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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Diary of a Sox Crazed Maniac Part Deux

With Spring Training more than a week underway, the Boys of Summer are not exactly what you would call a perfectly happy bunch or the clear-cut favorite to win the World Series title. However, the Sox are a very compatible bunch that is definitely in the running for a third title in seven years. Characters like Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon can off set the saga that will become the Mike Lowell story until of course he is traded. Which brings me to my next point.Batting cleanup is the Mike Lowell watch. As the baseball world knows by now, Adrian Beltre has taken or stolen third base from Mike Lowell. After much attempt to try and acquire Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Cabrera, the signing of Beltre should have been no surprise for Lowell. Lowell, who had surgery after the 2008 season, did not look right at all during the 2009 season. His production has not taken a serious hit but he is clearly not the stellar defender he has been over the course of his career. Now 36, Lowell is in a difficult spot in his career. He is a free agent after the 2010 season in a year where he makes $12M. That is a significant amount of change, which could make him un-tradeable, and a role player for the Sox in 2010. That is the last thing both parties want. Mikey is a professional so lets hope this marriage ends this way.In the fifth spot is the infamous Adrian Beltre. Theo and Co. gave him a one-year $10M guaranteed contract this off-season with the hopes of shoring up the defense at the hot corner. This shouldn’t be a problem considering Beltre is a two-time gold glove winner, both with the Mariners in 2007 and 2008. The concern that I have is with his bat. Beltre has not touched 90 RBI’s since 2007 and has only topped that mark twice. Also, he has only batted over .300 once and that was in a contract year. His OBP for his career is .325, which according to Theo’s theory of solid offense, .325 is not going to cut it. As a fan, Beltre has always bothered. The guy has all the talent in the world but never seems to put it together. Hopefully the “Green Monstah” and a better team can make Beltre worth the $10M investment. Another question is David Ortiz, as with the fate of Big Papi, so goes the Sox title chances. Papi, as we all know, got off to that horrendous two month start to the 2009 season and it appeared that Ortiz was on his way down. One of the most lovable players the Sox have ever had, Big Papi is in the most crucial season of his career. It has been two full seasons since Papi has cracked the 30 home-run plateau and two full seasons since batting anywhere near .300. Up until June 1, 2009, Ortiz had zero home-runs and was batting under .200 leading manager Terry Francona to drop Ortiz from his usual third spot to as low as 6th. Especially with Jason Bay not here, the Sox could really use a power boost from big Papi. He hasn’t had a walk-off hit in a long time either, maybe it’s time for one of those too…Who will be the fifth starter in the rotation? The seventh burning question is about Daisuke Matsuzaka. He comes into camp under a lot of scrutiny and it is tough to say that Dice-K does not deserve it. Looking at his Red Sox career, Matsuzaka has not always been on board trying to help out the big club. He is very much in love with his home country and he proved that last year by dominating (again) the World Baseball Classic, but in doing so, he overthrew and wound up spending more time on the disabled list than on the mound. No doubt Dice-K has the talent to win 20 games and no doubt the Asian Ace is very important to this pitching staff, but he needs to dedicate himself to this team. He was given the opportunity of the last three years to make a name for himself and show that he can be a reliable top of the rotation pitcher. He has not done that and with that being said, Sox Nation as well as Theo, are losing their patience with number 18.Batting eighth, as we are coming to an end here, is realigning the outfield really the best idea? With the signing of Mike Cameron, Theo, Tito, and the rest of the brass decided to move Web-Gem center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury over to left field to replace Jason Bay. This really is not the best idea and I am not really sure how having Mike Cameron in center field over Ellsbury makes the defense better. This is a problem for me on a few levels. First off, center field at Fenway is not easy to play and Ellsbury seems to have mastered it. Secondly, Jacoby is much faster than Cameron so his speed is being wasted in left field. Third, and most importantly, left field at Fenway is a joke. Manny Ramirez, who was an awful defensive outfielder, did better than a decent job playing there so why couldn’t Cameron repeat the same performance? The ninth topic was going to be about the potential of the Sox putrid offense, but that is a topic that has been mentioned a few times too many. In this case, the ninth topic will be a fans’ choice. What exactly scares you about the 2010 Boston Red Sox?  Please share your opinions on  www.umassmedia.com and on the website I will answer any such questions you have about the Sox and would love to hear your opinions.