Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Red Sox Fade to Third - Down and Out

The Red Sox season has been over for a while, and I'm not going to get into that now. Last night they played the finale of a 4 game set here in Toronto, and it was the Jays's last home game of the season. The Sox played like they cared in the first two games, but went out meekly and quietly in the last two. Taking 3 of 4, the Jays slipped past the Sox, moving 1/2 a game ahead into second place. Oy.

Sorry folks, but I can't remember the last time the Sox were in 3rd place this late in the year, and the same for the Jays being in 2nd place. Well, being a Sox fan living in Toronto, it was a strange game last night. I was in the cheap seats courtesy of a baseball buddy who talked me into coming out to the game. I expected the Sox to be flat, boy, did they deliver.

So, that's all I'm gonna say - I'm sad to say I was witness to this trading of places in the standings. It may not last, but for a least a day, the Jays can be pretty happy about where they are. Actually, they've had a great season considering their injuries, and they will definitely be a factor next year and beyond.

For what it's worth, the combined payrolls of the Jays and Sox are a touch less than the Yankees. I think if you took the best 10 guys from each team and put them together, the Red Jays could give the Yanks a good run for the money. But that's not gonna happen, and boy, do the Sox have some work to do in the off season.

Here's the view from 500 level seats in the Rogers Center courtesy of my Nokia N90 - I can't imagine being this far away from the action in any ball park, and I've been to quite a few.



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ipcom said...

Posted by: Jim Courtney

Bring on the Bruins! 4-1 in preseason play!

And may the Jays hold 2nd place for the remaining six games.

ipcom said...

Posted by: Call Cruncher

Thanks for the post.

ipcom said...

Posted by: JF

It always comes down to pitching. While the Sox got ravaged by injuries at the end of the season, it was thier pitching, or lack thereof which killed them. The bullpen outside of Papelbon was awful and thier starting pitching was not much better. They went into that 5 game series at home against the Yankees relatively healthy, yet thier pitching stunk up the place.

While Theo deserves the credit for putting together a team that finally won the World Series in 04, he has to accept some of the blame for this year's poor finish. First, he traded what has turned out to be two very good young players for Becket (over 5 ERA) and Lowell. Second, he made no moves at the trading deadline while the Yankees were able to pick up Abreu and Lidle.

Now I like young talent as much as anyone, however, I also believe that you always make a deal for proven talent vs. potential. The Sox decided to stay with young talent (may work out in the future) and not make a trade to improve the club for this year. I think Theo deserves a hit for that.

So, the Sox go into the offseason with a number of question marks. They have to improve thier bullpen, especially if they decide to put Papelbon in the starting rotation. They have to improve thier starting pitching, unless youngsters like Lester show that they are the real deal. And finally, I think they need to add some help for thier two monsters in the middle of thier line-up.

I forsee a busy offseason in Beantown!!!