The Road Less Traveled By

I always seem to start off an entry by lamenting about the lack thereof. There are a multitude of reasons regarding my sporadic entries, but that would require my making of a list of excuses, and I don’t want to do that. Oscar Wilde, my favorite author, once wrote, “The pleasure that one has in creating a work of art is purely personal pleasure, and it is for the sake of this pleasure that one creates… I write because it gives me the greatest possible artistic pleasure to write. If my work pleases the few, I am gratified. If it does not, it causes me no pain.” I write because I want to, and I am certainly happy some people who read this blog enjoy it. I do not write everyday, but that doesn’t bother me. I try to say what I mean and mean what I say. 

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I guess the main point is that junior year is like a dementor: it sucks the fun out of everything, and is very draining. Plus, I have a pretty hefty research paper that is unfortunately NOT on baseball this year (but if any of you are wilde about Oscar Wilde, I could use your help). 
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Not to mention the ubiquitous topic of college that intrudes itself into seemingly every single one of my conversations. I will cease my discussion of college here, and let baseball encompass this entry because that’s what baseball does; it allows you to forget about your problems for a good three hours. I recently read the book, ‘Shoeless Joe’, upon which every baseball fan’s favorite movie was based, “Field of Dreams”. I’ll really delve into it in another entry, but to keep a long story short, it was able to put my love for baseball into words, a task that I tend to fail at. But one quote is really quite relevant to the situation I’m in right now: “Growing up is a ritual, but baseball can soothe even those pains, for it is stable and permanent…” That being said, it would be really nice if baseball season came back because the offseason is cold and lonely. 

Though baseball may not be in its physical form right now, it is still at the forefront of many of our minds on a daily basis. The Red Sox have decided to indulge in a defensive makeover, which I think was a very wise move considering the Sox were second to last in the American League despite their accumulation of 95 wins. 


Makeovers are always entertaining, risky and a little bit awkward at
first. You might be familiar with some of the following scenarios: Glinda giving Elphaba a makeover in Wicked, Kurt Hummel giving Rachel Berry a makeover in Glee, and Mia Thermopolis’ makeover in The Princess Diaries. The thing about Elpheba’s makeover was that she didn’t exactly need it, nor did she want it. Similarly, Rachel Berry’s makeover was unnecessary because the boy whom she was trying to impress, Finn Hudson, liked her for who she was. Neither of these scenarios apply to the Red Sox though. 
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In Mia Thermopolis’ case, her makeover was necessary because she was not living up to her full potential yet. Sometimes, a new look can really kick things into gear, and I think this is the case for the Red Sox. And the offseason is the perfect time to find the best way to make a team fulfill it’s ultimate potential. 

They say that the pen is mightier in the sword, and in baseball terms, perhaps the glove is mightier than the bat. Good offense is one thing, but a lack of solid defense could stifle the efforts of that good offense. So even if the offense is depleted a little bit, a better defense will certainly compensate for it. 

Re-signing Jason Bay was at the top of Mr. Epstein’s priorities at the start of this offseason. This was a noble goal considering Jason Bay provided a good majority of the offense throughout the season. I thought that the Red Sox offered him a very fair price: $60 million for four years. That’s $15 million a year! To be honest, he is not worth more than that. Even his bat became anemic throughout the course of the season. 

I understand that he wanted to explore the market, but really, who does he think he is? I cannot deny that the loss of his bat is of some significance, but I don’t think that the Red Sox are going to be struggling offensively. People misconstrued Theo’s comment that this year would be a “bridge year”. The fact of the matter is, we are waiting on the next batch of minor leaguers, whom I refer to as babies. I call some of these signing temporary fill-ins. Think about it, if we had signed Jason Bay to a four year deal, we would be blocking the talent of guys like Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, and Ryan Westmoreland. 

Don’t forget about the infield either. The Red Sox have Lars Anderson in the minors, and he will be flourishing at first base in a couple of years. So in order to allow these guys to come up at the proper time, the Red Sox signed Mike Cameron to a two year deal, and Adrian Beltre to a one year deal. 
Adrian Beltre 2.png
I haven’t talked about Adrian Beltre much. Many of you know my undying affection for Mike Lowell. Part of me still thinks that the Red Sox should just let him ride out his contract because he is one year removed from that surgery. That being said, his defensive range should be improved, and there is nothing wrong with his offense. Nonetheless, he is still a bit of a liability as far as injuries go, and Adrian Beltre is a healthier option. 

That signing basically ensures that Mike Lowell will be traded. Don’t get me wrong, I love having Lowell on the Sox, it’s just economically unfeasible to have him on the bench. Plus, it would be much better for him to play on another team where he will have the chance to play every single day. The truth of the matter is, he just doesn’t fit into the Red Sox’s plans right now. 

The main question is, will the Red Sox be able to perform offensively? I think the answer is yes. All of the players who we have acquired throughout this offseason will compensate for the loss of Jason Bay’s bat. There is Marco Scutaro, Mike Cameron, and now Adrian Beltre. Not to mention the fact that we’ll have Victor Martinez around for the whole season. They will be able to pick up the slack. As I was watching MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” segment, broadcaster Mitch Williams said, “good pitching will always beat good hitting”. 

What does that have to do with defense though? Well, a pitcher can’t do anything without solid defense. When I was talking to Michael Bowden, he told me that defense makes all the difference in the world. 

So the Red Sox seem to be taking a bit of a different route than other teams. We didn’t sign a power bat like the Yankees did last offseason; we are certainly not an offensive powerhouse. But fear not my dear friends, because it looks like the Red Sox are taking Robert Frost’s advice: they’re taking the road less traveled by, and it will make all the difference. 

20 Comments

Great take about the short term deals coinciding with the hopefully positive emergence of Westmoreland, Kalish and Reddick. That’s where long term success comes from. In Theo we trust. The days of Dan Duquette are a distant memory.
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

I like your take, but Mike Lowell is far from gone. The Sox have been busy making Lowell like the worst player to get in return for good talent. The Sox have shot themselves in the foot here. Anyways love your blog. By the way look at the six part series Fenway News from a Red Sox fan is doing good read.
http://lorcanmccormick.mlblogs.com/

Thought I’d tell you I put up part 2 wanted to know your thoughts on it. Anyways keep up the good work!
http://lorcanmccormick.mlblogs.com/

Elizabeth, your writing just keeps getting better and better. I don’t know what college discussions you’ve been having, but I would think you’d get in wherever you want to go. As for the Red Sox, Lowell can still hit (I know because he kills the Yankees!). If I were the Sox, I’d keep him around.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

They are taking the road less traveled by, but if I were to lay down some money on it, I’d say they don’t even make the playoffs this year. I hope (for your sake) that I’m wrong, but I just don’t see them matching up with the Yankees this year and the West is gonna be a tight race…. I don’t know.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Elizabeth,
Is great to see you posting again. I agree with Jane that your writing jut gets better and better. I plan to be in Boston when the Dodgers re in town. Adrian Beltre used to be a favorite of mine back when he was with the Dodgers. In fact, I have his jersey but hve not worn it since he left.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

The Beltre signing gives them better defense, but not necessarily better hitting. They also have more depth, but adding to the payroll might stop them from trading for someone at the Deadline.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/

Red State-

The Sox would need to have to choke real hard to not make it into the post-season. 95 wins last year. I’d say we could win maybe 99-102 this year. If that does not get you a post-season birth the MLB will be mighty good this year.
http://lorcanmccormick.mlblogs.com/

Elizabeth – Congrats on having the #6 ranked blog for the calendar year 2009!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Your writing about Oscar Wilde reminded me of my high school days when he was my fave. I was an English major once upon a time.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Nice job with the analysis :O) And hang in there with the Junior year stuff…it will be over before you know it!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

congrats on becoming number 6! I think you are getting much better at blogging (by the way junior year is easy and I went to BC high it is just about not thinking about it too hard

Elizabeth if i had 16 million dollars i would pay J Bay that much a year! i think his performance is just half of who Jason Bay actually is. His demeanor and personality is second to none. something you are hard pressed to find anywhere in the MLB.

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

I’d have signed Bay too. Good guy I met him at a game nice guy. He was also their best power bat a real shame he is gone.
http://lorcanmccormick.mlblogs.com/

Another well written and enjoyable blog. I always look forward to your entries.
‘Minoring In Baseball’
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

Well, maybe Oscar Wilde wrote for his own pleasure, but I for one like to know if other people are reading and enjoying my creations. Lots of people are definitely reading yours – congrats on the latest rankings! Sorry to hear you couldn’t work baseball into your research paper this year – I’m going to assume it’s on Oscar Wilde, who unfortunately I know very little about. Good luck with it – I’m sure you’ll do great!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Hey, Elizabeth, I hope you are well. I will hate to see Mike Lowell be traded also (as he is a favorite of mine, also), but I think he’ll be traded also. I also think both sides will be happier if he is traded, since Mike wants to play more than he would with us. I just hope we get more than a 3rd-string catcher for him in return.
Sorry, can’t help ya with Wilde!
Even if your entries are “sporadic”, when you do post an entry, it is always a worthwhile read, so don’t worry about quantity (as far as I am concerned, anyway). Your quality is what makes it worth the read!
Take care, Elizabeth! Good luck with Wilde, and with your college preps!

Junior year is tough. Hang in there! Senior year is so much better!
I now live about 40 minutes away from Shoeless Joe’s hometown of Greenville, SC! That’s why it always amazes me that I have so much trouble finding people who like baseball down here!
I really enjoyed this entry. Anytime you can combine The Princess Diaries and baseball I think it’s a good thing. :)
Meissa
Indians, Cardinals, and Tigers! Oh my!

Never heard that junior year is like a dementor, I always thought it was like sitting through Prof Snape’s class. BORING. Congrats on being ranked #6 on MLBlogs Leader board, you are a great writer. Knowing that the Sox signed Beltre is giving Mike Lowell bad signals about the future, something I don’t like very much. He is a greatplayer, and though he is getting older, that doesn’t mean he is horrible defensively or offensively like a certain DH we all know- David Ortiz. Enjoy your final years of high school. Don’t rush into college just yet.
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

back in 4th grade we had to do a project on our favorite poet. at the age the only poets i knew were dr. seuss and the guy that wrote twas the night before christmas. my dad recommended robert frost and i really enjoyed the simplistic nature of his work and the eloquent depictions of nature. i really should get back to reading some of his stuff
http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

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