The World Series, Red Sox offseason?

Really, once again, you’ve gotta tip your cap to the Rays. We got beat, we just got beat, it’s as simple as that, and it’s not the end of the world. Really, with all our injuries, it’s pretty amazing that we even forced a game 7. Everyone was overworked, so I think a week of consistent sleep is a good remedy. The ALCS MVP ended up going to Matt Garza, appropriate I suppose since he only gave up, what, two hits? I totally thought BJ Upton would’ve gotten it, after all, he’s just been some kind of monster with home runs lately. 

So it’s going to be the Phillies vs. the Rays. Two very explosive teams, with two dominant pitching staffs. I don’t know too much about the Phillies, but I’ve collected a lot of new knowledge about the Rays after playing them for seven games. Their entire lineup is dangerous. They’ve got BJ Upton, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford (I’m pretty sure that’s the order) back to back to back to back! Their pitching staff was great in the ALCS too: James Shields (who pitched well, but lacked proper run support), Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza (duh), and Andy Sonanstine. The only thing they’ve got to work on is securing up that bullpen so they don’t blow a seven run lead (again) with seven outs to go. That would be ridiculous. As far as Phillies pitching goes, I don’t know much. I know a little about their offense though. They’ve got Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Chase Utley… looks pretty good. I think it’ll be an exciting series, I’ll be watching, will you?
Now to the Red Sox off season. What moves are Theo going to make? We’ve got some serious options, and I think some serious contracts are going to need to be signed. Before we get there though, I thought it was so sad that after the game, Kevin Youkilis did not want to take his uniform off and ended up staring at his locker for twenty minutes. I thought it was commendable how Mike Timlin went around shaking every players hand, congratulating them. He’s likely to retire. The saddest part of all, the part that makes me cry every time I think about it, is that when a reporter asked Jason Varitek about his contract being up, tears filled his eyes, he hung his head and said (in a choked up tone): I don’t want to talk about that right now. 
I don’t know if I can imagine the Red Sox without our captain. He is truly an example for everyone out there, and he had become a leader behind the plate. Sure his offensive numbers have suffered, but can you imagine what a train wreck the pitching would be without him? Seeing him go would be worse than seeing Johnny Damon go (and I still cry about that), it would be worse than seeing Manny go the way he did, I don’t know how I would be able to walk on two feet ever again. 
Remember, Mike Lowell is having surgery this offseason, hopefully he will be ready to go for 2009 spring training, but you never know. Injuries plagued him this season, so his numbers weren’t anywhere near his 2007 season. I have faith in him though, even though he’s steadily aging. So right now, our options are Kevin Youkilis at third, and Mark Kotsay or Sean Casey at first. Now, perhaps Mark Texiera coming to the Red Sox? That would be one hell of an acquisition but here are two problems
a) who do we give up for him?
b) one of our star players will have to be benched. If he plays first, then it’s likely to be Mike Lowell.
We’ll also have to make a choice on who to keep: Sean Casey or Mark Kotsay. Kotsay is more versatile seeing that he can play a solid first base or outfield, but you’ve got to love the spirits that they mayor bring along. Who can forget that time where he crawled back to the bag? Also, hopefully we’ll be seeing Jeff Bailey in spring training?
We’ve got to get rid of Lugo. Seven million went right down the drain. Plus, Lowrie is better and we’ll want to keep our utility infielder, Alex Cora, with us. 
Let’s bring back Clay Buchholz. I know he went something ungodly like 2-9 but the poor guy had his mechanics readjusted down in Pawtucket, and they obviously didn’t work for him. I think if he works hard this offseason, then he should be re-evaluated during spring training.
I think we should keep our outfield as it is right now: Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, and JD Drew. Sure Jacoby had his ups and downs this season, but he’s a monster on the bases and can make incredible catches. Perhaps Coco can be used for trading bait, but I think that the Sox should hang onto him.
I want to keep the following in the bullpen: Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson, and Jonathan Papelbon.
As far as what happens to David Aardsma, and Javier Lopez, well… we’ll see.
Tim Wakefield might be at the end of his career, you never know with him though. He can fool so many hitters with that knuckleball of his, but then again, if they catch on, he’s done for. Perhaps he can work on some more pitches for next season?
Paul Byrd: I don’t know what to do with this guy. He’s alright, but I think we should try and trade him to get someone better. Maybe.
Mike Timlin: Like I said before, he might very well be retiring after this season. All we can do is pay our respects to him for always having a great attitude. 
If we can trade Paul Byrd for some type of middle reliever, perhaps we can move Justin Masterson up into the starting rotation. That’d be great! 
I’m so sad that the Red Sox season is over. Now  I don’t have anything to look forward to every night, something to talk about with everyone at school, that’s always fun, arguing about games. It’s what baseball is all about. Shoving your passion down other people’s throats, like whatever they say in that Bank of America commercial. I’ll miss baseball season, and hopefully this offseason will bring some positive excitement in to the Red Sox clubhouse.
-Elizabeth

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