When I heard the news that the Boston Red Sox had signed outfielder Shane Victorino to a three-year deal a day after signing catcher/DH/1B Mike Napoli to a similar three-year deal, I thought back to a line uttered by former NBA sage Derrick Coleman. In December 1994, the former #1 pick was asked about Nets’ teammate Kenny Anderson skipping a practice and whether or not he should be setting a better example for his squad. Coleman’s response is a line that I will never forget for as long as I live.
“Whoopty Damm Do”.
That’s how I feel about the Boston signing Napoli and Victorino.
Don’t get me wrong, these are not bad deals even if they overpaid for both players. That’s not my issue. The issue is that these signings won’t do the team any good if they don’t follow them up by getting some decent pitching. Starters, relievers, batting practice guys, you name it. They need them all. Get a load of these gruesome numbers. They had seven pitchers who started ten or more games. The lowest ERA of the bunch belonged to Clay Buchholz at 4.56. Not coincidentally, he also tied for the team lead in victories with 11 along with Felix Doubront who had an outstanding (sarcasm alert) ERA of 4.86. I will grudgingly give a pass to Jon Lester and his 9-14, 4.82 ERA season. He is better than that but will he win more than 15 in 2013? I am sure Sox fans are itching for the return of John Lackey coming off Tommy John surgery.
As far as the bullpen goes, who’s pumped about Alfredo Aceves as the closer? There is nothing wrong with 25 saves but everything wrong with a 2-10 record and a 5.36 ERA. Perhaps Andrew Bailey can overcome a nightmare of a season in which he was hurt early and never recovered, pitching in only 19 games. If you have a strong stomach, you can view all stats from the 2012 Boston staff by clicking here.
The team will not have Bobby Valentine to blame anymore if the season turns out to be another lemon. Signing Napoli and Victorino is nice and the aura of Bobby V is no longer hanging over the collective heads of the organization. However, without any significant pitching upgrades the Sox will be hard-pressed to finish .500 in 2013. The goodwill earned by World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007 is quickly being squandered.
Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com