You think that you have problems? Take a look for a moment at the Bobby Valentine Red Sox.
Although they just swept a three-game series from the Twins, the Bosox stand at 7-10 and are in the basement of the A.L. East as they invade the Cell starting tonight for a four-game series. And I’m sure they haven’t forgotten last Saturday’s debacle when they blew a 9-0 lead to the Yankees and lost to their bitter rivals, 15-9.
If that weren’t enough, they’ve lost two-thirds of their regular outfield with serious injuries to Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, have a decimated bullpen that was severely weakened by an injury to new closer Andrew Bailey on the eve of Opening Day and the starting staff has been far from stellar. Add a little bit of smugness and unfortunate rhetoric from their new skipper and you have a team, as presently constituted, that will have trouble contending with the likes of the Yankees, Rays and even Blue Jays. That said, it will be interesting to see how the sweep in Minnesota has lifted their spirits.
Our Sox come in at 10-8 and in a virtual tie with the Tribe for the division lead after a 4-2 road trip to Seattle and Oakland. It’ll Philip Humber on the mound tonight, fresh off of his perfect game. He’ll be facing promising youngster Felix Doubront.
Friday night it will be John Danks vs. converted reliever Daniel Bard, unbeaten Jake Peavy vs. Jon Lester on Saturday and Gavin Floyd vs. Josh Beckett on Sunday.
It wasn’t an oversight: No, I didn’t overlook yesterday’s 14-inning loss to Oakland. Just didn’t have the heart to revisit the bad memories.
Things I’m thinking about…
Our Ozzie is on the record as saying that meetings are for losers. Well, after last night’s 12-0 humiliation at the hands of the Rays, the skipper met with his troops.
Headline: Andrew Bailey of A’s voted 2009 Baseball Writers’ Association of America AL Rookie of the Year.
Don’t get me wrong. Andrew Bailey is a very worthy choice for the honor with 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA.
What I can’t understand is how Sox rising star Gordon Beckham can win AL Rookie honors from two player polls–Sporting News and the Major League Baseball Players Association–and finish fifth with no first place votes, 11 points behind fourth place and 78 points in back of Bailey. For the record, the Top 5 were Bailey, the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus (65), Rick Porcello of the Tigers (64), the Rays’ Jeff Niemann (21) and Beckham (10).
What do the writers know that the players don’t or vice versa? It just doesn’t make sense.
The list is certainly impressive.
Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio, Gary Peters, Pete Ward, Tommie Agee, Carlos May, Britt Burns, Ron Kittle and Ozzie Guillen comprise the honor roll of Sox players who have been named American League Rookie of the Year by either the Baseball Writers’ Association of America or The Sporting News.
If Sox fans controlled the voting, Gordon Beckham would unanimously join this illustrious group in ’09 and claim the team’s first rookie award since Ozzie in 1985. He has been nothing short of spectacular since being called up from Charlotte on June 4, and he’s got my support, but as good as Beckham has been he’s not a shoo-in.
As I see it, it’s a six-player race with outfielder Nolan Reimold of the Orioles, A’s closer Andrew Bailey, Tigers hurler Rick Porcello, Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero and the Rays’ Jeff Niemann rounding out my top candidates.
Here’s the comparison:
* Beckham: In 86 games he has knocked out 87 hits, including 11 homers and 25 doubles, scored 48 runs, driven in 53 and sports a .279 batting average with an on-base percentage of .353.
* Reimold: In 103 games he has knocked out 99 hits, including 15 homers and 18 doubles, scored 49 runs, driven in 45 and sports a .279 batting average with an on-base percentage of .365.
* Bailey: He has compiled a 6-3 record with a 2.03 earned run average and 24 saves. He also has struck out 81 while walking only 23.
* Romero: The talented lefty has bolstered the Jays’ staff with his 12-8 record. 4.22 ERA. In 153.2 innings he has struck out 119 and given up just 68 bases on balls.
* Porcello: He is 13-8 with a 4.21 ERA and has struck out 78 while walking 45 for the AL Central-leading Tigers.
* Niemann: He has compiled a 12-5 mark with a 3.57 ERA and has K’d 106 while walking only 50.
For us Beckham boosters, who have seen the gifted one play every day, it’s a closer competition than we’d like. But here’s hoping that Pale Hose justice prevails.