White Hat Sports Headlines

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Just when I thought I was out, they pulllll me back in"

This is most likely going to become the most used title on this site. Where I realize that it's from The Godfather, the meaning to me is more so from The Soprano's, hence the picture of Silvio Dante to go along with this column. My buddy Zach and I get a huge kick out of watching Sil, we can't help it, look at his shoulders while he talks.

Though right now this fits because the Red Sox keep trying to turn the corner and get everybody healthy to make a run at winning the division and boom, somebody key goes down. The latest report is the Tim Wakefield is heading towards the disabled list before today's game in Chicago. Wake has been arguably the team's second most consistent starter since June and is 7-8 only because of a criminal lack of run support. The thing with Wakefield going down right now is that Colon got tagged in his first rehab start in Pawtuckett so now it's looking like fellow knuckleballer Charlie Zink is going to get tabbed for his first major league start against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. Do the math with this one, Zink has been a career minor league player who became a knuckle ball pitcher somewhere along the way after he dropped from being the next Jon Lester to another Abe Alvarez. Add in the fact that he's featuring the knuckle ball, which used incorrectly gets you TAGGED at Fenway and multiply both of these points with the fact that Texas is a good hitting team and you have an equation for disaster Tuesday.

The thing that worries me the most about Wakefield going down right now is the fact that this might be the same sort of injury that he suffered late in the season last year and eventually kept him off the World Series roster. This could be really bad for the Sox if Wakefield is down, because then it locks them into leaving Clay Buchholz in the rotation which might not be the best thing for him long term, right now and of course it forces you to tag a replacement for Wakefield and the two best options are Charlie Zink or Bartolo Colon? Really?

Here's what it comes down to though, making the playoffs. It sounds simple enough right? All they have to do is win the wild card. The thing is though, this could be a team that is better suited for the playoffs than they are for the stretch run to even get into the playoffs. I am a firm believer of bringing an ace back on 3 days rest (by the way, Beckett is the best since Bob Gibson at doing this) and that teams like the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks had the right idea in starting Schilling and Johnson 5 of the 7 World Series games and bringing Johnson back in Game 7 as a reliever. This team would be TOUGH in a 5 or 7 game series with Beckett, Lester and Matsuzaka at the top and then the worst case scenario for a 4th starter is Clay Buchholz. That's definitely not bad, the only team that the Red Sox wouldn't dominate in the playoffs with that pitching set up would be Anaheim, and we know how Boston plays the Angels in the post season dating back to 1986. The Angels will have home field advantage in the playoffs though, but the Red Sox have Daisuke Matsuzaka who has been lights out on the road this season and could be a prime candidate to start game one or two and steal home field, which in the words of Carl Spangler.

"Which is nice."

(By the way, the odds of me getting a Godfather/Sopranos quotes in the same column as a Caddyshack quote was coming out as 5-2 today. Not bad.)

Sterling Pingree

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