Brandon McCarthy of the A’s(now the new home of, you know, a guy named Manny) has reinvented himself, according to the title story of ESPN Magazine. Not only that, he has rewritten the next chapter of Moneyball Even if they don’t win any Oscars, the evolution of that system deserves more than respect. For the Red Sox, maybe it isn’t a reinvention that needs to happen. After all the preseason hype of last year, which is damned embarrassing, if you think about it too much, what needs to happen is what didn’t happen last year, and that means winning more games. Simple. And isn’t it simply about pitching? Look at all those bats in the dugout. Look at all the blown saves, especially one excruciating loss in Baltimore. Think of how many games more the Sox would have won with Clay Buchholz in the rotation.
More pointedly, the 2012 season depends on Josh Beckett. You’ve heard this before, not only from me but from baseball writers around Boston and also from the fans. This is not about rewriting any chapters, nor is it about rewriting any rules in the 100 year old clubhouse. Nor is it about coming into the season as “underdogs.” (Underdogs? We must forgive for the moment Lester’s comment last week. I will attribute it to the amount of time Boston Players and those in other big markets are expected to talk) Nor is the season about having a new manager. (I have been silent for quite some time. I will only say this once–I miss Tito.) The season is about seasoned veterans who withstand pressure in big games and lead others, confidently, with poise, guts and as displayed here, balance. Mr. Beckett has the whole season in his hands.