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Yawkey Way runs one way

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff October 23, 2008 05:59 AM

Twelve years after Roger Clemens, 10 years after Mo Vaughn, the Red Sox have all the leverage now. Players come and players go. Theocracy rules the fabled kingdom at 4 Yawkey Way.

In the middle of this, we ask:

What will become of Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis?

On the heels of their playoff ouster at the hands of the blossoming Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox entered their off-season this week with the usual pair of questions: Who stays? And who goes? Historically, at this time of year, Sox followers have lamented the plight of the franchise, wondering what it might take to someday turn the Sox into winners. Now we unceremoniously open the door for the unwanted and erase any memories of the departed, all because the Red Sox have an assembly-line farm system that might as well be sending players to Boston on a transcontinental conveyor belt.

Out goes Johnny Damon, in comes Jacoby Ellsbury. Out goes Derek Lowe, in comes Justin Masterson. Out goes Curt Schilling, in comes Jon Lester.

Not so long ago, a friend of mine made an interesting observation: Fans in New England donít root for the players anymore so much as they root for the management. Maybe this is a byproduct from the world of fantasy sports. Manny Ramirez departs and Jason Bay enters, and most everyone recognizes that the Red Sox are making business decisions as much as they are baseball ones.

All of this brings us back to Youkilis and Pedroia, who currently make up the best right side of the infield in baseball this side of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Youkilis is ineligible for free agency until the fall of 2010, Pedroia until the fall of 2012. In the interim, you cannot help but wonder if the Red Sox have any intention of signing either to a multiyear contract commensurate with his skill level.

Thatís a logical question because of the self-sustaining machine the Red Sox have built.

For a moment, letís examine relatively recent Red Sox history. When Clemens and Vaughn left the club as free agents in 1996 and 1998, respectively, there was inordinate pressure on the club to keep each. Their departures prompted criticism of all sides, and Boston earned a reputation as a place nobody wanted to play. If the team mistreats its star players, many reasoned, then it surely would not embrace others.

Ten years after Vaughnís escape, the Red Sox are winners now instead of frustrated runners-up. In many cases, the front office has our blind loyalty and unconditional trust. The Red Sox can cast aside Johnny Damon and sign J.D. Drew ó were their numbers that different this year? Ė and the move does not draw nearly the skepticism it should, because the Sox keep chugging along without an apparent worry in the world.

Their farm system has been so darn productive in recent years that it has masked the clubís mistakes, which is precisely the way itís supposed to be. The more good young players you have, the more mistakes you can make, the more those mistakes do not matter.

In the case of Youkilis, what happened between the player and club last winter was nothing short of a standoff, if anyone cared to notice. Following a season in which the first baseman batted .288 with 16 home runs and 83 RBI, he was eligible for arbitration. The Sox approached him about a long-term deal. Youkilis deemed the clubís offer unfair and declined it. The sides ultimately avoided arbitration and settled on a one-year contract for $3 million.

To his credit, unfazed by the prospect of playing for his money, Youkilis went out and had a monster year, batting .312 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI. If he does not finish in the top five (at least) of the American League Most Valuable Player Award balloting, it will be a terrible injustice. Youkilis is eligible for arbitration again, and his price has soared considerably, which means the Sox will have to spend considerably more this winter than they might have a year ago.

Know whatís going to happen now? Youkilis is likely to end up with a one-year deal again, because the Red Sox are not likely to break the bank at this stage, either. Baseball rules clearly favor the owners for the first six years of a playerís career, an edge the Red Sox wisely use to their advantage. And because the Sox are a big-market club with considerable resources, they can wait until Youkilis is eligible for free agency (again, in the fall of 2010) before they decide whether to pony up big dollars.

If they opt against doing so, they can let Youkilis walk and spend that money elsewhere, assuming the conveyor belt is still feeding them players from Pawtucket, Portland, or Lancaster.

Pedroia, like Youkilis, is not likely to sell himself short. The current chances that heíll accept a long-term deal at below-market value do not seem very good. Like Youkilis, Pedroia is an extremely confident young man who believes in his ability. As such, he also believes the money will come. The Red Sox have made it quite clear at this stage that they are interested in long-term deals only if they benefit the club, assuming those discussions involve players with minimal major league service.

Again, the Sox are not responsible for the rules. They are merely using them to their advantage, which is good business. At the same time, itís fair to ask whether players will be passing through Boston on a much more regular basis in coming years, only validating the belief that fans do not cheer for players so much as they cheer for the uniforms.

Admittedly, the cases involving Youkilis and Pedroia are years away from crunch time, but that is not the point. The question is whether the identities of the players really mean anything anymore. Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice played their entire careers for the Red Sox and never won anything, but their value to the franchise was (and is) immeasurable. Keeping them was never a decision. Soon, Sox general manager Theo Epstein will be faced with the first make-or-break contract negotiations for players he drafted and developed, creating an interesting dynamic at historic Fenway Park.
By then, weíll know for sure whether we root for the players or for the management.

Tony Massarotti can be reached at tmassarotti@globe.com and can be read at www.boston.com/massarotti

83 comments so far...
  1. yes!!!!! sign them both!!!! They're both going to finish in the top 10 in MVP voting this yr! Youk has improved each yr he's been in the bigs and Pedrioa has shown exactly why he SHOULD be this year's MVP. How many 5'6" guys can bat 4th in the Red Sox line-up?????

    Posted by Bones October 23, 08 10:53 AM
  1. I think you make a number of good points Tony but I think you sell the fans a little short here. The fans do cheer for the players, because of their knowledge of the game and they trust the Red Sox management due to the outstanding success Epstein and his guys have had these past few years. Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler haven't worn a Red Sox uniform for a few years but if either one of them walk up to the plate in Fenway, for an opposing team, they are still guaranteed a standing ovation. Red Sox fans truly appreciate the Trot Nixon's, Bill Mueller's and Doug Mirabelli's the way only Red Sox fans can. Those types of players have earned Red Sox Nation love.

    Posted by Walt October 23, 08 11:41 AM
  1. We don't root for either. We root for the players who currently play in the Red Sox uniform. Sure, we would all like to keep Youkilis around for his entire career, but do we want to get stuck with a 37 year old Youkilis making $18 million per year? Probably not. Theo said right after 2004 (I believe) that one mistake championship teams make is getting lazy and not working to continue improving the team. Decisions based on emotion are often mistakes.

    Posted by Ben October 23, 08 11:55 AM
  1. There are two things going on here.And it better be Foxes vrs. Foxes.....Youk and Pedie deserve every penny they can get,and they better get it....We are not dealing with some ordinary ballplayers here....These kids are very Talented and Gutsy.They better get their money......They are built in the fashion of Dewey,Trot,Varitek....and others.They'd run through a wall to make a play,not to impress no one.....but that's the way the game should be played.They WILL,SHOULD get their money.....and The Sox better not mess with there minds,because,eventually,they just may take their game somewhere else!!!

