Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Home Opener

Just a few quick thoughts on the team so far:
  • I guess that theory about Mike Lowell being done is now worthless. If he hits this way all season, coupled with Beckett's performance, that trade is going to look like the steal of the century, no matter how good those prospects play in Florida.
  • As always with this ownership group, the events today at Fenway were first class. For all of the front office mischief that often takes places, these guys can throw an event like no one else. The 1946 team? The little guy from the Jimmy Fund singing the anthem? The flag that covers The Wall? Classic. Well done.
  • Okay, so Coco broke his finger doing something stupid. If it was going to happen, now is a good time, with Stern still hot from Spring Training and the WBC. I'm perfectly comfortable with that kid in center field and his approach at the plate is solid right now.
  • Trot tweaking a groin muscle this early in the season isn't a good sign, particularly with Wily Mo Pena wearing a clown suit for the entire first week of the season.
  • On the flip side, the rotation looks beautiful so far. Five quality starts in the first seven games, with the only exceptions being Clement's scoreless six innings that were ruined when Tito kept him in the game too long, and Wakefield's first start with Bard as his catcher. Beckett and Schilling have been good beyond reasonable expectations, and Wakefield and Bard bounced back very nicely. Throw in a solid back half of the bullpen (Foulke's two runs today were the fault of Wily Mo), and this staff looks pretty damn good. And trust me on this because I just watched the Yankees number three starter and middle relief corps get ripped by the Royals of all people, but they're just not that good. Minus The Unit and Mariano, they don't have a pitcher on their staff I would take on the Sox.
  • Kevin Youkilis is a stud. That guy is going to hit all year. Mark it down.
  • On the other hand, Alex Gonzalez probably won't hit his weight. I'm okay with that given the defense I've seen so far. He's the real deal. Combined with Lowell, and what I've seen from Youkilis (and J.T. Snow) so far at first, the infield defense this year is going to be sick.

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