The boy of summer started playing down in Fort Meyers and the sun has begun to shine in Massachusetts. With that us baseball fans get antsy. So, with the introduction of a new baseball season, iBerkshires will be introducing a new sports blog.
I will be in charge of this blog though I may not be the only one posting. I am a staff writer here at iBerkshires and I am a Boston sports fan. My coverage plan for this is whatever I feel like writing. My projection is that it will be heavy on the Bruins and the Red Sox. I will try to snag some local sports too.
We got that out of the way so let's talk some baseball. What do we think about this starting lineup? I'm already thinking about October.
1) Jacoby Ellsbury - Steal bases and stop crying about your poor little ribs.
2) Dustin Pedoria - Looking creepy with the slicked-back hair but an all-around great player.
3) Youk - YOOOOOUUUUUKKK!
4) Papi - Let's try to start hitting in the first month this time.
5) A-Gonz - Great addition. Smaller ballpark, power pitching, protection in Papi - there is a lot of unseen possibilities here.
6) Crawford - Even better addition. Crawford was the best pick up because of the options. He can leadoff, he can steal a base, he can hit for power and average and play defense. A great baseball player and should be fun to watch.
7) Drew - Bad back, bad knees, a great arm and can still hit.
8) Saltalamacchia - Who knows. I think Tek might come alive and take this spot in the lineup.
9) Scutaro - Solid and fundamentally sound player and I'd like to see him bump to number 2 in the lineup. He is an intelligent player and will help move the runners. Imagine starting off the games with Ellsbury getting on, stealing second and then Scutaro putting a little ground ball to the right. With 1 out to start the game you are looking to Youk and Papi to hit a deep fly ball - that's doable.
1) Beckett - Nasty but I think these hitters are getting used to him a bit. Still strong enough to win 15-games.
2) Lester - Even Better. Staying healthy with this lineup, he could be a 20-game winner.
3) Lackey - Should have a better season now that he's seen the AL East hitters and knows the city. The East Coast and West Coast are drastically different and I'm sure Lackey was a bit distracted by the adjustment last year. Maybe 10-10 or 12-12ish but he will have some important ones.
4) Dice-K - Frustrating but effectively eats innings. Ideally, I'd like to see Dice-K pitching last in the rotation so he'll pitch before Beckett. Teams will have to deal with his pitter-patter on the edges and then the next day face Beckett's fastball pounding the zone. 10-14? Maybe? I have no real projection here.
5) Buchholz - Best on the staff rounding out the rotation. Stay focused, keep it down, throw strikes and he'll have another great season. Two 20-win pitchers on the same staff? It is March, so I say yes.
Bard, Paps, Jenks - We might be on closer by committee for a bit of this year. However, that committee consists of closers and not middle relievers like we used to have. Jenks, Paps, Bard will be lights out in the back end.
Okajima - Poised to have either a great season or a terrible one. We might be seeing Okajima on the trading block.
Wakefield - Mop until a starter goes down. How many wins does he need?
Wheeler - Great addition. In the heavy hitting AL East you can never have enough options out in the pen.
Aceves - Good pick up. Expect Doubront or Atchison to move into this back-end too.
Other faces we shall see.
Tek - I think his hitting will come around and take over the starting position.
Lowrie - I like him as a utility player but not as a starter yet. He could be in the future.
Cameron - Not sold on him yet. Let's see how he does.
Darnell McDonald - How can you not like Darnell? He may not be an all star but he is a fan favorite.
Lars Anderson - Trade him. We have enough first basemen and we'll need something at the trade deadline.
Kalish, Nava, Reddick - Last year's starters in AAA. They've shown they can step up and any of these guys could fill in a backup outfielder role.
Bowden, Atchison, Tazawa, Doubront - I expect all four of these guys to get a chance and all have a chance to compete for a permanent bullpen spot.
Jose Iglesias - This kid has good hands but I don't expect him to make to the show this year.