Red Sox statistics saved my sanity today. I was stuck at CVS today waiting for a doctor to call me back so I could get my prescription filled. After “having words” with the pharmacist, I went to the magazine aisle to read and calm down. I found a trove of April’s baseball magazines, many of which featured Red Sox players on their front covers. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia greeted me, as my shoulders and pulse dropped. I sat down on the ground and grabbed the one with Ortiz on the front cover. I smiled. What seemed plausible at the end of February, when these writers had their deadlines, is no longer reality.
I opened up to the pages designated to the Red Sox and most of the writers were in agreement about prospects and odds that the Sox would go the distance this year. The distance remains disputable. There is heavy use of the word “if” in these magazines. If the starting pitching returns to form, if the injuries end, if Jacoby Ellsbury plays the full season more bases will be stolen. These are all predictions, “if’s” are fine at this time.
On a more heartening note, the farm prospects listed were pretty accurate. A few mentioned exceeded expectations. No one could have foreseen Jackie Bradley Jr. being a spring training league statistic leader in on base percentage at .590, and third in the league with a batting average at .484. Ryan Dempster pitched four solid innings on Wednesday leading to a win. Thus, agreeing with the magazine’s prediction of a projected spot in the five- man rotation. And let’s not forget Xander Bogaerts’ exceptional performance in the World Baseball Classic. These farm boys are making things uncomfortable for the 2012 Red Sox players.
Let’s not count out players that already have a place on the team, like Will Middlebrooks. He turned out a solid .346 on base percentage and a home run in 11 games played thus far. Pedroia also looks good with an on base percentage of .394 after 10 plus games. These are the guys we can count on and there are quite a few others, as well.
The prognosticators all agree it will be a solid year. I believe we can beat and exceed those predictions if play continues like this in the regular season.