    Posted by Jack ....Melbourne,Fla October 23, 08 12:06 PM
  1. HERE IS MY STARTING LINE UP FOR 09
    CF-ELLSBURY
    SS-PEDRIOA ( HIS NATURAL POSITION)
    1B-TEIXERA
    2B-YOUKLIS
    DH-ORTIZ
    LF-BAY
    RF-DREW
    SS-LOWRIE
    C-VARITEK
    WOULD LOVE SOME FEEDBACK ON THOUGHTS

    Posted by FATGUY October 23, 08 12:08 PM
  1. HERE IS MY STARTING LINE UP FOR 09
    CF-ELLSBURY
    SS-PEDRIOA ( HIS NATURAL POSITION)
    1B-TEIXERA
    2B-YOUKLIS
    DH-ORTIZ
    LF-BAY
    RF-DREW
    SS-LOWRIE
    C-VARITEK
    WOULD LOVE SOME FEEDBACK ON THOUGHTS

    Posted by FATGUY October 23, 08 12:08 PM
  1. Of Course! Long Term Contracts for both. Don't lose any of the starters. Sign Sean Casey as well, and go after AJ Burnett.

    Posted by George Roberge October 23, 08 12:14 PM
  1. Absolutely! Sign them both now. No Brainer..

    Posted by Anonymous October 23, 08 12:19 PM
  1. Great analysis by Tony. If I were Theo I would opt to grant both long term deals that by today's numbers would seem to be a bargain for the club. Giving Youk a deal in the range of $50M+ is not unreasonable...As for Dustin I would offer a six- to seven-year deal and base it around the salary average for the top five second basemen in the game at this time.

    Posted by Minnesox Fan October 23, 08 12:20 PM
  1. Of course, the reason we root for the team (management) instead of the individual players is because of free agency. As fans, we loved the days when the players were 'owned' by management from crib to coffin. Now we have to resort to bragging that Theo Epstein is better than Brian Cashman. It's just not the same!

    Posted by Big Link October 23, 08 01:15 PM
  1. Lancaster??? C'mon Mazz, you should know better. The Sox parted ways with Lancaster and the California League and will instead have advanced Single A ball at Salem in the Carolina League.

    Posted by Bloody Sock October 23, 08 01:17 PM
  1. Even though the rules may be in the organization's favor for the first six years of a players career, you still need to treat them fairly. If they feel taken advantage of and used they are not going to be happy and that will create ill-will and eventually kill team chemistry. You have to do like the Pats do and take care of your core while still being sensible and taking possible injury and decline into account. I would think at this point, Youkillis and Pedroia, make a great core. They are young, talented, hard-workers, good hitters, great defenders, and they are passionate about the game. You build teams around these guys. Take care of them and they will take care of you (Theo, Larry, and John Henry).

    Posted by pete22 October 23, 08 01:22 PM
  1. Won't be getting anyone out of Lancaster anymore. The Jethawks are now a Class A affiliate of the Astros.

    Posted by EGD October 23, 08 01:31 PM
  1. Mazz - please don't compare Damon and Drew. Johnny, though I still love him, couldn't throw any better than my Mom - and she's been dead for 14 years.

    Posted by ColoradoSoxFan October 23, 08 01:40 PM
  1. whos on third?

    Posted by sullydude October 23, 08 01:40 PM
  1. THIS REALLY IS A NO BRAINER...
    Boras is greedy. Plan on having trouble with any player that has him as an agent if you don't deal with TEK fairly. Remember not resigning Fisk and the numbers he put up for the White Sox? Fisk made an entire one run ERA difference when he was in the game. Tek has called multiple no hit and one hit games. The pitchers (especially the young ones trust his wisdom). Tek works too hard, his numbers will improve.OFFER A TWO YEAR CONTRACT WITH SOME TEAM INCENTIVES (100 WINS... DIV. CHAMPS. ALCS CHAMPS, WORLD CHAMPS, BONUS FOR EVERY NUMBER THAT HE IMPROVES ON NEXT YEAR, RBI'S,AVG, PAY HIM FOR ANYTHING THAT IS AN IMPROVEMENT AND HAVE IT INCREASE AS THE NUMBERS GET BETTER.OBP,RISP,HR'S

    Posted by RUSSELL October 23, 08 02:02 PM
  1. Listed 2 SS and no 3B ... did you mean Lowrie at 3rd?

    Posted by Gare October 23, 08 02:03 PM
  1. Trade Ellsbury (whose numbers are not going to get much better) and Youk (who had a career year and is not likely to do it again) for Matt Holiday and sign Teixera. That way you have Holiday in left, Bay in center and Drew in Right, with Lowell, Lowrie, Pedroia and Tex in the infield... that way if you're stuck with Tek behind the plate his offense won't matter at all! Plus, you are stuck with Lugo anyway... if Lowell can't do anything more then DH you can move Lowrie over to play 3rd.

    Posted by Jay October 23, 08 02:06 PM
  1. People do in fact route for the uniform, how can it be any other way with players changing teams yearly. Rather than suffer the disappointment every season, buy the blank jersey, save the $70 a year and avoid the anger at a player who chose money over loyalty.

    Posted by Hutch22 October 23, 08 02:52 PM
  1. by taking youkilis year to year, they can take the time to see if lars anderson is teh real deal. they should know by the end of 2010 whether this is the case. then, let youkilis walk or let him man another position, if possible. a great position for the red sox. id wait another year for pedroia. he very well could put up the same EXACT numbers next year and not even be considered for the mvp (not top 15) if the league evens out and more star players put up their usual big numbers. so, he might win mvp this year...which would be a terrible time to sign him long term. wait a year. or two. thats smart, that is what theo will do.

    Posted by jason from scranton October 23, 08 03:25 PM
  1. Utley and Howard, cmon.... they'll give you more jaks and rbis, but pedey and youks are better in every other aspect of the game -- hits, batting avg, doubles, on base pct, OPS, steals, bb/k ratio, baserunning (pedey one of the best in the game)... And defense isnt even close, pedey may win the gold glove, youk already has one, utley and howard are both below avg defenders... How about clutch hitting? I put utley there with youk and pedey but, howard? No way... Utley is phenomenal, but Howard is totally one-dimensional... Youk, Pedey, and Utley are among the top ten players in the game. Howard may not even crack the top 20...

    Posted by David October 23, 08 03:37 PM
  1. hey fatguy - how do we field 2 shortstops for our games? You must mean lowrie at third. I do not believe Youk has the the range for second, but why not? He plays first and third really easy. We have to sign Youk to a four year contract and Dustin to a 4 or 5 year contract. Getting Tex would be an upgrade over Lowell - do we trade Lowell and Lugo and Bay to the Rockies for Atkins and Holliday? Then we could have Youk at third and atkins at SS, and Lowrie as our utility guy. Youk could also play some outfield, too.

