Sunday, April 22, 2012

Please, Oh Please, Let The Red Sox Stink

So tonight in Boston, a day after getting punked by the Yankees on their 100th anniver- sary, the Red Sox had vengeance working for them. Freddy Garcia got fingered by the second inning, the home town team was up nine in the sixth inning, and any sensible observer was starting to think about the Sunday game to see who would win the series.

But, well, baseball has no clock, and these Red Sox have not been good for the last two months of baseball -- last September and this April -- especially in the bullpen. Mark Teixeira took advantage by going deep twice, Nick Swisher had the big go-ahead double, and "closer" Alfredo Aceves had given up five runs without recording an out.

Add it up, and you get Bobby Valentine getting booed by the hometown crowd in one of the shortest honeymoons you have ever seen, and Boston falling to 4-10, 4.5 games out in the AL East.Andrew Bailey is out for at least half of the year. Mark Melancon stunk so bad, he's in AAA. Aceves hasn't been unfailingly awful, but tonight's game was, and they needed this one a lot. Which is all dressing them back to putting Daniel Bard in the bullpen, as if that will really solve anything, reverse the crumbling Kevin Youkilis career path, make people think that Valentine isn't a spineless piece of garbage, or that the whole team isn't, well...

Tremendously overrated and more or less doomed to getting curbstomped all year in the best division in baseball?

Toronto is, secretly, not bad. Tampa could be really good if Carlos Pena keeps having a renaissance, and the young pitching stays healthy. The Yankees are actually more vulnerable than you think, but can still hit the ball all over the lineup, and at least their bullpen isn't looking like a sieve. Baltimore has had some encouraging starting pitching so far this year, and they've drafted high enough long enough that, like Tampa a few years ago, is going to luck into a few arms at some point.

And Boston?Well, they've lost their GM, their manager, their close, and after last September... maybe even their confidence. And in a few more days, 10% of the season will be gone, and if the remaining 90% of the year is anything like these...

Well, the Sox will lose over 100 games, Fenway will be half-empty by August, Road Sox Fan will turtle up and make any number of stadiums habitable again, and ESPN will alternate between a Valentine death watch and serving up heaping helpings of sweet Sox Fan Whine Tears.

But hey, it's only April.

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