First Smoltz, now Penny…
The Red Sox sometimes take risks on veterans. It seems to be a theme among Boston teams (especially the Sox and Pats). We take a a guy, late in his career, sign him for little money and hope for the best. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. And, when it doesn’t, the team isn’t shy about moving on and admitting it didn’t work out. Totally understandable and the right thing to do. However, it really gets me to see a guy who couldn’t do it in Boston suddenly thriving somewhere else.
In the last few weeks we have had a couple of examples of this and it is frustrating! Now, mind you, I don’t wish ill on former Red Sox players (well not all of them anyway) but you’d think a guy could wait a few weeks to re-discover his dominating self. It’s like being dumped because you are an inconsiderate slob who has gained 50 pounds by sitting on the couch eating all day and can only make ends meet by stealing from your significant other and then, an hour later, marrying a brilliant and wealthy supermodel who you happened to run into on the street. Just shouldn’t happen. A few months later? Sure. Just not right away.
Are lineups in the NL that much worse that Smoltz can go 2-5 with an ERA of 8.32 (and if you watched him pitch in Boston you’d be shocked it was even that low) and then go to St. Louis and, in 2 starts, have an ERA of under 1?? The batting average against him has dropped from .343 as a member of the Soxto .182 with St. Louis! .182!!!!! And Penny can, in his first start with the Giants, go 8 shut-out innings against the Phillies – IN PHILLY – who are probably the best team in the NL??? Penny NEVER pitched more than 6.1 innings in Boston. NEVER! Heck, the last time Penny pitched 8 innings in a game was August 7, 2005!!!!
I know it is the name of the game that sometimes people will change teams and thrive in their new setting (and I’m sure there are more dramatic examples). But come on. John- can’t you please just look shell shocked and lost after giving up 10 straight hits once for me? And Brad, how in the world did you hit 97 mph in the first inning? And why couldn’t you do it here????
Look, I think both Penny and Smoltz are classy guys and I was excited when the Sox signed them. And I wish them nothing but the best. But is it too much to ask that they wait a few weeks before pitching like they are 25 year old studs. C’est la vie I suppose. Anyway, I’ve already got the date circled for Game 7 of the NLCS when Penny will face Smoltz for the right to go to the World Series. Let’s just hope we don’t lose the October classic because one of those guys outpitches Beckett or Lester in a pivotal game. If that happens, I might stop wishing them nothing but the best.