Well, its good to see that the team has reported to sunny Florida and is ready to take on the world of photographers as it gets ready for the 2007 season. Of course this being the Red Sox the circus has already started.
1) we have the local media in arms about the Matsuzaka treatment (see Shaughnessy, Callahan etal).
2) WEEI has already dedicated time to the Manny situation (see the Big Show).
3) Tito has already had to tell the media to shut up (see publicist / Tavarez).
4) The blogs and media has decided that Schilling is an overweight jerk who should just shut up and pitch (see boston dirt dogs).
5) Papelbon will be the closer for 2007 season (see boston.com blog)
Yep its spring and all things are eternal.
First off I agree with Glenn Ordway, if Matsuzuka goes 16 and 11 with a 5.01 ERA that is not a disappointment. The Japanese league is at best on a par with the National League, but is more likely below the National and at worst on a par with the AAA leagues. To expect Matsuzaka to be better than Beckett in his first year in the AL east is not rational. Oh, lets not forget one other thing, he is not a 100 million dollar pitcher, do not include the posting fee with his salary when you talk about this young pitcher.
The Manny not showing up til 1 of March falls into the "are we surprised category". I'll just grind my teeth about the Manny fawning and will wish that Jim Rice could impart some DNA to this future Hall of Famer.
Tito will always protect his players in the press, end of story.
Schilling may be overweight and opinionated, but when he takes the ball in 2007 he will give this team everything he has and always will be one of the top pitchers in this league. Sign him to a one year extension with an option for 2009 and be done with this guy until the season starts.
Papelbon may end up being the closer, but that is up to the Doctors. Personally, I say trot him out there every five days and mark a W in the record.
Stealing from Ian at Brownie points I make the following predictions:
How many games will the Red Sox win this year? 95
How many postseason games will the Red Sox win this year? 6
How many games will Matsuzaka win this year? 16
Who will lead the Red Sox in wins this year? Schilling
Who will lead the Red Sox in saves this year? Pinero
How many games will J.D. Drew play this year? 134
How many homers will David Ortiz hit this year? 44
Who will win the American League MVP? A-Rod
Who will win the National League MVP? Howard
Who will win the American League Cy Young Award? Kazmir
Who will win the National League Cy Young Award? Lowe
Who will win the AL East? Yankees
Who will win the AL Central? Tigers
Who will win the AL West? Angels
Who will win the AL wild card? Red Sox
Who will win the NL East? Mets
Who will win the NL Central? Cardinals
Who will win the NL West? Dodgers
Who will win the NL Wild Card? Phillies
Who will win the AL pennant? Yankees
Who will win the NL pennant? Mets
Who will win the World Series? Mets