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“If you’re the Red Sox, you don’t want to play Oakland, because I think Detroit, while they have the great starting pitching, there are so many flaws,” Olney said.
Among those flaws is a nagging injury for star third baseman Miguel Cabrera. Last season’s AL MVP and Triple Crown winner has deviated from his otherworldly form in the last few weeks because of groin and abdominal injuries. He has just four singles and zero walks in 16 plate appearances this postseason, and two extra base hits since Aug. 26.
“His situation completely changes the lineup,” Olney said. “I was having some discussions with some scouts about this yesterday and they were talking about how this team is basically built to bash, they count on home run hitters and they count on extra-base hits.”
Olney's logic is a flawed one. You don't want Oakland because Detroit's best player, and the best player in the league, has a nagging injury? I still don't want any part of Miggy. Nor that lineup. All it takes is a cortisone shot and he's fine. Oh and let's not worry about the rotation of Scherzer, Verlander, and Sanchez or anything.
Having said that, Oakland does have four players have been thrown away by the Sox. As if they need any more motivation, a chance to beat your former club to go to the World Series for personal redemption has to make Crisp, Lowrie, Moss, and Reddick want it that much more.
But I'd still rather face Oakland. It'll probably become more personal with Oakland but I think we could handle their lineup and the last time we faced their closer Grant Balfour in the playoffs we were teeing off on him. I'd rather take my chances with them.
Globe: Which matchup is better for the Sox? | Sox play waiting game | Herald: Victorino, Ellsbury drive offense | Tigers the best option | Bogaerts newest historical playoff figure | CSNNE: Cheers! | Different approach, same winning result | Who do Sox want? | WEEI: