Tagged: Yankees

The Outside Looking In

ThurmanPudge
Carlton Fisk, left, and Red Sox teammates mix it up with Yankees Thurman Munson.

Chances are if you’re an avid Red Sox fan, then you probably know a lot about the Yankees. The same can be said in reverse if you’re a Yankees fan. No matter which side of the fence you land on, it’s a fair assumption to say you know where the other team stands, what their weakness is, what their strengths are and what unknowns they have. You really couldn’t call yourself a Yankees fan or a Red Sox fan if you didn’t have a pretty good grasp on how the other team stacked up.
That’s one of the reasons why I laugh when I hear people outside of the Sox-Yankees box ask: “Is that rivalry still what it once was?” The simple answer to that question is, YES. It’s still very much alive, but it may be in a sort of hibernation. Not because the animosity no longer exists between the fan bases…..trust me, it does. No, the reason for that is because the Red Sox and the Yankees haven’t gone head to head in games that determine the post season fate for each other. Nor have they actually played each other in the post season for quite some time (I shouldn’t need to remind anyone when that last post season game was played between the two).
If there has been any tempering of the rivalry (and I’m not sure if this even applies to the majority), then it’s possible that the fans of each team may have developed a certain type of tolerance for one another in the past 10 years or so. Meaning that in some cases, they can actually talk to one another from time to time about baseball without getting into a fist fight. Does that sound extreme to you? It shouldn’t, because at the very far end of the “Those people are nuts!” scale, there have been reported incidents of *assault with a deadly weapon and yes, even **murder attributed to this rivalry. These are obviously extreme cases, but they underscore the levels of dislike some of these fans have for each other.
Also absent from this rivalry (and this is no small factor) is the real dislike the players once had for each other. Just say the names Munson and Fisk together and any Red Sox or Yankees fan will know exactly what you’re talking about. It hasn’t always been the case, but there certainly was from time to time real player dislike for one another. That only helped pour fuel on the fire for the fans. That kind of dislike on the field hasn’t gone on in a while. The closest you may come to it would be how Joba Chamberlain and Kevin Youkilis once felt about each other. Youkilis, now getting ready to play a season in New York…..for the Yankees…..should tell you all you need to know about how heated that hatred was (not a huge thing). But ask any Sox fan or Yankees fan if they ever thought it possible that Fisk would play in New York or if Munson would ever play in Boston. The answer you’ll get will be a resounding “NO F-IN WAY!! THOSE GUYS HATED THAT TEAM”……and they would be right.
Today while we sit in the stands prior to any Sox-Yankee game, we see players from each team cross that invisible line and go chat it up with a member of the opposing team. It’s not unusual and it’s more common place then it ever was. But if you asked any Red Sox fan: Would you rather see Dustin Pedroia walk over and shake hands with Mark Teixeira or would you rather see him punch Mark in the mouth? Take a guess what answer you would get. Turn the question around and ask it of any Yankees fan and you’ll get the same answer. “Punch him in the mouth” would win by a landslide.
It’s safe to say most of these fans would rather the players not like each other so much. In fact, I think the fans would love it if the players felt the same way about the opposing team and its players as they did.
While many people around the country may view baseball as one of the more “High Brow” sports in America, the regions around New York and Boston would probably prefer less “High Brow” and more “Let’s Get It On” when they play each other.
Why? Because this rivalry my friends is far from dead. These teams fans love to hate each other. They’re just taking a nap right now and biding their time for another Fisk-Munson or another post season match up. Trust me, when either of those things happen (and one certainly will), the people outside looking in on this thing labeled as the greatest rivalry in all sports won’t be asking if it still exists. Instead, they’ll be tuning in to watch the best baseball has to offer.
The Boston Red Sox vs The New York Yankees.
There is nothing else like it…….and that’s a good thing.

