Talkin Sox with Dan

Where baseball fans gather for commonsensical, opinionated Red Sox banter.

Archive for the tag “Roy Halladay”

Ross Puts Sox on Back

Damn it. Wrong Ross.

Cody Ross slugged two home runs last night, helping the Red Sox snap a five-game skid. His first long ball tied the game in the seventh inning. It was two-run shot to left field that hugged the line. It had the distance. The only question was if it was going to stay fair or not. With two outs in the top of the ninth, and the game still knotted at five runs a piece, Ross took a low, outside pitch from Twins’ closer Matt Capps to deep right field for a solo home run. It was an impressive display of power by 2010 NLCS hero who is known as a predominately pull-hitter. Alfredo Aceves somewhat reluctantly shut the door in the bottom of the ninth, securing a much-needed 6-5 win for the local nine. Ross was the man on Monday night in Minnesota.

A few other observations from a Monday in Mauer country…

  • Before the season, Jon Lester made it abundantly clear that he would like to be mentioned among the game’s elite hurlers. Throughout the spring, Lester was the most contrite out of all of the pitchers who were accused of taking their foot off of the gas in September of last season. He seemed focused, primed for a big year. It may be time to abandon the thought that Lester will ever evolve into a true ace. As a caveat, when I refer to an “ace”, I don’t mean C.J. Wilson. I don’t mean Ricky Romero. When I talk about an ace, I’m pointing to C.C. Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and the small fraternity of pitchers who instill a feeling of “yeah, we’re going to win today” in their teammates. Lester is very good, but he is not Roy Halladay. He’s not Cliff Lee. He’s not even Matt Cain. Kudos on settling down and giving your team seven innings but walking four and allowing five runs to the Minnesota Twins when your team desperately needs its stopper to stp up simply does not cut it. And let’s not even get into the fact that Lester has been spotted at least a two-run lead in the early innings of his last two starts. Squandered leads are not good for business in Boston.
  • It was nice to have Daniel Bard out of the bullpen again. It felt so good, so good, so good.
  • David Ortiz is absolutely raking right now. Even the outs he makes are hit hard. Watching him give the metaphorical middle finger to the shift is fun to watch. He looks like a smart hitter who is comfortable in his own skin.
  • Someone should tell Kevin Youkilis that the left side of the infield on the opposing team usually takes grounders before the game. He does not need to provide them fungo work during it.
  • Ryan Sweeney will likely never be a superstar or even a star, but he seems content hitting line drives and doing his job. I like that. (Clearly ignoring his mishap in right field last night. He can thank Bard for that.)

Fantasy Can Reveal a lot About Reality

The morning before a fantasy draft. What a great feeling. Endless possibilities. A clean slate. The whole sha-bang.

Twice a year, once for football and once for baseball, a few buddiesamine (yeah, that’s right buddies-a-mine) get together for a handful of hours filled with food, sports banter, lewd jokes, and cold beer. Oh, and we draft real players, putting them together on a fantasy team. The better the players perform in the actual game, the better our fantasy teams do in the standings. Simple enough.

What I’m really trying to say is that my life is so incredibly boring, I not only devote a large portion of my free time to following teams like the Red Sox and the Patriots, I actually feel compelled to seek refuge from the reality of those sports in the form of fantasy teams. Pretty soon we will be getting together two months before our Fantasy Baseball Draft to conduct our fantasy-fantasy draft.

On a serious note, I have the ninth pick today in a ten team, 5×5 league, and I’m scrambling around with notes, some awful fantasy baseball magazine that I think came out before Halloween, and some printouts that will likely provide no help whatsoever. I feel like I’m getting ready to take a test on a subject I should know extremely well. Instead, I’ll probably just end up with a C- on the exam and just hope that the rest of the class performs equally as pedestrian.

Knowing your classmates is almost as important as the material on the test. The nine other guys in the league are pretty similar. It is a group compromised largely of Red Sox fans. This means a couple of things:

  1. Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury, surer than you’re born, will be gone by the time my number is called.
  2. If I want a quality fantasy player from the Red Sox roster (and there are plenty), it is likely that I will have to reach a bit to snag one.

When drafting, it’s important to know who your league-mates. You’ll be able to mold your strategy in a way that capitalizes on their tendencies. Remember, fantasy drafts aren’t supposed to be opportunities to gather your favorite players together in a group and see what happens. Yeah, Dustin Pedroia is about as solid as it gets, but there are better picks in the middle half of the first round. Easier said than done. Trust me, I know.

This is certainly not a fantasy advice column, but I’ll offer once last piece that I truly believe in. Fantasy baseball is a war of attrition. It is a long grueling season for players and fantasy managers alike. Daily maintenance isn’t an option. It is a requirement. When drafting, select guys who play every single day. Half three-quarters of the battle is won just by showing up. You can’t get an RBI, score a run, or a record a strikeout if you’re rehabbing or nursing a hamstring. Robinson Cano hasn’t missed a game since Seinfeld stopped airing new episodes. Roy Halladay is a sure fire bet for 30 starts. The Doc don’t miss appointments. It’s a lot like drafting (or picking up on waivers) Marshawn Lynch in fantasy football. He’s not the sexiest back around, but he gets 30 touches a game. Sometimes, just being on the field is the most important part. Target guys that show up for work.

No matter what, have fun. Whether it’s an online or live drive, enjoy yourself for the handful of hours you get to escape reality. In the grand scheme of things, fantasy baseball drafts are just a precursor to the real holiday–Opening Day.

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