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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Where There's a Middlebrooks...


Kevin Youkilis. Or should I say, Wall Pipp 2.0. Yep, I've got Will Middlebrooks fever over here, and I'm ready to run with it. To the point where I can easily imagine that if I were still in college, I'd probably already be playing a version of the 2013 or even 2014 Red Sox season with Iglesias and Middlebrooks manning the left side of my undoubtedly World Series contending lineup. I'd probably also have an aging Ichiro leading off and hitting 30-35 bombs, and have my team playing in a sick waterfront ballpark that I modified using my vast accumulation of bonus points, but the point is Middlebrooks impressive play has provided a spark. A glimmer of hope, if you will, in what's unfolding as an otherwise unremarkable and likely "disappointing" season...

Oh and for those who might not know who Wally Pipp was, he's the guy whose random headache was more or less responsible for Lou Gehrig's disease. Yeah, you might have to take a few liberal steps to come to that conclusion, but check it out. It's no joke...
The Next Big Thing OR The Next Scott Cooper?
OK, so I don't write off season's in early May and I don't go pitch a pants tent because some highly touted prospect had a good first week in The Show (hence the Scott Cooper reference). However, I also don't make a habit of not believing what my eyes are telling me, and that my brain is reassuring me is most likely the case. That is, that this season isn't likely to end with a Red Sox World Series championship, but Will Middlebrooks (.381/3 HR/9 RBI) is likely to serve as a major reason why future Red Sox teams will again have the chance to contend...

Now, you could easily argue that we're already there, and that if AGon comes around (dude looks lost), then he, Will, Papi and Pedroia could provide more than enough offense to give this pitching staff enough time to come around, but that's where I'd stop you. I know we all hope that this pitching staff can come around, but going back to the eye and brain test, does anyone really believe it? Even if you do get Beckett and Lester back to their normal selves, which I think is asking a bit much based on what we've seen, that only gives you two legitimate pitchers. I know you can technically win with that in the playoffs, but that's usually only if you have a lights out bullpen...which the Sox obviously don't have and should have no expectation of being able to obtain even through trades. So, even with Will tearing the cover off the ball and getting regular at bats, I just do't think the pitching would be good enough to take this team where it needs to go. And of course there is that small matter of the kid actually getting regular playing time...

More like "The Greek God of Losing His Position"...
He's a 3rd baseman, that's where he plays. It's his position, and it's going to be his position next year when Kevin Youkilis (.219/9 RBI) is presumably allowed to take Tom Brady's sister and seek alternate employment. But what about the now? Where a healthy Kevin Youkilis was expected to be a large part of this team? Well, unfortunately that will likely work itself out. Middlebrooks can't keep up this pace forever, and until he cools, Youk will just remain "injured" and take the extra time off in order to assure his balky back is ready for the long Summer ahead. And if Will doesn't cool? Well then that's just another problem for Bobby Valentine. Which is great, because at that point we're probably gonna need something off the field to distract us from what's continuously happening on it. Something Mr. V has proven time and time again that he is more than capable of providing. I say you have to leave him in until he really shows he's hit the wall, but that should be one of the more interesting story lines to follow, moving forward...

Really? Really???
Then again, who knows? Maybe Dice K comes back, somehow reinvigorated by Bobby V and his Asian ways, Middlebrooks continues to rake, Youk gets dealt for some bullpen help, and this team does actually start to contend. Hey, it's possible, right? All we need is to catch a few breaks and have ownership make all the right....Oh wait, that's right. Ownership is too busy worrying about cooking to books to keep their sellout streak alive so they can pass the Portland Trailblazers with the most consecutive home sell outs of all time. Yep, The Boston Red Sox, one of the signature franchises in all of sports, is making itself look the fool on a nightly basis to chase down none other than the mighty Portland Trailblazers and some record they achieved with the help of none other than Bill Walton. I knew that gangly stoner would one day ruin everything I held dear to my heart! But yeah, so that's when this sell out streak charade will finally end, and it will feel SO GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!...

Yeck, I just booted in my mouth a little after that one, thinkin' about how this organization is just embarrassing itself at every turn. Tasted like strawberry milk, though, so it wasn't all bad. Much like the rest of this season is apt to make you feel out there, if you happen to still be a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Some parts will taste good, some parts will taste bad, there will be some reddish coloring. OK, it's not going to be anything like that, but thanks to Middlebrooks, there is now at least the promise that the 2012 season could actually be...well, promising. And as much as that might sound like the now forgotten "wait till next year" cries of a generation long since extinct, it's not. Just consider it a, "Well I'm glad shit can't totally fall apart in the near future". It's just good to be excited about the future, even if you know it's probably a little further away than your eyes would have you believe...


Closing out, I wanna make sure I send my well wishes out to Mariano Rivera. Simply put, if you don't appreciate Mariano Rivera and what he means to baseball, then you don't really like baseball. I also just missed out on some big money in the Derby, but you better believe I'll be back to take those sweet pone loots in 2 weeks time when those picturesque animals and their little masters take the track for the Preakness. Quite frankly I'm due for a win, so I'll make sure those picks get published so you too can start your Summer off in style with a few extra pieces of paper for your bill fold...even if it's still Spring and you probably call it a wallet...

Have a good week, friends. And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

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