Red Sox Roundup: "Nothing's Gonna Get in the Way of Whatever it Takes"

The “Boston Red Sox”


Somebody cue the sound of brass tacks and chases being cut to. “We are who we thought we are” or something.

Ah yes, but remember a month ago when I handicapped the Sox under the general rubric of “boy, these guys blow”? Well, I’ve changed my tune. Sort of. After a period of marginal improvement on the part of my hometown squad, here’s our present situation, player-for-player, in 5 easy categories:

1. The “Kids at the Back of the Bus” Keepers:

-Pedroia-Youk-Lester (thank God)-Bard-Bucholz-Scutaro-Beltre-Drew*

This is where the core resides. There ain’t a dude above who didn’t look shaky for an inning or a weekend series this season, but also, not one who has made me yet feel “we need to either (a) give up on this guy as part of our team core unit, or (b) admit his contract was a total mistake.” The above dudes are carrying our offense and pitching staffs, respectively, and keeping this team much closer to contention than it reasonably deserves to be.

2. The ”Currently Auditioning for ‘Mash’ Unit”:


Ok, so Pap and Beckett are supposedly healthy and have oxi-clean medical reports at the moment. I don’t buy it, I can’t. Well, maybe with Papelbon. He looks healthy but it seems he’s lost the nerve to throw his fastball through hitters and doesn’t have the patience to rely on his secondary pitches either. We already know that he’s become obsessed with becoming the rare closer with career longevity. But, it seems that has come at the expense of him becoming the baseball equivalent of a running back who can’t make a cut but who’s afraid to take a hit. As for Ellsbury, sucks to be counted out for so long in a legit freak accident, but it sucks for the team more to have no idea what guy they’ll be getting back. Ditto for the supposedly ageless Cameron (cue the boy screaming to the salesman “take back your magic beans, good sir!”) and his kidney-stone/sports hernia/vegetative state comeback.

*Ok, so I doubled up and included Drew above because he’s always one dull razor or hot coffee spill from the 15-day DL.

3. The “Let’s Sacrifice a Bucket of Chicken to Joboo” Scrubs:

-Papi-Tek-Okajima-Ramon Ramirez-Wake-

Papi has 200 rbis this past week. Tek has 100 homeruns in 40 at bats. Okajima is still relatively effective, 3 years into what was supposed to be a spring training assignment to help Dice-K feel more at home. Ramon Ramirez is equally impressive if less consistent, if fastballs really are like bullets — you can only squeeze so many out of one arm in this lifetime — dude looks to be operating on his last cartridge. Wake’s immortal, sure, but he’s not Highlander immortal.

Point is, how are ANY of these guys pulling the wool over the most competitive division in baseball with any measure of success? You see, one summer, a few years back here in Queens there was a rash of public displays of Santaria, etc. No kidding, there were like piles of animal bones under bridge and elevated train underpasses all over the place. If some enterprising soul in the Sox organization were to send Voices an off-the-record tip that similar piles of meticulously compiled animal refuse were kicking around the private concourses of Fenway of late, I would NOT be suprised.

4. AAAA:

Van Every-McDonald-Delcarmen-Lowrie**-

‘Nuff Said. And guys: Thanks for playing!

**I add Lowrie just to remind all fellow Sox fans what a disapointing travesty his career has become after he came out of the gate in 2008 looking like a switch-hitting Wade Boggs.

5. The “Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” All-Stars:

Matsuzaka-VMart-Bill Hall

Look, there’s no accounting for having Bill Hall on the roster other than the fact that the Red Sox are obliged to have 9 men on the field at any given time. A smart and savvy man, at this point in his career Bill Hall cares not where he plays so long as he collects a paycheck. Good for him, bad for the BoSox. As for Matsuzaka, I want to relay the following exchange that took place in March of 2009 between The Venuist and (Voices Staff Writer) 33 Problems:

TV: You know what I would do?

33P: No, what’s that?

TV: Trade Dice-K.

33P: What?

TV: No seriously, he is coming off the strangest 18-3 season of all time and someone will give us value considering that most of the cost associated with him was not his contract, but merely his posting fee. This is his all time peek in terms of trade value! We need a bat off of the bench!!! Would could get that and a couple of young arms!

33P: I don’t trade the Dice-man. You are effing crazy.

TV: We’ll see how crazy I look a year from now.

That ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Via Text in fact. So I can prove it!

As for poor VMart, it’s simple. The Sox pitchers have been spoiled by Tek and are frustrated as hell. And that spike in his total numbers after getting traded to the Sox last year? That was cuz he was playing the lion’s share of his time at 1st. In related news, the Sox have a relaible/permanent 1st (and 3rd) baseman and DH. Poor dude, really. He needs to get the hell out of dodge (see: the Fens) and fast. He brings virtually zero value to this team on either side of the ball, and considering the fact that the Sox are scoring runs despite his offensive struggles, it’s hard to argue that Tek and a rookie platooning wouldn’t be better for this team. In fact, seems like Fisk has some spare time with all the games he attends at the Friendly Confines. Wanna bet he couldn’t still suit up for the occasional day-night doubleheader?

Know who else has been spoiled by Tek? John effing Farrell, that’s who. Jesus, for a guy everyone in the organization is so damn high on, he sure as hell can’t cook much of a souffle with the ingredients his been gifted with. And he doesn’t even do entertaing, Francona-esque press interviews. Seriously, I think we might be better off with having Curt Schilling coach the hurlers via live weblink from the netbook sitting on his barcalounger next to the bag of beernuts.

And I’d salute that development!


One Response to “Red Sox Roundup: "Nothing's Gonna Get in the Way of Whatever it Takes"”
  1. 33Problems says:

    In my defense, Dice-K had gone 18-3 the year before, and Venuist suggested that we trade him for “Ryan Braun or someone”. I stand by my statement.

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