November 29th, 2007
Tony Conigliaro is a name synonymous in Boston with grit, determination, and courage, or as the Tony Conigliaro award states: Awarded to a player every year who has “overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage.”
And this year, no one more epitomizes that than this yearâ€™s recipient, Jon Lester. From cancer survivor to Game 4 World Series winner, Jon has shown the world what class and grace under fire is all about…From Jon: “It was great…Just with the struggles that I went through this year, just to regain confidence in my stuff and my command and mechanics and where I was at physically, it was great. You couldn’t have asked for a better ending. It’s always good to go out on top.”
The conversations are still happening about the prospect of going with a 6-man rotation–which of course would benefit quote a few of the Red Sox starting rotation, such ask Curt Schilling and Daisuke. But, in reality, how often is it that you will actually have 6 pitchers that are 100% healthy for a full season, not to mention pitchers occasionally struggle, or a million other things…From pitching coach John Farrell: “It’s important to acknowledge that, yes, some informal discussions have been had on the six-man rotation, pros and cons to it…But we also look at the schedule and the amount of off-days that we have, particularly with the international travel and when we come back with the off-day in Oakland followed by an off-day in Toronto, followed by an off-day here in Boston, there’s a number of things to balance out…” So probably what will happen is what normally happens–you’ll have pitchers who will make spot starts, when the starting 5 need a break, or if one of them gets injured.
But the thing is: Beckett, Schilling, Daisuke, Wake, Lester, Buchholz, and, potentially Johan Santana–who are your starting 5? Good problem to have. Although I think that Santana is probably a long-shot…
I think Buchholz, while he is starting to strengthen his shoulder in anticipation of pitching a full season of starts, I don’t know that he will be ready in time to do that this year. He is still only 23, so what’s the rush?
And Jon Lester isn’t the only player who will be receiving accolades at the Boston BBWAA dinner: Youk will be presented with the Jackie Jensen Award, which goes to a Red Sox player for hustle and determination; Terry Francona was voted by the BBWAA the MLB Manager of the Year, and Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz were voted Red Sox Minor League Players of the Year.
11 weeks today: Pitchers and Catchers report–its also 11 weeks to Valentine’s Day…