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Ranking the Red Sox

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff February 19, 2009 05:59 AM

None of our usual goofing off before we dig into the batterís box today ó letís get right to it. Hereís our completely subjective, not at all scientific, yet absolutely inarguable rankings of the 25 most important Red Sox entering the 2009 season, from worst to first.

Knowing full well youíll argue with us anyway, letís go . . .

25. Julio Lugo
Unless he miraculously channels Barry Larkin this spring, heís poised to become a $9 million-a-year utility player/pinch runner. Tell us again what you saw in him, Theo.

24. Josh Bard
Back for another shot at catching Tim Wakefield? Thereís something to be said for having a masochist on the roster.

23. Manny Delcarmen
We donít mean to suggest that the pride of Hyde Park is disposable. Itís just that despite his overpowering repertoire, heíll fall into a middle relief role while the likes of Ramon Ramirez and
Justin Masterson handle the later innings.

22. Tim Wakefield
Although there is tremendous value in having a pitcher gobble up 150 to 180 innings at a league-average ERA, he has become injury-prone in his 40s, and the Sox may have better options, such as . . .

21. Brad Penny
Heís essentially had the same career as A.J. Burnett, but he had the misfortune of suffering his injury in a contract year.

20. Rocco Baldelli
With Mark Kotsay injured, J.D. Drew sending off warning signals regarding his back, and Brad Wilkerson officially useless since 2004, the Sox may be counting on 300 at-bats from the former Ray. He could be a huge asset if ó yes, thatís a big ďifĒ ó he is healthy.

19. Javier Lopez
Though he walks just enough batters to drive you nuts (27 in 59ā innings), the numbers suggest the slim lefty was one of the more dependable members of the bullpen in í08. What, youíd prefer Tony Fossas?

18. Takashi Saito
Heís still something of a mystery on the East Coast despite tremendous success during his three seasons with the Dodgers. How good was he? According to baseball-reference.com, the most similar pitcher to him in history is . . . Jonathan Papelbon. And he says his elbow feels great. Excited? Should be.

17. John Smoltz
Iím downright giddy about the prospect of the 20-year Atlanta mainstay joining the Sox rotation in June. He was lights-out last season even while pitching with a damaged shoulder, and there are few pitchers in baseball history youíd rather have on the mound in October.

16. Jason Varitek
Logic and history suggest he will never hit major league pitching capably again, but hey, the pitchers rave about him, and the guidance he provides retains some value.

15. Ramon Ramirez
Iím somewhat concerned about the big-market factor with the ex-Royal, but the numbers are beyond encouraging. The eighth inning may belong to him.

14. Hideki Okajima
After nearly identical seasons with the Sox since arriving with little fanfare from Japan, the deceptive left-hander might rank as Theo Epsteinís savviest signing, save for the man in the No. 1 spot.

13. Justin Masterson
If you took Derek Lowe circa í99, melded him with Bob Stanley, added a dab of the Eck, and then gave him a 96-mile-per-hour fastball for good measure, this versatile right-hander is what youíd wind up with.

12. Jed Lowrie
The jury is still out on how productive he will be, but at the least heíll provide steady defense at shortstop.

11. Mike Lowell
Of course everyone is hoping the dependable third baseman can come back from his hip problem. But if he struggles, chances are a suitable replacement will be available at or before the trading deadline.

10. Daisuke Matsuzaka
You know youíre blessed with a deep starting rotation when your No. 3 starter wins 18 of 21 decisions and finishes fourth in the Cy Young voting. Now, if he could just become more efficient.

9. Jacoby Ellsbury
In 544 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter a season ago, he had just a .324 on-base percentage and a .696 OPS. He must be better in í09.

8. J.D. Drew
Sure, itís worrisome that the enigmatic outfielder arrived in camp complaining of the back injury that cost him 33 games a season ago. The Sox need him to produce the way he did last June (.337, 12 homers).

7. Jonathan Papelbon
Heís such a rock that itís easy to take him for granted, so letís take a moment to note that his statistics through three-plus seasons (1.84 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 254 ERA+) have him on a path toward Cooperstown, N.Y.

6. Jason Bay
It did not take him long to win over the faithful after arriving in the Manny deal, but the pressure may be on him even more in his first full season in Boston. Thirty homers and 100 RBI are a minimum requirement.

