Jon Papelbon and the Red Sox have elected to 'shut down' the Red Sox righthanded reliever and closer in a precautionary move as the Sox have fallen out of contention for the Wild Card spot. Papelbon, holder of the Red Sox rookie record for saves and a dominant closer for much of the season looks forward to coming back as a starter next season.
The Red Sox had many problems down the stretch, amidst poor pitching, injuries and illness, and a lack of offense, particularly with injuries to Manny Ramirez, inconsistency from the lead off spot, and aside from David Ortiz, almost no clutch hitting.
Can the Sea Dogs' quest for an Eastern League title against Akron hold your interest while the Sox go down like a lead anchor? No, I didn't think so.
Even the rivalry series with the Yankees has become something of a joke, with back to back day-night doubleheaders. I hope that all loyal Sox fans have laid in a heavy supply of caffeine to watch these games.
Perhaps as bad as the near total collapse of the team has been the struggles of promising young players down the stretch. Dustin Pedroia, the little man with a very big swing, has looked sharp in the field and anemic at the plate. David Murphy suffers from ROOTS (royal order of the splinter), and Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen have just struggled down the stretch. Growing pains indeed.