George Hale’s Perspective: 2011 MLB Season

Updated 4 years ago

THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR WHEN MANY OF US GET CABIN FEVER AND LONG FOR THOSE WARM SUMMER DAYS.THE BIGGEST MEDICINE FOR THAT DEPRESSED FEELING IS SPRING TRAINING.MY BAGS ARE PACKED AND I’M READY TO GO.RED SOX PITCHERS AND CATCHERS OFFICIALLY REPORT ON MONDAY AND POSITION PLAYERS IN ONE WEEK.THERE ARE PLENTY OF REASONS TO BE OPTIMISTIC IN RED SOX LAND THIS COMING SEASON.IN ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL THE SOX HAD ONE OF THE BEST OFF SEASONS.I KNOW THAT GAMES ARE NOT PLAYED ON PAPER.BUT BOSTON MADE SOME MOVES THAT, UNLESS DISASTER STRIKES, SHOULD PUT THEM AT OR NEAR THE TOP THE ENTIRE SEASON.WHEN THEY INKED CARL CRAWFORD TO A 7-YEAR, 142-MILLION DOLLAR DEAL THE SOX GOT AN OUTFIELDER IN HIS PRIME.THE ADDITION OF ADRIAN GOLZALEZ FROM SAN DIEGO WILL SOLIDIFY THE MIDDLE OF THE LINEUP.TERRY FRANCONA WILL HAVE A VARIETY OF GREAT HITTERS TO THROW AT THE OPPOSITION ALL SEASON LONG.OFFENSE IS ONE THING BUT BOSTON NOW HAS ONE OF THE BEST PITCHING STAFFS IN BASEBALL.ONLY THE PHILLIES AND MAYBE OAKLAND ARE IN THEIR CLASS.JUST DROOL OVER THE ROTATION INCLUDING JON LESTER, CLAY BUCHHOLZ, JOHN LACKEY, JOSH BECKETT AND DICE-K.BECKETT AND LACKEY NEED TO PICK IT UP AND DICE-K NEEDS TO SETTLE IN.JON PAPELBON MAY NOT HAVE HAD A GREAT SEASON BY SOME STANDARDS BUT DID SAVE 37 GAMES. HIS BLOWN SAVES WERE 8 WHICH NEEDS TO BE CUT.SETUP MAN DAN BARD HELD THE LEAD 32 TIMES LAST SEASON.BOBBY JENKS AND DAN WHEELER WILL JOIN THE PEN. BOTH HAVE GOOD TALENT.YES, CATCHING IS A BIG QUESTIONMARK THIS SEASON BUT I HAVE A FEELING ITS GOING TO WORK OUT.SO HOW WILL THE A-L EAST WORK OUT?THIS IS THE WEEK I DO MY ANNUAL SEASON PREDICTIONS.LET’S START AT THE BOTTOM:BALTIMORE WILL FINISH 5TH. BUCK SHOWALTER IS A GOOD MANAGER AND THE ORIOLES WILL BE BETTER BUT IT’S A VERY YOUNG CLUB WITH TOO MANY HOLES.TORONTO IS DESTINED TO BE 4TH.THE BLUE JAYS HAVE A NEW MANAGER BUT NO ROY HALLADAY IN THE ROTATION.TAMPA BAY WILL BE YOUNG ON THE MOUND BUT BRING BACK FOUR OF THEIR FIVE STARTERS.EVAN LONGORIA WILL BE THE POWER.JOHNNY DAMON AND MANNY RAMIEREZ CAN’T REPLACE WHAT THE RAYS LOST IN CRAWFORD AND PENA.I DO THINK TAMPA BAY WILL BE THIRD.AND NOW THE 2ND PLACE TEAM.THAT WILL BE THE YANKEES. THE 2011 TEAM IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM LAST SEASON WHICH GOT TO THE A-L-C-S.PITCHING IS NOT BAD AND JETER SIGNED, HOWEVER, THERE IS THE AGE FACTOR. TOO MANY PLAYERS CLOSER TO 40 THAN 30.NEW YORK’S ALWAYS TOUGH BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH THIS TIME.NOW THAT LEAVES NUMBER ONE.BOSTON.NOT ONLY ARE THEY BETTER THAN LAST YEAR THEY ARE MUCH BETTER.TERRY FRANCONA HAS NOT WON LESS THAN 86 GAMES IN A SEASON SINCE JOINING BOSTON.AND HE WON’T THIS YEAR.THE RED SOX WILL WIN 95 TO 100 GAMES AND BARRING INJURY COULD WIN ANOTHER WORLD SERIES WITH THIS LINEUP.THERE, NOW I FEEL MUCH BETTER.. BASEBALL TALK WILL DO THAT.THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS


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