The following is a transcript of Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy's chat on Boston.com today. eHe answered readers' questions about the Red Sox-Angels ALDS.
matt: Hi Dan, do you think there's a chance Alex Cora replaces lowrie for Wenesday's game?
Dan Shaughnessy: my guess is that lowrie is going to play. no errors in something like 47 games. job is his for now
vince: Dan, Have the Red Sox had any issues with Sean Casey. He seems to be passed on in many situations requirfing a hitter. Is his fielding suspect? He seems like a natural to play first in the absence of Lowell and/or Drew. He may be short on home run power, but is a classic , professional hitter. It seems like a no-braner.
Dan Shaughnessy: fielding is quite suspect. ortiz is probably better. everybody loves the guy and he can really rake at the plate. check out his world series with the tigers in 06.
denver_soxfan: Thanks for taking the time today to answer questions, Dan. The one I have surrounds Beckett. The Sox are hopeful that he will pitch in Game 3 of the ALDS, but is that even realistic? I would think that, with an oblique strain, he would be out for longer. Is it possible that the Red Sox are overly optimistic when they say he'll pitch Game 3, or are they making his injury out to be worse than it really is?
Dan Shaughnessy: i think that's a very valid question. no guarantee he's ok for 3. the whole thing is a little strange and cause for concern. then again, we overreacted when he had the numbness and he came back from dr. andrews and pitched four pretty good games.
Albiz: Do you think that the Sox will be affected by their poor showing with the Angels during the regular season?
Dan Shaughnessy: doubt it. angels carry more baggage into this because they've lost nine straight postseason games to the sox. granted, none of them were around for '86, but a lot of them were there for the '04 sweep and most of them were there last year. sox have psychological edge til the angels win one.
John_Self: Dan, what exactly are the new standards for having a number retired by the Sox? I've thought that they need to make a change to accommodate the lower likelihood of playing 10 years in one uniform during the free agent era (e.g., 45 should surely be retired one day), but why budge on the other standards?
Dan Shaughnessy: they say standards are unchanged -- 10 years with sox, hall of fame and "finish" your career in boston. they went around the rules for pesky (no cooperstown), but say it's a one-time exception. nice thing to do, because we all love johnny, but it gives an opening to those who'd lobby for tony c., dominic, harry agganis, etc. rice will be next, cuz he's getting in hall next year (i think).
Bushie: With all due respect to Tampa and the Cubs, I think the two best teams in baseball are meeting in Anaheim on Wednesday night. Do you agree that the winner of this series goes on to win the World Series?
Dan Shaughnessy: cubs would argue about that one. and the rays this year were better than the sox. but cubs have baggage and rays have never been here. should be really interesting, no?
Poon: What other slightly above average Company Men like Pesky will next have their number retired? Remy?
Dan Shaughnessy: career .300 batting average, leading the league in hits in your first three seasons in the bigs, then serving your country would strike me as something better than "slightly above average". go to your room.
Dewey24Ever: Hey Dan, What do you think are the chances that Mike Lowell will end up having to DH in order to play, w/ Papi at first and Youks at third?
Dan Shaughnessy: last two times i saw lowell on the field it was heartbreaking. hope he's ok, but i'm not confident. obviously, sox will have more on that later.
Dewey24Ever: How's the roster guessing game going? Any thoughts?
Dan Shaughnessy: i'm guessing no on lowell and yes on drew. but we'll know pretty soon.
SoxfanofNC12: Hey Dan, how are you? I was wondering how much you feel Coco will be used in the ALDS, and how serious you feel the Beckett/Lowell injuries are?
Dan Shaughnessy: coco wound up doing better than we thought back in spring training. they need him big-time now for drew insurance at the very least.
marcomarco: Hi Dan, do you think that Curt Schilling will be in the dugout for his final month as a Red Sox (or his career)?
Dan Shaughnessy: hope so. i miss the big lug. but he's probably busy, what with the election right around the corner and all
Guido: Dan.... I've wondered aloud on groups here before... what legal action, if any, could the Sox take against Manny for, say, breach of contract? Is that even possible with the way MLB contracts are laid out? I have been curious about that since he was traded. Thanks.
Dan Shaughnessy: forget about it. nice thought, but impossible to prove.
tcsox: Hey Dan, what's the latest news on Beckett?
Dan Shaughnessy: workout at anaheim later today. they'll tell us (maybe) then. you just need to hope he's ok for game 3 sunday.
Jiggs: Was it MLB or TBS that scheduled a 10:00 ET Game 1 start time? Yawn.
Dan Shaughnessy: horrible. sox-angels are big draw/prime time. so you/we lose. they do't want games overlapping and you won'be be seeing the rays-twins in prime time
Main_St_Matt: Who plays first base wednesday?
Dan Shaughnessy: we'll know when tito tells us later today (maybe)
Jack_SB_RSN: Thoughts on Manny comments?
Dan Shaughnessy: he's pretty much admitted he quit here and that he handled the jack mccormick thing badly. and telling us he was unhappy in boston. boo hoo. fans loved the guy too much, i guess.
