Monday, June 9, 2014

Baseball as of June 9, 2014

Photo: Albert Pujols' 2001 Upper Deck Rookie Card

Hard to believe it's been so long!  Well, you can see how the Sox's season has gone, so there's not too much for me to add.  So a few quick things:

--Last year the Sox supremely overachieved; this year they're supremely underachieving.  They weren't as good as they looked last year, and they aren't as bad as they look this year.  Both are extremes, and their true ability is the average...

--...but I'll take a World Series-winning year and a subpar year anytime over two ho-hom average years.  Gimme two years of 100-62 and 62-100 over two years of 81-81 and 81-81 anytime.  The first pair gets you a World Series ring and a good draft pick.  The other two?  Nothing.

--This year is what last year was supposed to be--a transition year.

--The difference?  Last year they had unbelievable comebacks and unbelievable pitching.  This year they have mostly good / very good pitching--but not unbelievable--and very few comeback wins.  They're simply not hitting with RISP.  If they were, at all, they might be in first place in the very mediocre American League East.

--The Sox and the Blue Jays have essentially flip-flopped seasons compared to last year.  The Jays should've been great last year and fizzled.  With almost exactly the same team, they're excelling.  The Sox excelled last year and are floundering this year with essentially the same team--minus Ellsbury, of course.

--But the Jays are not this good.  Normally I'd say that they're going to start to sink, but, again, they're the Sox of last year.  Ya never know.

--R.A. Dickey so far is having a Tim Wakefield year when Wake would reel off 10-12 straight wins in the mid-90s.  Such is the nature of the knuckleball, though to be fair Dickey throws a lot of curves and "fastballs" as well.

--The Yanks may have a decent year, but they won't win the division, and may not even make the playoffs.  I'd be surprised if any Wild Card team comes from the A.L. East this year.

--Ellsbury's impact is truly being felt as the Sox flounder.  People forget how good offensively he was, and how much his speed effected the pitches Pedroia and Victorino saw.  The latter two are great fastball hitters, and that's what they got with Ellsbury on first base.  He made everybody else in the lineup better, plus he tired out the pitcher when he threw to first a lot.  He also drove in a lot of runs for a leadoff batter, and had good power from the leadoff spot.

--Having said that, I wouldn't have resigned him for more than three or four years, either.  The Yanks had better win with him now, because they surely won't with him in the fifth through seventh years of his contract.

--I have a graded NM-MT+ Pujols Upper Deck RC, so I need him to have a monster comeback year.

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