Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Leave it to Peav-er?

There's a potentially epic pennant race going on in the AL East. And one that doesn't even involve the Yankees!? I know, right? Which is probably why I turned on Boston sports talk on Monday to hear them debating whether Patrice Bergeron or Joe Thornton should be considered the better historic Boston hockey figure...

Yeah, whatever. I'm a bitter prick and blah, blah, blah. Fine. That being said, I've got some Sox commentary for ya. Including thoughts on their addition of Jake Peavy. And apparently there's professional football being played this weekend? I'll touch a bit on that, too. Including some Hernandez-free comments on the New England Patriots...

This is great, isn't it? Modern day shit talking at it's absolute finest. Two teams separated by a half game in the standings (and 4 more clear of anyone else), taking to Twitter after a hard fought and controversial game to absolutely TROLL THE SHIT out of the opposition. Granted, these are probably comments made by a front office underling that may have very likely gotten said people into some tepid water. But, still. It's great to see the bad blood returning to boil between these two shadily bitter divisional foes. Even if Monday night's 2-1 result is probably indicative of what Sox fans can come to expect from future tilts with the Rays...

Yeah, sorry. The Sox may have had the walk off shot on Twitter, and the Rays may have been were aided by a blown call at home. But without a rain delay and a fluke home run (it's a foul flare in any other park), Boston probably wouldn't have even found them in position for that call to have been the difference. And the reason remains pitching. So much so that if I broke down the strengths and weaknesses of the Red Sox vs Rays, it would essentially boil down to the fact that they have David Price, and Boston does not. They should have David Price, in the form of an effective Clay Buchholz. But they don't. And despite the recent semi-resurgence of Jon Lester, I remain convinced that will end up being the difference between these two teams, and between the Red Sox and rest of baseball's elite, when all is said and done...

I know I'm a broken record with this, but what do you want? Pitching is what wins in the end, and I just don't think this team has enough of it in terms of the front line. And that remains my opinion despite the addition of Jake Peavy (8-4 4.28 ERA/1.14 WHIP). I think they got good value in trading for him, and I'm glad they didn't mortgage any of their real top tier prospects in obtaining him (Iglesias has been great, but with Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings...). But he merely adds depth to a staff that is really in need of a top of the rotation arm. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that the front office didn't view this year's over achievement (and as pleasant as it's been, they've still overachieved) as enough reason to sell off the future for a quick dance with Cliff Lee. And I do think that adding Peavy should serve as wise move going into next season. But this is a guy that hasn't put together solid back to back outings since May, and has been hurt for a large chunk of the time in between. So to say that expectations should be "tempered" on what he could potentially add to the club might be just a tad of an understatement...

Simply put, the addition of Jake Peavy isn't likely to change this team's destiny, but it's a reasonable move. Which is ultimately exactly the type of move I wanted Ben Cherington and the front office to make. It tells me that they realize they probably aren't "that close", but that they're "close enough" to take a low risk flier on a guy who could turn out to be the lightning in a bottle this team needs down the stretch should he return to his vintage form...

All in all, I'm really just glad to be having these discussions, again. Meaningful smack talk, moves at the trading deadline. Those are things as a spoiled fan I'd come to expect. And above all else, I'm happy to see that atmosphere and behavior return to the status quo. A status quo that should continue to reign for years to come, thanks to the fact that the Red Sox didn't sell off their future for an unrealistic shot at short term success...

Over in Foxboro, I'm in the pained position of having to agree with most of the PinkHats...


Yep, I'm gonna have to concur with that gentleman wearing that Dave Meggett jersey. I know it may not seem reasonable to think that Tom's going to achieve despite the loss of a huge chunk of his offensive weaponry. But he has proven time and again that he's not only capable of thriving with an seemingly undermanned unit, but that he sometimes seems to prefer it. Just pass to whichever guy is open, right? That was how he made his bones. And while I admit it sounds naive and hopeful at best to think that he'll be able to turn that old trick again with a crew of inexperienced wide outs and a crippled TE corps, you can go ahead and count me among the delirious masses. Maybe it's because he's done it before, maybe because I'm just so excited for football, I don't know. But I do know I'm more excited that Tom as this "opportunity" than I am worried that he he's not surrounded by enough play makers to keep their offense relevant...

That being the case, I think this year's Patriots will ultimately rise and fall by the strength of their defensive secondary. A group that's been detrimentally inconsistent in the past, but that seems to be thriving here at the start of camp. Led by key returnee Aqib Talib, they'll be the key to what's otherwise a complete team. That is, if you believe that Tom Brady will be WICKED GOOD WITH ALL THOSE ROOKS, GUY! Which I obviously do...

So, yeah. I'm optimistic about the Patriots' chances during the upcoming season. OR maybe it's just that I'm so happy to have football back, that I can't see the forest through the Tim Treebows. Either way, it is great having football back in the spotlight (oh, right. The Cowboys and Dolphins play some meaningless exhibition this weekend). And who knows? Maybe this will finally bring about the end to mid Summer theoretical hockey talk. I know, I know. That's probably asking too much. But a man can dream, can't he? And ream he will...

Enjoy the rest of your week, friends...



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