Monday, October 4, 2010

Baseball 2010: The Red Sox Are Done, So Am I

Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein assesses season, future - ESPN Boston
More questions than answers in this article, of course. But, by and large, they strike me as the right questions. Rough year for the Sox, and for me personally as a Sox fan with limited ability to watch games this year. I might have reordered the list of questions put higher priority items at the top. The questions around Papi, Varitek, Victor Martinez, and Adrain Beltre are important, but I think all the pitching issues are more important. Beckett and Lackey were disappointing. Papelbon ... ugh ... that ERA and 8 ugly blown saves. (Not, I suppose, there is any other kind of blown save.)

To get to the playoffs next year, I think the Sox need the following:

Much improved performance from, and no significant injuries to, both Beckett and Lackey
  1. No significant drop-off, or injury to, Lester and Buccholz
  2. Ellsbury plays in a number of games comfortably north of his jersey number
  3. Big Papi has a slightly better, more consistent season -- these awful Aprils need to stop

If those things fall into place, a big "if," then re-signing Beltre and Martinez are both nice-to-haves, but I don't think essential. My gut tells me between the two their VARPs aren't so high that losing one or both would be crippling. (You'd expect someone using VARP to actually look it up, but I'm playing it fast and loose, this morning.)

Varitek. Captain, my captain. Not sure whether I hope to see you back in uniform or in another role in the organization. The only thing that would disappoint me would be if you weren't a Red Sox player, coach, scout, or something. (If you made your way to NESN, that would be fine with me too.)

The Captain
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