Hey everyone, welcome to today's chat. Just finished polishing off a blog entry on Milton's Rich Hill, who got a win in his Sox debut. Check it out. On to the questions
How many more years do you believe Papi can consistenly produce, and what is your reasoning for this number?
Patrick, My crystal ball is in serious disrepair. I'm afraid to go back and look at who I predicted would be in the playoffs this season. Hey, we both know that the prediction business is a crapshoot. What we do know is that David Ortiz is turning 35 this November, an age that in the pre-PED era meant a guy was nearing the end. We also know he is batting just .208 this season against lefties, which means the Sox are going to be more and more inclined to want to platoon him in the future. Do I think Ortiz can hit 30 home runs again next season? yes. Would I venture to guess he will stay at that level beyond 2011? No. There will be slippage, although you look at what Jim Thome is doing for the Twins this season, and you realize that the lions in winter can still produce
Gordon would love to hear your take...Everyone is saying that Kalish is like Trot Nixon...as big of a cult hero as he was he wasn't the BEST ballplayer that Kalish should be compared to. Kalish has more speed, better defense a better arm, better baserunner, could hit with more power and although doesn't have the eye right now could get better plate discipline as he gets older. I would actually compare him more favorably to a young Grady Sizemore...I'm more inclined to see him then Ellsbury anywhere near the lineup next year.
Ryan, Whoa...I'm not sure too many baseball people are prepared to put Kalish in Grady Sizemore's class just yet. That's a pretty impressive skill set you're talking about. The Trot Nixon comparisons are easy to make, because of Kalish's all-out style of play and intensity, although his total disregard for his own body while diving for balls might bite him in the butt one of these days. And you know, until Kalish makes it as an everyday player, you can't call him Trot just yet. But I love the potential; he's been exciting to watch.
Hey, sorry about that, but I just got some good news from a family member who was looking at a serious health issue. Hope you understand, and now I'm pumped, so back to the questions
This is kinda out of left field but wanted your thoughts. I'm a SOX fan in the NY area and have watched RA Dickey tear it up for the METS this season, what are the chances he supplants WAKE as the SOX next knuckle-ball pitcher.
Shoot, Brian, why would the Mets want to part with Dickey, the way he has been pitching? Wakefield is thrilled for his fellow knuckleballer; they've talked quite a bit in recent years and Wakefield has offered lots of advice.
The opinion of Sox fans has changed seemingly overnight. Many have said that the season is over, and start looking towards 2011..Now all of the sudden I am hearing that they have a chance, no matter how minute, to make it. With 6 more games with the Yankees and the Rays playing the Bronx Bombers 5 more times, do the Sox truly have a shot?
Kyle, Mathematically, they have a chance, but it would take a total collapse by the Bombers, and that's not happening. Even my crystal ball is clear on that one
Theo called 2011 a bridge year, but they are going to have holes at 3B/C, questions in OF, 3 questions in the rotation (getting paid ~$40m total), plus Papelbon's K9, BB9, etc declining over the past few years. Is 2012 a bridge year too?
I can't think of a single comment in my years of covering the Sox that has been overblown more than the "bridge" comment by Theo. (Well, maybe Carl Everett's "curly-haired boyfriend," but that's another story!) People have tried to spin it that Theo was conceding '10 as a building year and bridge to next season. I maintain that the Sox without the injuries would be right there till the end with the Yankees and Rays. You don't have a $170 million payroll and say you're rebuilding. I am nowhere near as pessimistic about next season as you are. Yes, they have to make decisions about 3B and C and DH, the outfield is filled with questions, but Papelbon remains a premier closer, and the rotation with Lester/Buchholz at the top still has a chance to be elite. Let's see what moves the Sox make before we talk about '11 being a bridge year.
Should we Trade Papelbon this off season and bring Bard in as the closer? Don't get me wrong I like Papelbon but we've watched his stats slowly go down year after year and I almost feel like we need to get something for him while we still can.
Dave, There are two things that argue against trading Papelbon: One, we all identify the bullpen as a problem on this club, but it's not the back end of the pen (Papelbon/Bard) that is the problem. Bard has tremendous value right now as an eighth inning guy. Do I believe he will be the closer in 2012? Yes. Do I believe Papelbon is worth holding onto for one more year? Yes. Here's the other issue: With Papelbon just a year away from free agency, I don't see how the Sox would get anything close to equal value in a deal.
Gordon - is lester going to make his scheduled start on sunday? i know last week they pushed him back, and now that they seem to be out of the race would they do it again? or do you keep putting him out there on his day to pitch and let him climb back into the CY Young talks?
Pete, I've heard nothing to suggest that Lester will not make his scheduled start. He's pitching great right now--four straight 10-K+ games--with a chance to win 20. No reason to shut him down now.
