The Red Sox have shown admirable resilience...against the weak sisters of the American League. But you do have to beat up on the bad teams to get to the playoffs. As Mickey Mantle told Roger Maris during his 'real' home run chase, "hit 'em with your wallet'...and the Sox and Yankees do.
Worries? Pitching consistency from the starting rotation after Josh Beckett. Curt Schilling has morphed into Rick Reuschel, as his fastball has moved into the 80s from the 90s. It's a lot harder to get people out with guile and experience than with the former and a 93 mph heater.
Does Clay Buchholz have top of the rotation stuff? I made the Jim Palmer analogy here long before it became fashionable.
Big Papi is now second in the AL in OPS at 1.033...and Kevin Youkilis seems to have a little life back in his bat, with 80 RBIs...and Ortiz has his 30+ homers and 100+ RBI. What about Jacoby Ellsbury, with 2 homers in the minors and 3 Navahomers for our Navahomeboy at Fenway.
Somewhere on ESPN Insider a commentator said Ellsbury will develop into a 20 homer guy.
Will any Red Sox garner Gold Gloves? The push is for Youkilis at first, Pedroia at second, and Crisp in the OF. Crisp might have a shot, but favoritism tends to keep 'winners' winning. Derek Jeter clearly isn't the best fielding shortstop in the AL, but has won several. Jeter's a terrific player and a winner, but not the best defensive shortstop. I'd argue that Daisuke Matsuzaka deserves consideration for a Gold Glove, but I'd rather see the Gold Arm during the stretch.
Does Bill Belichick like to sit next to Terry Francona to get help stealing signs? It's sure lucky that Brady knew that Ricky Manning was going to drop and Deion Branch caught that deep out...and lucky that Vinatieri hit those field goals. Ellis Hobbs sniffed out the kickoff coverage didn't he?
Maybe the Jets need new defensive signals...I mean a poster of a Red Dog when they're going to blitz and an HVAC when going Pre-vent just isn't too subtle.
Do you dig the new small ball with Ellsbury, Crisp, and Lugo? Yeah, I thought so.
There's still something to be said for good old country hardball. It's not so easy for most guys to catch up with the 96 mph heat. Of course, it helps that the Rays' staff can't throw strikes.
Does anybody give Terry Francona credit?
B.J. Upton might end up being the best all-around centerfielder in the AL before long. His hitting is much improved and he has an absolute gun in center. Vernon Wells is having shoulder surgery, so that explains that.