Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What to Do?

The Sox have stumbled a bit coming out of the break. Some of it can probably be expected. A loss to Roy Halladay in Toronto is hardly ever a cause for concern. The other two losses were from your number four and five starters. That’s probably nothing to write home about. So, while they’re sitting at 1-3 since the break, it’s not exactly time for panic in the streets, is it?

The fact that they got their one win from Buchholz is both interesting, and encouraging. It’s still interesting that he pitched even after both Beckett and Wake sat out the All-Star game. Why did they need extra rest if they didn’t pitch? I’m sticking by the idea that Buchholz on Friday was to show everyone else what he can do. It’s looking less likely that the Sox will listen to me (they never do) and push for Halladay. What else is there? A blockbuster deal doesn’t look to be out there. As I’ve said, the only spots in the starting line-up they really have to play with is pitcher and shortstop. If you’re not going to get Halladay, pitcher’s not the option. Unless talks open up with Florida or Philly for their shortstops, it looks like no big deal. What are their plans for the young pitching then?

The lower level deal looks more likely. I think getting somebody like Victor Martinez is still too expensive for their tastes, but it could work. A deal for someone like Hank Blaylock would probably be cheaper, and almost as good. Say you get Blaylock. If you set up a rotation that goes something like… Day 1: Youk at first, Ortiz DH, Lowell at third. Day 2: Youk at first, Blaylock at third, Ortiz DH. Day 3:Youk at first, Lowell at DH, Blaylock at third. Day 4: Blaylock at first, Ortiz at DH, Lowell at third. Lather, rinse, repeat. Obviously, they wouldn’t hold a strict rotation like that considering match-up and whatnot. But, that gives a scenario where Youk plays 80% of the games, as does Ortiz. Lowell and Blaylock get around 70% of the games. That’s nice because most of the rest goes to the back-up in Blaylock, and Lowell who could use it. It’s also assuming that Blaylock remembers how to play third base. If he doesn’t, or the Sox get a strict first baseman, like Nick Johnson, it means bouncing Youk to third in order to keep the ratios. That’s probably less attractive, but an option. Trading for V-Mart would add an element of spelling Tek once in a while as well, assuming he remembers his catching gear. Looking it over though, I think I could endorse something along the lines of the Saito-Blaylock deal that was floated around a month or so ago. I think I can see a way to provide enough playing time to make the trade worthwhile.

In the Glutton for Punishment category, I sent out a few more autograph requests through the mail this week. Even though I am sitting on 0-8 or so, you have to keep trying…right? This time I took a chance with some former All-Stars. Tim Wakefield, JD Drew and Jason Varitek. How can a Red Sox fan not want to grab those guys? (I’ve heard that Wake only signs for charity, so I only really hope that he’ll send me information on how to do that) As always, I’ll let you know if it actually works.

It’s nice to have a losing streak, and be able to throw Josh Beckett.

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