Friday, September 01, 2006

Red Sox officially surrender

The writing was on the wall, but yesterday the 2006 Boston Red Sox made a formal surrender of their once-promising season. They traded David Wells to San Diego and started Julian Tavarez in his place, with Kyle Snyder and Lenny DiNardo set to start Friday and Saturday against Ted Lilly and A.J. Burnett. Nice.

8-21 since August 2nd. A 1-game lead in the AL East at the end of July has become a 8-game deficit. David Ortiz was hospitalized with heart issues, Jason Varitek spent August on the DL, Manny Ramirez has a bad knee, and Jon Lester might have cancer. Coco Crisp has been a big letdown as a replacement for Johnny Damon, and Josh Beckett is a coinflip every time he takes the mound. Keith Foulke started the year well, but messed up his elbow in June and has pitched horribly since coming back in late August. Mike Timlin is 40 and just about done. Tim Wakefield has been hurt since mid-July. Matt Clement (remember him?) hasn't been heard from all season. Trot Nixon has been injured all of August and still can't hit lefties. Our shortstops (Alex Cora and Alex Gonzalez) can't hit anyone.

Now the good:

Jonathan Papelbon. There are no more superlatives. 35 saves and counting, 0.94 ERA as a rookie. ROY.

David Ortiz. 47 HR, 121 RBI, .287/.400/1.033, and he's not done. MVP.

Curt Schilling. Steady and reliable, although he's developed a nasty habit of giving up home runs (and passed it on to Beckett as well). Next year is his farewell tour, if previous comments are to be believed.

Kevin Youkilis. Good bat, great glove. First base is covered for a while.

Wily Mo Pena. David Ortiz's heir apparent. He's a circus act in right field, but with an offseason to get used to Fenway he should be just fine.

Infield defense, the best in baseball. Hope the trend continues.

* * * * *

Nice run, guys. The wheels really fell off there at the end, but perhaps we were overachieving in the first half. We have the foundation of something good. Let's hope the FO's "master plan" works out.

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