Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Red Sox Medio Segundo: Win One For Papi

"Days are changing, with the weather.
Like a riptide could rip us away."

So yesterday was mostly all about the Celts. Today the primary focus will be on the Sox, where they're at now, what could potentially happen, and other ways to get a ninth World Series title to Boston and more importantly, how to send Big Papi, the greatest designated hitter then, now, and forever (copyright WWE :) haha) out on a high note...because I will not tolerate Peyton Manning being the only one to be able to ride off into the sunset with a championship.

(I'm kind of seething over here considering A.) Peyton won another ring, and B.) He beat the Pats to get there...deep breaths, deep breaths...and then I remember that time Ty Law picked him off three times in one playoff game and we beat them 20-3...okay I'm better now!)

But first, the big news of the day is that the suspension appeal of Tom Brady will not be heard by the U.S. Second Court of Appeals, meaning that the one last glimmer of hope to somehow make this travesty of time and money end is the U.S. Supreme Court...the mack daddy. If they decide to hear the case, it is very likely Brady will play the entire season due to the large docket already set before this country's highest court. Brady's legal team will now have 90 days to prepare their case and submit it. What a crazy turn of events this is all taking. Again, an incredible waste of time and money...incredible (already a reported $20 million over the past two years).

Essentially Goodell's case is not so much whether or not Brady knowingly under-inflated, but whether or not his authority can be challenged in a manner that a length of suspension can be changed. This is why Brady's appeal was overturned in the first place. I think everyone who thinks Brady is a cheater are basically just Brady haters at this point. Sure the Patriots had under-inflated balls for the AFC Championship game against Indy...but we fail to mention that three of the four Indy balls tested were under-inflated too. How convenient that little detail kind of gets swept under the rug, but no, let's go after the greatest QB of all time (there's no debate anymore) and destroy his legacy when he could have used a beach ball to beat the Colts that game.

Not going to lie, this is only making Brady look better and his supporters (including this guy) rally even stronger behind him. How does this not look like a witch hunt? Why do you think Brady is going to go absolutely as far as he can take this? Am I really supposed to believe that he would lie and go through all of this trouble? Of course you can make the argument that he's just trying to save his legacy, but at this point, I'm pretty convinced it's not only that, but it's about standing up for yourself and not letting some two-bit hack tell you to sit out a quarter of the season because of a suspicion and yet no hard evidence whatsoever. Hopefully the case will be heard again, and the justices will finally determine that while Goodell does indeed have power to hand out suspensions, his prior mishandling and complete idiocy on other matters regarding suspension length (Ray Rice) and how other cases were handled (Greg Hardy) is proof positive that there needs to be a checks and balances system within the league office and the NFLPA in terms of how to handle such cases. The Supreme Court would be the ultimate checks and balances system to only be used on this one occasion. I will give Goodell this: He's an incredibly good businessman. He makes the league SO much money, but he is an incompetent leader of this league. Someone with a better grasp on how to handle these situations (like, you know...a judge) should be in control of discipline and all matters pertaining to players' conduct, and Goodell should be CFO or something to that effect and keeping making that $$. He clearly doesn't know what he's doing. He knows he's in way over his is time for some kind of change to be made.

Okay, now back to the lecture at hand (perfection is perfected so I make 'em understand). The Sox currently sit two games back of Baltimore, having ended the first half going 7-3 over their last ten games. If the season were to end today, the Sox and Toronto would be in a dead heat for the two wild card spots, meaning that they would play a one game playoff to determine who would advance to the Division Series (can you imagine there were three teams from the AL East to make the postseason...and the Yankees would NOT be one of them? Haha suckas!!!!).

The obvious key to why the Sox have been so successful has been the play of the offense, and how essentially up and down the lineup, they have been completely smoking it. They are #1 in runs for the majors by THIRTY over the Cubs (oh by the way, have played one less game than them too). Led by Papi, who is having his best statistical year ever thus far, and the Killer B's: Part Deux (Houston had Biggio, Bagwell, and Berkman back in the mid 90s to the early 2000s...but now, it's all about Betts, Bogaerts, and my boy Bradley Jr.), the Sox O has been cranking. Lost in all this is Dustin Pedroia, who is having another solid season, Brock Holt manning left like a champ, the resurgence of Hanley Ramirez, and the emergence of Travis Shaw at third. Even with a seemingly never-ending carousel behind the plate (it does look as though Sandy Leon has thankfully taken a grip of that job for now), the Sox have just been crushing it, which is why they are ensconsced in the postseason picture.

