The Red Sox tried it without a No. 1 pitcher last year, and the results speak for themselves. They tried it without an everyday closer. No joy in that. They tried it without an experienced outfielder. Pathetic. So give the Red Sox credit– they learned from their mistakes.
They did their impression of the Evil Empire and bought the most expensive damn pitcher they could find. They sold off young talent to get an established closer. They sent Hanley Ramirez to the sidelines to learn the art of first base. We’ll see how this works.
It all starts with Dave Pricey, and that won’t be the worst name he’s called if he doesn’t pitch seven good innings on Opening Day. He seems like just the cure for the staff without a leader. He has a stellar record of pitching in Fenway Park, and he matches up well against any No 1 in the American League East.
The Red Sox have this problem of getting on the board early, and if they are behind 5-0 by the third inning they get long odds of coming from behind. If they are behind 1-0 or 2-0 in the sixth there is still hope, because the opposing pitcher will be around 80 pitches by then, and the Sox will get a high curve or a fastball that catches too much of the plate.. This is why you want a strong No 1.
When you have the horse of the staff pitching it changes your whole attitude. You want hit for him, you want to field for him, you want to save his starts, you even want to mop-up his mistakes. This is what the Red Sox missed last year, except for about a month of Clay Bucholz. I always believed Bucholz could be the man, and maybe he will be, now that the whole staff doesn’t depend on him.
The Yankees have proven that money may not buy a World Series, but they also proved that it may buy one in 2010. The Red Sox will be glad to prove it again in 2016