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Ask Nick: What now for the Sox?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  October 4, 2011 03:24 PM

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What are the chances Theo takes the Cubs job and then hires Francona as manager? Do you think this is something that could happen?
Anonymous

Wouldn't shock me. But I doubt it.

Hi Nick, I am sure I am not the only one and will likely change by spring but at this moment after 60 yrs of following them it is the least I've cared for the team ever. Just too many of them who don't care enough to win. It's a shame what they did to Tito.
Tony, Hillsboro Oregon

I hear this a lot Tony and I can't disagree. It's a very vanilla team. No personalities to speak of. I think they set out to build this type of team and they succeeded. It seems they couldn't wait to break up the Idiots in 2004, but that team had passionate characters like Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar and players who really cared. In selecting future players they need to do a better job evaluating intangibles.

Nick, Regarding Jon Lester, I thought he was "crying" (i.e. stared in at the umps or turned around quickly making a face) too much about pitches he thought umpires squeezed him. He seemed to be less effective when this happened. I got the feeling he needed to adjust to the calls, shut up and pitch instead of griping. I never noticed this about him till this year. What do you think?
Barry, Burlington, Vt.

I think you're right. There's a lot of griping about calls and when that happens, the umpire doesn't give you the benefit of the doubt. Lester is a really good pitcher and he's not part of the problem. Was he has dominant as I thought he could be? No. But he had a good season.

What about Jason Varitek as Sox new manager?
Mike, Seattle

Maybe in about five years after he's had some experience. Awfully hard to go from player to manager. Not sure Jason wants to do it anyway.

This needs to be Pedroia's team, but that's not going to happen until Tek and Youk are gone ... It might make sense to bring back Tek on a one-year, low-cost contract, but what about trading Youk now? I know he plays hard and wants to win, but he's missed a lot of games in the past two seasons and his body-type doesn't suggest that he won't continue to break down. His trade value may not rise any further than it is right now. What potential matches might there be? He's said he'd like to play in Cincy.. I know Middlebrooks is in the wings, but that's at 1-2 seasons away.. PS.. Can't wait to see a Middlebrooks-Inglesias-Pedroia-AGon infield...
Gary, Asheville, N.C.

I don't see what Youk and Varitek have to do with Pedroia. If Pedroia wants to lead, he can lead no matter who is there. He's a former American League MVP. He has the credentials to be the leader.

Dan Shaughnessy claims that Terry Franconna was fired. However, Mike Fine of the Patriot Ledger claims that TF resigned. I am inclined to believe Mike. What's your opinion?
Bill, Braintree

I've written they both got sick of each other.

Why did the powers that be not see that the pitching was the major weakness before the season started.it was obvious that it was going to be a problem but they seemed not to notice this.these people are paid vast sums and yet could not see what we all knew was the problem, yet Terry Francona is the one who takes the fall.great management lads.
Christopher, Birmingham, Great Britain

I didn't think pitching was going to be a problem. With Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Lackey and Matsuzaka on paper that looked pretty good compared to most teams. They also had Wakefield and Aceves as depth. Really, if you could have seen that coming you're a tremendous evaluator because most baseball people felt Boston was pretty strong which is why so many of us in the media picked Boston to win the whole thing.

Nick, do you have any perspective or comments on Jason Varitek's role as team Captain in 2011 and what he may or may not have contributed as a leader when the team was both winning and losing? Thanks!
Matt, Dover, N.H.

From what I understand, not a vocal leader. Just a guy who works his butt off every minute and shows himself to be a gamer. Guess it didn't rub off on too many guys.
J., Westwood

Varitek/Wakefield/Lester should and of course numerous other players could immediately tweet or e-mail a trusted member of the media with a version of this:
"It was an honor to play for Terry Francona, the best manager in Sox history. I feel terrible about his departure. Mr. Francona and Sox fans deserved better results this year."
Anonymous

That would be classy.

Terry Francona's big mistake is that he treated his players as men when in fact they were just little boys.
Do you agree?
David, Mountain View Calif.

I think that approach worked well for most of his eight years. Just didn't work this year. But as he put it, “you have to be true to yourself.” That's his style and he didn't want to change it.

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