One of the worst things about my work is that I am so busy all of the time. Of course, that is one of the good things as well as time flies and I feel sense of accomplishment and importance. But for this blog, it can be bad because I do not have time to work on it during the day and keeping up on what is going on in the world of sports can be difficult.

One thing I do is subscribe to updates via my email (breaking local sports news) and via my mobile updates. This way, I can take a few seconds during the day to catch up real quick with anything important going on in the Boston sports scene. This leads to the two points I have to make today.

1. First up is the Fantistics Blog I receive in my email occasionally courtesy of Really an information site for fantasy baseball, the writer, Anthony A. Perri (gotta give him credit, God knows I am not the best number-cruncher out there), breaks down Stranding Runners on Base Percentage. Why is this important? Well three starters who figure to be in the Red Sox rotation were on the list as having a percentage that was much worse than their previous three year average: Curt Schilling, Bronson Arroyo, and Matt Clement. As such, he predicted that they, along with others such Russ Ortiz and Odalis Perez, were the most likely to have a bounce-back season just from getting back to their norm. Now I thought to myself, it is very likely that Bill James or another of the intelligentsia in the front office in Boston already has this information or something even more complex in scope. How did the team deal with this info?

Well, number one they have all three back and likely to be in the rotation this season. Despite all the rumors floating around over the winter, the Sox held onto Clement and Arroyo. The Red Sox also made a considerable effort to improve their defense. Sure, Curt Schilling, just by being healthy, is likely to be a much better pitcher this season. But one key to stranding runners on base is to have the fielders behind you making plays to get the pitcher out of an inning. Now the team features a gold glover in Mike Lowell at third base (Dammit, Bill Mueller is not a gold glove caliber third baseman. Sure he was better than Butch Hobson, but he is far from someone you want to start throwing out accolades at like he was Brooks Robinson. Mike Lowell at least has the hardware on his trophy case.), a huge improvement over Edgar Renteria at shortstop (looks like it was a back injury last season after all as Renteria has already been held out of portions of spring training with the balky back for Atlanta) in Alex Gonzalez, a steady second baseman in Mark Loretta (no real upgrade over the Smellhorn/Cora/Graffanino split at second base), and a HUGE improvement over old number 15 at first base, be it Kevin Youkilis, Big Papi, or J.T. Snow.

A good defense behind Matt Clement could be the difference between 13 and 18 wins. Seriously, his major problem last year was the big inning. One clean scoop by Millar, a defensive gem once-in-a-while from shortstop, etc and the inning is over and the Sox are out of trouble. Ditto for Bronson. So, yes, I think it was astute of the Sox to put some emphasis on defense this season: and they have the stats to back it up.

2. The other news I got via e-mail was the newsflash that caused many a WEEI staffer to swear under their breath and get to work: Manny reported to camp at 9:01 am. Yes, no matter babbling endlessly about the whole will he show up or not malarkey that has dominated the sports landscape. Now they have to find some sports to talk about because if Dennis and Callahan keep babbling on endlessly about crappy television shows I never watch I, and likely others, are going to be tuning them out pronto.

Technology, what a great thing. Of course, e-mail has been down all afternoon and the workplace is in absolute panic, so maybe I should cool hyping technology too much. Augh!

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