Monday, March 17, 2014

2007: Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox

We enter season four of Alex Rodriguez on the Boston Red Sox. The 2007 Red Sox won it all in real life and while this version of the 2007 Red Sox is different, it is definitely loaded. They were picked to win the division and they did just that. The Alex Rodriguez led Boston Red Sox have won the AL East every year he has been on the team.

AROD didn't have a great 2007 though. He was hampered by injuries making his numbers look pretty pedestrian. Hanley Ramirez picked up the slack having a monster season leading to being named the 2007 AL MVP. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia would have great rookie seasons and free agent Adam Dunn and Casey Blake would make the Red Sox lineup loaded.

The playoffs would end in disappointment once again. The Red Sox would finally win a series but their season would end in Game 7 of the ALCS to the Oakland Athletics. The A's would go on to win it all again. Their second title since 2004.

Once again, you cant blame Alex Rodriguez for the failures of the Red Sox in the postseason.

David Ortiz has struggled in postseason play since 2004 but did have a great series against the A's

The offense heavy Red Sox needed a true ace. Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are not on this pitching staff. Hanley Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are instead. Pitching wins in the playoffs and the Sox just can't get it done. The drought has now reached 89 seasons.

SimLeague Baseball

Friday, March 7, 2014

2006: Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox

The 2006 season is now complete in our Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox simulation.

It was another incredible season for the Red Sox and AROD as they once again won the AL East. Since the trade, the Red Sox have won the division every year. winning 100, 106 and now 96 games.

The Red Sox were led by an incredible offense once again. David Ortiz has put up three straight incredible years. Hanley Ramirez continues the great start to his career. The Red Sox signed Barry Bonds to a one year deal in the offseason but Bonds was just a shell of himself. Dustin Pedroia got off to a great start but then was injured for the rest of the season. This prompted a position switch for AROD. Hanley Ramirez would move to SS and AROD moved to play second base. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2007 with a healthy Pedroia. Could someone be traded?

The pitching staff was led by Derek Lowe. Curt Schilling signed a free agent deal and went back to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pedro Martinez appears to be washed up and was injured and used sparingly when healthy.

The Red Sox would face disappointment once again in the playoffs as they would get swept by the Indians in the divisional series. Since the trade, the Red Sox have lost in the first round of the playoffs each year. The Indians would go on to win the World Series.

Looking to blame AROD? Not so fast. He has been really good in his postseason career with the Red Sox.

The Texas Rangers would miss the playoffs again but Jon Lester would make his debut. Lester was also part of the deal. Lester would struggle in 2006 and he does not appear to be real happy about his season.

Manny Ramirez would have an incredible 2006 season and would be named AL MVP. Once again, Alex Rodriguez had a shot at the award. AROD did miss eight weeks due to injury which may have cost him.

The story of Nomar Garciaparra continues to be a sad one. He was released by the Houston Astros and picked up by the Yankees where he would come off the bench. Nomar would have one memorable day getting five hits. He is sure to be on a different team in 2007.

Keep following along as we continue to play out this simulation. 2007 should be interesting for the Red Sox with Dustin Pedroia and newcomers Jacoby Ellsbury and Daisuke Matsuzaka. It will be interesting to see if any trades are made. The Sox will be loaded and will once again be the favorites to win it all and end the drought from 1918.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Xander Bogaerts Lacking Range at Shortstop

I am very excited to watch Xander Bogaerts play a full season of baseball. The excitement I feel is the same way I felt heading into the 1997 season to watch Nomar Garciaparra. The difference of course was the 1997 Red Sox were not expected to do much and they didn't. Nomar was that shining light at the end of the tunnel, hope for the future.

The 2014 Red Sox come in as defending champions and Xander Bogaerts was front and center during the title run. Bogaerts is one of many talented Red Sox prospects but he appears to be the one with the highest ceiling. He has MVP potential but there is one issue, his defense.

Bogaerts has a strong arm, and soft hands. Skills that made his transition to third base during the playoffs last year look awful easy. The Red Sox insist that Bogaerts will be fine at shortstop this season. Brian Butterfield has been working hard with him on his first step. Xander struggles going to his right. This was evident yesterday in a game against the Cardinals when Allen Craig reached on an infield single to the right of Bogaerts. Will Middlebrooks at third base would also make an error in the game.

It was a reminder of what happened in Game 3 of the World Series last year when Middlebrooks entered the game in the 7th inning moving Bogaerts back to SS. The game was tied at 2 and Matt Carpenter led off the inning with a soft infield single to the right of  Bogaerts. It was a play that Stephen Drew had been making all postseason long. Carpenter would come around to score.

I don't want to bash Bogaerts. He is a great talent and appears to be a humble and a hungry kid. He is a Face of the Franchise type of player. I just don't think shortstop is the best spot for him. This is why the Red Sox would benefit having Stephen Drew for at least this season and maybe next. A defensive left side of the infield of Bogaerts and Middlebrooks is a liability.

Keith Law ranked Mookie Betts as the best most blocked prospect in baseball. Betts is a second baseman who can also play shortstop. Law ranks him on the list because he sits behind Dustin Pedroia and of course Xander. Blocked he is, for now anyway. Betts at shortstop and Xander at third base could be the future for the Red Sox. I just wish we had Drew to bridge that gap.