Now’s a good time to look at how various teams are lining up for the postseason – in fact I’m hoping to do just that in the next day or two – and consequently the front page of ESPN today has an article looking at every team’s postseason weaknesses, authored by “analyst” John Kruk. You might know John for inexplicably being an All-Star baseball player in the early 90’s despite having the athleticism of an asthmatic sloth or perhaps for his current role on Baseball Tonight, where his rants often defy the rules of both logic and grammar.
I know that picking on something Kruk writes is like critiquing a 1st grader’s macaroni art, but ESPN ran this thing on the front page. So in my mind, that’s fair game.
John presents us with the premise for his article:
Which of the teams likely headed to the playoffs have the most to figure out in the next two weeks? All of them except the Boston Red Sox.
As you can see, we’re off to a good start. Not only is John’s premise here – that the Red Sox are the only team with things figured out – absurd, but this reads like something Ralph Wiggum would say. Does ESPN not have editors? I guess it’s too hard just to say “The Red Sox have the fewest weaknesses going into the postseason.”
The Angels have to figure a number of things out. If they play the Red Sox in the first series, will Brian Fuentes be their closer?
Yes. Do you expect them to sign a new closer just to face the Red Sox? I know Fuentes pitched poorly against the Sox in Fenway, but to his credit he had Nick Green struck out, only the umpire didn’t (or wouldn’t) call it.
Who is going to pitch for the Yankees? How does their rotation set up? Overall, A.J Burnett has been awful, excluding some of his recent starts, and besides CC Sabathia, which arms can the Yankees call on? Can you deem Andy Pettitte healthy after having to miss a start or two because of his shoulder?
The same guys who have been pitching all year. Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Joba. If they play the series with extra rest, they’ll only use the first three. You’re acting like only top starters can be allowed to pitch in the postseason. Do other teams have 4 pitchers of Sabathia’s quality? I distinctly remember Jeff Weaver being allowed to start in the postseason a couple years back. Oh, and Jeff Suppan. I could go on. The Yankees won the most games in the majors so far using these pitchers. They can win the most games in the postseason using the same ones. By the way, I also love the “AJ Burnett is awful overall, except when he’s not” line. Guess what? Albert Pujols is terrible overall, except for the times he gets hit and makes plays.
What they’ve done in monitoring Joba Chamberlain’s workload has been unbelievable, but he’s not even in the equation to start.
I know, it’s so insane that the Yankees want to keep Joba healthy. And not even in the equation? Girardi just said that Joba is still the #4 starter in the postseason. Sure, if Joba has a few more terrible outings, maybe you go to someone else. But I’m pretty sure he’s in the equation.
Boston is really the only team heading into the postseason that you can look at and say, “This team is ready for the playoffs.” Aside from the middle relief, which hasn’t been too good, Jon Lester is pitching well and Daisuke Matsuzaka has looked good. The Sox look to me to be the one, of all the teams likely headed to the postseason, that is the most dolled up and ready to play in the playoffs.
So let me get this straight: the Red Sox are the only team with no weaknesses, except their middle relief is a weakness. That makes sense. And you’re worried about Andy Pettitte – a proven guy who has pitched well all year – just because he had a start pushed back, but you’re sold on Dice-K after a couple starts? Dice-K spent almost the entire season on the DL. How is he not a question mark? And I don’t know what it means for a baseball team to be the “most dolled up.” Is that baseball lingo for “just dropped 2 out of 3 to the Royals”?
John needs to stick to TV, where fat guys can sit on the couch and think, “Hey, I like that Kruk. I, too, like overeating and watching baseball, and pretty much only have the language skills for accomplishing those two tasks.”