Now the pitching, on the other hand, is leaving something to be desired. David Price was a huge signing because while its important to have an all around good staff in your rotation, you gotta have a guy you can give the ball to and say "this is for all the marbles...bring it home." You need that ace, and while he's had a few bad outings, Price has been overall exactly what comes with having the moniker of being the "ace" of a staff.

Steven Wright has been an absolute godsend for the Sox. Coming out of Spring Training, it appeared like the Sox had a bunch of #3 and #4 starters behind Price, but Wright, seemingly out of nowhere, has become not only a good pitcher, but an All Star pitcher to boot. It's going to be tough for him to keep up his pace, and he has stumbled a little in his last few starts, but I still believe that he will be at the very least a third option if the Sox are lucky enough to get to the final four in the AL, which brings me to step #1 on how the Sox will be able to win a title this year:

Step #1: Trade for Chris Sale

Hey you know what the Sox should do? Trade for the guy who just started the All Star Game for the AL!! Okay it's not the most groundbreaking idea of all time, but still, this is something that I would put basically the whole house on. Sale is signed thru 2019...that's this year and three more years of arguably one of the top 2 lefties (Kershaw) in the game for $12 million next year, $12.5 the year after, and $15 in 2019...yeah it's time to make a deal here. The hope is that the White Sox are even willing to do this...obviously they need to be HIGHLY motivated if they are even open to any kind of negotiations. The Sox do have a loaded farm system, so if the ChiSox are willing to take back a boatload of prospects, this is a deal that could get done.

The BoSox do know that any kind of Sale trade will involve one of their two mega prospects, Yoan Moncada or Andrew Benentendi. I would think Moncada is the more likely because he's being boxed out of the majors right now by Pedroia at second and the X Man at short, his two primary positions. While he is their best prospect, you can't pass on a chance to get a pitcher like Sale, in the prime of his career, under contract for the next three years at a rate that is close to a third of what he could possibly get if he were a free agent today. Not only will he be a factor in this postseason, but he would team with David Price to make the most lethal 1-2 lefty starter combo of the modern era for AT LEAST the next three years.

So, we hope a deal can get done with the South Siders. That is our Kevin Durant right now...the unreachable star that's suddenly reachable. So Moncada may be gone, but you have your other stud prospect waiting in the wings, which brings me to step #2:

Step #2: Promote Andrew Benentendi and Immediately Insert Him As Starting Left Fielder

Benintendi is just too good to keep down in the minors and not make an impact in the big leagues. He's got nothing really else to prove in the lower levels. We need to see what this kid has got for the Sox right now. Brock Holt is a tremendous talent, but we need him as the Swiss Army knife. He is the super utility man who can spell a starter at literally every position outside of pitcher and catcher, so we need for him to remain flexible and not just be a left fielder. The lineup has plenty of pop even if this experiment ends up not working out, so the juice is worth the squeeze.

Based on recent events, here's an easy one:

Step #3: Do Not Bring Craig Kimbrel Into A Non-Save Situation EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

ERA in Save Situations: 1.45
ERA in Non-Save Situations: 6.75

Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

But seriously, we have Koji, Junichi, and just acquired Brad Ziegler from Arizona...don't question why it doesn't work for him, just stop trying to make it work. We traded for Kimbrel because he's a bad ass closer...and when you bring him in when he's not getting saves, he's not a closer. Look, I wish the guy pitched better if he wasn't going for the save, but he doesn't, and his ERA over the last three years in non-saves is over 5, so this is not a new thing. Kimbrel will be out 3-6 weeks following successful knee surgery, so upon his return in September, seriously, unless we're up and the game is on the line, DON'T BRING HIM IN!!!!!

So I think those are the three steps needed in order to propel us to a World Series victory. Not saying I have the pulse of every Sox fan, but I'm going to go ahead and say that those three steps would be a jam that everyone can boogie to. The most important thing is that the Sox need to pull out all the stops to try and get Papi a ring in his final year. He is the most important Sox player of all time not named Ted Williams (sorry Yaz and Pedro), and he deserves to have this team pull out all the stops to make something happen. We have the flexibility in both money and prospects to pull off something huge coming down the stretch. We just witnessed an All Star game that had FOUR Sox starting...this is a team that can get it done, but we need to make a few moves to make it all happen. The next two and a half weeks until the Trade Deadline will be edge of your seat kind of stuff. So happy we are out of the AL East basement. A team with the kind of resources ($$) we have should never even be put in that position ever.

Alright gang, hope you have a pleasant Wednesday. See you on this side or the other. Peace.


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