Monday, August 29, 2011

Red Sox Magic Number - 30

The Red Sox magic number to clinch the AL East is now just 30 (their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is just 22).

The Los Angeles Angels (aka California Angels) retired the number 30 to honor Nolan Ryan (whose number 34 was also retired by the Astros and Rangers). Nobody like Nolan Ryan has ever worn the number 30 for the Red Sox. Boston has had to settle for people like Matt Clement (for who the phrase "don't trust anyone over 30" really did apply) and current occupant of the number 30 - Andrew Miller.

Miller is an interesting case. He was the 6th pick of the 2006 MLB draft with players like Clayton Kershaw (7th) and Tim Lincecum (10th) taken after Miller (that was how prized his talents were at the time). He went to North Carolina so he has the support of alum Peter Gammons and Tarheel teammate Daniel Bard. The guy is 6'7" and a lefty - plus the Red Sox didn't give up anything to get him. You would think it would be all upside.

The problem with Miller is he just hasn't been that great. Sure he's 6-1 but his ERA of 4.42 is just OK. The other problem is when Clay Buccholtz is healthy then the last starter slot comes down to Miller and fan favorite Tim Wakefield. Many fans are torn between the more predictable Miller and the knuckleballer Wakefield. Myself included.

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