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I said that I was done with writing... yet here I am; I guess I'm the Brett Favre of this writing thing. With the World Series less than a week away and my Red Sox not in it (I officially give up on the Phillies/Red Sox series for the next 3 years). Instead its hot stove time in October. Now there's a lot of speculation about how to "fix" the Sox for next season I decided to weigh in and add my two cents...
First it's time to spring clean...
The obvious one would be Varitek, but he can sit in the dugout all he wants Martinez already filled his void. Next would be David Ortiz. Now Red Sox nation loves Big Papi, but a designated hitter that's inconsistent makes about as much sense as getting a closer that lacks confidence and has pitch location issues. Where to shop him is the question, while he would be an offensive force in the NL, NO ONE and I mean NO ONE would want to have him fielding. So that keeps him as a designated hitter that can't quite hit... only team I see willing to take that up is the [[Seattle Mariners|Mariners (packaged in a King Felix deal (more on that later), and... the A's have nothing to lose. Basically any AL West team that doesn't have 5 words in their name. Mike Lowell is completely expendable as well, which is why the Adam LaRoche deal made sense last season but then I blinked next you knew he was gone...
I haven't lost hope on...
Daisuke Matsuzaka: Dice-K has become like the socially awkward cousin I have to always make excuses for. In 2008, I thought I was ready for the ultimate "I told you so", then this past season I ended up feeling like someone who has a Hilary '08 bumper sticker that will never fully come off... but I still believe in him, in a non-WBC season and a revamped offense there's no reason why he can't win 17 games again.
Alex Gonzalez: *ducks from hurled objects* Jed Lowrie is about as fragile as Tracy McGrady in February. While he has the talent, he isn't consistent enough to pick over Alex Gonzalez, the best of the rotating shortstops since Nomar. He is a defensive force and if the Sox do something about their declining offense then his sub par bat will be worth it.
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Extend or Not Extend
Jonathan Papelbon: Not extend. Not like they can anyway, Pap is going to test the market... he's sort of like the loser who turned cool and suddenly loses sight of who was there for him back when he was a .500 caliber starting pitching prospect.
Josh Beckett: Not Extend. Josh Beckett is the best ace the Sox had since Pedro and ultimately the Sox should give him what he wants, but imagine what an already competitive Beckett will do in a contract year. You give him the extension is like when your girlfriend becomes to comfortable with you that she stops trying to impress you because she knows your not going anywhere. (Take this time to reflect how she looked on your first date and now picture her in one of your old shirts and pajama pants... sidebar: that was the most Bill Simmons-esque thing I have ever written)
Jason Bay: Extend. Obviously, Bay has become the best outfielder on the team. He is almost Papelbon-ish in the sense he too wasn't really important and now he sees the other side. He says he wants to stay but that's what everyone says. I wouldn't mind Matt Holliday either, but stick with what works and re-sign Bay at any cost.
Now for some classic big name dropping... Felix Hernandez: Every blog and rumor site has been buzzing about King Felix who is just too good for Seattle (see: Johan in Minnesota) Of course the Sox only have to offer is the Clay Buchholz and friends package
Prince Fielder: If the Sox manage to break it off with Ortiz, why not get Fielder who essentially is what Papi used to be.
Roy Halladay: Wasn't he like 60% close to coming here before the deadline? I throw my hands up on that one.
Bobby Abreu: Sure not the biggest name anymore (see: rapper Nelly), but he provides offense that the Sox clearly lacked this season.
Wrapping up... Noticeably nothing mentioned about Terry Francona, Youkilis, or Pedroia because they are seemingly the only things that should be left unfazed. There was some turmoil trying to turn Francona into Grady Little but ultimately the Sox lost game 3 because the Angels wanted it more. They could've given up the game(see Yankees 2009 ALCS Game 5) but they wanted a sweep after years of being ousted by the same team they finally fought back. But we'll see how this offseason plays out. Lets go, Phils!