By Ted Gay – @TedG63
I am here to propose a completely crazy, unprecedented, highly unlikely ridiculous idea to bring the Red Sox a World championship in 2018.
Before I present this foolish idea let me explain the reasons behind it. The Red Sox are in a unique position. They have had a fantastic first half putting them on pace to win 108 games. Unfortunately, the Yankees are ahead of them.
The Red Sox are far ahead in the Wild Card race. They could play .500 ball the rest of the season and sail into the playoffs. So they could battle the Yankees all season, win or lose the division by a game, then get bounced in the playoffs because of their biggest flaw. The bullpen.
We can search for a reliever who may be an improvement, or we can change our entire philosophy, and choose not to try to win the division, or even to finish first in the Wild Card race, but to concentrate on winning playoffs series that often come down to late inning arms.
So this is my completely crazy, unprecedented, highly unlikely, ridiculous idea. After the All-Star break transition David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez to pitch out of the bullpen and make Brian Johnson and Hector Velasquez our fourth and fifth starters.
I know. It’s crazy. Our starters are weaker. Johnson and Velasquez will get killed. But so what? Out bats can still keep us in those games and even if we do lose them we should still win enough to hold off the other teams who are desperately trying to keep out of wildcard contention and get a high draft pick.
So forget about the regular season, it is just a long pre-playoff training where David Price, who showed the ability to come out of the pen last year, and Rodriguez can learn to pitch in late game-high tension situations. The more experience they get, the better.
In the playoffs you need one stud pitcher who can take you deep into a game like Jon Lester, Madison Bumgarner, Justin Verlander, or, hopefully, Chris Sale; two other starters who can get you into the fifth, like, hopefully, Rick Porcello and Steve Wright, and a shutdown bullpen. Despite Friday’s terrible outing, Eduardo Rodriguez has been a quality fourth starter. You know what you don’t need in the playoffs? A quality fourth starter. At best they pitch once a series. You need arms in the bullpen that can pitch six times a series.
As for the mysterious Mr. Price, he may be better suited for the bullpen. He certainly crumbles when he is asked to start an important game. Perhaps, the pressure gets to him, causing him to overthink. The first playoff success he has had was when he pitched in relief last year. Maybe not knowing if he will be pitching, not going over the hitters in his head, not living the building pressure, will do him good. Some guys go better when they can prepare, others are better when they are thrown into a high tension situation. Price may be the latter because he is certainly not the former.
Yes, it is a completely crazy, unprecedented, highly unlikely completely ridiculous idea. But it also may be the only way to bring a fourth title this century.
ICYMI: AVIDBOSTON PODCAST EPISODE 59!
(2:00) YANKEES CRUSH SOX
(22:20) ALL THREE OF US RIP DAVID PRICE
AND MUCH MUCH MORE!!!
Also available on iTunes!