Thursday, December 29, 2011

Packin' And Unpackin'

The Red Sox recently gave a contract to Jesse Carlson--and now we've continued the WKRP theme by trading Josh Reddick for A's pitcher Andrew Bailey. (Both these guys have Connecticut ties--does anybody know what town Bailey lives in? I can't find anything other than "Connecticut" anywhere.)

So I guess we've got our closer. I hope it works out. I still say the loss of Papelbon is gonna really make people realize they took him for granted. The perfect guy for a critical role--exactly the thing you should be spending money on, regardless of the price, especially when you're a team who actually has money. All the risks we've spent big money on, and we don't spend it on a sure thing in a key position. Makes no sense. The loss of Tito will have a similar effect--we'll be calling him Grancona upon realizing we took him for granted--but at least that should mainly be off-field stuff, which you can ignore by simply not reading/watching the news.

Funny how Bard fans won't be complaining about him becoming a starter and a different closer coming in. They all (except for my buddy Tom) only know what they've seen in the past 2 weeks of baseball, and they are proving that by the fact that they haven't said word one since September about how he should be the closer as they'd been planning all along. They should have been fighting for the guy! Instead he has a bad month and it's "hmmm, I wonder who are closer's gonna be...." Anyway it would be pretty effing sweet if Bard can become a solid starter.

I liked that Reddick, too bad he had to go. (You know, since we have so many right fielders.) (And don't take that as me thinking the Red Sox aren't doing anything this off-season--I was just going to say, every single year people say in December what an oddly quiet off-season it's been, and they've done it again this year. Do they know the off-season is nowhere near over??)

Okay so here are a few shots of Reddick I never put on the blog:

From a game against the Padres.

From Wake's 200th win game.

From May against the White Sox, his first game of 2011.

My video of his hit that beat the Yanks last year here.

Google says Hamden :

BTW, I read Bobby Valentine's statement on Bard starting as he wouldn't start this year. I'm doubtful the conversion happens, but I really really doubt it happens this year.
Wow, thanks for the Hamden. I have some family there. That says it's an apartment, but I read how he and his fiance were planning to get married in 2010 I think, so I'm guessing they upgraded from an apartment, which means they could have also changed towns. But I wonder why Hamden....I can see moving to CT when you don't have to in order to be in the NYC suburbs, but he chose a New Haven suburb. No offense to New Haven... Actually, my parents also chose to live in that area when they already were in western CT so it happens. (But I'd think he'd at least choose a shore town.)

I figured McClure talking about making Bard a starter + getting Bailey meant Bard would at least be trying to become a starter this year.
I like this move a lot; it even makes up for the inexplicable decision to give Nick Punto a 2nd guaranteed year. Bailey is young, consistent and has very good stuff. He's a downgrade from the 2011 version of Papelbon, but an upgrade from the 2010 Papelbon who was anything but a 'sure thing'; doesn't strike out as many guys as Paps, but also doesn't walk as many. And cost-controlled for a while. I repeat, it would have been a really bad idea to attempt to match that Phillies deal for Paps, which is gonna look ugly in the last couple years of the contract; just because the Sox unfortunately wasted a lot of money on Crawford and Lackey doesn't meant they should have thrown it away on a closer. And Reddick may end up being a very good player, but to get there he's going to have to learn to walk a lot more often; between Reddick and Kalish I'm glad they kept Kalish.

As for Bard closing versus starting, I would much prefer he be doing the latter if (and it's a pretty big if) he can make the transition. I'll say it for the thousandth time: closers are overrated; a good starter who can give you 200+ innings in a season is far more valuable than a reliever who gives you 60 or 70 innings (even if it's the ninth). I would have to imagine that now that they've traded for both Bailey and Melancon they're going to at least try to move Bard into the rotation, regardless of anything they say publicly before spring training.

I'd like it if they could add Andruw Jones on a one-year deal to platoon with Sweeney/Kalish in RF, and one more pitcher (preferably Oswalt on a one-year deal) to fill out the rotation. Then, if they would just put out a press release announcing the formal retirements of Varitek and Wakefield, I might actually be a little optimistic about the coming season.
Now they say Kalish won't even be able to play until "several weeks" into the season.
Yep, I've heard that, which means that at the moment Ryan Sweeney is the everyday RF to start the season, possibly in tandem with McDonald. I'd be shocked if they actually choose to go that route. I suspect they really will do something along the lines of my Andruw Jones wish, or something similar. In any case, I'm still glad they made the Bailey/Reddick deal despite the Kalish injury. Just very glad they didn't give up Middlebrooks.
And now I see that the MFYanks have re-signed Andruw. That sucks.

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