Baseball Thinking

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Boston Red Sox Are Boring

The 2006 edition of the Boston Red Sox are a very boring team. And as the stats show, they are an average team. During the off season, GM Theo Epstein decided to build around pitching and defense, letting some of the team’s accomplished hitter’s walk away. Thus far, pitching and defense means boring. And their pitching is average on the good days. There is nothing exciting on the field about these guys, and I hear that the locker room resembles a morgue. Not a spark.
Over the past few years, the Red Sox organization would create television commercials for ticket opportunities, always updating the spots with the most recent game clinching moment. There just haven’t been any of those this year. For weeks, these commercials highlighted Mark Loretta’s walk off homerun on Patriots Day. That’s been it for excitement. Kevin Youkilis provided a game winning homerun against the Tigers recently, but brief glimmer will not make the ads because it was an away game. They are as stagnant as pond scum.
The defense is outstanding, currently the best in the majors. But defense doesn’t sell tickets. And with the much heralded pitching staff being mediocre at best, the excitement level at Fenway has been sucked from every fan.
Over the past few seasons, fans hoped the team could rally from being down a few runs in the late innings. Today, that simply isn’t the case. If the Sox are down a couple runs in the late innings, the fans start flocking out onto Yawkey Way and televisions around the country experience heavy amounts of channel changing. For the first time in years, I have switched off the game is they are behind, searching for a repeat of the Boston Legal episodes I have missed.
No excitement. No personality. Nothing. This edition of the Boston Red Sox are boring.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Matt Clement Should Head To The DL

The ten million dollar man is pitching like a bust. Matt Clement should head to the DL. And he should head to the DL for emotional reasons, not physical. Since getting hit in the head by a line drive in Tampa on July 24th, 2005, he has been a .500 pitcher (7-7), with an ERA around 6.00. This pales in comparison to the All-Star caliber numbers he started his Red Sox career off with (11-4, 4.43). He is hurting.
If you have seen his last few starts, Clement is clearly afraid of the ball. In each of his last three starts, the Sox medical staff have made trips to the mound due to awkward landings after delivering a pitch. The landings are a product of his secondary brain activities kicking in to protect him. He is clearly afraid of the baseball.
The Red Sox should do the right thing and put him on the DL so he can correct his emotional and mental struggles. Matt Clement has been a stand up guy and hasn’t blamed the head shot for his recent woes. The brass must take the necessary steps to assure the well being of their ten million dollar pitcher, especially for his long term health.