ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark says the Red Sox are the offseason’s most improved AL team. Ok, cool. Let’s look at his reasoning, which I’m sure is well-researched and defensible and all that stuff.
“They’ve responded to their third-place hangover by addressing their leadoff issues (Julio Lugo)…”
Hmm, that looks iffy. Most managers should want someone who is good at getting on base in the leadoff spot. How good is Lugo at getting on base? Not amazing – career .340 OBP, compared to the league average OBP of .341 during his career. But that’s cool, maybe his SLG makes up for it. Wait, no, he’s slugged .402 in his career, compared to the .437 average. Are we sure the Red Sox have really addressed their leadoff issues?
“…bullpen troubles (Brendan Donnelly, Hideki Okajima, J.C. Romero, Joel Pineiro, Runelvys Hernandez)…”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. No. Donnelly is fine – 1.34 WHIP, 3.94 ERA, 53/28 K/BB. He’s alright. But…
Okajima has never pitched before in MLB, and is projected to put up a 1.40-ish WHIP, and a 4.5o-ish ERA. Not good. Romero had a horrendous 2006 season, posting a 1.76 WHIP and a 6.71 ERA. Although there is statistical reason to believe that he suffered bad luck in 2006, average luck would have mad him merely bad, not horrendous. Pineiro had a 1.65 WHIP and a 6.35 ERA – in 165 innings. The larger sample size of innings makes this especially damning. Hernandez is just as bad – 1.76 WHIP and 6.48 ERA in 109 innings. Yup, the Red Sox’ bullpen troubles have been solved.
“…outfield questions (J.D. Drew)…”
Maybe. If (big, gigantic, monolithic “if”) he’s healthy, yes. If he’s injured, no.
“…and International Man of Mystery deficit (Daisuke Matsuzaka).”
What does that even mean? Just say they signed a good pitcher. Jesus.
“If they find a closer and everything else works, this could be the most dangerous team in baseball.”
Do you hear that America? If the Red Sox find a closer, and all the questions about their bullpen, starting rotation, catcher, second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, centerfielder, and rightfielder are answered successfully, then they could be the most dangerous team in baseball!
Let’s play a game where we say an outrageous, bordering on impossible conditional statement that relies on an extremely unlikely chain of events occurring for it to be true. I’ll start: if my TV sheds its metal coating, replaces it with tough skin, grows to 60 feet tall, sprouts small useless hands and a tail, and develops legs and sharp teeth, it would be a tyrannosaurus rex. Your turn!