    Posted by networkdood October 23, 08 03:50 PM
  1. I think you should definitely lock up Youk and Pedroia. They are and will be long term producers for this club,

    comment to Fatguy's comment - you forgot 3B?

    Posted by Hank October 23, 08 04:18 PM
  1. Hey FATGUY...
    Why would you disrupt one of the best defensive infields in the league only in an effort to land Mark Teixeira?
    Did you even notice that you have two shortstops?
    What makes you think that Youkilis would play a great 2B after playing 3B and 1B?
    I'm sick of all the wannabe GMs just thinking they can move guys around the infield and put people wherever they want to land the big name free agent of the year. Everyone should calm down. This is a GREAT team that just didn't make it to the World Series. They were one game away. This is nothing like 2003. They don't need to go out and get big names to get to the next level. Besides, they won the World Series in 2007 and were one game away in 2008...what level could they possibly go to?

    Posted by Tom S. October 23, 08 04:53 PM
  1. FATGUY, you asked for comments on your starting lineup for 2009:
    Problem #1 is you have two SS (Lowrie and Pedroia). Assuming they sign Texiera, the lineup would have Youk at 3B, Pedroia staying at 2B, and Lowrie staying at SS. I don't think they sign Texiera. That would render Lowell relatively meaningless, and they can't have that many $$$ locked up on Lugo and Lowell riding pine. This offseason should be spent on getting some better set-up men in the pen. 2008 was undermined by inconsistent relief.

    Posted by Josh October 23, 08 05:30 PM
  1. FATGUY who is at 3B?

    Posted by Truth Master October 23, 08 05:35 PM
  1. feedback for FATGUY-

    Your lineup will suffer greatly against right handed hitters, as there is nobody playing 3rd base. All those routine grounders and line drives that Lowell would normally scoop up and toss over to first will now go as singles, keeping Bay very busy. I also feel that teams with runners on base will go bunt crazy, with anything bunted past the pitcher guaranteed to advance the runner without getting an out. and forget about around the horn double plays, they just wont happen.

    Posted by rdrury October 23, 08 05:54 PM
  1. Yeah great line up. Move our second baseman (who doesn't have a lot of range) to play something in the majors he never has before. And lets put a golden glove type fielder at second instead of one of the corners. FATGUY, that will never happen.

    I would rather the sox spend their money smart and always be in the hunt, than get emotional about players and keep them sentimentally.

    My prediction: Youk will be go else where as a disgruntled free agent. They will sign Dustin down the road, but not this year. They got three more years of cheap MVP caliber play from a 2nd baseman.

    Posted by TimboTobin October 23, 08 06:31 PM
  1. Hey FATGUY,
    You're going to field 2 SS? No, 3B? AND... You are going to have Youk play 2B? I'm assuming that you meant to have Lowrie play 3B...

    So you are advocating moving two players out of position (Youk and Lowrie) so that Pedroia can play his "natural" position (which he esentially hasn't played since his minor league days)?

    You are either over-thinking or uner-thinking the lineup and defence.

    Posted by RozzySoxFan October 23, 08 06:48 PM
  1. The more columns I read by Tony (as well as the video reports) the more I am convinced that he is the *best* sports journalist on the Globe staff. This was another terrific analysis!

    I wonder if there is any possibility of an examination of labor issues from the perspective of players? Perhaps difficult to access. To my mind, the business of baseball is exploitative, one of the last remaining centers where capitalism's free market principles favor owners over workers every time. For instance, $3million for Youkilis is peanuts to a billion dollar enterprise. We all know that the Sox
    corporation had to absorb the remainder of Manny's salary; but, again, those millions were peanuts--the corporation could afford to pay a worker to go elsewhere if it were in the best business interests of the corporation. I use the word "exploitation" because player value seems to be based on capacity to perform (thus draw crowds and generate revenue for the corporation) minus overhead (salary).

    Back to Tony's article. He makes the point that fans trust and even root for decisions made by management. This must be a corporation's fantasy--to have consumers with deep, personal commitments to the product, and at the same time, faith in the decisions made by an elite power group that those fans will never be a part of! That being said, if Yaz and Rice were at one time what one referred to when they thought of the Red Sox, was this not the same with more recent players, Pedro, Damon, and Ortiz? The fact that the hometown fans would boo someone like Ortiz and Varitek seems to speak to the creeping corporate values that we as fans (as Tony points out) cheer for: Show these post-prime guys the door and bring in some automatons because what fans really care about is a nameless uniform (as long as the words "Red Sox" are printed on the front).

    To my mind this is actually quite frightening. Anyway, pile on good readers and tear my argument up. But I'm sure Tony will agree with much of what I've written!

    Posted by gmoneyinflorida October 23, 08 06:50 PM
  1. I like to root for the players, but then I am not a very good BB fan. I like youth stepping up, and I like the old dogs coming back to have career moments. I loved our 2008 Red Sox. They had both.

    But I noticed among my co-workers, most turned negative on Ellsbury and Lawry as soon as they went cold at he plate. How can that be?

    Team or player; I think it's a blend. We want to root for our stars, but we want the uniforms to win most of all. Regarding management, Epstien is the weak link. He's not a team guy at all. I'd dump him in a heartbeat. Whatever system they have of bringing up talent isn't dependent on him. It's a system. That means a lot of parts. He isn't as big a piece as he thinks he is.

    Posted by Bob Holcomb October 23, 08 07:02 PM
  1. #5 you have nobody at 3B, why move youk to 2nd when he was brought up as a 3rd baseman and proved this year he can still play there
    CF-ELLSBURY
    2B-PEDRIOA ( Excellent 2B man)
    1B-TEIXERA
    3B-YOUKLIS( Great 3B man
    DH-ORTIZ
    LF-BAY
    RF-DREW
    SS-LOWRIE( Why make play a new position, showed he can play SS
    C-VARITEK

    Posted by redsoc October 23, 08 07:14 PM
  1. fat guy. you're an idiot. who plays third?? lowrie?? so you propose we move 3 guys to positions that aren't theirs. why wouldn't you just leave youk at 3rd pedroia 2nd and lowrie ss??

    Posted by b-to-the-rad October 23, 08 08:03 PM
  1. Hey FatGuy who is going to play 3rd? Atkins? Lowell?,A-Rod?or Bay with Holiday going to left?

    Posted by gefraorg02 October 23, 08 08:19 PM
  1. come on fatguy, 2 shortstops, no third baseman and youk playing second base..i'm assuming you've traded mike lowell but why not youk at third and pedroia at second. maybe you should proofread your posts next time.

