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Ask Nick: Does Youkilis get his job back?

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  May 8, 2012 04:28 PM

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What is the over-under in weeks as to Valentine's tenure as manager of the Sox? I'm thinking 6 weeks and I'm going to take the under.
Fran, Middleboro, Mass.
Why is it his fault?

In your recent mailbag, you asked fans to subscribe to the Globe to get your Sunday Notes column, but what about West Coast fans who do not need the Globe news, but want just sports?
Nancy, Sonoma, Calif.
Well you still get a lot of free sports content on Boston.com. The daily coverage of the team is free. It's the premium content such as columnists and the Sunday Notes that are considered premium material. Here's a link to BostonGlobe.com subscription information.

In the marathon May 6 Sox-O's game, we saw two position players pitch in a tie game. Wouldn't a starter, especially the one who has his throwing day that day, normally come in to throw a few innings in a game like that?
Chris, New Haven, Conn.
Yes at times, but the one throwing that day was Jon Lester and he threw before the game.

I was at the 17-inning game and was proud of the bullpen for its job after Buchholz left. My question is: What is wrong with Gonzalez?
Brian, New London, NH
He says he's a tick off with his swing and feels he's getting it back. Much like Albert Pujols is trying to find his swing. Both of them will hit, but right now A-Gon has been killing them.

When do you think is a good time to start asking for the firing of Bobbie Valentine?
Kamran, Tampa, Fla.
When they get all of their players back and they still stink.

Seems it is time to drop Buchholz from the rotation and take a chance with Cook and others. Will Crawford's contract mean the Sox will not have money to sign Ellsbury?
Dave, Bangkok, Thailand
I would have a short leash on Buchholz as well. No reason he should have unlimited time to work it out. As for Ellsbury, you have to be careful with all of his injuries. I think you play it out with him, through next year, and if he stays healthy then you think about a long-term commitment.

Could this possibly be the most talented failure of a team since the Orioles signed Albert Belle? I'd rather have a team full of 4A players who care than this team.
Alexander, New Britian
I disagree that the players don't care. I think they do care. I just don't think they're that good. You described them well -- 4A players. They have too many on the field right now.

How do you put into words how pathetic this team truly is?
Tom, Chesapeake, Va.
They certainly were on the homestand. Let's see how they respond again on the road. It may be as simple as feeling more pressure when they play at home. We all had a different feeling about them after a 6-1 road trip.

I got my wish when Jason Varitek retired and Jarrod Saltalamacchia took over the primary catching duties. Thought there was more upside offensively and for holding runners. Is there anyone who believes (yourself included), that the Red Sox' poor pitching is a result of the loss of Tek's handling of the rotation?
Jeff, Lexington, Ky.
Certainly a plausible theory, but I never let the ones who throw the pitches off the hook, though. They are veteran, professional pitchers. They have control over what they throw. They can shake him off if they feel he's calling the wrong pitch. Sorry, I'm just not a big believer that it's the catcher's fault.

When are you or one of the other sports writers planning to uncover the charade known as "the sellout"? Anyone in the stands or at home realize that a.) the place is not sold out b.) tickets are available and c.) the Red sox are misrepresenting this "longest sellout in baseball"
Diane, Atlanta
Maybe you missed it, but Bob Hohler just did a big story on this topic recently.

John Lester still has not made that step from very good to great pitcher. Put him against the ace of the good teams in the league, and the Red Sox probably lose. I wonder if any Sox starter this year would break the Rays' rotation?
Joe, Wantagh, NY
I can't argue with that. He has the ability to be an ace, a No. 1, but he's been inconsistent. Until he shows consistency and pitches 220 innings, the jury will be out.

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