*http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/10/04/sox_yankees_rivalry_led_to_attack_police_say/
**http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,354187,00.html

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Andy Pettitte Set To Retire

By Chris Cue
Thurs. Feb. 4, 2011

     At 10:30 this morning Andy Pettitte is scheduled to hold a press conference at Yankee Stadium and announce his retirement from Major League Baseball.

Red Sox fans won’t be expected to shed any tears.

     Nothing that has the potential to weaken the Yankees is going to get anyone in Red Sox Nation to make a mad dash for the crying towels. Just as Yankee fans weren’t too broken up about watching Manny, Jason Bay, Victor Martinez or even Adrian Beltre leave Boston, Red Sox fans aren’t about to get prescriptions of anti-depressants to help them get over this.

     The above is stated (and it should be taken as such) with all due respect. If Andy Pettitte wasn’t  a tough competitor, then nobody in either fan base would give a hoot about this upcoming announcement. The truth of the matter is, most Sox fans will embrace this news because Andy was a tough competitor and nobody looked forward to facing him…..especially this year considering how left handed the Sox current lineup is.

     At the beginning of the off season, it appeared to many that the Yankees starting rotation for 2011 could very well be:

CC Sabthia
Cliff Lee
AJ Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes

     After signing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the Red Sox lineup looked vulnerable to facing a pitching staff that featured 3 very tough left handed hurlers. As the well known events of this off season have unfolded, the Yankees now appear to have only one tough lefty which the Sox will have to face. That’s good news for the Red Sox.

     However, just as Theo Epstein said regarding the Tampa Bay Rays, “The reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated”, Sox fans should remember that these are still the Yankees and  writing them off now is ill advised. The Yankees have the resources and thanks to the efforts of Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office, they also have a healthy crop of young talent to make a deal for an impact pitcher. You can bet your last dollar that at some point this year they will attempt to do just that. So, while the Yankees appear to be in a desperation mode right now for solid starting pitching, don’t hold your breath expecting it to last the entire season. They may not currently be 100%, but they still have a formidable batting order and what appears to be an outstanding Bullpen. The point being made here is that while the loss of Pettitte is going to hurt, the Yankees are far from being anyone’s door mat.

     Take it for what it’s worth. It’s just a word of caution to perhaps temper what could be for some an over the top reaction that says, “The Yankees are toast”. No team is “toast” in February and most certainly, the New York Yankees aren’t dead in the water because Pettitte decided to retire.  Oh, it’s good news for Sox fans, but like Theo said about the Rays…..any reports of the Yankees demise would be greatly exaggerated at this point in time.

       Congratulations to Andy Pettitte on a fine career. The Red Sox are happy to see you go…..that is a compliment and of course meant with all due respect.

Head To Head

By Chris Cue
Wednesday Feb. 2, 2011

Anyone up for a (kinda silly) head to head comparison going into
next season? Here’s what I came up with. Red Sox vs Yankees. I broke it down to Offense and
Defense, ran the numbers and this is what it looks like based on last seasons numbers (OPS – offense/UZR- defense). Now, before any of my Yankee friends decide to jump down my throat for giving Scutaro the advantage over Jeter, let me stress that this is based SOLELY on who had the better numbers last season. I understand that Jeter had a down year and that Scutaro had his second best ever, but the numbers are what they are. OK? Here ya go……

Red Sox         Yankees

*- advantage

      Defense (based on last seasons UZR)

·   C Salty            Martin *
·   1B Agon *         Tex 
·   2B Pedroia         Cano *
·   3B Youk            Arod T
·   SS Scutaro *         Jeter
·   LF Crawford          Gardner * (this was a surprise)
·   CF Ellsbury         Granderson *
·   RF Drew *         Swisher

Red Sox 3, Yankees 4 and 1 tie.

Because
Youk spent no time at 3B last season, the best sample (63 games) is
from 2009 when he played more than 1/3 of his time at 3B. Last season,
Arod posted a UZR of -1.8. In 2009, Youk posted a UZR of -1.6 at 3B.
Lack of sample size and the similar UZR make this too close to call IMO,
so I called it a tie. I did the same thing with Ellsbury and
Granderson. Ellsbury’s 2009 UZR vs Granderson’s last season.

