Thursday, August 31, 2006

You Can't Lose 'Em All

The Dog Days of August became either the Dead Dogs, the Lie Down and Rollover Dogs, or the Beaten Like a Dog Days for the Sox as they tied the record of most losses (21) in a month by a team that entered in first place.

Nonetheless, we have to ask is the glass half empty or totally empty? Let's presume that the walking wounded recover and that Jon Lester's health problem isn't serious. I think that leaves the Sox with a good core, and lots of money for free agency.

The core?

C - Varitek
IF - Youkilis, Lowell (contract), Pedroia
OF - Ramirez, Pena, Crisp (just never got totally 'right')
DH - Ortiz

SP - Schilling (1 year), Beckett, Papelbon, Lester
RP - Delcarmen, Wakefield

Yes, that leaves a lot of room for filler, including shortstop, at least one outfielder, and almost half the pitching staff. Can Edgar Martinez step up into the bullpen? Does Mike Timlin have anything left?

As for the 'best' free agent pitchers, there's Zito, Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Seibu Lions, Jason Schmidt, Adam Eaton, Ted Lilly (at least he couldn't beat us if he were us), and Mark Redman. Brad Radke and Mark Mulder may have health issues. If you get AL pitchers, then at least you know they can pitch in the AL. Get a Jason Marquis or Jeff Suppan and you could get a rude surprise.

Need a bat? And a glove? Torii Hunter or Gary Matthews, Jr are middling, Carlos Lee and Gary Sheffield can hit, and Nomar's not coming back. The Sox have this fantasy on Julio Lugo, or he's got pictures.

The Sox made some outstanding defensive plays today (Pedroia, Kapler, Pena) and turned some stylish twin killings. Although the results aren't there (until tonight), the effort isn't the problem. And as for the Franconaphobes, you can't manage better without better players, and he has barely had enough guys to make out a lineup card.

Although maybe today's game wasn't enough to bring back hope, at least it was entertaining and we won't see a homer like Cora's pinball shot for a long time.

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