The long season, a.k.a. marathon, that constitutes baseball tries even the most patient souls. After a dispirited road trip, the Sox returned home to Fenway to eke out a victory against the Tigers last night. Whether the Tigers lost or time expired was in doubt.
Tonight, a comedy of mound errors subjects even the most patient Sox loyalists to wonder whether hemlock is preferable to HDTV (by the way, I don't have it). Bronson, the noted singer, Arroyo, continued to make us wonder which is his day job. Somehow, the spreadsheet that Theo must maintain concerning 2006 must have a question mark where Arroyo's name used to be.
Jeremi (non-Nirvana) Gonzalez got lit up like a Christmas tree in relief of the polysyllabic one, Jonathan Papelbon, whose fastball wasn't well located and whose complementary pitches didn't fool anyone tonight. Worse still, the Ivy League professor, Mike Remlinger continued to 'throw it in and duck', although he might make an exemplary batting practice pitcher.
Meanwhile, Jon Lester (Lester we forget), tossed 7 scoreless innings and Craig Hansen awaits a chance to fail or to succeed. Of course, it's impossible to know when young players are ready, but unfortunately it's all too painful to watch old pitchers fail.
The pressure exists for Theo Epstein and the rest of the baseball braintrust to do something. We hear statements everyday like "stay the course" and "cut and run", but concerning the pitching, it seems more about accountability than anything else. As a group, the pitching staff seems to have re-entered the "Grand Funk" zone, as most have to be too fine to succeed, lacking overpowering stuff. Even guys like Papelbon and Schilling, with better stuff, still need to locate.
Gary Peters, the grizzled lefthander of yore talked about being 'wild in the zone', throwing too many fat pitches. Jin Ho Cho suffered that malady years ago, in a remote Asian Contagion (yeah, I'm Asian, so what of it?).
Maybe Theo can't overhaul the entire staff, but short of bringing in a new field goal kicker and run-stopping nose tackle, he's got to do something to compete in the football scoreboard. A simple start would be to stop the desecration of Bill Lee's number by Flat-Ironed Mike Remlinger and see if Hansen's got the goods.