      Offense (based on last seasons OPS)

·   C Salty            Martin *
·   1B AGon         Tex T
·   2B Pedroia         Cano *
·   3B Youk         Arod *
·   SS Scutaro *         Jeter
·   LF Crawford *         Gardner
·   CF Ellsbury         Granderson *
·   RF Drew          Swisher *
·   DH Ortiz *         Posada

Red Sox 3, Yankees 5 and 1 tie.

While
Agon had the better OPS last season (.904 compared to Tex .846), the
change in League makes this hard to call. Giving up his advantage of
.058 in OPS to Teixeira may be a little much, but until we see the
adjustment he makes I don’t think we can give him the advantage yet.
Thus, I called it a tie. However, if forced to press the issue, Agon
would have the advantage based on last season.
I also used Ellsbury’s 2009 numbers once again due to lack of playing time last season.

However,
before you Yankees fans start jumping up and down, the 2 teams are
actually much closer when you look at the numbers from a team
perspective.

Based on last season’s numbers, the current roster for both teams have the following average OPS heading into next season.

Red Sox ave OPS = .828    Yankees ave OPS = .803
Ellsbury’s 2009 numbers once again were used due to lack of playing time last season
(I don’t know how to average UZR or if it can be done based on the current rosters, so I leave that to the more statistically adept.)

Now,
obviously it would be an understatement to say that using only one Stat to decide who has the advantage doesn’t
tell the whole story. Different players are asked to perform in
different ways and their true value may not be fully appreciated by using just 2 different statistical categores. An example of that would be Ellsbury who bats leadoff vs
Granderson who bats further down in the order. In Ellsbury’s case, OBP
is more important to his value than it would be for Granderson. A
comparison along those lines would be Ells vs Jeter, but this is a
positional comparison not a batting order comparison.

Defensively,
only using UZR to determine an advantage has it’s drawbacks too. Others
might prefer using Fielding % or a different advanced stat, but in
general I thought if only one stat was to be used for Offense and
another for Defense, then OPS & UZR were probably the best “overall”
or the best “general” stats to use for the comparison.

Maybe
when we get closer to season’s start I’ll run down the
pitching staffs. With both teams BP’s not quite finished, I didn’t see
the point in covering that comparison yet.

Questions, Questions, Questions

Posted by: Chris Cue
5:30am Tues, 11/24/09

     If there is one thing that can be said of Baseball’s off season it’s that it’s filled with questions. “What will my team do?”, “Will we pay what is needed to land that guy?”, “Will they try to resign that player?” “Can we trade for so and so?” and on and on and on. There’s plenty of speculation to be sure. Equally as sure is that most of what we read is nothing more than that….speculation. So, at least during this point of the non-playing season, we all have equal ground to work on when it comes to “What I think will happen” types of conversations. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several area’s that may or may not affect the Red Sox and other AL East teams.

      We’ll start out with an article that perked my interest in where the Red Sox and Yankees might stand in the hunt for Doc Halladay’s services. The article (HERE) in today’s Herald by John Tomase states: “The Yankees and Red Sox are expected to be at the forefront of trade
discussions (for Halladay) with rookie general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The Sox have
more to offer, however, because they can dangle potential
front-of-the-rotation starter Clay Buchholz.”

