Hi everyone, and welcome to my new sports blog. This should be my first of many posts all about the world of Boston sports teams. Tonight’s topic: the 2009 Boston Red Sox, first half. Overall, I must say the Red Sox look incredibly strong, all things considered. They have 3 awesome starting pitchers in Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett, and Jon Lester. John Smoltz hasn’t quite been what I’d hoped for yet, but there’s still time for him to find his groove. Brad Penny is competent for a fifth starter, but honestly I’d like to see them trade him in a deal that addresses their needs at shortstop or third and then bring up Clay Bucholz to be the fifth man. I feel like Penny has proven he can pitch enough to get us a good player in return, like a Garret Atkins or Hank Blalock, as long as we throw in some other stuff as well. Personally, I’d be ok with parting with Justin Masterson as part of that deal, since he has yet to show any real consistency as a reliever. It’s no coincidence that both of the major comebacks (or one comeback and one almost-comeback) by other teams against us have began with Masterson on the mound. Throw in Lugo and that’s a 3-for-1 trade, perfectly reasonable for any team to take.
In terms of offense, I like where we’re at most positions. Tek is having a much stronger season, Youk and Pedroia are playing great, and Ellsbury is a sight to see whenever he gets on base. My two favorite things to see in baseball are definitely Ellsbury running and Daniel Bard pitching. There’s just nothing cooler than that kind of speed. Drew is inconsistent, but when has he not been? Meanwhile, the only weaknesses are at shortstop (no matter who they throw out there, it’s just not a strong position) and first base. I like Mark Kotsay, but I don’t see him producing very much. So as I said, if we can get power at one of those positions I think we’ll address all of our offensive needs.
So the question is, are the Red Sox good enough to win it all? Frankly, I say yes, they are. They have a 3 game lead in their division and the second best record in the majors. They have a great set of starters (and you only need 4 for the playoffs anyway) and a very competent bullpen, as long as you use the right pitchers (i.e. not Masterson or Delcarmen). If they can just get a little healthier, such as Mike Lowell coming back from his hip injury, then I think we should all be gearing up for another fun-filled Red Sox season, one that in all likelihood will extend deep into October. Go Sox!