5. Kevin Youkilis
He won the Hank Aaron Award last season as the best hitter in the AL, and his versatility provides invaluable flexibility for Terry Francona. Not even Billy Beane thought heíd become this good.

4. Dustin Pedroia
The parallels to Nomar Garciaparraís glorious first two seasons with the Red Sox are remarkable, not only in terms of production but in his universal admiration from fans. The difference is that Pedroiaís public face is real, while Nomarís was insincere at best.

3. Josh Beckett
He never really caught up last year after suffering a back injury in camp, and he seems to be intent this year on proving that last yearís inconsistency was an aberration. A motivated Beckett is usually a dominant Beckett.

2. Jon Lester
There is some concern that his leap in innings a season ago will have a lingering effect this season (see: Carmona, Fausto). But heís built to handle the workload, and the hunch here is that this is the season when he suggests that the Andy Pettitte comparison actually undersells what he might accomplish.

1. David Ortiz
Because itís simple: If he finds something resembling his form of 2007 (.332, 35 homers), the Sox should have a deep and potent offense. But if heís no longer the big bopper of his heyday, they will struggle to produce enough offense to hang with the other elite teams in the division.

OT columnist Chad Finn is a sports reporter for Boston.com and can be reached at finn@globe.com

54 comments so far...
  1. Delcarmen at 23?
    Penny at 21?
    Saito at 19?

    I might line em up a bit differently - but it show how deep the Sox are that only 2 guys do not have great expectations attached to them: Bard and Lugo.

    Posted by dkdc February 19, 09 09:43 AM
  1. I see more in Delcarmen

    Posted by Bill Allen February 19, 09 09:50 AM
  1. What about Clay Buchholz?

    Posted by dkdc February 19, 09 10:00 AM
  1. Type your comment here...Pretty sure you mean '09' in the Ellsbury text (as it is: 'He must be better in 08'). Solid rankings, no argument... maybe Brad Penny higher, but I don't know at what cost to other rankings...

    Whaddyou think of the notion that -- barring another injury -- Lugo is starting?...

    Posted by TH February 19, 09 10:07 AM
  1. It seems as though the rankings are based on how important it is that the player perform well, not on the likelihood of his performing well. Right now in starting pitching, for example, I agree that it is crucial for Beckett to perform at his best, but right now I would place both Lester and Daisuke ahead of him to start a crucial game. Likewise in hitting it is important that Papi perform well, but I am afraid he is not going to - that would put Youk ahead of him in my ranking which is more or less based on expected reliability.

    Posted by Daniel C. Hudson February 19, 09 10:29 AM
  1. This is a nearly impossible task, but the rankings are pretty solid. Ortiz may not be No. 1, because the team got all the way to Game 7 of the ALCS with him not contributing as much as we're accustomed to. But if he has a monster year, then it is a deserved ranking. I might put Beckett at No. 1. If he returns to 2007 form then look out. In the AL East, it's all about starting pitching.

    Posted by SoPoJim February 19, 09 11:09 AM
  1. What about Kotsay?

    Posted by Anonymous February 19, 09 11:25 AM
  1. This list is crazy. The most important things coming into the season are

    David Ortiz return to form

    Mike Lowells return

    Getting a consistant year from JD Drew

    Solid consistant pitching from number 4/5. So Penny is important

    Productive catcher behind the plate and at it.

    Middle relief getting to Papelbon ie someone stepping up so we dont dont burn out Okajima

    Posted by terrence February 19, 09 11:36 AM
  1. As I understand it, its the 25 most IMPORTANT for the success of this season. Basically hard to argue, although, the importance of Lowell could be higher at least for the first half. If he can't play or has complications, and we know Kotsey is out for now, Youk moves to third, who plays first and has 20-25 homer potential? If you ask, "who would impact the team the most if they don't reach expectation:" It's probably Ortiz. "Who would put the Sox over the top if they had an outstanding year:" Imagine the staff if Smoltz is lights out.

    Posted by Epr February 19, 09 12:02 PM
  1. Could this be more useless and counter-productive, even just as spring training filler? I'm sure it'll really boost Lugo's confidence when he hears he was ranked the least important player on the Red Sox roster. Come on, you guys...what is the point of this?