   Now, being the Red Sox homer that I am, I would love to believe that is the case. However, when you step back and attempt to take a non-biased look at the situation, I’m not sure the Sox do have it over the Yankees because of Buchholz. Personally, as of today, I would take Clay over either Joba or Phil Hughes, but just because Clay may be considered a notch above (for now), you have to remember it’s going to be a package of players that lands Halladay….not just a single pitcher. The Jay’s needs for next season if they move Doc are going to be: Starting Pitching, a Catcher and a Short Stop. While the Red Sox can fill the Starting Pitching spot with Clay, we fall a little short in the Catcher and Short Stop positions as far as ML ready players go. Of course, it may not be necessary for either team to fill immediate needs for the Jay’s. It could be a matter of what the Jay’s see as future needs too. It appears to me that both the Sox and Yanks may be a little closer in available talent then Tomase gives credit for. As always, it will boil down to which team is willing to give up the needed talent to land Halladay. Recent history tells me that both Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman are rather shy about giving up the kids they develop, but for the opportunity to sign Halladay long term (if the Jay’s provide such a window to negotiate an extension ), we may see more of a willingness then we have in the past to trade some kids. Stay tuned to this one.

==========================================================

     The other curiosity I have also is in regards to Starting Pitching. While the Sox do appear to have a set rotation already in place, there’s no doubt that Theo is going to want to add depth to it in case of injury or flat out ineffectiveness. But will he (or the Yankees) be interested in a front of the rotation starter this off season?

     I started wondering how much next years crop of available Starting Pitchers will
determine what we do and don’t do this year. I think a case could be
made that both the Sox and Yanks made decisions long before last years off season
that allowed each team to be in the Teixeira race when he became available.
So, I’m wondering how much the crop of available starting pitchers next
year will determine what teams do this off season.

Take a look at a few of the names that are slated to become Free Agents next off season

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Josh Beckett
Brandon Webb
and there are a number of 2nd tier guys available too like:
Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez and others

By the way,
not only are all of those guys slated to become Free Agents next year, that list doesn’t include some guys that may be available via trade. For
instance, the Marlins by their recent actions may have opened up the possibility that Josh Johnson
could be available via trade next off season. Of course the Marlin’s didn’t come
right out and say he would be available, but they failed to sign the kid to an extension
and opted to go year to year for his last 2 Arbitration eligible seasons that
they have him under control (2010 & 2011). That would appear to
make him trade bait next off season, so we may be able to throw his name on that list too. We’ll have to see about that
because Marlin’s have been known to hang on to guys and just get draft picks
when they leave instead of trading them. However, it seems safe to assume there is at least a
very good possibility he’ll be shopped.

     That’s a pretty good
crop of potential available starting pitchers next year which is why I’m
wondering if teams may have an eye on that and be a little shy of
locking up someone less desirable long term this year. In other words,
let’s say that neither the Red Sox or Yankees show interest in John Lackey this
off season, I’m thinking that next years available pitchers may have
something to do with it.

Just a thought…..and of course, it adds more questions.

Cheers and Go Baseball!

Hot Stove Predictions – Yankees

Posted by Chris Cue
6:05am Sun, 11/22/09

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      OK, here’s my long awaited 2 cents on who and what the
Yankees may do this off season…

(OK, I know nobody was really waiting, but my Mother in
Law may read this and she likes to think I’m important
, so go with me on this one OK? 🙂

Keep in mind, I’m no expert on all things Yankee and I’m not
trying to pretend to be one….(heck, I don’t think I’m the definitive “go to
guy” on the Sox either for that matter
), so this is just an outsider
looking in and taking a rookie stab at what my gut tells me so others can
ridicule it. Here we go…..

Yankees

     
The Yanks don’t have a lot of holes to fill, but the one’s they do have are
pretty obvious.