So: Hi Dan, do you think the Angels right-hand hitters will have success against Lester. The Sox are unfavored in the game and I can't see why at this point, particularly given their success against Lackey in the past
Dan Shaughnessy: angels are home and have a lot of good righty hitters. scioscia can choose between gary matthews jr. and juan rivera for one spot. matthews is three for six against lester with two homers. rivera is 2-5 vs. lester. garrett anderson is a career .291 against lefties and is 3-7 against lester.
Macker11: Hey Dan, do you think Beckett only getting one start in the ALDS will hurt the Sox?
Dan Shaughnessy: it's a blow. no question. beckett was bob gibson for the sox last october and him only getting the ball once in this series really hurts the red sox. on paper, of course.
champs: Hey dan, why do the angel fans think its going to be so easy getting past us? Last time I checked we are the defending World Series Champions. Thanks
Dan Shaughnessy: fans always do that. that's why they are fans. you should think your team is going to win
igotmylunchbox: when are the rosters going to be announced?
Dan Shaughnessy: today/tonight
pb: If the sox and dodgers wind up in the world series does Pap drill Manny with a fast ball??
Dan Shaughnessy: not papelbon. if he's facing manny, it's a close game, by definition, and that's no time for that stuff
AMan: Who do you think wins the World Series?
Dan Shaughnessy: angels or rays
champs: What percent would you say J.D. is at? Lowell?
Dan Shaughnessy: no clue. only they know. but you saw lowell try to play, right?
mvpedroia: How important has Delcarmen's emergence as a reliable arm in the bullpen been to the success of the team? Has he finally found himself and become consistent enough to be relied upon consistently?
Dan Shaughnessy: sorry, but i still don't trust the guy against good teams in big situations. like masterson vs. righties and okie vs. lefties at the moment. okie has been a lot better lately.
champs: I'll take Lester over Lackey, what about you?
Dan Shaughnessy: agreed. lackey has trouble with the sox -- except for that night he almost had the no-hitter when manny wouldn't run out the ground ball.
sully7: Dan: If Beckett can't go in game 3 is is wakefield or do they go back to Lester? Also, any idea on a start time for game 3 yet?
Dan Shaughnessy: game 3 would be wakefield or byrd if beckett can't go. lester is not going to go on two days rest. game 4 is for lester.
D-Rays_Suck: Dan big fan, do you think there is any chance Paul Byrd gets a game 3 start if Beckett is unable to go. Byrd has looked good for the Sox so far, and i think he deserves atleast 1 start for us.
Dan Shaughnessy: sure. byrd or wake. byrd more of a sure thing, wake more trick-or-treat.
champs: Sox in 4? or five?
Dan Shaughnessy: i'm taking angels in five. sorry. good news is that i'm usually wrong.
Nick__Watertown_: If, as you said, Ortiz is a better fielder than Casey, would the Sox consider starting Ortiz at 1st and DHing Lowell?
Dan Shaughnessy: i say lowell starts at third, or not on the roster
igotmylunchbox: The Angels play a very agressive brand of baseball. Do you foresee the Red Sox being agressive on the basebaths as well? Do you foresse more hitting and running (especially with Ellsbury on first and Pedroia at the plate) than usual?
Dan Shaughnessy: you are right about the angels. they do a lot. catcher can squeeze bunt (did it against the sox this year). sox run much more now and ellsbury, as we know, was mr. october last year and it hot again
sanctae_crucis: Hi Dan--what's the status on Big Papi's wrist? Can we expect his typical late season pop or is that too much to ask this year?
Dan Shaughnessy: he seems different. shift has really hurt him, i think. plus no manny protection and then there's the wrist. but he's your reggie jackson, so maybe he'll bust out now.
anthbrowne: Dan, what are your predection for the upcoming ALDS? I think the sox's have a good enough team to win, i really like the pitching matchups, even without Beckett 100%.
Dan Shaughnessy: angels in five. see above
NC_Bob: Dan, does the White Sox - Twins one-game playoff count for regular season stats? In others words, can Pedroia still win the batting title?
Dan Shaughnessy: yes. stats count. but i think mauer has to go 0-7. sorry.
Glenn: Dan - what's your take on the Sox bullpen (middle relief; Pap - who seems to be throwing a lot more pitches than we are used to seeing)?
Dan Shaughnessy: bridge to pap has been season long problem. lopez had a much better year than he gets credit for, but who do you trust. i'm for masterson if there's been on base. and papelbon can be a four, five out closer in an five-game series over eight days.
Manny_Ramirez: When are you guys gonna get over me?
Dan Shaughnessy: hahahahaha.
Dan Shaughnessy: good one
Macker11: is Pedroia going to win the MVP, or what??
Dan Shaughnessy: youk, mauer and morneau right there with him. it'll help pedroia and youk if twins lose to white sox today. votes must be cast before playoffs start
I__Daubach: Dan, I appreciate you logging on for hours at a time to interface with the fans. We all know that the Patriots organization uses obfuscation as a tactic, keeping the true nature of the health of their players a secret from other teams as long as possible. With situations like Drew and Beckett for instance, would you say that the Red Sox will sometimes employ uncertainty as a tactical asset? Is it possible nothing we're heard about them can be taken as gospel? Thanks, Dan.
