Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Sox Aren't Worried About Schilling. Hell, They've Got A Young Pettitte And Peavy In Their Rotation

Hey, I'm as psyched as anyone to see what Lester and Buchholz can do for the Sox this season. Unfortunately, the expectations may be a little on the high side.

With the Pats turning a fantastic season into a giant dump (no pun intended), pitchers and catchers can't start practicing fast enough for the mourning New England faithful. Fortunately for us all, because the Sox start their season early in Japan this year, Spring Training comes early and the Sox officially open facilities for their title defense in 3 days. And everything was going so sweet until Schilling's old ass up and busted up his shoulder. But even that really wasn't that bad because the Sox had 6 starters ready to go anyway (7 if you include Masterson). Because of this depth, Schilling's injury didn't really have the panic that it normally might. But I think because of the depression associated with the Pats failure and the history of overreaction and panic of Sox fans, the Sox media went a little overboard in an effort to calm the everyone's nerves.

Instead of merely heralding the young Sox pitchers as viable starting staff with great experience and potential, the Boston media compared the young pitchers on the staff to a couple of major league players. And not just any two guys:
The Red Sox, like the Yankees, are transitioning to a younger pitching staff, building around a core of veterans in Josh Beckett (27) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (27), and they hope lefthander Jon Lester (24) becomes their Andy Pettitte and Buchholz emerges as their Jake Peavy.
Pettitte and Peavy? Whoa. I hope that's true because the Sox will have the greatest rotation of all-time but come the fuck on. Peavy won the Cy Young last year and Pettitte is a borderline Hall of Famer (and drug abuser). It seems odd to make such lofty comparisons for two guys who are fairly untested when neither of them need to fill a No. 1 or 2 roll in the rotation. I'd be happy if Lester becomes a latter day Bruce Hurst and ecstatic if Buchholz turned into a steady Derek Lowe or David Cone.

Of course in my heart of hearts I want every young Sox pitcher to turn into Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy, but that's just not going to happen. It's much more likely that Buchholz or Lester flame out and never pitch another game than it is that either of them becomes a 20 game winner. That's just the way these things go. But I guess what frustrates me most about situations like these is that these guys are trying to make the rotation of the defending World Champs and the pressure is high enough. To start throwing around comparisons to Pettitte and Peavy is both unfair and unnecessary. We're f'n psyched about these two guys. Let's just leave it at that until the season starts.

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