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Sunday, April 20, 2003

Taking Stock

OK, so it's 18 games in. The Red Sox bullpen is the laughing stock of the league. Pedro Martinez has one win in four starts. Manny Ramirez hasn't really gotten started yet, and new DH Jeremy Giambi has been picking up where Tony Clark left off last year.

Given all that, I'll gladly take 13-5 as a record, even if it's against the Little Three of the AL East.

Toronto, at least, is not this bad. They started slow last year as their pitching imploded and their offense couldn't make up for it, but once their guys start hitting, they could be dangerous - assuming they don't bury themselves in the first two months of the season again.

Regarding the whole closer situation...these three weeks haven't really "proven" anything. No bullpen scheme anyone could dream up could possibly work if no one pitches well. I still think what they are doing could still work, though it seems that their patting themselves on the back for their "innovation" is what's really coming back to bite them. It would have the added advantage of being cheaper, since "closer" type pitchers are paid a lot of money to pitch relatively few innings, many of them (9th inning, 3-run lead, bases empty, for instance) not particularly "high leverage."

I just dread the day that the Sox break the bank for a "proven closer" like Antonio Alfonseca or Roberto Hernandez.

Don't panic yet - the Yankees will someday lose a game. (When do the Twins stop playing them again? The Twins for some reason tend to roll over and play dead when they see pinstripes.)


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