It doesn’t mean the season’s over

Fri. Apr. 16 vs. NEW YORK YANKEES Schilling

Sat. Apr. 17 vs. NEW YORK YANKEES Arroyo

Sun. Apr. 18 vs. NEW YORK YANKEES Lowe

Mon. Apr. 19 vs. NEW YORK YANKEES Wakefield

Fri. Apr. 23 at NEW YORK YANKEES Lowe

Sat. Apr. 24 at NEW YORK YANKEES Wakefield

Sun. Apr. 25 at NEW YORK YANKEES Pedro

The rotation is going through a little bit of “juggling” with the off-day. Terry Francona and Theo Epstein have decided to keep everybody other than Bronson Arroyo on schedule, instead of taking advantage of the off-day to slot Pedro in the Fenway Yankee opener on Friday. Curt Schilling will instead take the ball, followed by Arroyo, Lowe, and Wakefield. The only way Pedro could pitch in both series would be to pitch him on three days rest – not a good idea. Would you rather Pedro starting the first Yankee game in Fenway or the last Yankee game in April in the Bronx?

I would go with the latter, because it increases our chances of winning in the Bronx and also, if we win that final game, it would tremendously help the chemistry and morale.

In a perfect world, it would be better to have Lowe move up so the order was Schilling, Lowe, Arroyo, and Wakefield. However, Arroyo will have had seven days rest, so that’s pushing it. We will have to make do with Speed/Strikeouts, Normal, Sinker, and Knuckleball. Meanwhile, the Yankee hitters and relievers will be very well-rested as they have an off-day Monday, followed by a two-game series against the Devil Rays, then hit Fenway Park on an off-day Tuesday. The Red Sox’s morale has been boosted by the David Ortiz extra-inning home-run to win the game against the Blue Jays, but must continue a winning streak to come into the Yankee series on a high, with confidence. The Yankees will be very determined to best the Red Sox, and should play their best ball yet of the fledgling season.

“We’re just trying to set these guys up where we think our ball club is best suited. We’ve looked at every factor we can think of and we think this is the best. And there are a lot of variables. It’s not just the Yankees,” Terry Francona said yesterday.

This is true. Keep in mind that 57 games against the Blue Jays, Devil Rays, and Orioles will have a bigger bearing than 19 games against the Yankees.

Those 19 games have a lot more emotional investment, sure, but the big old W against the other AL East foes are more important than the W against the Yankees, mathematically. If you look at a W over the Yankees and a W over the Devil Rays, both may help you in the standings, but that W over the Yankees is a psychological boost that can send you on a tear. But also keep in mind that tears come from morale-boosting W’s of any kind – whether it’s David Ortiz beating the Blue Jays or Trot Nixon’s improbable home-run on Labor Day against the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Our “turning point” of last year, if it can be called that, was against an NL team on Labor Day.

That being said…

Our season starts April 16th. Be there or be square.

-Quote in the subject line said by Terry Francona.