Friday, August 27, 2004
Chicago and Cleveland both enter tonight’s game eight games back of the Twins. Less than a month ago, it looked like both teams would try to battle to the wire with Minnesota.
What a difference a month makes.
The Indians lost nine straight games, and the Sox have been scuffling ever since Frank Thomas exited the lineup with a season-ending foot injury. Both teams are under .500. Now all that’s left is the ugly battle for the pride of finishing second in the craptastic AL Central.
But pride does come before the fall, as something biblical would remind us, and when nominal Sox ace Freddy Garcia felt a twinge in his forearm, the Pale Hose thought better than to let him go out and risk further injury.
Unlike the NFL, there’s no value in losing and getting a higher draft pick: So many first-rounders in baseball’s amateur draft are busts, you’re really only gaining the privilege of shelling out a bigger bonus.
Keeping the anchor of next year’s rotation healthy is a must. Protecting your recent 3-year, $27-million dollar investment is a necessity. Finishing ahead of the Indians, who will struggle to finish .500, well, it just isn’t.
Mark Buherle 4.02 ERA
Freddy Garcia 4.79 ERA
Jose Contreras 3.98 ERA
Those are your top three starting pitchers in ’05. Add in good free agent with the money that would have gone to Magglio Ordonez (it would probably take less than $14 million to lure Matt Clement to the south side), and maybe keep Jon Garland at the back of the rotation, and that’s not too bad. Especially when the Twins are throwing Carlos Silva and Terry Mullholland out there.
Better to take the lumps now than wait until next season to worry about who would fill Garcia’s spot.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
I generally stay away from emotional posts because reading the feeling-laden posts that dominate other blogs, I believe they don’t offer any genuine insight.
That said, there’s no escaping it today. If the Sox lose, they’ll fall below .500 and could slide to eight games back in the standings. The season is over.
Instead of worrying about calculating postseason odds or down-the-stretch match-ups, I’ll be spending the rest of the year focusing on what shape the Sox roster will take next year.
Some players that will be playing for jobs next year…
The performance of these guys down the stretch will in part determine if they’ll be wearing Sox uniforms next year.
Here’s to next year.