February 19, 2009

Sox Pitching = > Scary

Just thinking about the Sox depth at pitching especially the middle relief (Manny, Okajima, Masterson, Saito, Lopez, Ramirez, and Paps! Lights OUT!) is SCARY. Add to that the starting rotation is looking deeper than any other team in the league with a solid Beckett, Lester, Dice K, Smoltz/ Penny, Wakefield, and throw in the possible return of Bucholz. It just gets even more sickening. What is it that they say again "good Pitching always beats good Hitting" = wins in the playoffs to me.

Hearing about the injury bugs that plagued the Sox rotation is also scary. Remember game 6 of the ALCS last year. The game where Beckett a.k.a. "BALLS" gutted out 5 innings, 4 hits, and 2 runs know all of THIS is scary. Guy was pitching with a dinged up wing and still found a way to get it done. Add to that he's still thinking about how poorly he pitched down the stretch last year. Add in that John Lester took over the "ACE" roll from September on looming just over Balls shoulder. You think Beckett might be motivated in '09?

How dominant will he be this year with an actual training regiment besides his 2008 spring training 12 oz. curl, KFC, and ring ding routine. A motivated Josh Beckett is a dangerous Josh Beckett. Remember this is the guy Tim McCarver once said had "The Guts of a Burglar!" Well the AL East and the rest of the league better watch out because 2007 Beckett is what you'll see this year. After reading Bradford's piece it sounds like Balls has found himself and finally taken on an ACE mentality. The same mentality Pedro, Schilling, and any other Hall Of Fame pitcher has needed. It is that edge that we hoped to see in Balls last year coming off a dominant '07 performance. He never fully established it, but hopefully 2009 is the year he adds the wisdom of a seasoned veteran to his already Ballsy swagger.

While the hope is he won't just take his talent for granted any longer. I think he finally gets it. From what it sounds like he has figured out that he can't assume his talent will out weigh his effort. He has come in to camp dedicated and in shape and that's all you can ask for. Expectations of the Nation however will be another story. Can Beckett return to form? In my opinion Yes!

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Teddy Ballgame

Teddy Ballgame
#9 on the field #1 in our hearts.