Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Master of his destiny and other thoughts

  • Justin Masterson is going to make it hard for the Red Sox to justify keeping him in Pawtucket. Masterson is now 1-0 in two starts spanning 12.1 innings and a minuscule 1.46 ERA. It could have been below one had the bullpen held when it took over the game.
  • Am I the only one that was worried that Masterson wouldn't get the much deserved win when Terry Francona went to the bullpen?
  • Within two years the Sox starting rotation is going to be Matsuzaka, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, and Masterson. I think that Buchholz or Masterson could still go in a trade - but it's going to have to be an absolute can't miss trade that will help the team for years, or Sox fans will have Theo's head on a pike.
  • Watching the NBA playoffs I think I can say without equivocation that the Celtics are a different team when Rajon Rondo is sitting on the bench. The interesting thing is that Eddie House has been playing like a man possessed the last couple of games, but there has been little trickle-down from him to his teammates, whereas Rondo sets a tempo and intensity that has seemed to be infectious when he's on the court.
  • For all the regular season promotion of the Celtics' new Big Three as being Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, in the post-season its been Garnett, Pierce, and Rondo, with Allen a virtual no-show. If Allen can find his game, then opponents are going to be in trouble.
  • Considering the overall age of the Celtics, it would be nice to see them steal a game in Detroit and maybe get a little rest before the finals. That said, Detroit has been the team that has concerned me the most. Of all the teams the C's have played this post-season, they're the one I think can steal one in the Gahden and could send the Celtics packing.
  • I don't know what to think of the NFL owners opting out of the current agreement with the NFLPA. For pretty much the last two decades the two groups have been able to hammer out agreements before any real strife, but I have a hunch that this negotiation is going to be more contentious than anything since the lock-out in the 1980's.
Quick shots from Yankee Land...
  • Hank Steinbrenner has to be on the verge of an apoplectic fit. Between a construction worker who happens to be a Red Sox fan jinxing the new stadium, the Sox riding atop the AL East and the Yanks languishing at the bottom, and his team struggling and looking either too old, or not yet ready for prime time, the clock is ticking on the time bomb that is Steinbrenner.
  • After pitching over his head in his last five starts, Mike Mussina returned to form against the Orioles, lasting only two-thirds of an inning and giving up seven runs. Granted, only one run was earned (although watching the highlights, I don't know that I completely believe Yahoo's box on that), but at least six were scored with two out. Mussina just couldn't get out of the inning.
  • Speaking of pitching that's going to contribute to Hank's head popping like a bloated tick, the Renaissance of young pitching in Fenway is going to give the man a conniption. The would-be veteran aces of both the Sox (Beckett) and Yanks (Pettitte) are struggling, but the number two's - Matsuzaka and Wang - aren't. However, Matsuzaka is looking like the ace he was in Japan while Wang looks like the number two pitcher he is. However, the real bad news comes from the home-grown products...The vaunted young starters, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, are a combined 0-7 with a 9.00 and 8.48 ERA respectively. There are two quality starts between them, and the Yankees 2-10 in their combined 12 starts. I guarantee you that Hank is eying not only the 5-2 Johan Santana, but the Red Sox young arms have to be what will put his snit over the top. Masterson, Lester, and Buchholz are a combined 6-5 with a no-hitter and two complete games.
  • Hank also couldn't have been happy to be reminded of Alex Rodriguez's prowess at the plate when it doesn't matter.


Dave said...

I enjoyed A-Rod's two-run meaningless shot even more than the Sox win.

Kevin Smith said...

I can't help but picture Hank's head just popping like an over-full water balloon if the season keeps running like this.

Suldog said...

The thing about Rondo is that you have to stay completely alert when he's handling the ball. The kid is a great passer - something that's been somewhat overlooked by the media and pundits - and he'll get you the ball at any time, anyplace. If you don't stay alert, you'll likely end up getting one of your head sooner or later. Nobody else brings that to the floor.

It's like the difference between a pitcher who throws as soon as he gets the ball back, and a guy who gets the ball, goes for the rosin, blows on his hands, waves to his girlfriend in the stands, or whatever else. Some guys will just naturally get back on their heels when the pitcher isn't working quickly. Rondo works quickly.

Kevin Smith said...

Still, it's like watching two different teams out there - the difference is truly amazing.

That said - I hadn't even considered some of your observations before, but I think you're right.