    Posted by Anonymous October 23, 08 08:31 PM
  1. Nice article and good insight into how the process works. I'm not sure the previous posters are getting it though. So let's say the Red Sox offered Youk a long term deal last year at a reasonable price for his stats after 2007. The benefit to Youk is long term security. The benefit to the club is if he continues to improve the Sox potentially get him at below market (relative to free agency in 2010). But Youk thinks, "Hmmm if I go out and bat .312 with 29 HRs, 115 RBIs, make the All Star team, win another gold glove and get into AL MVP consideration, I can make a ton more dough.". Of course, he could have also blown out a knee and been out for the year, so there's risks too.

    Now, after 2008, the Red Sox have to decide if they think Youk can continue to put up these kinds of numbers, or was this a career year? This is where other clubs fall in love and offer their star a huge long term deal. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. It's kind of a financial high wire act isn't it?

    Now, if you ask me, I'd say, "I love Youk. Sign him! Sign him! Sign him! I want to watch him play forever and retire as a Red Sox. And sign Pedie too!". But THAT is why I am a fan and not the GM. And THAT is why we say, "In Theo we trust!". He's made enough right calls to keep us at or near the top this decade. What more can you ask?

    Signed,

    Theo's Mom! Aaaahahahaha!

    Posted by Beachman October 23, 08 08:34 PM
  1. Mazz continues to write to the unintelligible. When do we see something worth reading? Do you only write to those who cannot think?

    Posted by Steve October 23, 08 09:07 PM
  1. FATGUY, who is playing 3B??? You have two players at SS.

    Posted by Anonymous October 23, 08 09:52 PM
  1. Who's playing 2nd, Fatguy?

    Posted by mromeo2000 October 23, 08 10:31 PM
  1. FATGUY, you don't play with 2 shortstops or Youk at 2nd. A guy his size has nowhere near the range to play a position that requires that much lateral movement. Why mess with a good thing? If we signed Tex, Youk would go to 3rd and I don't see the need to flip-flop Pedroia and Jed. The rest of it looks good though. What do we do with Mike though? Release Sean Casey and let him ride the pine until we might need him if Tex or Youk go down with an injury? What do we do with Cora and Lugo? There are many questions to be answered this offseason. It should be interesting.

    Here's my starting line-up for '09"
    1. Hanley Ramirez SS
    2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
    3. Evan Longoria 3B
    4. David Ortiz DH
    5. Kevin Youkilis 1B
    6. Joe Mauer C
    7. Matt Holliday RF
    8. Jason Bay LF
    9. Jacoby Ellsbury CF

    All wishful thinking of course...

    Posted by Matt October 23, 08 10:44 PM
  1. FATGUY:

    You have two shortstops and no third-baseman. Does this mean you want Lowrie to be the 3rd-baseman, and end Lowell's Sox career, while shifting Youk to a 3rd different infield position? I don't know if Youk is nimble enough to turn the double play, and his strong arm is a bit wasted at 2nd. Your lineup is interesting - I might even subscribe to it, but I promise it won't happen. Lowrie will be shortstop, and Pedroia will be at 2nd. If Lowell goes and we get Teixeira Youks will be at 3rd.

    Posted by Michael Friedmann October 24, 08 07:52 AM
  1. Sign Youk and Pedroia?........Dahhhh......YEAH!

    Posted by shtarka October 24, 08 08:51 AM
  1. Fat Guy,
    That should be a pretty good position at ss but 3b must be difficult to cover. What makes you think Youk can play 2b. Pedroia was put at 2b because management didn't think he could handle ss in the bigs. I would love to Tex, but not with the moves you have made.

    Posted by Teachlsvgs1 October 24, 08 09:29 AM
  1. CF Crisp
    2b Pedy
    DH Ortiz/Lowell
    1b YOuk
    Lf Bay
    Rf DREW
    SS H Ramiez
    C Tek 3b
    trade ells for ramirez.Lowrie becomes cora

    trade ells for ramirez
    Trad

    Posted by Anonymous October 24, 08 10:25 AM
  1. FAT GUY....Right to get Teixeira, but then you are wrong...Get Tex, keep Mike Lowell at third, Move Youk to left field, where he is fine, trade Jason Bay to the Braves for great prospects they have, trade those prospects, plus Michael Bowden (not so great in my opinion) to the Dodgesrs for Russell Martin, catcher!
    Ells cf Pedroia 2b Ortiz dh Teixeira 1b Youkilis lf Drew rf lowell 3b Martin c Lowrie at short.....Who beats this team??? NO One

    Posted by harvey ludwin October 24, 08 11:11 AM
  1. Hanley Ramirez isnt going anywhere forget about it

    Posted by red sox October 24, 08 12:29 PM
  1. My first move would be to put Youk in left field...........some greats have come before
    him, Williams, Yaz , Rice, ........So it should be a fairly easy sell.You absolutely
    have to keep Lowell who not only is one of the best 3rd basemen of all-times
    (according to Brooks Robinson) but is also a great club house influence.Pedie @
    SS, (Lowrie is not the answer ) Coco/Ells in Cf, J.D. in RF. Trade Bay,( this is a guy
    who couldnt hit a curve ball with a snow shovel). Look for a 2ND baseman in
    free agency.Sign Varitek to a 2 year deal max. Texiera @ 1ST, leave Masterson in
    the Bullpen( dont make the same mistake as they did with Bucholtz).TRADE FOR
    MORE PITCHING( YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH) I would probably keep
    Lowrie & use him as the utility infielder.

    Posted by Coach Bouc October 24, 08 12:59 PM
  1. Fantasy Baseball has ruined any logical discussion about "What should the Red Sox do".... People think that, because they can fleece their buddy in a Yahoo league, there should be no problem with the Red Sox sending Lowell, Lugo & Bay off to Colorado for Atkins & Holliday (for example) or sticking Pedroia at SS, moving Youk to 2B, trading Lowell, and signing Tex. As someone pointed out, we were 1 game away from a 2nd straight World Series. We have a great young nucleus (Pedroia, Youk, Lester, Papelbon, Dice-K, Masterson, Beckett). There's been reported discussions of considering Tex, but I'd be shocked if we went out and signed him. You then have to figure out what to do with Lowell, Youk, or even Ortiz for that matter. Lowell's surgery was deemed a success and he should be good for another year or two. Otherwise, consider that he's 35 at the start of the year with 2 yrs remaining at 12.5 mil/yr. Ortiz turns 33 next month and, by all accounts, should have a fully healed wrist for next year. I'm not saying we couldn't use another bat, but I think you'll see better numbers out of this lineup next year just because players will be healthier (also, no Japan trip). What I do think is that we'll see the Sox make some moves to bring another SP in and shore up middle relief. I see them bringing back Varitek for another yr or two if they're unable to lure one of the young catching prospects away from Texas. Bottom line is that we were pretty banged up at the end of the year and still made it to Game 7 of the ALCS. We don't need a complete rebuild - we have plenty of bullets left in the chamber to re-load for next year.

