16 January 2009
I've been meaning to start a weekly links feature, so here it is:
Jim Rice finally made it into the Hall of Fame this week thanks to a few years of campaigning and more than a few emails from the Nation... but Bugs & Cranks wants to know why Dwight Evans isn't getting the same kind of love from the Fenway Faithful - and he makes a few great points:
Rice was better than Evans when both were in their 20's; Evans was way better than Rice when both were in their 30's. Rice had his best seasons from ages 24-26, while Evans didn't have his first great year until he was 29... Evans was extremely valuable into his late 30's; Rice was completely done at 34.
Rice grounded into 315 career double plays; Evans 227. Context-driven stat, yes, but damn.
Rice was regarded as a mediocre fielder, at best, when he played, and we all know that short wall in Fenway does wonders for fielders with poor range (coughMannycough). Evans, meanwhile, won eight Gold Gloves, had a cannon for an arm, and was regarded as one of the premier right fielders of his time. He made one of the most unbelievable catches in World Series history in Game Six of the 1975 Series. Without it, there are no Carlton Fisk heroics.
Speaking of "Dewey," The House that Dewy Bulit has a nice breakdown of John Smoltz' aresonal ... and Rob Neyer of ESPN looks at both sides of the Smoltz signing, quoting the optomistic Nick Scherer who caught the pitching session Smoltz threw for the Sox in December and the hesitant Craig Calcaterra from Hard Ball Times' Shyster Ball, who reminds us that Smoltz is a machine, but he's an old machine...
Curt Schilling weighed in on the Jason Varitek situation at 38 Pitches and feels that re-signing Tek can only help the Red Sox, because regardless of what he does at the plate, having him behind the plate makes John Farrel's job and the pitcher's job so much easier:
The think I can speak from experience to is getting to know your new catcher, and getting comfortable. They are two very different things. I put a ton of time and effort into getting comfortable with a new catcher more so than anything. Rhythm is such a huge part of the game to many pitchers, me included, that I needed to be in a flow and did not want to be out there shaking off and calling time outs during games.
David Ortiz told the media via email that his wrist feels good and he hopes to play in the World Baseball Classic:
"I have been swinging some, and my injured wrist has not bothered me since last year," Ortiz told The Associated Press by e-mail on Thursday. "Just as I promised, if I'm healthy, I will join the team."
After a un-Papi like season in 2008: .264 BA, 23 HR, 89 RBI in 109 games, I was kind of hoping he would skip the WBC...
And speaking of guys that should probably just focus on staying healthy in 2009, Big League Stew is wondering why Scott Kazmir thinks it's a good idea to pitch in gthe WBC. Here's why:
Last year, after an early season elbow injury delayed the start of his season, Scott Kazmir pitched into the seventh inning in only five of his 27 regular season starts. None of those starts came after June 6.
Finally, with some reverse mojo, we want you all to jump over to Fire Brand of the AL where Tim cicks off his annual "For Better or Worse" feature with a look at Kevin Youkilis. We want to know if you think Youk will surpass his career best numbers from 2008 or come back to earth... Tim's laid out all the deatils, all you have to do is make your picks.
Oh, and here's your Saturday Morning Cartoon:
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