Happy New Year loyal Red Sox fans and obsessives. It didn't take long for 2006 see a flurry of activity in the completely unfounded trade rumormill. The actual trading front of course remains wholly inactive, and quite frankly the wheels are starting to come off the bandwagon as we are still without an all-star SS and CF, and have a (gasp) platoon situation at one, possibly both corners.
I will be the first to acknowledge that the hole in CF is glaring. That's right, glaring. Even now, I can feel it focusing it's eerily angry gaze on me, bathing me in it's bitter and unnecessary glow. The outstanding question remains: there was absolutely no way in hell Christ was coming back - if you wanted Reed why not pull the trigger when you had some leverage? At this point he's quite a bit more expensive - and quite a bit more agreeable - than Michaels given their difference in age. Crisp is really out of the question in spite of the bizarre fantasies of some of our more delusional compatriots. Of course, one of them has to materialize, because as nifty as it would be to have the league's only Canadian Jew patrolling center, it sounds like Stern needs a little more seasoning to be at all productive in the bigs.
Otherwise, I am content with our current position. Given the available options, I am perfectly happy with Cora at SS for a season (or half-season). As I dedicated far too much effort to earlier in this blog I believe he will mirror Renteria's offensive performance (with the exception of one staggering weekend against the Evil Empire) while giving us more leather at short, for far shorter money.
I live in San Francisco and love the Snow acquisition. He hit .313 with runners in scoring position in 2006, and .373 with RISP after the all-star break, and watching him that was the outcome you expected when he stepped into the box. His glove is impeccable, and he is a great clubhouse guy (which to me means preserving an atmosphere where you believe you will win). He can only help Youks and the other rookies. Plus, he saved Dusty Baker's son; that has to count for something.
At third, I think Lowell will produce, and I think Youks will make the most of his opportunities there, or will bring something valuable back via trade. If not, Marte is ready to step in. We are stocked there, and no, I don't perceive that it's a problem.
With Manny sticking around, and the relative ease with which we should be able to pick up a serviceable platoon-mate for Nixon, the offense will provide runs for a pitching staff that is (on paper at least) much improved from last year. At the end of the game, it's about sscoring more runs than you let in. Until this team proves it cannot do that with regularity, why worry? Remember, this team was .500 at the all-star break for the past two seasons.
Right now you can bet that every conversation includes one or more of the names Marte, Lester, Papelbon, and Pedroia. As bored as I am right now, I am sticking to the "no news is good news" position until that changes.