I like reading the Q&A's with the Globe baseball writers in part because of new intel from the reporters but also because of the questions of my fellow fans. Here are some of my favorite ideas frequently spouted - hyperbole added - and my very-hyper-reasoned responses:
- The Sox should just go ahead now and get Adrian Gonzalez already. The reason Gonzalez doesn't play for the Sox is because he currently plays very well for not that much money for another professional baseball team which also wants to win games. Despite appearances, the Sox did not lease Jed Hoyer to the monks in order for him to slip us treats under the table. Rather, the Padres are trying to rebuild a franchise and their interest is purely in doing what's best for the Padres - which currently is playing one of the best firstbasemen in the game every day then maybe trading him for Bartolo Colon's ransom (read: a lot).
- No way this team will hit enough to win. The Sox love to talk about "keep the line moving" which comes down to a combination of not making outs and slugging percentage (i.e. power when you make contact, but not necessarily homerun totals). This team is extremely deep with Beltre, Drew, Cameron and Scutaro rounding out the bottom of the order and turning it over to the all star-clad top. They will score slightly fewer runs than last year and give up far fewer. Net results: more wins and better in close games (like the ones that seem to crop up more in Oct.)
- What do you think about a 6 man rotation? Not going to happen in any set form this year or probably ever. There may be times for a week or two when that would work out to give everyone an extra day of rest, but otherwise this is a non-starter. The five man rotation is here to stay. No one will go with 4 man rotation and 6 is bad for budgets and pitching.
- Daniel Bard should be the closer cause he throws 100mph and Papelbon blew it in the playoffs. Makes sense. Ken Ryan clearly worked out as a dominant Sox closer. Kyle Farnsworth rivals Mariano Rivera as the best closer in the game. Doug Jones didn't fool anyone with his change up to a change up to a 80 mph heater. The point is that throwing hard is only part of success as a closer. Oh, and Papelbon is one of the best in the game.
- Lowell should be traded for someone really good. I love the guy but if he's traded you'll at best get a mid-level talent, and only if you pay most of his salary. Not a good deal for the Sox no matter how he preforms in Ft. Myers.
- We should sign Joe Mauer when he becomes a free agent next year. Similar to the Gonzalez situation above, Mauer is great and young and the team that has him wants him. Unlike Gonzalez, Mauer also wants to stay in Minnesota and would probably take a hometown discount to stay there and go Robin Yount on the twin cities by staying there his whole career. If he's ever a Red Sox, it'll be as a 39 year old designated hitter in 2021.