    Posted by Dom October 24, 08 01:16 PM
  1. Everyone has it wrong!!!

    WHO IS PLAYING FIRST!!! WHAT IS ON SECOND! I DON'T KNOW IS ON THIRD!!!

    Anyway, I love Youk but he's not fast enough for second base. Why move Pedroia from second? He's an all-star second baseman. Everyone wants Texiera but they don't want to let someone go in the process. Well, here are the senerios if they sign Tex.

    Option 1: Move Youk to third. Trade Lowell. (Most likely.)
    Option 2. Keep Lowell, trade Youk.
    Option 3. Keep Lowell at third, Move Youk to LF, trade Bay.
    Option 4: Release everyone and bring in all new players (I've seen posts that looked like that.)
    Option 5: Trade Ortiz and let the three people in question (Lowell, Youk, Tex) rotate at DH.

    If you are going to keep Youk, then they have to lock him up. Granted the small contracts are great, but you know Boras will come knocking when it is free agent time. Pedrioa should be locked up as well. In a perfect world, everyone should be on year to year deals because it keeps them hungry, however, this is baseball.

    Posted by Harv October 24, 08 01:58 PM
  1. As far as Varitek goes for the upcoming season...i'm on the fence.
    He does alot as far as morale in the dugout goes, unfortunately, his hitting has diminished over the years. This wouldn't be a problem to me if he was like Ellsbury; in a hitting slump, but dynamite defense.

    Unfortunately, his defense has been going down the tubes as well. So if Tek can prove he's good for another year...then hell yes sign him :D

    Posted by Jessica October 24, 08 02:02 PM
  1. this is to "Dom from october 24th at 1:16 pm"
    thank you for finally saying something that makes sense on here. oh sure the marlins will trade their all-world shortstop who they just locked up with a huge contract by their standards for a rookie CF who couldn't muster a hit in the ALCS and got benched by coco crisp (not exactly an elite player). now i for one would love to add Tex and move Youk to 3rd since he can obviously play it well and try to trade Lowell since he is on the decline clearly at 35 or whatever he is, but why would anyone else want Lowell since he is due to make over 12 mil a year this and next. let's think about what we are typing on here people. the mlb isn't a fantasy world.

    Posted by nathan October 24, 08 02:39 PM
  1. Youkilis @ 2B ??
    PINK-HATS !!

    Here is the emotions-aside moves to make. (Put your personal emotions on the shelf about liking a guy....)
    Sign Teixeira; God PLEASE !!!!
    Youkilis moves to 3B; Lowell is traded. (Sorry, I love Lowell but he will "not" be the same 2yrs down the line from that hip; and Teixeiera is a "now-or-never" deal; he will get locked up for 5-6 years easy....)

    Also, use Bay in a move (possibly with arms from AAA) to Colorado for Matt Holliday in LF.

    Now you want a lineup?

    Ellsbury (CF)
    Pedroia (2B)
    Ortiz (DH)
    Holliday (LF)
    Teixeira (1B)
    Youkilis (1B)
    Drew (RF)
    Varitek (C)
    Lowrie (SS)

    That's A Winner !!

    Posted by Kevin P October 24, 08 02:49 PM
  1. The top needs right now are infield, catching, and pitching.

    Everyone loves Tek but he's been an automatic out in the lineup all year. He's good for another year or two but the Sox have to figure out a replacement plan stat.

    Same with Lowell, he may be good for one or two more seasons but then what? The great thing about Youk is that he can play first or third so that gives Theo a lot of flexibility when figuring out who to sign, who to trade for or who to promote from the minors.
    And unless Beckett can figure it out, we need another arm. Schill's not walking through that soor.

    Posted by mannyortez October 24, 08 03:01 PM
  1. Who is going to get Elssbury for Hanley Ramirez????

    And why wouldn't we want Teixera? He is a switch hitting gold golver at first base in his prime years?? Move Lowell....we overpaid for him anyway last year. He is a great guy and a good team player, but who knows how his hip will react. Youk is more than capable of playing third. Anyone that thinks trading Bay for Holliday just needs to look at the home/road splits for Holliday. Vinny Castilla part 2 for sure. Bay is a great asset because he is a good all-around player, and I think he should be a member of the Sox over Holliday.

    Posted by YOOOOOOOOOOUK October 24, 08 03:23 PM
  1. Post #51 : Who would want Lowell ?? .... Philadelphia Phillies.
    Pedro Felix isn't exactly rocking Philadelphia's world....they need a 3B.

    Posted by Anonymous October 24, 08 03:29 PM
  1. how things change in a year. last winter all we heard was please sign lowell and this winter we cant wait to get rid of him. gotta love boston, we will turn on you in a heartbeat.

    Posted by gus October 24, 08 03:37 PM
  1. Yo, Farguy (#5 and 6). Not only did you hit the submit button twice, but you've got two players at shortstop and no one at 3rd. Great job, fatty. There's a job for you in the bush administration.

    Posted by thin man October 24, 08 03:57 PM
  1. I root for players. I root for Manny cause I love his "I don't really care" attitude. I root for Pedro cause I liked his "you dare try to hit a ball I throw" attitude. I like Papelbon because he is crazy, he really is. I like Dice-K because half the time I have no idea what he just threw.

    I like the players and hate the management. All they care about is money. Which is why Ace Tickets is the official Red Sox ticket agency. Open your eyes please Boston. Red Sox care about money and money only.

    Posted by Ryan M October 24, 08 04:09 PM
  1. Mazz, how come you don't post my comments? I just don't like the red sox management or how you criticize Dice-K. I'm not hating on posters or being rude. Simply voicing my opinion.

    Posted by Ryan M October 24, 08 04:24 PM
  1. how about signing and trading for some pitchers , at least one starter to go after beckett, dice-k and Lester, Im thinking Ben Sheets or AJ Burnett, then some solid long relief pitchers. I think Texiera would ask too much for the red sox to sign him, they don't like to go for more then 3-4 years in a contract. I'm thinking trading lugo, bay and some minor leaguers for matt holiday and atkins, atkins a decent fielder with a pretty good pop and is younger then lowell. leave pedy and youk where they are. keep Varitek for two years then keep him on as the bench coach so he can groom the next catcher.,


    Posted by jeffb October 24, 08 05:52 PM
  1. Can't believe you people....Holliday's numbers are very average outside Denver. What does Bay have to do ? Came in under tremendous pressure and only led Sox in most offensive categories in playoffs. Sure, he does Strikeout a bit more than you would like. He also puts up solid 30-100-.285 numbers annually. Bay did all he was suppose to do and you want to discard him. You are all nuts. PERFECT player out of 5-6 hole at Fenway. Try and get Teixiera. Try to trade Ortiz and this team will win the AL East again. Bay wasn't the reason the Sox didn't get to the WS....not by a long shot.

