Friday, August 01, 2008

Red Sox Nation - Critical Alert!

Well, it's been a bad week for the Red Sox and a bad week for the savvybeast. Since I last checked in on July 27, Manny Ramirez is gone from the Red sox. Manny had quite simply become too much of a pain in the ass to tolerate anymore. I know people will say that this happens every year, but I don't remember it getting this ugly before. I actually began to feel that Manny might end up costing the Red sox games with his foolishness this year, a feeling I never had before. Given that, I feel lucky that the sox were able to replace Manny's spot with Pitt. Pirate LF Jason Bay. Bay is batting .282 with 22 homers and 64 RBI. He is certainly no Manny, and the missing presence Manny leaves is huge. Really, it is not a fillable void. So what the Sox have to do is improve the other parts of their game. The offense needs to find it's earlier balance, with consistent and timely hitting by Lowell, Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew. Ellsbury especially has been struggling. Big Papi hopefully continues to improve, and maybe Tek can get his avg. up to .250. The pitching has to be more consistently, with Wakefield and Bucholz not getting much done lately, putting a lot of pressure on Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester. Also, there is still not a reliable bridge to Papelbon.

So this team has a lot of issues, but the truth is that so do all of the other teams. The problem is that because the Sox have not pushed forward when they could have not find themselves in a fight with the Yankees, Tampa Bay, Minn., the Chic. White Sox, and even Detroit for 2 available spots. They currently hold the wild card spot by the slimmest of margins, 1/2 game over Minn., and 3 games behind Tampa Bay in the division. The Rays have never been here before, and haven't really had a tough patch yet this year.. yet. The Yankees currently use Sydney Ponson and Darell Rasner as starters. Minn. always seems to hang around but not be enough. Detroit still has so much ground to make up after an awful start to the season you wonder if they have enough in the tank.

As for the Sox, they have now been swept by the Angels twice, lost 2 of 3 to the Yanks, and if weren't for that sweep of the Mariners, this team would be in a freefall. This series at home against Oakland really needs a sweep to get this team moving forward.

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