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The Bright Side

The Sox are almost assuredly out of the running for the playoffs. This season is the definition of a valiant effort by the club and by a manager who deserves manager of the year and our unwavering support.

With that, the rest of the Sox season - while still about winning because it's always just a game - needs to be about next year. That means letting some young guys play when the old guys have no future value (Lowell) or are playing very hurt (Scutaro), letting some potential 2011 key players get some extra at bats (Salty) and innings (Bowden and Richardson), and not overworking your elite players (Buchholz on short rest? Good call to call that one off.).

Most importantly, the Sox' major league staff can get a nice long look at Yamaico Navarro, Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish and Lars Anderson.

The Sox wisely decided not to completely destroy Marco Scutaro by playing him too much. His arm is falling off and he'll be needed next year probably as the starting shortstop or at least as a stud utility guy. Scutaro's injury means they can let him play some at second for the next week or so then sit him for the year. In the meantime, they can see if Lowrie and Navarro look like major league starters for next year. Those two - if Lowrie can finally stay healthy - would presumably be in a competition along with Cuban ex-pat Jose Iglesias, whose currently in AA, for the starting job sometime next year or in 2012. I think the Sox would love to have someone step up and beat out Scutaro in spring training, but someone will really have to step it up a notch. Scutaro has been a very solid player all year for the Sox and Francona will stick with him unless one of the young guys forces his hand next year.

At first, while I do love Mike Lowell, he's really of very little value right now on the field. He's not hitting very much, his fielding has been fine, but neither has been remarkable. The fact is that Lowell will not be with the Sox next year and thus the Sox should take this rare chance - a truly open firstbase with quite a few games to play and out of the race - to let Lars Anderson play almost every day. I was honestly thinking this last week before they called up Anderson, but I was unsure how he'd been playing the last few months in Pawtucket. Apparently he was tearing it up and he still has a ton of potential and is very young - and I already find his quotes entertaining which is inline with his reputation and being an unusual athlete. He may not be the firstbasemen of the future, esp. with Rizzo hot on his tail in AA, but this is a chance to see a bit of what he has.

I actually enjoy this time of year. Clearly. And I feel that the Sox got the most out of their banged up team. I don't feel at all like they let me down. Go Lars!


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