Monday, April 04, 2005

That's a Peach, Hon

Game 1 - Red Sox
New York Yankees 9, Red Sox 2
Record: 0-1

Let the record show that the Boston Red Sox scored the first run of the 2005 Major League Baseball season. And then proceeded to stumble through 7 more innings, defining uninspired. On the bright side, I was drinking at a bar with terrible TV sightlines, so I didn't have to see much of it.

I did catch enough of the game to note that it seems a perfect microcosm of the things that worry me about the 2005 Sox. We haven't previewed our clubs in this space, but if we had, I'd have noted that the following things concern me:

  1. Complacency - it would be completely understandable if the idiot Red Sox take a deep breath after the whirlwind finish to 2004 and the exhausting multi-media hype. Completely understandable, and more than a little annoying.
  2. Pitching - more specifically the uncertainty of the pitching staff. The Sox will be asking fat, old David Wells, surgically repaired Curt Schilling and Wade Miller, young Bronson Arroyo, control-challenged Matt Clement, and wildcard Tim Wakefield to man the hill for them in 2005. In a good-case scenario, that's a diverse, deep, potentially dominant staff. In a darker vision, it's a recipe for having John Halama throw a lot of innings, or for a ton of bullpen wear. I don't think last night was particularly indicative of Wells' capabilities, but it would suck if I was wrong.
  3. The Yankees - well, duh. As I told Whitney last night, my (admittedly biased) perspective is that their age will catch up to them in 2005. Sheffield, Williams, Posada, Martinez, Womack, Johnson, Mussina, Brown, Gordon, and Rivera are all on the wrong side of the age curve for their positions. They're also way on the right side of the talent curve. If the curves don't intersect in 2005, they could be dominant.

In the end, though, last night was just one game. A really astute observer of the Sox wrote this after opening day last year, "Eh. Pretty indifferent performance by the Sox to open the 2004 campaign." Replace 2004 with 2005 and this year's opener is described to a T. And, to Whitney's eternal chagrin, we all know how last year turned out.

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