YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID!”

84 J.T. Snow: A first base defensive master who was to offset the lack of experience Youk had at the position. Yet it turns out Youk has been great at first base and he is MUCH better than the weak hitting Snow at the plate. Sucks to be you, J.T.

Well that’s everyone who’s had any playing time this year. It’s been a great season so far and the Red Sox have started it by leading the AL East. I hope the front office can patch some of the holes and the Sox can continue rolling along. Tomorrow Schilling goes for win #5 in Cleveland. GO SOX.