    Posted by bill October 24, 08 06:43 PM
  1. yo fatguy where 3b

    Posted by blah October 24, 08 07:00 PM
  1. After, 2004 it's all gravy. So, I remember the nostalgic years when we all wanted Yaz to win one, or for Dewey, Fisk or Rice to get one. I remember when being a Red Sox fan was waiting for the wheels to fall off the wagon (2003 anyone?). Giving Pesky his due was in recognition of the player, not the management. I remember the players, not the uniforms. The championships are great, but the players will always be remembered. For example, who among us doesn't remember Dave Roberts -- a guy that played maybe five minutes in the post-season in 2004, but stole the base of a lifetime....

    Posted by Anonymous October 24, 08 09:47 PM
  1. Pedey and Youk are two MVP front runners. If anyone's worth the money, it's these two, at least for 3-4 years. They're both young and all-around talented. They've both proven their worth. It's the makings of a solid infield. Youk plays two positions well, he was errorless at first in '07. It would be foolish to let talent like this walk away, and I'd be very disappointed to see them go.

    Posted by DrJess October 24, 08 10:51 PM
  1. George Roberge ,

    Let the Yankees overpay for Burnett so we can all laugh when he is on the DL and Hank cries about the Yankees have bad luck again even though Burnett is on the DL all the time. Bring back Lowe for the back of the rotation. Lowe is an innings eater, never gets hurt and pitches big in big games. Burnett is a perfect Yankee for this century, talented, injury prone and big contracts.

    Posted by Mike October 24, 08 11:41 PM
  1. I don't think I've ever seen more inept arm-chair GM's in my life! First of all Fatman, 2 Short stops and no 3rd basman? LMAO Pedroia and Youk are gold glovers where they play. Youk does NOT have the range to play second, and Pedroia does not have the arm to play short at the Major League level!

    To the anonymous jackass that thinks the Marlins will trade Hanley Ramirez straight up for Jacoby Ellsbury, please put down the crack pipe! Hanley will be an MVP candidate for the next 5 years, and it would take a package of 3 or 4 players including Ellsbury to pry him from the Marlins! He hit 33 HR's this year, and he's only 24! Plus he stole 35 bases and batted over .300! Basically he is Jacoby Ellsbury with Jason Bay's power, but Youk's eye at the plate! The Marlins have him locked up for 6 years at 70 million! There's no player in baseball that will put up his numbers for so little money!

    The Sox have 3 big targets in the offseason. Texeira, Peavey, and AJ Burnett. Texeira will take about 18 million a year for 5 years if they wanna outbid the Yankees, who will be throwing around huge money even after they give Sabathia "Santana" type money. If he doesn't get Texeira, Theo will go hard after Peavey, and have AJ Burnett as his next best option. 1 of the 3 are sure to land in Boston, but seeing all of them here would be highly unlikely! Texeira and Burnett would be my choices as you wouldn't have to give up as much for AJ as you would for Peavey.
    They need insurance in the infield and if Lowell is dealt (and we will eat about half his contract), look for Boston to re-sign Cora. We might have to eat 2 thirds of Lugos 2 year 18 million dollar deal, but we might find a taker in the National League where his game is more suited. Someone would be willing to pay him 3 million a year.
    We should give Tek a 1 year contract with a team option that with incentives, could boost his pay from a base of 8, upto 15 million if he can regain his form at the plate. It's been suggested that he abandon his hitting from the left side of the plate, and try hitting right handed against righties. I think he should try it in Spring training and see if he can adjust. He should also DH in a fall league (no wear and tear on his knees by catching) to see if he can be comfortable by the time Spring rolls around.

    Posted by Greg October 25, 08 12:31 AM
  1. i am naive enough to think a player would sacrafice a little $ to play in a great place like boston.Imagine one of these guys going to play for the marlins where the seats are empty.Cmon,it doesnt get much better than fenway.

    Posted by greg smith October 25, 08 02:20 AM
  1. The Fens Fans! Lets not forget this is a business. The sympathy factor, loyalty factor only comes into play when it is best for business. Manny the best hitter in the game today (maybe all time) wanted out and he got his way, best for business? Tek is the most game knowledgeable catcher in the game but he canít hit and canít throw your average runner out, whatís best for business? You got to love Mike at third, vacuum cleaner, his best is behind him, time for a business decision. Ortiz without Manny is only half the batter he was. He was so out of shape when he started the year he waddled down the line. Thatís it you can wish it werenít so but thatís all folks. Jacoby could go either way a chance they will take, business. Casey, Cora, Crisp, Kotsay, Cash, Timlin, Lopez, Dalcarmen, Wakefield, sympathy factor, loyalty factor, or business factor? Even though the younger, newer, never been through the pain card carrying Red Sox Nation Fan enjoyed the best decade of Sox ball, there is that other factor that always makes it so much more interesting, the Bronx Bombers! Add to that the play under a circus tent environment Rays and it should make for a whatís Good for Business off season.

    Posted by Anonymous October 25, 08 09:27 AM
  1. lock youk and pedroia uhppp longgg termm!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by LGRS October 25, 08 11:47 AM
  1. Lineup for '09

    Crisp - CF
    Pedroia - 2B
    Teixeira - 1B
    Ortiz - DH
    Youkilis - 3B
    Drew - RF
    Bay - LF
    Lowrie - 3B
    and yes, Varitek - C

    Rotation - Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Masterson, Bowden
    Pen - Papelbon, Okajima, Delcamen, Lopez, Wakefield, add another right handed free agent.

    Posted by Brian Turbide October 25, 08 12:01 PM
  1. Geez! These are human beings we're talking about here, not video game cyborgs. Youk and Pedroia have years to die for and in some scenarios they are put up as trade bait? How perfect does a player have to be to be worth keeping? Lowell gets hurt and all those people that waved signs in the 2007 victory parade to sign Lowell now seem ready to dump him overboard. Forget Tex. Keep Tek. Get more pitching.
    Mazz is right. Red Sox Nation seems to have begun using the players like chess pieces, not flesh and blood athletes. Visit Cooperstown and see what it is that the great players are remembered for.
    Sinefeld had it right years ago. We cheer for the jerseys, not the men who wear them. Go Red Sox - Red Sox players!

    Posted by The Claw 14 October 25, 08 03:22 PM
  1. I echo Kevin P's posting - love Lowell but it is time to make a deal.
    Ellsbury (CF)
    Pedroia (2B)
    Ortiz (DH)
    Holliday (LF)
    Teixeira (1B)
    Youkilis (1B)
    Drew (RF)
    Varitek (C)

    Lowrie (SS)

    Posted by Eric NH October 25, 08 04:44 PM
  1. The Red Sox came close this year but everyone was banged up. Don't you think all teams were banged up? Ortiz and Lowell both missed significant time this year. Teixiera would be a great addition. It would give Theo a chip to play with. If he got the right deal he could trade Youk or Lowell or even Ortiz. The number one need is catcher whether Varitek stays or goes. The Sox have to get rid of Lugo. Maybe the Sox can pay the Dodger to take him back.

