Some days you just can't help but talk about baseball, and don't worry, there were not any riots on the diamond last night. I'll try and keep it all positive, but when talking about the Boston Red Sox there's always that air of non-chicken counting.
Yesterday marked Major League Baseball's trading deadline. No more trades can be made, although minor leaguers can still be called up to the majors for another month or so. All the talk going around on various sports shows and the newspapers is that the Red Sox were the "Big winners" at the trade deadline. Of course, with my bias, I like to agree. General manager Theo Epstein did the one thing that the Red Sox have been lacking since as long as I can remember, built up their bullpen. While many of the Fenway Faithful were very irked to see Shea Hillenbrand leave the team, I have to admit that Byoung-Hyun Kim is pitching remarkably well as a closer. He was a great acquisition as the only team in the American League who has seen his funky side-arm delivery is the New York Yankees. As a closer, he sees very little "action" on the field, keeping him as an unkown to most teams. However, he was not the best acquisition.
Epstein managed to wrangle away Scott Williamson from the Cincinatti Reds and Scott Sauerbeck from the Pittsburg Pirates. I know, you're saying to yourself "Who the heck are these people?" These people are saving the Red Sox. These two men can gap the dreaded 7th and 8th innings if need be. Sauerbeck, a southpaw, is dominate against left-handed hitters. Fenway Park is rather friendly to leftys as they have no Monster to contend with on their side of the field, not to mention the shallowness of the right field wall.
The Bosox also picked up a fifth starting pitcher, Jeff Suppan. Let's forget about the fact that Suppan has a career ERA over 4.00, and a career record well under .500 (he's 59-71). Forget about all that, because Suppan is in one of the best years of his career. Currently 10-7, Suppan has an ERA of 3.57, kept his opponents batting average under 2.70 and has three complete games. Solid. And that's exactly what the Sox needed. A complement to their trio of Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield.
But will they win it all? There's still a good chance that the Red Sox, while greatly improved, might not make the playoffs. They're currently 3.5 games back of the dreaded New York Yankees in the division, and the Oakland A's are a mere game and a half back in the Wild Card. That spells trouble in Beantown as all this great wheeling and dealing could be all for nought.
However, there is one thing that the Red Sox's fans now have, hope. Instead of a poor general manager, who loved to make horrible trades and didn't treat the players well, like Dan Duquette did, we have a man already nicknamed Theo Ballgame. That's a nickname that sounds familiar to the faithful. Even if Boston doesn't shake the nastiness of past ghosts, there is always next season, and the season after.
Davidian's World Series Predictions:
I might as well stick my neck out early so the beisbol fans on this site can rib me now. My pick for the World Series is the Boston Red Sox (You didn't expect anything else did you?) and the Atlanta Braves. Yeap, an all Boston World Series (the Braves used to be the Boston Braves back in the day, before moving to [Atlanta, Georgia|Hotlanta). The Braves are a hot team, and the only other team I see giving them any sort of contention is the San Francisco Giants. Currently, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros are the other two teams from the NL to be involved in the playoffs. I don't think either team compares to the Giants or red hot Braves, who own the best record in the majors. However, we have to wait until October to find out. I hope Boston can handle the party :^)