Headline of Rob Bradford’s latest column at WEEI: “What becomes of the Red Sox without Adrian Gonzalez.”
Only Red Sox Nation worries about what will happen if
they lose the player they never had in the first place. And they wonder why the rest of the baseball world hates them.
Headline and opening Adrian Gonzalez-coveting paragraphs aside, the bulk of the article is devoted to speculating what the Sox might do to fill the middle of their order going forward. I don’t really take issue with any of Bradford’s assessments of Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez or David Ortiz, but with his references to Gonzalez, Prince Fielder and regret over not getting Mark Teixeira, it seems like he’s sort of assuming that the Sox absolutely have to bring in some giant middle-of-the-order bat or else all is lost.
The Sox, however, are leading the American League in scoring right now and Kevin Youkilis is performing as if he’s (shock!) a giant, middle-of-the order bat. Probably because he is. In the grand scheme of things, then, I’m not seeing why the Sox need to go and get someone else huge.
The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.
Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.
Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.
For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.
And it continues anew:
There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.
Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:
Or at the end of the 2015 season:
Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.
Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.