The mystery in Boston this hot-stove season: come April, who will be closing games for the Red Sox? The mystery persists. But today, a clue. Let me begin at the beginning.

So, last season the Boston Red Sox took one for the MLB team when they hired Allard Baird, the man who (un)made the Kansas City Royals, to be an advisor and scout.

Also last season, Boston’s closer, Jonastud Papelstud, had a transient subluxation of the shoulder, which caused him to miss several games at the end of the season when only fools believed the Red Sox still had a shot at anything. Team doctors thought it would be less wear-and-tear on Papelstud’s incredibly masculine and generally wicked awesome right arm to throw once every five days for 7 innings than to throw an inning almost every day. So the hurler moved back to the starting rotation, where he was supposed to be all along (until Keith Foulke’s suckage necessitated his stepping-up).

So, basically, this left Boston at the end of the season with no closer, and with intrepid baseball genius Allard Baird in the posish of finding a new one.

Joel PineiroAccording to today’s Boston Globe, Baird went to Seattle to see what he could see. What he saw was disgraced former 16-game winner Joel Pineiro coming out of the bullpen:

He watched his stuff, how he conducted himself, how he approached the job. And Baird came away thinking this is a guy who could successfully work out of the bullpen.

But Baird wasn’t done. He had one more (idiotic) suggestion to make:

Baird advised the Sox to sign Runelvys Hernandez, who played for Baird when he was general manager of the Royals. Hernandez has an electric arm but was not consistent as a starter. Hernandez doesn’t fear any hitter or any situation. So Pineiro and Hernandez will get big-time looks.

Maybe Runelvys would do well to fear certain hitters or certain situations. It might help his game. Since his first season in 2002, his ERA has gone steadily up—4.36 that year, 4.62 the next, 5.52 in 2005, and a truly horrific 6.48 last year. The same is true of his other stats as well. For instance, in 2002 he had about twice as many strikeouts as walks—45 to 22. But last year, his 50 strikeouts in 109 innings were balanced by 48 walks. He’s never had a winning season (his first year is again his best, with a 4-4 record). A guy who’s erratic, worsening, has a high ERA, and throws a lot of base-on-balls isn’t exactly closer material. But hey, his arm is “electric” right?

Runelvys HernandezAs for Pineiro, he’s coming off of three straight losing seasons. However, he at least has tasted success, with three solid seasons from 2001 to 2003. But as with Hernandez, his stats have also been trending worse. An ERA of around 2 in 2001 rose steadily through the 3’s, until 2004 when it hit 4. Why stop there? 2005 saw it swell to the 5’s, and by last year it had reached a lofty 6.36. The one thing you can say for the kid is that he does consistently strikeout plenty of hitters. He has 658 K’s since 2000, and just 327 walks. The problem? He’s expensive. He made almost $7 million last season. At least Hernandez is under the $1 million mark.

But Pineiro tries, rather adorably, to make himself friendly with Sox fans in the Globe story:

He thinks he will feed off the adrenaline of Boston fans because, “I did it in Seattle, but this is Baseball Nation here. Hopefully, I can take that aggressiveness out there, and I know that having Jason Varitek behind the plate is going to help me out an awful lot.”


“I wanted to go somewhere where I had a chance to win every day,” Pineiro said. “I had chances to start other places. But I thought to myself that I might not have the chance to wear this jersey again.”

Dude, it’s Red Sox Nation, not Baseball Nation. But props on the shoutout to ‘Tek.

I’m glad we didn’t get into a bidding war for some expensive, aging closer who may or may not have been able to pitch the entire season. But it’s key to have that rock-solid guy in the 9th. Our starting rotation (Schilling, Matsuzaka, Beckett, Papelbon, Wakefield) makes me feel all tingly, but without someone to finish the game in the 9th, it could all be for naught. At least Theo seems to have (finally) gotten the memo: you can never have too much pitching.

No Responses to “Risky Business”

  1. Nick Kapur says:

    These 5am airport loiterers are a MENACE and must be stopped!

    All farewell hugging should be limited to 7 seconds or less.

    Anyone taking more than 2 bags out of their trunk should be instantly arrested.

    Anyone who says “give me a ticket and I’ll pay for it” should be shot.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    The airport cops once threatened to tow my car.

    With me still in it.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]