baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Addition By Subtraction for the BoSox

All the Yankee fans that I work with were thrilled to hear that Manny Ramirez was no longer on the Red Sox. He's a Yankee-killer, and they figured the Red Sox would be worse off without him. But baseball is a psychological game as well as a physical one, and in this case, the Red Sox should do better on the field now that Jason Bay is in LF and Manny is in LA.

The Red Sox are unsentimental, but they know how to run a business. Their GM, Theo Epstein, took a poll of his players, and they agreed, almost unanimously, that Manny must go to return the harmony to their clubhouse. Yes, they gave up a couple of decent prospects and a lot of money, and didn't get "equal" value in return, but they got something much better: peace of mind.

Jason Bay is almost as good as Manny right now, and could even be better by next year. Better yet, he doesn't cause trouble and he's Canadian. His dad is a huge Red Sox fan, which can't hurt, and he has another year on his contract for an incredibly reasonable $7.5 million. Which means that the Red Sox will have all kinds of money to spend to upgrade as needed. Although really, they don't need much, maybe a reliever or too.

The Red Sox are still one of the few top teams in the major leagues, and I expect them to win the AL East, and play the Angels in the ALCS. The Angels look like the best team in baseball, like in 2002, but their last two losses to the Yankees make me wonder a bit.

The wild card in the AL will still come down to whether Tampa Bay learns how to win on the road, especially in Boston and NY. My guess is that the Rays will just hold off the Yankees to make their first playoff appearance ever, and will lose to Los Angeles de Anaheim in the ALDS. The Red Sox will beat the Twins in the other ALDS.

The National League is more intriguing, because only the Cubs seem to really have a good shot at maintaining their lead. No one in the NL East is any good, and it almost doesn't matter who wins, because they have no chance to advance. It really looks like the Cubs will get to the World Series for a shot at an every-hundred-years championship.

I keep expecting the Diamond Backs to pull away, but they are not playing very well. I think they regret trading their closer, Valverde. Now that they have sent Micah Owings down to the minors, maybe they should make him a two-way player. He's still their best hitter, and they could use him more at the plate than on the mound.

As for the Mets, I will repeat what I have said before: they will never win the World Series with Billy Wagner as their closer. He is a smaller, left-handed version of Armando Benitez, with a big mouth. That ten game winning streak almost fooled me, but they didn't quite get to ten games over .500, which is what I was looking for as the sign that they are a legitimate contender. Now they are only five games over, and John Maine is on the DL.

It's time to see what the young guys (Murphy, Kunz, Niese, even Fernando Martinez) can do. In the past, that would have meant conceding this year, but now, bringing up your top prospects is the best way to win right now.

Caroms off the wall

Fernando Tatis is playing almost exactly as well as Moises Alou would have, and provides the same calm confident leadership as well. I call him Little Buddha. What a brilliant move by Omar Minaya! Unfortunately, there were too many bad moves in the off-season--like Luis Castillo's four-year deal, and relying too much on Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez--which weighed the team down with too many older, unproductive/unhealthy players.

© Judy Kamilhor 2008


Post a Comment

<< Home