Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cousin Jason's Cooler Week of July 23rd

Going to try and right the ship for the Sox and the ole RSM. The Olde Towne team is scuffling along at .500 and with the beautiful weather along with vacations the Red Sox Maineiacs site has also been scuffling along in the month of July.

The summer weather also brings out "cooler" opportunities for our fellow Maineiacs and Cousin Jason, as has been documented in the RSM Podcasts, loves his opportunities to partake. So I'm going to start a weekly article titled Cousin Jason's Cooler, with some random thoughts about the Sox and anything else that comes to mind. So let's reach in and see what is on ice this week:

Sox Pack
1. It appears that Barry was correct in his opinion that moving Adrian Gonzalez back to 1B full-time would bring his bat back to life, as Gonzo was named the AL Player of the Week yesterday. I also saw a Tweet from Pete Abe that Gonzo leads MLB at a .411 clip with runners in scoring position. It is nice to see our slugging 1B finally driving the ball out of the park rather than just being the singles hitter we have seen for most of the season. Speaking of singles hitters, nice to see Ichiro traded to the Yankees where he he can hit 15 HR's down the stretch seeing as it's 175 to right field in the Bronx. Seriously though it has been talked about by those around baseball that Ichiro puts on a show in BP so I am going on record that Ichiro will hit at least 10 HR's the remainder of the season.

2. In the wake of Jon Lester's demise there were a couple of excellent reads, one by Pete Abe and the other by Rob Bradford. First off, there is no debating that Lester has stunk this year. However, he is still only 28 has a solid career track record and is under team control. I am sure that no one wants the Lester of old to return more than Lester himself but, it's time like these that playing in Boston sucks as his struggles are magnified by last year and the teams' own ineptitude. I think a trip to the DL could be the solution as Lester like Daniel Bard needs to get his head straight.

3. Speaking of Daniel Bard it appears that he has started to have some success at Pawtucket of late. The voice of the Paw Sox Aaron Goldsmith tweeted last night that Bard had a 1-2-3 inning ending it with a 95 mph fastball and throwing 8 strikes in his 11 pitches. Also saw via Goldsmith that Chris Carpenter is pitching again for the Paw Sox and hit 100 on the "reliable" gun in Louisville.

4. With the trading deadline a week away, should be interesting at Fenway next Tuesday night (I'll be there!), lots of chatter out there for not only the Sox but all of MLB. FYI Twitter has been great for keeping up with all of the action. Several articles written in the last 48 hours about what the Sox should do. Including the following: CSNNE's Rich Levine and Sean McAdam
Projo's Brian Mac
The Globe's Nick Cafardo
All seem to be in agreement that the Sox should stand pat. WEEI's Alex Speier's in addition to discussing potential Sox moves on the Sox radio pre-game show also joined the online article party. Although he discussed on the pre-game the potential to trade off some surplus parts such as OFers (and I'd add Kelly Shoppach). I concur with the analysis of these writers, the Sox are treading water at best right now and the idea that a "bold" move is needed to help this team make the post-season is silly. The talent is here to make the playoffs already it just needs to get healthy and play to it's potential. However, if a bold move can be made to improve this team for the future that is a different story. However, none of the players currently being linked to the Sox fit that bill (Garza, Johnson, Ramirez). I do however believe this off season is the time to shake up this team and make the "bold" move(s) that Larry Lucchino referred to last week on Dennis & Callahan.

5. How exciting was the Cody Ross walk off last Thursday night? The highlight of the 2012 campaign? I got to say it appears to be the clubhouse leader, if only RSM had someone (or two) at that game to fill us in? Looking at you guys, Barry and Brandon.

6. The return of Andrew Bailey appears to be coming in the near future. According to Bobby Valentine on the radio pre-game show tonight, Bailey will throw BP tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what the Sox do with the bullpen once Bailey does return. This late in the season, does it make sense to return Bailey to the closers role or let him set-up and keep Fettucine in the closers spot.