1). Left field would seem to be the priority, but #2 IMO is close….depending.
The Yanks have 3 options to them for LF the way I see it. They could resign
Damon on a 2 year deal, They could promote from within (seems doubtful this
year, but maybe next?
) or they could go the FA route and make a run at
either Holliday or Bay. My gut tells me Damon is option #1 as far as preference
goes, but they aren’t going to be shy about telling him “take this or we’re
moving on”. The point is, the Yankees are not going to allow Boras to drag this
on so that he can use the Yankees name in conjunction with Holliday. The Yanks
are going to want to nail this down before the other options are signed. In the
end, Damon will go where the money is no matter what he say’s. You have to
remember he won a title in Boston and was reportedly happy there too…..and he
still left for the payday the Yanks provided. I see no reason for his attitude
in that department to change. Still, unless a team like the White Sox gets
involved and offers him more, I’d bet the Yanks offer will be the best one he
gets and he will return. I’d also expect that move (if it happens) will be
made long before Holliday or Bay signs else where.
My prediction: Damon returns for a 2 year deal because the Yankees will
make the best offer and Boras will have to play the Holliday field w/o the
Yanks being involved. (a sparsely attended pity party for him then ensues…:-)

2). Setup Man. If Andy returns and if the Yanks are content with both Hughes and Joba in
the rotation (there is a good case for that one being debatable.), then
I think priority #2 will be on getting that bridge to Mariano….at least IMO it
should be #2. I don’t have a particular player in mind to fill that role,
mostly because the FA market (Soriano, Gonzalez, etc,.), the trade
market and even a promotion from within could deliver any number of guys who could end up with the Setup role in NY.
I have the feeling that if the starting rotation above is acceptable, then this
is where Cashman may spend a good deal of time. Until Hughes was brought up last year, the BP was a weakness for the Yanks and I’m sure they will try to address that if Hughes now ends up in the rotation.
My “outside the box” prediction: (get ready to laugh) I’ll throw
a long shot out here just for giggles……After Wagner declines the Sox offer of
Arbitration (which he will) and after he sees the money he may get from
other teams considering they are surrendering draft picks, I don’t think it out
of the realm of possibility that the Yanks could make him an attractive one
year deal to set up for Mo. I know that’s a stretch, but I think if that option
was out there the Yanks might be able to talk Wagner into it. Like I said….it’s
a long shot….but what good is a crystal ball if you can’t make stupid predictions

🙂


3). Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. The 64 thousand dollar question is: Do the
Yanks feel good enough with what they already have in place or are they looking
to buy or perhaps make a deal? Well, they did fine with what they had last
year, but expecting health for an entire season with your starting staff is a
gamble. There may also be other factors at work here that I alluded to in the
Red Sox predictions I made. For instance, if say the Sox get seriously involved
in the Doc Halladay sweepstakes, then I don’t think the Yanks will stand idle
and let that happen w/o putting in an offer or 2 of their own. Let’s take that
one step further and pretend the Sox do indeed manage to land Halladay. Does
anyone think that the Yanks will just let that go w/o a counter move? What if that
happens and Lackey is still out there unsigned? I’m not convinced that the
Yanks are interested in giving him the years and money he’s looking for, but
I’m also not stupid enough to think that they can’t do it if they want. We
could just as easily turn that entire situation around and play the “what if”
game on the Sox should the Yanks land Halladay, but this is my sillyYankee’s
prediction so I’ll save that one…for now 🙂

I’m also not sold on the idea that
the Yankees feel comfortable with both Joba & Hughes in the rotation even
if Andy does return. Personally, I think both of these kids deserve a shot, but I’m also
sure that if the Yanks go that way, Cashman will be looking for some quality
insurance to back it up, so he may very well be in the Sheets, Harden type hunt
as well.
My prediction: All hell breaks loose as soon as the Sox show clear
intentions to trade for Halladay. Absent of that, I think the Yanks will go
with what they have in CC, AJ, Andy (who I’m betting returns) and give
the kids a shot w/some veteran back up plans in place just in case.

4). DH. Will Matsui return? My gut say’s no and here’s why. I think the Yanks
have plenty of options to work a rotating DH into their plans for next year.
While I’m sure they will have someone on their bench that looks like the
everyday DH, my gut tells me that whoever that is will have on the field duties
assigned to him as well. With Damon back, with Posada behind the plate and the
option to rest guys like A-Rod and Tex by letting them DH, the Yanks don’t need
to clog the DH spot with somebody who can only serve in that limited role.
My prediction: Too bad for Hideki. He’s one of the guys that play for the Yanks that I can truly say I like and respect. I have the feeling Matsui gets thanked for his time and the Yanks make no
concerted effort to fill a FT DH spot.

