Spring Fling with Red Sox
Spring training has arrived – hard to believe that I’ll get to watch my Red Sox play for games that count in a couple months. The team has a good chance to improve on last year’s championship season because of the infusion of youth that Theo Epstein and his Ivy League staff are ushering in. Of course, old superstars like Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz will continue to carry the team. But, with Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, and Clay Buchholz projected to play major roles, the team seems set to undergo a team rebuilding concurrent to fielding a championship-caliber squad. It’s the best of both worlds for sabermetric fans like me who care about winning now without sacrificing future competitiveness. I’m especially happy that Epstein & Co. didn’t trade for Johan Santana – happier still that he’s now in the National League. Santana would have cost the Sox the bulk of their star prospects. This institutional imperative to develop talent down in the farm and allow them to make a contribution is a great philosophy. Gone are the days when management would trade away potential stars to rent a “tested” veteran for a few months or even a couple years.
The accompanying video features John Farrell, the Sox’s pitching coach talking about Josh Beckett’s dominance in the 2007 playoffs and what Beckett has in store.