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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Pull the goalie. Where to begin? A few days ago I promised a missive on Boston's defense as the first in a series of posts attempting to answer the question "how good are these Sox?". That was before this excruciating series in the Bronx began.

There were two errors on Opening Day. There were six in a three game span in April. There were errors that sent games into extra innings. There were errors of the mental kind. There were errors of the little league kind. The play at first base – David McCarty aside – has been so shoddy that if this was hockey we’d be calling for the coach to pull the goalie. The number of unearned runs piles up.

Each error that gives a team an extra out makes a pitcher throw more pitches. If anyone has calculated the numbers of errors committed when Pedro throws send them my way. Our fragile ace can't conserve pitches without help.

At short, Pokey Reese has looked like the second coming of Ozzie Smith making the difficult look routine. Perhaps you can forgive Nomar's defensive struggles due to his long layoff but sadly his return has marked a downturn in team defense up the middle.

Plain and simple, the defense stinks and a team built like this doesn't go far. Here are the results:

1. Tired starters
2. Tired bullpen
3. More pressure on the hitters
4. Increased angst in Red Sox Nation.

Screw finding a pitcher. Are there any gold glovers on the market?

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Monday, June 28, 2004

Is this a good team? Just how good is this team? It's no longer early in the season. The injured superstars are back. The All-Star Game is approaching. How good is the 2004 edition of the BoSox?

The folks in the front office would argue that the Sox are indeed very, very good if you go by the numbers. But the performance on the field tells a different story entirely.

Defense.
Middle relief.
Clutch hitting.
Managing.

I’ll examine these areas one by one in the coming week. For now here come the Yanks.

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