Random Shooters
- Trying to figure out the Ryan Dempster situation, go to a playoff contender or stay with a last place club? Given his decision, got to think in addition to the fact he is an average career NL pitcher, not too many contenders want to bark up that tree.
- The Pirates are going for it, trading tonight for Wandy Rodriguez. Nice to see, I really liked the Buccos in the early 90's (especially playing RBI Baseball on the Nintendo)
- Visited Panera Bread for lunch last Friday with the family in Augusta. First of all the place was mobbed and secondly, I just don't get the thrill of the place. They serve sandwiches just like hundreds of other places, except they give their breads fancy names like artisan so they can charge a higher price. Good thing for Panera Bread that my wife loves the place otherwise this Maineiac would never set foot in the place.


  1. Great job Cousin Jason! I love the cooler/Sox pack idea. Things are heating up leading up to the trade deadline, but I also agree that the Sox really should just stand pat, or even sell off a few spare parts (I would also add Padilla to the list). I am working on the RSM trip to Fenway write-up (no, I am, I promise). I agree on Panera Bread. Every time I go there and order I have two thoughts, without fail: 1. wow, that was expensive and 2. wow, this sandwich is tiny. I'm still going to be hungry after eating this.

  2. I feel shame...Thank goodness Jason has written this piece to keep the RSM blog afloat. I haven't been keeping up my end of the bargain and I apologize for that. I enjoyed the cooler piece.

    You can cross Hanley Ramirez off your list he has apparently been traded to the Dodgers as the Marlins fire sale is now full speed ahead... The last game of the White Sox series was an amazing game to be at in person. I've been to probably twenty games or so in my lifetime and that was the most exciting finish I've ever seen in person. Amazing.

  3. Jason, great column, I am looking forward to more coolers. I will touch base on a couple of your topics. First, Jon Lester, he is my favorite Red Sox player of recent years, and this is so, so painful to watch. Earlier in this season ( and of course last September) he seemingly pitched okay but just enough to not win. Now it is spiraled into a ....whatever this has become. I too felt perhaps a DL trip was in order, but every day Lester himself and Bobby V take turns in loudly proclaiming to the masses, " I am not hurt", he's not hurt". MLB might frown on a DL assignment to someone who's "not hurt". But I am stunned the Sox are going to let him pitch in Yankee Stadium this weekend. For chrissakes weren't they watching him vs. Toronto. ( Well we know Valentine must have napped off into the fourth inning or he would not have been foolish enough to leave Jon in to get beaten, in every sense of the word.) i hope I m wrong and maybe a Yankee game on the road, will be the shock therapy needed for Jon.

    As far as the rapidly approaching trade deadline, I do expect the Sox to be pretty active. If one defines "stand pat" as not trading Lester, Ellsbury, Pedroia, etc. I think they will stand pat. But I expect several members of this squad to go to pick up some younger talent. In order of most likely to be traded:

    Kelly Shoppach
    Vicente Padilla
    Ryan Sweeney/Daniel Nava ( maybe both)
    Matt Albers

    If the Sox should not win again before the deadline I would include Mike Aviles and Cody Ross to the likely to go category. And maybe Aaron Cook.

    I do not expect any big to medium name big leaguer to come to Boston at the deadline.

    But in addition to this list, I think there is a 70% chance Ben C can move Josh Beckett by the 31st. Despite some of his baggage ( cough, chicken, beer, cough) you cannot tell me Beckett is not as good as Ryan Dempster, Francisco Liriano, and some other names out there as available. Wandy Rodriguez had a similar amount left on his contract and he is about 1 1/2 years older than Beckett. Off the top of my head the Braves, Dodgers, Orioles, White Sox could use Beckett. Whoever loses out on Greinke,and if Tampa holds onto James Shields, Beckett could look a lot more appealing to come the deadline.

    And personally if were Ben I would be soliciting offers for Ellsbury who could bring back a strong package, but I do not think the Sox will do this ( until this winter).

    And finally I have never set foot in or spent a dime at Panera Bread, and after hearing Jason and Brandon's fine reviews I am damned glad.

    1. Where's Dan Duquette when you need him? The Red Sox could use another Heathcliffe Slocumb for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek type trade. None of the players that Deacon mentioned (except Ellsbury, which is unlikely) is going to bring back a grade A blue chip prospect, but Ben C. has an opportunity to make several savvy trades. That's where good GM's make their money. When they can get big league players out of someone else's system, that other people don't think will be good big league players, that's what separates the great GM's from the rest. Can Ben Cherington be a great GM???

  4. Did the links in my article work? I wrote it on the iPad and couldn't get them to work for me.