Sure enough, less than 24 hours later, and I'm completely going back on my last post. I knew I would. I like to react angrily when we are the worst team in baseball. What? We're not? Yeah, like I believe that. I've watched them play. It's ugly.
The worst part of it all is that people are depending on the return of Mike Cameron or Jacoby Ellsbury to bring the season back to good. If they're our best hopes, then we're pretty SOL, aren't we? I'm not insinuating that getting them back isn't going to help. Our outfield defense will improve tremendously. I don't know if people have noticed but Ronald McDonald and Bill Hall? Not really good fielders. With Ronald, I don't know if it's just nerves, but a lot seems to get past him, and when he tries to pick up the ball, he fumbles. Wolverine wasn't so bad, but he's on the walking wounded list. And of course, I don't care what people say about Vantastic... I think he's excellent. If I'm being completely honest, I don't think any of these six men are a good, feasible solution to our outfield issues. It's scary when I think Drew is actually our best fielder out there, because it's a widely-known fact that I don't like him much. I like him better than I have in the past, but I'm not quite there yet. I'm trying. I really am.
The best part, though? Jason Varitek. Without a doubt, seeing him with a bat in his hands is a welcome sight. It used to be the sort of thing that made me cringe and obsessively repeat 'I'll still love you no matter what' while covering one eye as to protect myself from the horror of Jason swinging at the damn high fastballs. Now... this season... I've seen him get base hits on the high fastballs. Whatever he changed, whatever he's doing differently, I approve. Maybe it is just the extra time off, or a mental break from knowing that he's the only one who knows the pitching staff. Maybe he's adjusted to his family issues, and maybe the high socks used to cut off circulation to his feet, making him uncomfortable and causing him to swing at everything. I don't know. I don't know what's different, exactly, (except for the lack of high socks, which I sort of lament), but I do know that I trust the Captain at bat with the bases loaded now. Not just that false, I-want-to-believe-in-you trust. No, the actual, I-know-you-can-do-it sort of trust. Does that mean I want Tek as our starting catcher right now? No. I think the extra rest is a big reason for the improvement. Sadly, doesn't mean I want VMart as our starting catcher either. But since there are currently no other options, I'll just have to keep hoping that Victor decides that double plays aren't cool after all.
Varitek is what's going to keep me watching. And Papi. He's shown slow signs of snapping out of this funk. I'll still be cheering him whether he comes out of it completely or goes right back into it. Papi has brought us good things. I won't turn on him, and kudos to all the other fans who refuse to turn on him.
I do think Theo's 'run prevention' plan was bullshit from the start. In theory, it was a good idea. But he seemed to forget that we're in the AL East. That means we're facing some of the best hitters in baseball frequently. No matter how good your defense is (and ours has NOT been good at all), the best hitters are still going to hit and drive in runs. Run prevention is all well and good, but you have to have a run procurement plan in action simultaneously otherwise you get results much like we've been getting. Losing many one-run games.
The bullpen is tired. The hitters are struggling because they're all trying too hard with each at-bat. The fielding is downright atrocious. Adrian Beltre is on our team. We've got a lot working against us right now. And yes, Beltre is my new Lugo... maybe he's more like the new Renteria. He can't field (and I will not believe you if you say he can. I've seen him!), but he can hit. Belteria? Hmmm.... we'll see if I can work with that.
This is going to sound weird, but... I sort of feel good about today. I'd like to think we hit rock bottom yesterday, so that means we'll start the climb back up. I obviously don't know if that's really going to happen, or if we're actually at rock bottom. All I know is I feel good about Dahmer on the mound tonight. He's going to bring good things, and we're going to get timely hitting and awesome defense. The climb back up starts tonight. You've got to believe it. Believing is all we can do right now.
3 months ago