OK, here goes my big Boston vs. Blue Jay comparisons. Before I start I realize
I might have slight bias towards Jays, but I do think Boston will win BUT
it's not going to be a cakewalk for Boston like everyone around here seems to
think (I don't know why they think that, I recall a post like "Jays don't
have a chance") Anyways...
Now I'm not going to pretend that anyone on the Jays is as good as Rocket
Clemens and probably not as good Viola. However the Bostonians suffer from
some depth problems. Everyone seems to agree that Hesketh is the 3rd starter
for Boston which I wouldn't consider a plus. Hesketh has battled health
problems all along so I doubt that he could be much more effective than a guy
like Stottlemyre. Beyond Hesketh are guys like Young, Darwin and Gardiner who
are basically journeymen except for Gardiner who at least has a future but
hasn't pitched well yet in the majors. I think the Red Sox could find some
serious problems aside from their great 1-2 punch. So let's see the
possible starters on paper:
TORONTO: Guzman, Key, Stottlemyre, Morris, Steib, Wells
BOSTON: Rocket, Viola, Hesketh, Gardiner, Darwin, Gardiner, Morton?
I think that Boston's depth is very questionable and they only have two
reliable starters. I give slight edge to JAYS.
A joke. Let's compare closers, Reardon vs. Henke. Well let's not it's a waste
of time because anyone with rationale realizes that Henke's superior. Setup
men are Ward vs. Gray, well definitely give the edge for Ward as he's been
effective for many years now while Gray's only had one good year and his health
is kind of questionable from what I've read. The supporting cast for the Jays
include Mike Timlin and Bob MacDonald while the BoSox have Greg Harris and
Lamp and whoever loses out as a starter. Definitely JAYS have the better pen.
Tony Pena vs. Borders/Myers. Although Pena won Gold Glove I dont' think he's
anything special behind the plate, and his offense isn't very good at all
considering it's Fenway. Although Myers/Borders are POOR defensively, I do
think that they can provide more offense than Pena (although Borders is coming
off a REAL BAD year). Pena still gets the edge on defense but his skills are
eroding so all in all I give Boston slight edge.
Tough call. Quintana's decent with a nice OBP and crushes LHP and Vaughn is
up and coming but it's hard what to tell what he'll do. I think that Olerud
is better than either one of these guys a) better than Quintana because I think
Olerud will improve and that an increase in power from Olerud will make him
better than Carlos and b) Vaughn has shown ability in the minors but Olerud's
already shown that he is a decent player in the MAJORS so I'd give Olerud the
However I'll give the edge to the Bosox a) to avoid bias and b) well they
probably have a slight edge because they have two of these guys and a platoon
might look really nice!
Although Reed is a fine player with good OBP and solid D, Roberto Alomar clearly
wins out. Alomar is a superior fielder, has more speed on the base paths,
more line drive power (don't forget Reed plays in Fenway!) and is younger so
he's more likely to develop and improve hiomself. Solid Edge JAYS.
Like picking between being eaten alive by live rats or swimming in acid.
Both teams don't have much at all here. I'll give it to Boston because I don't
think that the Jays can put anyone good out there, while Boston has a hope
that Naehring or Cooper will pan out.
Definitely Wade. Kelly Gruber's overrated IMO. He doesn't get on base that
much and seems to have a lot of nagging injuries. He's still a good player but
I think Wade is better. Edge RED SOX.
Joe Carter vs. Mike Greenwell? I think Greenwell's getting to the point where
he is about an average player, maybe even below. Considering the park, his
defense and his lack of power, his decent OBP doesn't impress you. My point
is not that I think Joe Carter is that great; but he still is a step up from
the eroding talent of Mike Greenwell.
Hmmmm....Burks vs. White. Here's where I get flamed....I think it's a tough
call but I'd have to go with White. Despite Burks Gold Glove I DO NOT BELIEVE
THAT HIS DEFENSE IS ANYTHING SPECIAL. This is because of his poor defensive
stats and when those are compared with Devo's defensive stats and his Gold
Gloves I'd definitely say Devo's clearly the superior defensive player. Burks
has had a problem staying healthy and hasn't really had that many great years
(not saying that Devo has either) but I've noticed that Burks speed is eroding
and considering all his injuries I don't think that he's this superstar that
everyone seems to say he is. Meanwhile, I DO BELIEVE that Devon can repeat
last year's performance except I think he'll lose about 20 BA points (and
20 OBP points) but even if this is so I think he'd be better than Burks....
Get my asbestos ready...I'm ready for flames!!
Plantier vs. Derek Bell or Maldonado....I'll give this to the BoSox BUT I do
want to make one thing clear....Plantier is NOT a god yet! Derek Bell really
kicked the hell out of AAA pitching too you know. But I do think Plantier's
capable of a strong year and should be better than anyone Toronto puts out
I'll give the edge to the Bosox but it's pretty close. Jack Clark is one of
my faves...he draws so many damn walks and cranks dingers. I think he's
better than Winfield.
So there you have it...
While I DO think Boston will win I don't think it will be a cakewalk. What I
don't think was fair was everyone short changing Toronto. Most seem to believe
that because the Jays picked up Morris and Morris is supposed to be their
"ace" and Morris is no good that the Jays starting pitching was no good. I
honestly can't see that the BoSox have any reliable starters aside from their
two great ones...and also I don't think that Morris is Toronto's "ace" and
he DOESN'T HAVE TO BE! As far as I'm concerned, he's their fourth or fifth
starter and he'll be adequate in that role. Granted TO overpaid for him but
that's not relevant for this year anyways.
I also don't see how Boston's offense is so great. (Not saying that Toronto's
is good either). Plantier has the CHANCE of being great, but I don't think
he's a God yet! I also don't think Greenwell is that great at all and neither
is Tony Pena. Burks is injury prone and they have a black hole at SS, not to
mention that their bullpen doesn't have much depth AND THAT MAY BE CRITICAL IF
THE STARTERS ARE NOT HEALTHY.
I think the key for Boston is NOT Clemens, Viola or Plantier....I think it's
Lou Gorman. With yound players like Cooper, Plantier and Vaughn he has a clog
up for position players. HE HAS TO MAKE A DEAL!!! Lou must make a solid trade
where he can get some bullpen help or get a number three starter. I don't think
Lou's all that smart but a trade is OBVIOUSLY needed. If he can't make a trade
to fill his pitching depth, he should be fired.