    Wakefield is a starter. He will be number 5. He only cost the Sox 4 mil. a year. Derek Lowe would look good in a Red Sox uniform again but may be able to get 18 mil from someone. I do not think the Sox would go more than 12 mil for him.

    Keep Matterson in the bullpen. Trade Delcarmen. He can have awesome stuff but is terribly inconsitant. He may do better somewhere else. You can never have enough starting Pitching. Next year Becket will be better. Either Bowden or Bucholz will step up when there are injuries.

    There will be someone in the Red Sox lineup next yeat that no one expected.

    Posted by derek October 26, 08 08:09 AM
  1. I think its way to early to give up on Lowell. He was fine last year, until he got hurt. I can see him putting up good numbers the next two years and then leaving as a free agent. At which point you either re-sign Youk ( to move him to third) , move Lowrie third, or go after another option at third. Lars Anderson is our top position player prospect and should be ready to play first by the time Youk and Lowell are free agents. Anderson projects to be a middle of the line up threat.

    If Ortiz can't put up his old numbers next year you simply drop him in the line up. At the very least he will hit you 20-30 hrs. Pedoria, Youk, Lowell, and Drew should be be able to pick up the slack.

    I also think people are givening up on Ellsbury way too soon. He actually had a decent year all around ( a great year when it came to stolen bases and defense). I'd like to see his on base percentage higher next season. But he is still young and should improve. You can't turn on a young player just because he has bumps in the road. The same goes for Lowrie, who was playing hurt most of the year.. A productive Ellsbury at the top of the order means good things for the Sox offense.

    I'd love to see the Sox bring in another starter. AJ Burnett scares me though, because he is injury prone. I don't want him to be the next Matt Clement. Peavy is too expencostly in prospects and is overrated. He plays in the NL West and there aduriblity concerns with him. Lowe would be a sentimental chouice but not a good one. He is a type QA free agent. Which would bmean we would have to part with a number 1 draft pick to get him. And I don't think he is worth that at his age. besides Red Sox managemnt may not want him. I'd like to buy low on Pavano, if thats possible. I assume the Yankees don't pick up his option.

    Tex is tempting but I don't think the Red Sox should sign him. If he was a third baseman I'd probably do it. I just don''t think its that big of a long term need to sign a pwoer hitting first baseman at such a high cost. Unless you assume Ortiz is gone by the time Lars comes and you do DH by committe.

    Matt Holiday is overrated because he plays at Coors Field. I don't see why we even need to worry about replacing Bay. Other then the fact that he is only signed for one more year. But then we could turn to the farm system ( Josh Reddick or Ryan Kalish perhaps) or just keep Crisp/Ellsbury in left. Or aquire someone.

    I would really love to resign Tek. His game calling ability makes him a very valuable member to the team. I am fine with him in the nine whole for the next few years. Its going to be hard to find a replcement for him if he goes. But I wouldn't pay a rediculis amount of money for him, I wouldn't go beyond a 2 or 3 year deal. I think you have to at least keep him at 13 million a year. It sounds costly but his game calling ability might just be worth it. Catching is just a premium in this league. Offense is down the board at that positon anyway. Game Calling ability and defense is more important. Maybe the Sox can carry three catchers next season. Or for long stretches in the season.


    \\ the very leas

    Posted by Chris October 26, 08 10:57 AM
  1. First, it is John Henry's money..That said

    Posted by Graham W October 26, 08 03:11 PM
  1. Wow, a lot of people really want to rebuild this whole team. The sox were 1 game away from their second straight world series. Tex is not a necessity. It's not worth dealing with that dirtbag Boras to sign a guy we don't need. Everyone wanted Mike Lowell back last year now becuase of an injury filled season want to trade him when he has no value. If another team was that interested in him they would have made a run for him last year.
    Fat guy wants 2 shortstops with nobody playing 3rd base and Youkilis playing 2nd base. This is not fantasy baseball pal and if youre going to say something make it worth reading. Another person thinks the Marlins are willing to trade Hanley straight up for Ellsbury which is laughable. That sounds like a Yankee fan comment. Someone said to give Tek a 3-4 year deal at $13 Million a year? Regardless of his game calling skills you want to give a 37 year old catcher who's bat is already gone 4 years 13 million a year? That is another Steinbrenner move. Others want to trade Bay and prospects for Holliday who isn't really an upgrade over Bay. I say if yo're going to spend money go after Sabathia. It's not worth giving Burnett who only comes up big when his contract is 15 + million a year. Peavy has got some great stuff, but I wouldn't deal clay, anderson and other top prospects for a guy who is pitching at Petco in the NL west.
    All in all, the Sox are in a good place. Every team has question marks, not just the Sox. I say lock up both Youk and Pedy who are both proven winners and stick with Ellsbury who has a ton of upside. Bay has one more year and you can deal with him after next year. Sabathia is not necessarily a need, but he would significantly help this club. Stay away from Burnett at all costs. I would love to see Lowe back with the sox; however, if they wanted him with the Sox they would have given him an extension 4 years ago and right now it's not worth giving up draft picks for him. I would like to see them go after a young catcher hard even though it might cost clay or someone else. Maybe bring back Tek at a reduced cost for a year and have him platoon with the young catcher. It's not worth having wakefield even at 4 million a year if we have to watch another season with the two worst offensive catchers in all of baseball. Im not ready to give up on Delcarmen who has tremendous upside. If they aquire another bullpen guy to replace Timlin it will take some pressure off of Delcarman. Please get rid of Lopez!! He is a disaster to watch and I cringe every time he is warming up. Also give Bowden some time in Pawtucket before we label him as our number 5 starter. Did you see Clay this year? Starting rotation = 1. Beckett, 2. Sabathia, 3. Dice K, 4. Lester, 5. Wake? Clay? who needs to pitch his way back onto this club as does Bowden or maybe a free agent...
    Starting 9=
    1. Ellsbury Cf
    2. Pedroia 2nd base
    3. Yokulis1st base
    4. Ortiz dh
    5. Bay Lf
    6. Drew Rf
    7. Lowell 3rd base
    8. Lowrie ss
    9. Tek? at reduced cost Platooning with a new young catcher

    Bullpen Cp = Pap, Okie and masterson setting up, delcarmen at middle relief with maybe one or two of Kerry Wood,/Affledt,/Isringhausen/ Juan Rincon/ Howry/ Fuentes and maybe clay can earn a spot in the pen.

