Friday, October 07, 2005

Oh well.

I'm going to be a typical provincial New Englander (credit to the departed Ted Sarandis for the concept - even though I couldn't stand him and I'm glad he's off the air) and say that I no longer have any rooting interest in the playoffs. Other than to see the Yankees lose too, I hope.

This team simply was not built to win in the playoffs. It's a credit to Terry Francona that they were able to hold together well enough to tie in the East and make it in the first place, but you don't win in the postseason without big studs in the rotation. And we lacked them this year. Maybe Schilling is back at 100% next season - that'll go a long way towards helping. But with Matt (Young) Clement as an anchor they aren't going too far. David Wells was effective, but he'll be 43 next year, and unless you're Roger Clemens time eventually wears you out. Wells showed signs of that this year.

On the bright side - Jonathan Papelbon is the real deal. I expect him in the rotation. Craig Hansen may well make us not miss Keith Foulke (look for him to go away somehow next year), but may also need a little more minor league time first. Manny Delcarmen should stay as a reliable setup man, and Lenny DeNardo showed signs of making The Leap. He could be pretty versatile, too. Add a solid starter in free agency, and we should be OK in the pitching department.

On the field is another story. Kevin Millar is almost certainly gone. Edgar Renteria was OK (despite the 30 errors), but not worth the $10 million he's getting. Please don't trade Manny in the offseason, re-sign Damon, and keep Mueller if you can sign him for fairly short money. Put Youkilis at first, and hang on to Tony Graffanino (I'm not sure what his contract status is). Offense wasn't the team's weak point this year, pitching was. Losing Millar's $3 million and replacing it with the short money Youkilis gets frees up some money for pitching (or re-signing Damon).

The Sox were playing with house money this year, and they still made it to the playoffs despite a ravaged rotation and no bullpen. Not bad for a year's work.

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