Thursday, March 22, 2007


O Sweet Wild Thang

The following planned posts have been cancelled: The Great Closer Debate: Parts II & III, due to the official appointment of A CLOSER. As long, of course, as this is reliable information, and Curt does seem to have the inside track for information here. (thanks Ernie, for the head-up!)

Don't worry, kids, there's still a ton of stuff to write about!

Oh, like I suppose y'all wanna know what I think of all this, and who's gonna take Pappy's spot in the rotation, etc. Of course.

To be honest, I'm surprised. I think this decision was helped along by a fair amount of begging by sir John, for one thing. Maybe his curve isn't coming along as well as he'd like, or maybe he misses the adrenaline rush that comes with the role... it does take a certain temperment. Maybe John got suckered into the media hype and actually began to fear that without him in the ninth, his team was doomed. Poor kid IS young and impressionable, you know.

I've been told by more than one chiropractor that I am not strong enough to do all the things I am doing on a semi-occasional basis (i.e. lifting ladders and paint buckets and whatnot) and that I really oughta work out a certain muscle group so I can do all these things without injury or fatigue. It seems there was a similar type of situation with some of Jonathan's shoulder muscles and thank the great flying spaghetti monster that he is slightly less lazy and/or slightly more committed to his career than I am. He has actually taken their advice, and (so it has been claimed) built up said group of muscles to the point where there is now no longer any danger in using him with a closer's frequency.

Do I think this is true? Sure. But more importantly, Pappy has learned (the hard way) the importance of taking a day off, and is a lot more likely to take himself out of consideration if feeling fatigued. There was a time last summer when he was the only thing we could call out of the bullpen with any confidence, and we can't let that happen again. Those guys need to step up and demonstrate themselves capable of getting outs (ahem, is this not what they are being paid for) so we don't get in the habit of relying on the kid too much again. That extra out in the eighth we needed from him so many times last year may not seem like much to us, but I'm sure having to sit for awhile after a quick warm-up puts unnecessary strain on the arm.

In short, I think this could work very well for us, as long as we get good production out of our other relievers AND the slot he has abandoned in the rotation. If it does work, I think Pappy's hooked on the rush of the save, and could command big bucks for it his entire career. Would he have developed into an even better starter? We may never know OR theo may make the move to find out as soon as Hansen or Delcarmen or the young aussie kid Cox shows up ready to take over.

As for the starting slot, I think this could make for an interesting April. I would prefer they just throw Kyle Snyder in there, but I have a feeling they'll give Julie a crack at it first, and we might get better quality out of him there as opposed to out of the 'pen. Kyle will be happy to compete and not land on the waiver wire, I'm guessing, and Tavarez will likely feel slighted if he doesn't get the chance, making this a better move for clubhouse dynamics. In the long run, assuming no injuries, this job actually belongs to Jon Lester... and you can be sure a certain Texan just sharpened his focus in this direction as well.

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As awesome as it is to have a nails closer in Pap, I have to admit I was looking forward to seeing him in the starting rotation.

So who fills in his starting spot?
I too would like to see Snyder there ... but it's Lester's spot - that kid has earned it, and he deserves it ... don't hit me, but I don't much care for Tav's ... well, or WMP, but that's another story.
Between periods of that disaster that was supposedly a hockey game last night, NESN had a segment with Pap and he was saying that he actually wants and prefers to be the closer and he seemed pretty sincere about it. I guess this is what he really wants so in that case, even better.
What will probably happen is that Julian will start as number five, after Wakes's numero quattro.. But soon, I hope we see Jon Lester. We need a lefty in the rotation, and the club, and every one of us, knows what an emotional moment it will be as he strolls out to the mound. At Fenway.
Rebecca, thank you for the phone call back. it proved to me all over again something that I never doubted. Ever! You have a hear a mile or ten wide. Stay i ouch. Peter, your friend with the *
I meant to say "heart" And "in touch." Forgive me...and that was an underestimate. You're simply the best. I'll neve feel differently....ever.
And Earnie, for the first few weeks, Tavarez will step into the number five spot. But if the OTHER Jon, Mr. Lester, starts out on fire in Triple A, expect to see him at Fenway. A standing ovation, and me with tears pouring down my moisture laden face. Reb, again, thank you.
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