You are wrong if you think...
- ...this season was a "bridge year". The Sox lost because they were without the possible top three hitters in the lineup - Ellsbury, Pedroia and Youk' - and had career bad years from their ace (Beckett) and their closer. They also lost their starting center fielder for most of the season and their star catcher for almost a month. This was a good team which would have made the playoffs if they had been remotely healthy.
- ...the bums need to trade Pabst so Daniel Bard can close. This is both not going to happen and should not happen. Moving Bard to closer right now means that the Sox are lost in the eighth. Are you ready for Michael Bowden or Scott Atchison to take over that duty? If not, then you keep the current set up. The other option is you trade for or sign someone but anyone out there would not have Papelbon's pedigree and the fact is that Paps had seriously nasty stuff at the end and he "just" needs to locate better and find a better and more consistent mix of pitches. Every game he seemed to be inventing it anew - all fastballs, then fastballs and splitters, then the whole former-starting 4-pitcher arsenal.
- ...Scutaro was a bum. He had a good year bringing consistency to short and leadoff when we would otherwise have been either playing the likes of Nick Green or complaining about someone along the Renteria lines. Ideally, Lowrie then Iglasias beat out Scutaro next year and he ends up as a 12o game utility guy, but he deserves a lot of credit for this year. Oh, and he kept playing shortstop while his arm was held together with Tim Wakefield's shoelaces and the welding work of Doug Miribelli.
- ...Ryan Kalish should come into spring training as the starting center or left fielder. I really like this kid but his numbers and experience are so vastly below those of Ellsbury it's not even funny. He needs to win a job sometime next year and/or hope to position himself as Drew's replacement after next year.
- ...no really it was a bridge year - Theo planned to fail this year. Where was the position at which they put a sub-par player? Scutaro and Cameron came in as consistent, albeit unspectacular, vets. Beltre was a one year, super talented investment at a position where they have almost no depth. They had 6 major league starters not including Doubront and Casey Kelly in the minors. The brought in Billy Hall as the utility guy. They came into the season to win and were in it until the last few weeks.
- ...the Sox should trade Ellsbury to get a) serious bullpen help b) a powerful outfielder, or c) another starter. Ellsbury is one of the best leadoff guys in the league and had an injury that should not cause any depletion of his skills. You keep that guy. And if the Sox could trade him, they would not get much. While it might seem I'm contradicting myself, other teams would want to see him play before trading high-level talent. The Sox need to go into the season with Ellsbury as their leadoff guy and if he struggles then maybe Kalish beats him out and so be it. Competition for major league spots is the hallmark of great teams - right Mr. Belichick?
- ...Beltre will take a home team discount to stay in Boston in 2011. This is a Scott Boras guy who cashed in big time off his first big season getting a massive contract from Seattle after leaving the Dodgers, then he takes a calculated risk in accepting a one year deal with the Sox to show the world he's a star. It worked. This guy is making bank this off season. And don't think that the fact that he kept his family - including his pregnant wife - out west all season doesn't indicate a deep hope that he'll move back out west. I want him to stay, but I see him in Anaheim next year.