Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Spring Training is here

I’m almost over the debacle in the desert. I was able to watch the end of the game on NFL Network and I felt fine, so I think I’m ready to move on. And that’s a good thing because pitchers and catchers have officially reported to Spring Training.

Other than (enter your favorite team’s name here) are world champions! Is there any better statement in sports than pitchers and catchers report today? Ok there are probably other statements that are better but few evoke the same feeling of joy and rebirth as the day that the sports calendar turns over and it’s time for baseball to begin again.

With pitchers already working out and position players starting to show up let’s take a look at a one of the big topics early in spring training.

Jacoby & Coco – The centerfield situation is probably the topic that will be the most talked about during spring training this season. I know Schilling’s shoulder is a big deal, but I know a lot of fans are more interested in what the team will do with Ellsbury and what will become of Coco Crisp.

While it wouldn’t be the worst thing to have both Jacoby and Coco on the team I can’t imagine Coco will want to sit on the bench (which he confirmed today) and in my opinion he shouldn’t have to. I’m not saying that he should start in Boston, over Ellsbury because I think the kid has to play. He showed that he can get it done when the pressure is on last year and that is worth something.

Granted he only had 116 at bats and pitchers and managers will make adjustments and find some holes he’s still got the tools to be the Sox centerfielder for a while. Not only does he seem to be physically up to the challenge but he’s also given every indication of mental strength and will the 2007 Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia in the same locker room he will have a great guy to look up to when he inevitably goes through a slump.

It’s not fair to dismiss Coco because he’s certainly played phenomenal defense in center and I truly believe that if he didn’t hurt his wrist in the first few weeks of the 2006 season things would be a lot different than they are right now.

With that said, I think Coco is absolutely a starting centerfielder somewhere and the Sox really shouldn’t settle for 75 cents on the dollar in a trade. Trading him however could be a good way to find some pitching help in Schilling’s absence.

After reading this – Damon Nearly out of Baseball – from the FanHouse today I couldn’t help but smile about our present centerfield situation. I’m going to lie I am 100% ready to forget Johnny Damon ever existed in Boston with Jacoby waiting in the wings.

Extra bases – I f’n love firejoemorgan – not only to I agree with the basic premise of the site but this is one of the best things I’ve ever read. (This is what we’re up against)

The return of the baseball season also means the return of The Chili Guy on WBCN. This year I will find that SOB and shake his hand.

No comments: