Going On Record

Sam Killay goes on record with his opinion on the Red Sox. (We better not see him changing his opinion! 😛 Sorry, that was a semi-inside joke.)
1) Nomar sucks. Defense slightly above average, but terrible on the “easy” plays. Offense horrendously overrated, although he does have a good SLG percentage for a SS. OBP hurts the team. Can’t wait to see his salary put to better use.
2) Manny may be an idiot, but he’s an idiot who can hit. Decent arm. Works hard in the field, but lapses occasionally. Not worth $20m a year, given his unwillingness to advertise for the team.
3) Todd Walker was a decent hitter with the worst defense I’ve ever seen. Granted he got very hot at a very good time: Reese is still an upgrade. Walker, IMO, never would have turned that tough DP in the eighth of the 2nd game of this series in the Bronx: the runner on 3rd would have scored, and thus we would have lost, since neither team scored again until the 12th. That’s the value Reese brings. I don’t care how bad he looks when he swings a bat.
4) Lowe’s ERA will be in the mid/low 3.00’s this year. Of course I’m hoping for better, but I’m expecting mid/low 3.00’s. Last year was an aberration because of the skin cancer. And, in very small part (probably no more than 5-10 earned runs all year long, which is miniscule), because of Todd Walker. But Lowe is a good pitcher. His history shows that. Sign Lowe, if at all possible. And those two K’s to end the ALDS, just for the record, belong in the all-time Red Sox highlight reel. Those were beatiful.
5) Schilling’s ERA will be around 3.00. If it’s much lower, it’s because he develops some proficiency with that new cutter he’s got. He’s a horse: barring freak injuries, he’s a better right-now acquisition than ARod would have been for us. Torre said it best: we were one pitcher away from the WS last year. So Theo went and got a pitcher. And what a pitcher!
6) Pedro’s ERA will be below 2.50. Duh. As always. Which is itself incredible: there is no other starting pitcher in the bigs right now of whom that can be said. Baseball fans were lucky in the ’90’s: Johnson, Clemens, Maddux, Martinez. That was a lot of great pitchers. Now there’s only one left (although Clemens has looked pretty good to start the year). A nice crop of talented young pitchers is on the way. But until they’re ready, Pedro remains unchallenged as the best pitcher in the world. Unless he’s injured, he’ll pitch far less than 200 innings and still strike out more than 200 batters. I admit, going into this offseason, I wanted Vazquez more than I did Schilling, but having seen Vazquez square off with Martinez, well, let’s just say Vaz is no Pedro-to-be. Funny though, that this kid has a rep as a really great young fireballer, a strikeout whiz, yet his fastball only comes at about 90 mph. And it’s just a straight fastball. So you’re going to tell me that Pedro, with about 12 different fastballs, only 1 of them straight, can’t be effective at 88-89 mph? Not buying it. Sign Pedro.
7) I think Varitek is the heart of the Red Sox. The core of the core. I also think he’s an aging catcher. The Sox had better look into a replacement at catcher. But I still think Tek should be kept on the team in some capacity. Sign Tek. And how ’bout that Doug Mirabelli?
8 ) And speaking of Mirabelli, how ’bout that battery mate of his, our old friend Tim Wakefield? I love this guy. With every passing year, I’m happier he’s on our team. I love Pedro, but I think Wake might be my favorite Sox.
9) I don’t trust Francona to manage this team. I imagine I wouldn’t trust many people to manage my Sox to a WS, but Tito doesn’t strike me as “The Guy.” I do, however, trust Theo: in fact, I think he’s frickin brilliant. I want Tito to follow Theo’s lead: period. Point blank: do I want Tito to be a yes-man? [Yes,] I do.
10) Ortiz is nice to have around. Man can hit. I’ll be sorry to see him go. But we should, umm, to put this nicely, limit his time in the field. What’s the point of our getting Reese if we’re just going to lessen the (already limited) mobility Millar gives us at 1st? That’s plugging one leak but creating another. Not good, with MLB’s best groundball pitcher in your starting rotation (and Timlin, Williamson, Schilling, and BK all tend to induce grounders too, I should point out).
11) Mark Bellhorn had a freak season with 27 homers. I can’t explain that. But Theo still deserves a raise for picking him up, because the man has an incredible eye. BDD called Bellhorn “Todd Walker with defense.” I prefer to call him “Jeremy Giambi who can hit and play the field, too.”
12) Trot Nixon will never have a fallback career in rocket science. And I hate that “Jesus loves me” spiel he does with the media. Couldn’t you just say, just once, “Yeah I made a great play, thanks for asking”? Please? But I’ll say this, Jesus Christ that man can mash. Let’s hope we didn’t get screwed on that back injury, though. Otherwise, Trot is gonna be a late-bloomer JD Drew.
13) Bronson Arroyo continues to impress me. I still can’t believe the kid can be this good. I don’t trust it. Can he have gotten this good since his last stint in the majors (with Pittsburgh) and gone unnoticed? But he’s sure got it working right now, whatever the explanation. And he’s got the sac for the job. Nice job, kid.
14) What a difference a year makes. Last year, I was always terrified when Grady went to the pen. This year, by the 6th or 7th, I’m begging Tito to make the call. Security. It’s a nice feeling. And when Arroyo goes out there as longman, it will be official: Boston will have the best bullpen in MLB.
15) Keep Fenway as long as possible. But continue to try to increase revenue: put up more ads. Find nooks. Find crannies. Put ads in them. Charge big: keep spending, keep winning, and keep charging. Repeat as often as necessary to drive the name “Yankees” out of our collective nightmares. But here’s an interesting topic for debate: how much, in millions of dollars, do you think a 3’X3′ advertisement on the Green Monster would be worth? Location location location.
16) Make NESN available nationally. Think Cubs, WGN. Think Braves, TBS and TNT. Think MFY’s, YES.
17) Kim has been an excellent pitcher in MLB as a reliever. And, of course, in the minors, or else he never would have made MLB in the first place. He was an excellent pitcher in the Korean League as a starter: the Korean League is considered to equate with AA ball here in America. Compare that to Japan League, which equates to about AAAA ball. Now, any stats compiled in pro ball are considered “projectible.” Even stats compiled in college are considered “projectible.” Read Moneyball. So Kim’s performances in the Korean League, and the American minor leagues, and (most importantly) MLB itself all indicate that he should thrive as a starting pitcher. And I’m going to believe that The Korean Kid will bomb this year? Only because of injury: I’ll accept that reservation. But other than injury, everything points to an immensely high ceiling for this kid.
18 ) Yankees suck. Jeter sucks (for the money). Giambi sucks (for the money). Posada sucks (in the field). Williams sucks. ARod sucks: he would have rocked, but instead he sucks. Such is life.