I’m sure there is a lot more that can be covered, but I think I’ve probably ruffled
enough feathers with this….

 

Enjoy and as always, Go Baseball!

Hot Stove Predictions – Red Sox

Posted by Chris Cue
8:00 am Sat, 11/21/09

    Hello again! Having recently crawled out from underneath the rock I’ve been hiding, I thought it might be a good time to start talking Hot Stove Baseball. Now that all the free agents are allowed to discuss their future with teams other than the one they played for last season, getting some predictions in now before things start to happen seems like a good way to make a fool of yourself….sooo, being the glutton for punishment that I am, here you go.

    Let’s start off with the Red Sox. I’ll be happy to tick off some of my evil empire friends later with some Yankees predictions, but for now I’ll tackle the hometown team.

    I should mention that I’ll be impressed with myself (from a prediction standpoint) if
even one of these predictions comes to pass….(I don’t have a great track record in this dept. 🙂 With
that in mind, here’s what I think has a good chance of going down.

Red Sox

1).
I think the ground work to resign Bay is already in place. The caveat
to the current situation is nobody is yet sure what else may be out
there for him. As long as years or dollars don’t get too stupid (the
Sox won’t go 5/85
), I think he’ll be back in Boston. I have no
predictions regarding what may go down if that doesn’t happen except to
say I don’t think the Sox will be players to sign Holliday. He has the wrong agent, there is too much
money required, too many years and too many questions about what he may or may
not bring that will keep the Sox out of that race IMO.

2). Even if the
Sox do land Bay, I believe the FO thinks we still need another bat
(thus their pursuit of Tex last year). Therefore, I’m pretty sure that
they will go hard after Gonzalez if Hoyer indeed makes him available.
However, I DON’T think that they will be successful there. I think
there are too many obstacles in the way for that deal to go down. (I could
give a lengthy list but won’t unless asked
) Because there appears to be a lack of
premium players with bats on the trade/FA market coupled with the fact
that the Sox currently have limited spots to put a player like that in,
I think the Sox will turn to another area that could be addressed to
strengthen the team and that’s Pitching.

3). While the Sox
starting rotation appears to be set, we have several issues going
forward that could be addressed now if they choose to do so. Becketts a
FA next year, There are uncertainties with Dice-K and Wakefield’s health
issues are all questions the Sox have to think about now and with an eye on
the future as well. No matter what, the Sox will be signing one or two
insurance pitchers that they hope will have bounce back years (Sheets,
Harden, etc…types
), but I’ll go on record now saying that after their
interest in Gonzalez is shot down, they will go just as hard after Doc
Halladay. Lot’s of moving pieces to that kind of deal too, but in this
case I think the Sox may have a better shot at landing him as opposed
to landing Gonzalez. It may never happen, but I really think the
interest is there and that the Sox will be motivated. The big obstacle
with that one? LOL take a guess……The New York Yankees. I don’t think Cashman
will just roll over and let the Sox get Doc without making them pay big
time. In fact, I think the Yanks may have an even better chance to land
Doc if they should decide to go that route themselves. This could very well be the
big Sox-Yanks battle of the off season…..it at least appears to have
all of that kind of framework in place. We’ll have to see.

4).
Once again (i’m sorry to say), I don’t see the Sox going long term to
fill the SS position. I think there may have been some interest in JJ
Hardy, but since he is now signed I think we’re looking at another stop
gap player. I’d like to think that Gonzo would be back, but from what
Ive read a sticking point may be that he’d like more than just a one year deal. I also think the Sox
would consider Marco Scutaro, but not for the length of time he’s
looking for either. There could be a trade out there that Theo is
looking at, but short of that I think Gonzo will be a Sox player in
2010. I say that only because the SS market doesn’t look like it’s
going to give him a 2 or 3 year contract so he may very well settle for
a 4MM one year deal in Boston….which is something I think they’d
offer.