Dan Shaughnessy: teams see no upside in saying more than they are required to say. it's understandable. it just results in a lot of silly Q & A.
TBReilly: What's the status of JD Drew? Is he probable to start Game 1 or is that gonna be a day of game descision?
Dan Shaughnessy: who knows with this guy? i say he plays
kaybee: who's the starting outfield? Bay, Ellsbury, Drew?
Dan Shaughnessy: that would be mine
mvpedroia: If you had to vote, would you vote Pedroia or Morneau for MVP?
Dan Shaughnessy: see what morneau does tonight against white sox. i'm serious. i had a vote in '87 and waited until the last out of tigers-jays to decide on trammell vs. george bell (went with trammell after tigers swept jays)
James: Dan, thanks again for answering our questions. Do you really think we have seen the end of Big Papi's reign? Or are these injuries and setbacks just a part of being a big slugger and he'll regain form next season?
Dan Shaughnessy: sort of answered this above. it's hard to say. i do think he's gotten away from going the other way -- i think he misses ron jackson a little. and manny. and good health.
NC_Bob: Dan, what are the chances of the Sox signing Derek Lowe or Pedro as 4th or 5th starters next year?
Dan Shaughnessy: forget pedro. lowe will coast alot. wouldn't rule it out, but it's hard to envision
igotmylunchbox: Predictions for each playoff series?
Dan Shaughnessy: angels, rays, phillies, dodgers
champs: Dan, don't you agree that if the Sox take GM 1 that they'll win the series? We've got to like our chances with a free swinging Angels lineup against the Dice Man.
Dan Shaughnessy: we always overstate these things, but i do think game one is bigger this time
OCab: Who wins tonight's game - Twins or White Sox, and can either beat TB?
Dan Shaughnessy: i say twins and rays beat the twins
K-Wright: What do you think is the key for the sox making it past the Angels?
Dan Shaughnessy: pitching. as always
anthbrowne: Dan, i think that Terry Franconna doesn't get enough credit that he deserves, with the excellent way he has managed this team and all the injuries he had to deal with. What do you think?
Dan Shaughnessy: agreed. we underrate him. two in four years is pretty good. wish he'd tell us what he's really thinking, but that's not in his interests.
B: Dan, do you think the addition of Hunter and Teixera, the emergence of Santana and Saunders changes the historical baggage the Angels might have?
Dan Shaughnessy: all true. these are not the same angels sox swept last year. not even close.
champs: Dan, is the Globe going to be posting individual predictions on the series like ESPN or not?
Dan Shaughnessy: yes. tomorrow
mvpedroia: Lincecum/Sabathia for the NL Cy Young?
Dan Shaughnessy: cc for me. big games
Boston_Neely: do you think that this "oblique" is red-herring here and Francona is secretly happy that the best pitcher this year on our staff is starting game one?
Dan Shaughnessy: no way. they all want as much beckett as possible
K-Wright: Hey Dan, Thanks for taking questions I'm a huge fan of your columns. Do you think Drew will make an impact in the playoffs?
Dan Shaughnessy: we all ripped him last year then he hit the grand slam in october.
Teddyballgame9: Do you when they will announce game times for Sunday game. Obviously MLB doesn't care about the average fan that has to work or make travel arrangements to get to the game. Thanks Dan
Dan Shaughnessy: we'd love to know. all predicated on tv -- other series being done, etc. just figure the sox and angels for prime time or later every time.
BringItHome: Do you think Beckett is really hurt or is this a Sox strategy to gain an edge ?
Dan Shaughnessy: okay, we're getting silly here. time to wrap it up?
budman: The way I see it Wakefield cannot be used out of the pen as they would have to switch out Varitek for Cash and thereby removing a potential pinch hitter or injury substitute from the bench. Your thoughts?
Dan Shaughnessy: it's an issue. but remember that wake bailed out the pen and the entire team by taking one for the team out of the pen in the 19-8 game in 2004
Mannyhaters: hey Dan, seeing that Jason Varitek's numbers have dipped almost every year, what sort of contract do you think he is after at the end of this season and do you think the red sox is interested in giving an aging player like Vtek a long term contract? Or is a one year contract a slap in the face for the captain of the franchise?
Dan Shaughnessy: this will be fascinating. varitek is a boras guy, but the catcher sometimes overrules and calls his own shots. sox were not sentimental about pedro, damon, etc., but they don't have a replacement right now. bet they won't go more than two years with an option.
mvpedroia: What do you think Julio Lugo's future is with the red sox?
Dan Shaughnessy: think edgar renteria
Gouconn13: Do you think Sox's stragedy is to keep Friggins off of the base as much they can? Cuz he alway set the tone for the team.
Dan Shaughnessy: of course.
Dan Shaughnessy: thanks for the good questions, everybody.
Dan Shaughnessy: enjoy the series