Just a few thoughts…
Manager… playerG??s manager? ownerG??s manager? hard, soft?…I think Terry is doing a good job. He made very few questionable calls (example: he once called for the infield in when it was only the 3rd inning, thatG??s an G?over-gutsyG? call, but itG??s not a panic call) but generally I am quite happy with him. Terry is a patient guy and, differently from Jimy Williams and Grady little, he does not panic under pressure.
Offense … clearly the plan is to get to the other teamG??s bullpen as soon as possible. Guys like Tek and Bellhorn, drawing 4.3-4.4 pitches per at bat (the Red Sox have usually 6-7 players in the top 100 in the majors in drawing pitches), will, of course, walk a lot and strike out a lot. Theo thinks this works and in the long run he probably is right. So get used to this. Also a lot of bullpens (especially in the weakest teams) have one decent closer but not good set up guys and once your starter has over 100 pitches in the 6th inning or before the Sox have at least two innings to score easy runs facing very poor pitchers, generally the 7th and the 8th. See the Indians series: 15 runs scored in 22 2/3 innings pitched by the Indians bullpen and the whole Toronto series sweep, too. In that series Jays pitchers threw 161, 145 and 165 pitches!
The current series against the AG??s seems to be shaping up exactly the same. Ok Hudson had a bad game but he threw 97 pitches in only 4 innings, the pen had to throw 88 pitches to finish the game for a staggering 185 pitches in the first game of the series. A game like that can screw up your pitching staff for a week. Last night game saw Redman with 127 pitches to complete just 5 2/3 innings. The AG??s needed 170 pitches to complete the game. ThatG??s 355 pitches for 16 innings of work G?? 22.2 pitches per inning.
Team hitting average now at .272.
Defense … I am not worried. Once (should we say if) Nomar and Trot get back everything will shift into place, Millar at first and Reese at second. Mueller has committed 7 errors at third base so far, but he has been having problems with his knee. And I donG??t buy in MondesiG??s arm.
Pitching … Pedro (despite the untimely and almost forgotten comments), Schilling, Wakes and Arroyo are solid. Lowe is probably the only FA affected by the contract situation and being already a slight G?nutcaseG? is having problems. And if they boo you itG??s because they love you. As Lou Merloni said once: if they boo you in Boston you know why and you try to work harder, if they boo you in San Diego you are REALLY in trouble. Lowe will get out of it.
Bullpen: great so far. Foulke ERA is not even going down anymore!
Team ERA 3.53.
I agree that if you get a decent offer for Kim he is expendable. But donG??t rush into a trade just for the sake of doing it.
2005 … as far as I know this is 2004 and we should focus on this year. The Red Sox are clearly one of the top 4 teams in the AL and should make the playoffs without any problem. Then the fun will begin. The short post-season will be the IMPORTANT season. And when the Fenway crowd, just after David Ortiz hits the World Series winning home run, stands up and starts chanting G?Bring them back! Bring them back!G?, then and only then the management (and us, too) should start worrying about the money, the contracts and the free agents. Then youG??ll have two weeks to sign your FAG??s if you are willing to pay.
The latest issue is the supposed Red Sox easy schedule so far. Again the last time I checked the records are strictly W-L and there is no mention of who you did beat. No issue IMHO there.
Fenway Park … the place is just awesome and they should squeeze every penny out of it. Honestly I hope they can just find a way to expand it, by say, 10-15 thousands seats and keep it there.
Dear Sons of Kevin Youkilis (.320, .485) the Sox are now 29-17, best record in baseball and looking good.
Bless you all!