March 22, 2007

Trifecta is in play

2 breaking news items for today that made me say "what?!"

1. The Red Sox confirmed that Papelbon is shifting back into the closer's role. I am shocked that any organization that employs Bill James would do this - Paps is clearly more valuable as a starter than a reliever, and while he is a fantastic relief ace, clearly he would be of more value to the team as a starter. The only way this would work out in their favor would be if whoever was option 2 was so awful that Papelbon's value as a starter would be less than the difference between him and this phantom reliever. Their relievers would certainly be good enough...certainly the difference between closer Papelbon and any of the Boston relivers is far, far less than the difference between starter Papelbon and Julian Tavarez (who is taking his place). With Papelbon in the rotation I had the Sox winning the I'm not so sure.

2. Tubby Smith leaves Kentucky after 10 years to take a job at....Minnesota?!. I understand that things must have sucked for him at Kentucky, due to the racist tradition there left by the infamous Adolph Rupp. Still though, you figure he could have moved to a better job than perpetually mediocre Minnesota. Seriously, what the hell?

3. Third bit of news makes me happy instead of confused. Prior pitched today against major leaguers and had this stat line:

4IP 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 3SO 0HR and no extra base hits.

Maybe he will be an option for the 5th rotation spot after all. This improvment certainly shows he has more upside than the junk-balling Miller. I'm still not sure if Prior's injury risk is enough to say that he has more upside than Guzman at this point though. Still Prior/Guzman > Miller.