After getting Josh Beckett from the Marlins, the Red Sox have resumed sitting on their beleaguered pitching staff, seemingly waiting for lightning to strike twice. While all the fans and all the other bloggers ask "Who will play shortstop?" I ask a much more significant question. Who the heck is going to pitch for us?
We have Josh Beckett, that's one answer. Curt Schilling is still under contract, that's half of an answer because God only knows whether or not he will be able to pitch in any capacity with any amount of effectiveness. He's going to be another year older and still recovering from an injury. What if he shows up to Spring Training out of shape again? Then we have David Wells, who doesn't want to pitch here and is requesting a trade. Then we have Matt Clement, again only half an answer because he is a first half pitcher. Then there's Papelbon. Is he ready to start? Don't we need him in the bullpen as well. We've also got Wakefield who has lost his personal Catcher. Wake should give us a solid season of 30 starts with 15 wins. That's good for the back end of the rotation, but we need more than Beckett on the frontline.
AJ Burnett has gone to Toronto. We hardly made a noise on that free agent. Our most consistent releiver behind Mike Timlin, Mike Myers, has been signed away under our noses by the New York Yankees. How could we let this guy simply go without a fight? It wasn't as if the Yankees overpaid for him either. Two years for $2.4 million. Certainly we could have matched that or gone over that. There goes our situational lefty and BOOM here comes a guy to face David Ortiz for the Yankees. All we had to do was offer him a f*cking contract but we were too f*cking busy playing mind games with Damon, cowering to Manny, and trying to get rid of our average Short-Stop to focus on our desperation for pitching, particularly out of the bullpen.
Another one of the 2004 Champions is gone. Bill Mueller has signed a deal with the LA Dodgers. You think Grady will want to see Mueller's ring or not? We all figured Mueller was gone after this season. The deal that got us Beckett also landed us Mike Lowell. The deal that dumped Renteria got us Andy Marte. We also have Youkilis who has been waiting in the wings for years now.
Here is a quick list of some 2004 World Series Champions that will be playing elsewhere next season:
Bill Mueller - LAD
Orlando Cabrera - LAA
Doug Mirabelli - SD
Doug Mientkiewicz - NYM
Dave Roberts - SD
Derek Lowe - LAD
Pedro Martinez - NYM
Now, not all of these guys we will miss very much, but the core guys: Pedro, Lowe, the entire infield, the General Manager, are all gone. Damon and Ramirez aren't exactly still in Boston either. Who is left (for sure)?
We're not exactly building dynasties here in Boston. It is becoming more and more apparent that the goal of this organization was to win 1 World Series. They build the 2004 team to do that and now they seem to be trying to build a competetive team every season. A team that will win 90 games, make the playoffs, and fill the seats. Teams with exciting offenses that keep the Sox in the game for 9 innings, but with no pitching so we get swept and dominated by teams such as the White Sox.
The Yankees also went out and signed Kyle Farnsworth while we were playing with Edgar Renteria, Doug Mirabelli, Hanley Ramirez, Manny Ramirez, and Johnny Damon.
And you know what, Johnny Damon needs to shut the hell up. He's whining and moaning about how the Red Sox didn't make an effort to resign him during the season or before it. You know what, Johnny, you claim you took all the risk of injury, but the Red Sox risked about $8 million every season you were here. It's give and take.
Speaking of money, the Red Sox are going to have to foot some of the remaining bill for Edgar Renteria. $11 million of it, in fact. This deal starts looking worse and worse. I know Renteria was a bust, but to only get a 3B prospect and not to be able to dump the entire salary is a shame. Again, we could have just kept Orlando "right when I got to Boston we started winning" Cabrera, but no. We had to improve a position that needed little improvement in an effort to...I don't know. What was the point of that signing again? Now look at us, Nomar Garciaparra has become a serious option for us at SS. What a freaking shame. In fact, Nomar is leading a fan poll at Boston.com on who should play SS for us next year.
Just a bit about Andy Marte. It looks as though he is at least another year away from Major League Baseball but he could be an option along with Lowell at third base. He only hit .269 last year in AAA Richmond and slugged .530 with an OBP of .369. He could make his debut with us in the 2006 season if he has a good Spring Training. If not, I wouldn't be shocked to see him move up and down a few times eventually landing on the team in a more permanent role in August.
Just a quick question. How come the Yankees are said to be going after Roger Clemens, but we aren't? Couldn't we use a guy like him. He would dramatically improve our rotation. We'd have Clemens, Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, and Clement. We could then easily trade Wells, move Arroyo to the pen, and keep Papelbon in AAA getting starting experience or keep him in the bullpen where he thrived last season.
According to a few sources, Miguel Tejada is unhappy in Baltimore and would like to be traded. I doubt the O's would be dumb enough to trade him within the division considering how stellar a player he is but just imagine him on the Red Sox. Maybe we could ship Manny down I-95 to Baltimore for Miggy. Tejada, by the way, is one of the ebst players in the game. Since the 2000 season, he has had 98 RBI or more, averaging 118 per season over that stretch. He has also hit 26 HRs or more since 2000, averaging 30. His batting average since 2000 is .291. He's been in the MVP voting for the past 6 years including a 2002 triumph. He has played 162 games each of the last 5 years, and he's a leader. And guess how much $$$ he makes. About the same as Edgar Renteria! IT'S PERFECT! Barring a major blockbuster like sending Manny down there along with some $ and a lesser player, we're not going to see Miguel Tejada playing Short Stop for us. A man can dream, though. A man can dream.
Here's a summary of the Red Sox Rule 5 Draft These guys rarely pan out but once and awhile they do. They can occasionally be solid fill-in players for a team like the Red Sox but the draft helps the smaller clubs out a lot more than the bigger clubs like us.
The Red Sox remain up in the air. Here is what we're pretty sure of:
C - Jason Varitek
2B - Mark Loretta
RF - Trot Nixon
DH - David Ortiz
SP - Josh Beckett
SP - Curt Schilling
RP - Mike Timline
Manager: Terry Francona
That's it for now. How bout some pitching, Red Sox?