    Posted by Jeremy February 19, 09 12:14 PM
  1. The disrespect for Tim Wakefield is amazing. He was better last year that Beckett; he annually gives the Sox 10-17 wins, despite Francona's habit of playing the B team behind him most of the time. He comes, cheap, freeing the team's resources for other things; he's a veteran leadership presence in the clubhouse, and a pitcher who can pitch relief on short notice or pitch on short rest. And that makes him "less important" than Javier Lopez or Rocco Baldelli?

    Silly exercise, badly done.

    Posted by Jack Marshall February 19, 09 12:15 PM
  1. I would put Pedroia first, he's our young star. he has only improved and has proved himself in his first 2 years in the league. in my opinion he our best, most valuable player. Big Papi has been too INCONSISTANT, where from injury or poor batting...

    Posted by fenwayfaithful February 19, 09 12:23 PM
  1. I'd have flip-flopped Beckett and Lester, and moved Jason Bay up a notch or two, I think Penny is more valuable than half a season of Smoltz, Saito is probably more important than Oki. Lowrie is probably less important than most of the bullpen, and I'm not even sure Bard leaves camp on the roster.

    Lowell is hard to rank. 2007 Mike Lowell is clearly top-5 important, but 2008 Mike Lowell is closer to 20th. Same with Papi, the clear-cut #1 if he's similar to 2007, but maybe drops below Bay, Youk and Pedroia if 2008 injuries and performance linger. Fun exercise. Let's bring on a Yankee version of this so we can all rank Aroid 26th!

    Posted by Saito in the 8th, Paps in the 9th February 19, 09 12:29 PM
  1. I think that I didn't bother to follow the list all the way to number one because the whole exercise was a waste of time.

    Posted by David February 19, 09 12:33 PM
  1. what are the rankings based on besides an opinion ?

    Posted by tj February 19, 09 12:33 PM
  1. I don't put a lot of validity in rankings that place the reigning MVP 4th most valuable on HIS OWN TEAM. I generally don't like to be critical, but putting Jacoby Ellsbury at #9 despite his mentioned LACK of production out of the leadoff spot? Honestly, if Jacoby can't catch up to a fastball at age 24, when will he? Another of Theo's man-crushes (i.e. J.D. Drew, Julio Lugo, Josh Bard v1.0) that will have us banging our heads against the wall for the next handful of seasons while we ache for the days of Coco Crisp once again.

    And Javier Lopez might be valuable in terms of his ability to pitch to lefties, but give me DelCarmen every day of the week.

    Varitek at #11, ahead of Saito and Penny? It's a stretch to call him the 11th best player at his POSITION in the American League!

    With all due respect, it is difficult to rank the players values to their own team when their values are all so different to the team's success, but perhaps a quick glance back at the rankings before final edit might've helped.

    Posted by JAndyV February 19, 09 12:34 PM
  1. I don't know SoPoJim, I was at Game 5 of the ALCS, and without Ortiz's unexpected (yet very welcome) homerun late in the game there would have been no Game 6, let alone Game 7... I think Ortiz's importance has been adequately assessed here.

    Posted by Kayla C. February 19, 09 12:50 PM
  1. Generally, I like the order of this list, but I think you have to put Beckett at #1 (and Ortiz at #2). If the 2007 Beckett is what we are getting in 2009, it takes pressure off of other starting pitchers (fewer spot starts, fewer prolonged losing streaks), as well as the bullpen (the '08 Beckett seemed to have several of those 5-inning, 4 earned run, 114 pitch type games that cause extra bullpen innings). 2007 Beckett + 2008 Lester = rested, dominant 2009 bullpen...which equals a heck of a chance at winning the AL East and more this year.

    Posted by Steve February 19, 09 12:53 PM
  1. Wakefield down at the bottom? Umm, getting 180 innings and 14-15 wins out of Wakefield does not make him a bottom dweller. He produces results and gets valuable innings for this team. Also, not enough emphasis on the relievers. The pitching is so much more important than most of the hitters on this team. To place Mike Lowell ahead of many of the key set up men is a joke. With or without most of our 1-9 hitters this teams success will depend on pitching. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

    Posted by Steve Gawrys February 19, 09 12:53 PM
  1. What about Josh Beckett?

    Posted by Anonymous February 19, 09 12:58 PM
  1. I appreciate the input from my fellow members of RSN, but in my opinion the #1 most important member of the team in '09 is Jacoby Ellsbury. I have no concerns with the starting staff or the bullpen so my attention goes to the offense. If Ells can get on base at a .400 clip then everything will fall into place. It dosn't hurt that he can run like the wind and has pop to boot, but he must get on for the machine to work best.

    Posted by ryryryccc February 19, 09 01:11 PM
  1. Ummm... Chad, Julio Lugo will be the starting SS on Opening Day for Boston. This barring a disastrous Spring. Lowrie is more suited to the utility role at this point in his career. Should Lugo falter during the season, he will then be replaced by Lowrie. Say what you will about him but he at least deserves another chance. I won't say I told you so when it happens but how you cannot see this unfolding is hard to believe.

    Posted by Bob Griese February 19, 09 01:19 PM
  1. I would love to see The Captain have a monster year at the plate, that will shut up
    all the idiots ready to get rid of him and make management rethink his value !

    Posted by Saul P Heller February 19, 09 01:22 PM
  1. what was up with the nomar bashing when talking about pedroia?

    Posted by mn February 19, 09 01:41 PM
  1. i would have wake at #10 because if u put him between beckett n lester the other team would have so much of an adustment to make..also he won 17 games 2 yrs ago if not injured would have won the cy young award in my opinion..plus the greatest teammate of all time

    Posted by bobby q February 19, 09 01:46 PM
  1. If lost for the season to injury should be the criteria.
    1. Papelbon
    2. Beckett
    3. Youk
    4. Pedroia
    5. Lowell
    We pretty much played without Ortiz throughout the playoffs last year...

    Posted by Duffy Doherty February 19, 09 01:47 PM
  1. The entire premise of this "story" is silly. Who really cares about whether Beckett should be ranked higher than Papelbon. This has absolutely no relevance to Spring Training or the Red Sox season whatsoever. I will never get those last few minutes of reading back. Please brainstorm content ideas a little harder next time.

    Posted by FindABetterAngle February 19, 09 01:59 PM
  1. They need to retire or move Wakefield out of the organization now. Give him his money and let him walk.

    Posted by Garnet February 19, 09 02:28 PM
  1. Time will tell who's the most important because of injuries, but I'd rank them this way if I was doing a draft:
    1 Pedroia
    2 Youkilis
    3 Papelbon
    4 Beckett
    5 Ortiz
    6 Lester
    7 Matzuzaka
    8 Bay
    9 Elsbury

    If all those guys have decent years, the RS will be in the playoffs.
    That doesn't mean I've given up on others... including Lugo.

    Posted by george February 19, 09 03:03 PM
  1. Declarmen is a loser

    Posted by Jay February 19, 09 03:03 PM
  1. this is the worst list i have ever seen.

    Posted by Anonymous February 19, 09 03:19 PM
  1. The teaser on page one "from worst to first" is idiotic.
    Isn't this a ranking of who is most important to the team?
    Wonderful for someone to win "Worst Red Sox Player"...

    Posted by Quadropenta February 19, 09 03:28 PM
  1. The teaser on page one "from worst to first" is idiotic.
    Isn't this a ranking of who is most important to the team?
    Wonderful for someone to win "Worst Red Sox Player"...

    Posted by Quadropenta February 19, 09 03:28 PM
  1. Just thought it would be a fun exercise, people . . . not meant to be deep thoughts, but just a different way to assess the team in the spring and generate some discussion. and for what it's worth, anyone who rates the closer No. 1 should be locked in solitary confinement with rob neyer until they see the light.

    Posted by cf February 19, 09 03:42 PM
  1. Smoltz and Penny are undervalued because of all the unknown quantities-I get that. But ranking John Smoltz- a starter with huge potential-lower than Ramon Ramirez or Jed Lowrie? Really?

    And yes, shame on you. Wakefield 3rd from the bottom?

    Where's Rocco Baldelli? Isn't he more likely to be on the roster in April than Smoltz or Kotsay anyway?

    Posted by Adrienne February 19, 09 03:48 PM
  1. Writer seems to mix up the top 25 Sox worries as of March 1 with who are the most important Sox. He seems to try to blend both.
    I agree with his number 1. Sox need the old Papi back. Period. He is both important and a question.

    Right after him is Ellsbury. He needs to be on base. He is both a worry and important

    Sox added pitchers and have flexibility there should an arm or two falter. Bullpen is deep and Masterson can go either way. Important, but not a worry.

    I assume Youkillis and Pedroia will again have big if not even better years. Bay looks solid. These guys are not a worry, but are important

    I worry about JD Drew and Mike Lowell's health . Sox need 'em both.

    Shortstop and catcher are question marks. If other guys hit and pitch, Sox can live with less offense from these two. if they get .260 from either spot, it will be a bonus.

    Posted by Dave Hornfischer February 19, 09 05:32 PM
  1. Shame on you, Chad Finn! Ranking the roster that way is a mean-spirited thing to do. Why not just have five categories, 1-5, with 1 being "outstanding," 2 being "really valuable," and so on. I feel sorry for players 21-25, and I guess I'll have to change my usual rooting pattern (I go for Youk and Wakefield) to include all of them, especially, as Jeremy noted, poor Lugo.

    Posted by Anonymous February 19, 09 06:47 PM
  1. There is a nice mix here between people who can't count, people who can't read, and Julio Lugo's mom.

    Posted by cf February 19, 09 09:11 PM
  1. I was at Red Sox spring training camp today. Beckett looks terrific. He's leaner and looks really good. Both Penny and Smoltz participated in pickoff drills today. Penny's a BIG boy. Saw Luis TIant signing autographs. He looks like he could still give you 6 good innings, better than 2/3 of the starters in major league baseball. Heidi Watney was 5 feet from me at one point. She's a babe!

    Varitek belongs at #24 on the list. He's terrible. Philly won a World Series with Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste behind the plate. Who? Varitek's just not that important.

    For all you gents fawning over Wakefield, he hasn't had a sub 4.00 ERA since 2002 and is injury prone. Never has such mediocrity been celebrated in this town. He and Varitek are the two most overrated Red Sox players in the last 35 years. What are they going to do with Wakefield, when they have Beckett, Dice K, Lester, Smoltz, and Penny in the rotation?

    Posted by KF February 19, 09 09:18 PM
  1. Hey, good job! Enjoyed doing my own rating of top ten 1st and then matching it up with yours!!!....and I liked being able to vote on each entry and then check the vote totals. Real good interactive article...got the juices flowing again for Red Sox baseball....I had Lester 1st, Ortiz 4th and Varitek 6th (handling of staff)....GO SOX !!

    Posted by Mike Aylwin (FL) February 19, 09 10:22 PM
  1. LOL - Almost every person got a majority vote of "More important than #__"!
    You can't rank EVERYBODY higher, people!!!

    Posted by KLM February 20, 09 12:27 AM
  1. I think it's a great subject and I like the rankings.

    Posted by John Harrison February 20, 09 01:55 AM
  1. The names are certainly there. So, unfortunately are the health issues. About almost every ranking I heard myself say to myself, "he could make a huge impact if he stays healthy." Love that shot of Ellsbury who looks like he's filled out, grown up and put on some muscle (working hard, to be sure.) If only Delcarmen's head was as good as his arm.

    Posted by RocksInHerHead February 20, 09 07:28 AM
  1. 2007 BOS 17 12 4.76 31 31 0 0 0 0 189.0 191 104 100 22 4 64 110

    2008 BOS 10 11 4.13 30 30 1 0 0 0 181.0 154 89 83 25 13 60 117

    Come on! Time for some respect for Wakefield! 22nd?!?! After double-digit wins, and more than 180 innings for two years! Please! Very silly, no win exercise.

    Posted by John (Singapore) February 20, 09 08:05 AM
  1. I think the rankings are fairly accurate. I also think some people missed the point. It's not a ranking of who had the best year in 2008, or who is most valuable or who will have the best year this year. It's more of a who's most important to the team's success in 2009. And with that in mind I think Ortiz is the best choice. Without Manny in the lineup we need someone to have a big year with power numbers and driving in runs. There is more pressure on Ortiz to have a big year because there in no Manny and because he is coming off injury. Ortiz could have a season anywhere from 15 HR - 40 HR, 75 RBI - 120 RBI. And for the 2009 Red Sox to be successful and consistent Ortiz needs to have numbers similar to the than the former.

    I do think Ellsbury should be ranked higher because the team's success depends a lot on his individual success. It's shown that the team has a much better chance of winning if he gets on base more than once or scores in a game. You know what you're going to get from Pedroia, Youks, and Bay. Ortiz and Ellsbury and even Lowell are unknowns so the success of the 2009 team depends more on them than others.

    In ranking 1-25 someone had to 25th, etc. So no matter how they are ranked some people are going to deserve to be higher or lower. It's just a fun little discussion on which players are most important to this year's team success.

    Posted by Rich February 20, 09 10:20 AM
  1. this is the single dumbest and most pointless exercise ever publised in print or on the web.

    Posted by pmar451 February 20, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Pedroia first, Wakefield second, ... um... then the rest. Nice effort, wrong order... I'll give the list a C+.

    Posted by CPP February 20, 09 03:33 PM
  1. delcarmen....complete bust
    ellsbury....was a minor leaguer playing for a major league team last year
    lugo\lowrie....it's gonna be a catfight
    ortiz....injured last year, remain a question mark (and is now linked to A-Rods steriod dealer.)
    varitek...should have better stats this year than last but not much
    lowell...injured last year, remains a question mark
    drew..injured every year, remains a question mark
    bay, pedroia, youkilis...solid and dependable
    starters...probably top 5 in all of baseball
    relievers...solid, and dependable with excellent depth

    It makes no sense to rank importance of players in an individual statistically driven sport.

    Posted by vjr123 February 20, 09 05:45 PM
  1. No offense, but it's completely unfair to rank players 1-25 like this. Every player is an asset in one way or another. For example, if Lugo is on the bench, then he brings a right-handed bat with speed to the bench, whether he hits .237 or not. Every player, 1-25, is expected to carry a burden over the course of the season.

    Also, how do you determine that Lowrie is better then Masterson? You cannot compare a position player to a pitcher. I don't care what arguement you present, I don't see anyway to compare the two positions unless you're playing fantasy baseball . This disappoints me because there may be some comparisons that seem simple, but you honestly cannot compare these players.

    I donít think that you can rank players, especially pitchers and position players, like this. To rank players by talent is one thing, but to rank players on the same BASEBALL team is not fair.

    Posted by Chris W. February 20, 09 07:35 PM
  1. the catalysts of the team are ranked four and five and the most recent mvp pedroia four and i aint even a sox fan but those should be one and two

    Posted by mike February 20, 09 10:21 PM
  1. It does appear that this is a list of the biggest worries not the most important. If it is meant to be the most important then I would say you are significantly underappreciating the importance of pitching. My list would be:
    1) Becket
    2) Lester
    3) Dice K
    4) Paplebon
    5) Okajima
    6) Masterson
    7) Ortiz
    8) Youklis
    9) Lowell
    10) Pedroia
    11) Bay
    12) Ellsbury
    13) Drew
    14) Varitek
    15) Saito
    16) Ramirez
    17) Smoltz
    18) Penny
    19) Wakefield
    20) Buckholtz
    21) Lowrie
    22) Lugo

    one or both of Delcarman or Lopez wil not be with the team or if they are they will not be playing in situations that matter

    Bard/Kotsay/ baldelli/wilkerson's back up position is important but the player isn't .
    Epstein has filled the team and the farm with plenty of insurance policies

    I actually believe that Smoltz and Penny's success might have more to do with winning the series then anything else but that is only because I have faith that the rest will do what we have come to expect of them.

    But first and foremost it starts with Becket


    Posted by Anonymous February 21, 09 09:49 AM
  1. better bring brad penny up to at lest no. 12 i look for him to win between 15 to 20 pitching out of the fouth spot in the rotation

    Posted by peter mcewen February 21, 09 02:33 PM
  1. it really doesnt matter. The socks cant compete with the yankees at all now that the yankees have burnett, tex, and cc. The socks should do a salary dump and start building for next decade because for the next 5 years they wont even be able to compete.

    Posted by joe the new yorker smith February 22, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Sox are in trouble this year. Big Papi wearing down, Lowell who knows if he can even play. Our SS is horrible no matter who ends up playing.
    Who's the 4th and 5th starters?
    Who will ever replace Manny who was the key to our 2004-2007 World Series Titles?
    My beloved Sox win 85 games this year it will an accomplishment.

    Posted by Chatam Pete February 23, 09 08:14 AM
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Charles P. Pierce writes for the Boston Globe Magazine. A long-time sportswriter and columnist, Pierce is a frequent guest on national TV and radio.
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