Wednesday, December 06, 2006

You know what? It's not my money.

Sure, they paid too much and put too many years into Lugo and Drew. Hopefully they also won't trade Manny, meaning the Sox are spending a lot of money this year. Sure, it was a winter of excess in terms of dollars. However, I'm not making any trips to Fenway this year, I'm not buying any merchandise, and I'm not paying any part of their salaries. So instead, as currently constituted (and if they don't make another move other than signing Matsuzaka), the Sox are going into training camp with the following team:

Starting 9:

SS Lugo (r)
1B Youkilis (r)
DH Ortiz (l)
LF Ramirex (r)
RF Drew (l)
3B Lowell (r)
C Varitek (s)
CF Crisp (s)
2B Pedroia (r)

Although I could see Crisp hitting 9th as the "2nd leadoff", and also to make the l-r balance a bit more. Regardless, that is a pretty strong lineup. Lowell and Varitek will probably continue their slide, but hopefully Crisp and Youks will improve (especially now that Crisp's hand has had a year to heal).

OF Wily Mo (though he is now trade bait for a closer)
OF David Murphy
IF Cora
C Unkown (Kotteras?)
OF/1B Eric Hinske

Not too shabby. A little hard on the defensive replacement front, but a fairly good compliment. Maybe a bit too right handed.

S Curt Schilling
S Daisuke Matsuzaka
S Tim Wakefield
S Jon Papelbon
S Josh Beckett

Monster. Absolute Monster. With some good swing guys in the wings.

Swingman: Clement/Lester/Snyder/Dinardo/Gabbard/Hansack

Side note: congrats to Jon Lester for being cancer free. May you comeback as a beast on the mound.

RP Timlin
RP Delcarmen
RP Hansen
RP Okajima
RP Tavarez

A little light on the closer front, so there is likely to be a move, especially since the Sox are basically carrying 3 backup outfielders. Not sure who the odd man out is. However, if Hansen and Delcarmen continue to develop and Okajima is as advertized, this could be a pretty decent bullpen. If Hansen can find that high-80s/low 90s slider that we heard about and can step into the closer role, well, this could be the best Sox bullpen since 2004 (before Foulke, Embree, and Timlin got roasted to a fine crisp).

Overall, with the exception of closer, that is a pretty nice 25 man roster. The lineup is now able to mash, and the 1-5 in the lineup is pretty sick, especially Ortiz to Drew. The starting pitching


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