This post was supposed to be different.
I had intended to give MillersTime/GoSox reader(s) my wonderfully insightful review, along with pictures, of Fenway South, the new spring training facility at Jet Blue Park, ‘near’ Fort Myers.
However, there seemed to be some miscommunication between my good cousin and myself, and he had purchased tickets to a split squad game against the Marlins in Jupiter, FL, just a few miles from his West Palm Beach home. I had thought we were to go across the state to see the Sox play the Phillies. He will probably vigorously dispute my word ‘miscommunication,’ offering some self-defense that may have some validity.
Anyway, you will just have to wait until next spring to be fully informed about Fenway, Jr.
In the meantime, however, I will treat you, and especially Bobby Valentine, to my incisive views regarding who should be on the 25 man team for opening day.
Now you may believe, as I do, that Bobby V is a better judge of baseball talent than I, plus he’s been with the players much more than the two and a half hours I was with the split squad Saturday.
Nonetheless, I am sure, as are most baseball fans, that each of us knows much better than the managers, coaches, and front offices as to what a team should look like.
Therefore, here is my ‘authoritative’ view of who(m) should be at Fenway next week:
1. Adrian Gonzales
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. Jose Iglesias
4. Kevin Youklis
5. Cody Ross
6. Jacoby Ellsbury
7. Darnell McDonald
8. Jarrod Saltalamachia
9. David Ortiz
Pitching – Rotation:
1. John Lester
2. Josh Beckett
3. Clay Buchholz
4. Felix Doubront
5. Alfredo Acheves
Pitching – Bullpen:
1. Andrew Bailey
2. Daniel Bard
3. Mark Melancon
4. Michael Bowden
5. Vincente Padilla
6. Aaron Cook
7. Matt Alpers
1. Mike Aviles
2. Ryan Lavarnway
3. Ryan Sweeney
Bobby V’s choice of Pedro Ciriaco, if he believes another infielder is necessary, or Frank Morales if he believes he needs more bullpen help. The manager deserves some flexibility, after all.
We need to proceed with Iglesias and stop thinking of him as our future shortstop. I believe his defense will help out our pitching, and we just may have to live with his bat, or lack thereof, for the time being. Aviles is there for pinch hitting and to play third for the times Youk’s body won’t let him play.
Lavarnaway has a good bat (he can pinch hit) and can learn as much on the Red Sox bench as he can at Pawtucket. I can’t see much advantage in having Shoppach take up a space on the bench.
Darnell McDonald is a big question mark in my mind, but he has earned a shot at playing, certainly until Crawford returns, by which time we may know if McDonald’s spring is an aberration or he’s a good back up for the outfield.
Bard belongs in the bullpen, continuing as a set up man for Bailey or ready to step in if Bailey proves wanting.
Doubront has earned a shot at starting, and we should know if he is a a major league starter by the time Matsuzaka, Miller, and/or Hill are ready to return.
Acheves won’t be needed as the fifth pitcher for a week or so after the season starts, but he’s more valuable on a regular basis as a starter, I think, than waiting to bring him in for long relief. For short relief, let’s see how the other bullpen guys do. Plus, I suspect Acheves is better able to move back and forth between starting pitching and the bullpen than is Bard.
And there you have it Sox fans, coaches, and management.
Finally, how will the Sox do this year?
That’s another post.
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