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  • #16
    I didn't really see much wrong with the article. It's obvious that the Red Sox have some areas to address, and McAdam discusses those areas. He also seemed to be complimentary, calling the potential rotation with Matsuzaka "formidable indeed;" saying Alex Gonzalez "was a marvel defensively last season;" saying J.D. Drew "seems to be the perfect fit;" addressing the "promise" of Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen, and so on.

    Here's my take on McAdam's rundown by the areas he addresses:

    Shortstop: Gonzalez is gone so this is for the third offseason in a row, a position of obvious need for the Sox. McAdam presents Julio Lugo as the likely replacement and he should be an upgrade over Gonzalez. Though to be honest, I see Lugo as a lesser version of Renteria - the team made a mistake when it chose not to retain Orlando Cabrera a few years back, he really fit in well and does the little things you like a SS to do.

    McAdam points out that Lugo will give the team some much needed speed - I think he's right on with that. I said this last offseason, the Red Sox had very little speed outside of Coco Crisp and that would hurt them in the long run. Speed isn't just about stealing bases, speed makes an offense more dynamic and produces a lot of runs over the course of the season. Speed legs out in field singles, speed goes from first to third and from second to home, speed breaks up double plays, speed induces errant throws, speed causes the defense to adjust its positioning, speed allows for sacrifices. Basically, speed gives a team more options. With Lugo and Crisp batting 1/2, the team should finally have some decent speed at the top of its lineup, and that should only result in more run scoring opportunities for Ortiz and Manny.

    Right Field: Is the Drew deal official yet? McAdam calls Drew the perfect fit. Drew will be a good fit and productive when he's healthy, but given his career, it's almost a given that he'll miss at least 40 games next year. Fortunately for the Sox, other than the ridiculous price being paid to Drew, it's not really a bad thing as they can slot Wily Mo Pena in. McAdam does not seem particularly high on Pena, but I think if someone finally gives him a chance to be a regular, and is patient with him while he adjusts and learns, I think he could become a force at the plate and provide good protection as a no. 5 hitter. Pena's plate discipline is pretty terrible (90 Ks in just 270 ABs last year), but he's not going to improve if he doesn't play regularly.

    I think the team would be better off saving the money it's willing to spend on Drew and go with McAdam's plan B - a platoon of Pena and David Dellucci. Dellucci was briefly with the Yankees a few years back and I really liked him. He plays hard and he can hit - the downside is, that like Pena, he strikes out a lot (though he draws more walks than Pena).

    Bullpen: McAdam doesn't really offer and solutions here, just points to how few options are out there in free agency. Danys Baez is probably the team's best bet, though it could take a gamble on Eric Gagne and hope he can be healthy for the first time in three years. I don't think Baez is particularly good, but he's had plenty of closing experience and has done a fairly good job. The Red Sox best bet might be to hope that one of its internal options, such as Delcarmen or Hansen, can handle that role and step in like Papelbon did last year.

    Second Base: My guess is that that the team would like to give Pedroia a shot and hope that he turns out to be the Red Sox answer to Robinson Cano. McAdam seems unfairly dismissive of Pedroia because he struggled when called-up last September - that seems like a pretty small sample to be making any sort of reliable judgment. I thought Loretta was a good fit for the team and while he's not stellar at anything, he does just about everything very capably and will not hurt you. I believe the team should consider bringing him back - reliable depth never hurts.

    Backup Catcher: I'm guessing one of the prerequistes here is the ability to catch the knuckleball. McAdam does not offer any solutions and says that it's probably too soon to give that role to prospect George Kottaras. The team's best bet probably is to sign a veteran defensive specialist, though I'm not really sure who is out there off the top of my head. If there isn't much interest out there for Mirabelli, it couldn't hurt to bring him to Spring Training to compete for the job on a minor league contract.

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    • #17
      Well I didn't mean to stir up so much of a mess!!!!! I didn't know that WMP enjoyed a lot of support here, he is good in center but it seemed to an outsider (or enemy depending on how you look at it ) like Coco is entrenched there. So if you want to move WMP to center do it, he'd be decent there. I still think he can be good, howver it sounds like on my end that you're putting too much faith in him...maybe I misinterpeted what you were saying. However my thing with Pedoria is that depth doesn't hurt at all as XX mentioned and plus I think he'll be ready probably by the all-star break. Still having Loretta there won't hurt

      Other than that I think XX's analysis is pretty good.
      "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

      "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

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