    Posted by Mike October 26, 08 10:48 PM
  1. Wow, a lot of people really want to rebuild this whole team. The sox were 1 game away from their second straight world series. Tex is not a necessity. It's not worth dealing with that dirtbag Boras to sign a guy we don't need. Everyone wanted Mike Lowell back last year now becuase of an injury filled season want to trade him when he has no value. If another team was that interested in him they would have made a run for him last year.
    Fat guy wants 2 shortstops with nobody playing 3rd base and Youkilis playing 2nd base. This is not fantasy baseball pal and if youre going to say something make it worth reading. Another person thinks the Marlins are willing to trade Hanley straight up for Ellsbury which is laughable. That sounds like a Yankee fan comment. Someone said to give Tek a 3-4 year deal at $13 Million a year? Regardless of his game calling skills you want to give a 37 year old catcher who's bat is already gone 4 years 13 million a year? That is another Steinbrenner move. Others want to trade Bay and prospects for Holliday who isn't really an upgrade over Bay. I say if yo're going to spend money go after Sabathia. It's not worth giving Burnett who only comes up big when his contract is 15 + million a year. Peavy has got some great stuff, but I wouldn't deal clay, anderson and other top prospects for a guy who is pitching at Petco in the NL west.
    All in all, the Sox are in a good place. Every team has question marks, not just the Sox. I say lock up both Youk and Pedy who are both proven winners and stick with Ellsbury who has a ton of upside. Bay has one more year and you can deal with him after next year. Sabathia is not necessarily a need, but he would significantly help this club. Stay away from Burnett at all costs. I would love to see Lowe back with the sox; however, if they wanted him with the Sox they would have given him an extension 4 years ago and right now it's not worth giving up draft picks for him. I would like to see them go after a young catcher hard even though it might cost clay or someone else. Maybe bring back Tek at a reduced cost for a year and have him platoon with the young catcher. It's not worth having wakefield even at 4 million a year if we have to watch another season with the two worst offensive catchers in all of baseball. Im not ready to give up on Delcarmen who has tremendous upside. If they aquire another bullpen guy to replace Timlin it will take some pressure off of Delcarman. Please get rid of Lopez!! He is a disaster to watch and I cringe every time he is warming up. Also give Bowden some time in Pawtucket before we label him as our number 5 starter. Did you see Clay this year? Starting rotation = 1. Beckett, 2. Sabathia, 3. Dice K, 4. Lester, 5. Wake? Clay? who needs to pitch his way back onto this club as does Bowden or maybe a free agent...
    Starting 9=
    1. Ellsbury Cf
    2. Pedroia 2nd base
    3. Yokulis1st base
    4. Ortiz dh
    5. Bay Lf
    6. Drew Rf
    7. Lowell 3rd base
    8. Lowrie ss
    9. Tek? at reduced cost Platooning with a new young catcher

    Bullpen Cp = Pap, Okie and masterson setting up, delcarmen at middle relief with maybe one or two of Kerry Wood,/Affledt,/Isringhausen/ Juan Rincon/ Howry/ Fuentes and maybe clay can earn a spot in the pen.

    Posted by Mike October 26, 08 11:41 PM
  1. Lowell, Lugo and Bay for Holiday and Atkins is interesting although someone has him listed at shortstop when he plays third..Lowry has to be the shortstop in this case with Pedy at Second and Youk at first. Atkins is a very good hitter and fields his position well and Holiday is really an unknown outside of Coors but they say he might excel in Fenway. Lugo is a waste of money and will not play and should not play after how he fielded his position last year: poorly. If we bring in Tex then we have to move Youk to third but I still advocate trading off Lugo and Lowell to get Atkins if possible. We get a solid third baseman and Lugo again is taken off of the books and Lowell whom I love will have a chance to put up big numbers in Coors at the final stages of his career. You can toss this one around all day but Youk is not going to play second as someone suggested. No one knows right now what is going to happen and we just have to wait and see the possibilities and oh yeah Bay is not going to play Center either.

    Posted by wheel October 27, 08 08:51 AM
  1. When I got layoff no one said anything, the company kept moving on. The red sox are the same. Good luck guys.

    Posted by Anonymous October 28, 08 07:24 PM
  1. I disagree, I know I and many others root for the players. When Youkis bats, the chant of Youk, Youk, is heard even at away games. And look at the emotion for Lowell after the World Series "Sign Mike Lowell". And when players don't do well - everyone talks about them, just ask Tek or Julio. I don't think the players are quite like widgetts, there is a skill level involved. Clay Buckholz was not ready. Do I find myself rooting for the origanization to do well? Sure. It's a refreshing change to have an origanization to root for. But rooting for the Red Sox organization is not mutually exclusive to rooting for the players. Even my non-Red Sox fan friends know who Manny and Big Papi are.

    Posted by Anonymous October 29, 08 12:27 PM
  1. Mazz never brings anything good to the table, he is always down trodden and gloomy.

    Posted by Steve November 8, 08 04:18 PM
  1. Mazz never brings anything good to the table, he is always down trodden and gloomy.

    Posted by Steve November 8, 08 04:18 PM
  1. The fans understand business, but love their players. They realize that good business requires creating and keeping the legends among these players. Theo knows that a new core has already achieved legendary status, and that it is in the interest of the fans, Sox, team and the players themselves to sign them to a generous long term contract . . . through which help these young players achieve financial security now, and provide long term stability for the team. Theo's team is already negotiating with this new core of Youk, Pedroia, Lester, Papelbon and maybe Bay. He has already done this with the older core of Papi, JD, Tek, Manny, Wake, Schill, et al.

    Mazz knows this too, but will encourage trading them all to increase readership. Mazz . . . Sox fans would not root for players who don't meet our high standards of performance and behavior. We love to win, but we love Brady and Bruschi, Pierce and KG.; and Orr, Bird, Chief, Cousey, Yaz, Remy. The fans root for the team but love the players who are the team, want them to do well, and want the FO and media to do well by them. The team and the players are one, and it is this organic whole that creates a fanbase. The players are part of our families. Although we are more comfortable with the FO than ever before, FO is management, not family, and even MBA fans hope they act in the best interest of the fans, the players, and the team. But they don't always trust them to do so, as it is common knowledge that FO's historically can be penny wise and pound foolish and, like media, often petty.

    Only the most cynical among us aren't pulling for Lester, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Beckett, Daisuke, Masterson, Wake, Youk, Peds, Paps, JD, J.B., Tek and Papi, etc. THEY are the reason we watch. Any thought that we have put the needs of management, or a willingness to 'win at any cost', ahead of the players is delusional and self-serving. We can't wait to see who among the next generation emerge as legends, and what they . . .: Buchholz, Bowden, Hansack, Gronk, Jones, Bard, Zinc, Pauley, Bailey, Thurston, VanEvery, Carter and maybe Anderson, Reddick and Tazawa . . . contribute this year.

    Posted by giraud November 22, 08 10:19 PM
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