5). Billy Wagner. I don’t think he’ll be back in a setup role.
I believe all the “I may accept arbitration” talk was only a rouse that
attempted to make the Sox gun shy in offing him that. Can’t say as I
blame Wagner or his agent for floating that one. Wagner is a lot more attractive to other teams if draft picks aren’t
involved, but I think the Sox will stick to their guns and offer him
Arb. At that point, he’ll turn it down and wind up closing for someone
at less than he would have made via arbitration…..It’ll be “Varitek
Part 2” if you know what I mean. I think the Sox will be content having
Bard and Oki for setup to Paps. The middle relief guys is where the
action might be. Tough to call who and what goes on there because some
of what we currently have may end up being trading pieces (DelCarmen
& maybe Ramirez
). I’m fairly comfortable saying the back end of the
Sox BP will be Oki, Bard, Papelbon. Absent a trade, DelCarmen &
Ramirez will most likely be back so it’s guys like Wagner and Saito
that will be the possible holes to fill. That’s going to be a challenge
if our BP is once again going to be considered a strength. The glaring
hole I see is absent Masterson, the Sox don’t have a long man. We’re
going to need one.

I have more, but this is already enough hot air. For discussion purposes only, I’ll put my 2 cents in regarding The Yankees later. For now, let the criticisms begin 🙂

Cheers & Go Baseball!

The Red Sox Gut Check

By Chris Cue
Sept. 10, 2009

     I have a few feelings on where the Red Sox are headed and they’re not all rosy…….call me a
typical Red Sox fan, but I have some doubts. However, I also see things
to be encouraged about. I won’t belabor this with stats because they
are out there for all to see if interested, but mostly I won’t do that
because I usually watch and set my expectations based on my gut
feelings. They’re not always right (using stats to predict the future
isn’t either btw)
, but they are what they are.

Here’s what my gut is telling me.

     If
I had to equate where we are this season to season’s in the past, I’d
say I feel more like I did going into the final stretch of 04 then I
did going into it in 07. To be honest, I never thought we’d get past
the Yankees in the playoffs of 04. I’m not sure how many people who are
being honest with themselves thought we would, but if you remember back
then, you’ll remember that nobody was playing better ball going into
the playoffs than the Yankees…..much like this year.

     Now,
I’m not saying that a repeat is about to happen for us. I’m just saying
my gut tells me the same things it did in 04 and it wasn’t
pretty….(but turned out nicely 🙂 Let’s just say my gut tells me we
have a good sized hill to climb in order to make it to the final dance
this year. I didn’t feel that way in 07. Back then, I had all the
confidence in the world heading into the post season….much like I’m
sure how Yankees fans feel now. My only fear back then was that the Sox
would once again fall down when it mattered the most (see pre 2004 post
season play by the Sox and you’ll know what I mean).

     This year,
we’re obviously not breezing into October ball. We’re in the “fight and
scratch your way” mode. But I try to remember that’s not such a bad
thing. We’ve seen teams breeze into October only to fall on their faces
because they either were too well rested or began to take too much for
granted. I’m assuming that neither of those issues will be problems for
us this year……if we make it.

     The one thing we have going for
us right now is we’re not in the position to hope someone else fails so
we can improve……been there….. done that…..hated it. We have a 2
game lead, but let’s not take that for granted. In fact, I would be
surprised if the Rangers don’t make up at least one game….possibly 2
while we fight the Rays and Angels and they play Oakland & Seattle.
The key for us is going to be beating the teams we should (BAL, KC, TOR
& CLE), and winning AT LEAST one of the series against teams that
could give us a run (TB, LAA & NYY). I think if we do that, we
should come out ahead of the Rangers and once in the playoffs…..

(c’mon, say it with me)

Anything Is Possible!