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Jurr
11-10-2003, 11:09 AM
Well, now that football is over for yours truly (the Bills have s*** the bed again, and Drew Bledsoe is a shell of his former self), it's time to talk baseball.
After the Sox season was over, I didn't have the emotional stability left to enjoy football, any damn way.

Under Ozzie, I think this team may be a little more scrappy and focused. There's always a prescription for any ailment, and I believe the Sox had the talent, just a lack of fire. So, Ozzie may be just what they needed.

Who's going to be a part of this team? God only knows. However, I think we have enough under the hood already to be able to fill in the holes with lesser pieces and still make it work.

1B- Now that the Konerko saga is almost over, I bet Frank is asked to "revert to his 90's form"(from Ozzie) and play first base.
This is something that JM would just not do, even though batting averages would dictate otherwise. I bet that's why Frank re-signed with the Sox. He probably heard it through the grapevine that he'd get the 1B slot back. He likes his numbers and you know he'll get 'em at first

2B-Until something better comes along, we'll take Robbie here. He's not going to bat .400 or anything, but if he can be around .275, get bunts down, and field a good position, we're in good shape.

SS- I love Jose Valentin, but he's got me a little nervous at short. His fielding is much improved, but his bat scares me. He's become a slump waiting to happen. Maybe he can stick to batting lefty and say screw the switch hitting crap. And, 5mil a year is steep.

3B- Joe Crede is the answer for years at this position. He's going to get better and better, and you've gotta be happy with his progress.

LF-Carlos for at least one more year. Glove's improving, bat's improving, and he can run a little.

CF-Strange one here. My personal preference is to let Aaron Rowand get a shot here. He can do some little things, has come up with some clutch hits, and he can play the field pretty well. It would be refreshing to see him in a role other than 8th inning defensive replacement. There's just not enough $$$ to go after Jim Edmonds or somebody awesome, so we can live with AR.

RF-Maggs? He's a proven commodity, no doubt. But, can we replace him with someone a little less talented for a lot less money, while moving Maggs for some rather good talent?
This is a big question.

C-Can MO learn how to bat a little? If he could this offseason, we've got an All-Star in the making, no doubt.

P-Loaiza- let's hope he still has a good season or 6 left in him.
Garland- getting better and better....about damn time, too.
Buehrle- I bet Garland passes him by as #2 stud on this rotation. But, Buehrle's great as well.
#4 and #5???? Does Rauch have it yet? Shoenweis?? Cotts??
If we can find some talent to fill these spots (Sidney Ponson) or find another Esteban this spring (yeah right), we could have another great rotation.

Bullpen- We need Tom Gordon re-signed and Koch to go bye-bye.
That frees up a lot of money. Damaso is great, and I like my chances with the bullpen like it has been. Put Danny Wright in the mix as well for long relief.


Overall, I think this team could be better than last year's team by a mile if they get a little unity and fire under their belts. Ozzie is sure to help in both aspects. There's not much help a manager brings to the table except in those areas, anyway. If you tinker too much with the mix, then you're asking for trouble. Let the players play, just help them stay focused and help them learn their roles on the team. (Then, of course, let them serve those roles instead of stirring the pot every two days!!!)

We could be pretty decent next year. We may not be a WS contender, but I think the teams that are WS contenders in March can't deal with the pressure and fade away. Ask the Angels or the Fighting Fish about being a preseason champion. It's all about whether or not the players buy into the recipe.