Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Sox for a New Year

So the Red Sox didn't sign the big pig (Texiera) this off-season. Honestly, I'm not going to cry over it (although I might cry that it was the Yankees who signed him). While I think he would have been a nice addition to the team, something would have needed to happen in the Mike Lowell/Kevin Youkilis department and both are guys that I really enjoy watching and respect. The Red Sox have not been idle though, and as the year comes to a close we welcome two new Sox to the Nation. Well, technically one new and one returning player. According to Boston.com, the Red Sox have signed free agent Pitcher Brad Penny and Catcher Josh Bard. Since I've kind of created a custom of commemorating these signings with fictional cards, here are Green Monster exclusives of Penny and Bard in their new unis, 2009 Topps Heritage style.
As for my reaction to these additions, I think Penny is a pretty good pickup. He's coming off of a bad year due to a shoulder issue so The Sox got him for cheap. If his shoulder is ok and he can return to his 2006 & 2007 form, then this is the steal of the decade. When he's on, Brad Penny is an ace quality pitcher. Considering he'll be the Red Sox 4th or 5th starter (depending on where they spot Wakefield in the rotation), you can't ask for much more. If he's still ailing and isn't the same pitcher he used to be, then the Sox are only out a few million (what's a few million in the scheme of things) and have young pitchers waiting to fill the 5th spot in Buccholz, Masterson and possibly Michael Bowden.
Josh Bard is another story. For the life of me I don't understand this signing. Bard breifly played for the Sox in 2006 (he was part of the Coco Crisp trade) but his inability to catch Wakefield's knuckleball earned him a quick exit out of town and resulted in the bizzare Mirabelli police escort escapade. Now I know that Bard is likely a better hitter than last year's backup (Kevin Cash), but really, we know he can't catch the flutter-ball, why go through this again? He's not an answer as a possible replacement for Varitek (god forbid). At 32, Bard is too old to be anything but a career backup catcher. Do you hear that Theo? Unless you have some grand masterplan out there to bring in the next catcher wunderkid - go resign Tek already! The guy wears the red "C" for Christ's sake. Cash really wasn't that God-awful to watch, and in the end, I think the yearly shuffle behind the plate will only hurt Wakefield. Especially since now he knows that he'll likely be throwing to a guy who in the course of 5 games he had 10 passed balls. Yikes.

1 comment:

Dave said...

!!!!!!!!! Those are phenomenal cards!! Nice work!! I certainly hope this becomes a tradition for you.