With Jed Lowrie, Ryan Kalish, Jarred Saltalamacchia, Lars Anderson and JJ Redick making solid splashes in the line up and showing their potential to be everyday players, do you suppose the Red Sox will cut ties with some older players such as Ortiz, Drew, Cameron and Tek. Or other possible moves to maybe get a couple of these younger players at least in the 25 man roster for 2011?
Joe, of the players you mention, I think Jason Varitek is the least likely to return next season. Saltalamacchia will be in the mix nas one of Boston's two catchers, in combination with Victor Martinez if they bring him back, or with another catcher the Sox acquire via trade/free agency. I believe Ortiz will be back. I think a healthy Cameron comes back next season, perhaps in a fourth outfielder's role. I believe Kalish and Reddick will be given a chance to win a job, with Reddick probably going back to Triple-A for more seasoning. JD is in the last year of his contract; at that money, he can't be traded, and I think the Sox feel he can still contribute for one more year. Lowrie's health factors into every decision about him.
Gordon, What do you think are the chances of the Sox bringing back both Martinez and Beltre? If they do, what type of contracts will it take?thx
Paul, That's the great question. I think Beltre is in position to make a big score on the FA market, probably in the $15 million range. Sox might consider three years, but four looks like a stretch. Teams like Tigers, Angels, White Sox could all jump in. V-Mart is an interesting case. Other teams have the same questions about his catching as Sox do, but with the catching market so thin, someone might be willing to offer more for V-Mart than the Sox are prepared to pony up. But if they don't re-sign those guys, they're going to have to beef up their offense somehow.
Perhaps "closer by committee" was as overblown as "bridge year"?
Rob, that's a good one, too, although the Sox did indeed scrap the committee plan in '03, with the trade for Kim.
If the Red Sox were in a mind to do so, how difficult would it be to deal Dice-K this offseason? Would he and Boras fight the no-trade issue significantly, or would they think a fresh start elsewhere might work to Dice-K's advantage?
Rob, you get a two-fer. While I haven't put the question to him directly, I think Daisuke would be open to a trade to some places, like Seattle or LA
Does this club have enough in the tank or for that matter believe they can make one last push for the playoffs?
In a word: No.
Do you me on next years team? Who would I play with and who would get traded? What free agents will we sign
Darnell, you've made a nice contribution, far beyond what anyone expected. Shoot, the Sox announced they'd designated you in May, but kept you around when Ellsbury went down again. For your sake, let's hope you played well enough that you'll get a chance at a big-league job someplace. But i don't expect it will be here. Sorry.
Hey Gordo - longtime reader - question is more about what the contrast is in your day in in the 24/7 web driven world of sports reporting as opposed to your days covering the Sox for the Globe. What do you see as the advantages/disadvantages? Is the pressure more intense or less intense since your deadlines are different (constant?)
Charlie, That's a great question, deserving more of an answer than I can provide just in this chat. The 24/7 Internet world has pretty much blown up the notion of a "scoop." In the newspaper world, you might have a story to yourself for a full day, and people would have to chase the next day. Now a scoop lasts roughly 10 minutes. The hunger for immediate information, that's a huge change, and I think can lead to more mistakes, as the rush to be first often means time is not given to double check things as much, and mistakes are made. And I'm not sure how much value a reader puts on a story for being well-written, which is where I often placed my energies.
Hey big Yankees fan, do you think they will win the division?
Kollin, are you talking to me? Big....Yankees.....fan?I think the Rays win the division. Yanks have too many pitching issues. Sox spoil the celebration last weekend of season. But as Sox have always said, the most important thing is to get into the tournament
Hey Gordon, Glad to see your family member had some good news to share. That's excellent. What I also think would be excellent is another shot at Adrian Gonzalez. Despite his HR rate being slightly down from last year, his avg. is up and as everyone says, he'd fit well at Fenway. Any murmurs about another bid for him before he gets swooped up by another team? On a separate but related note, call me a naive optimist. I think there's a silver lining to our abundance of inhuires - we get to showcase the young talent we have at the major league level. Trade bait?
Drdw, here's the "murmur." Kenny Rosenthal on the Fox game of the week telecast last week quoted Padres boss Jeff Moorad as saying it's a "foregone conclusion" that AGon will be back with the Padres in 2011. That trade does not look like it will happen.
Gordon, I have been a big ellsbury fan and I think a lot of people are forgetting how dynamic of a player he has been at the top of the lineup. With that being said, I think I would like to see the sox go after Carl Crawford at the end of the year and use a rotation of Cameron, Drew, and Kalish for center and right. I think Beltre will price himself out of Boston and feel Ellsbury would be a great chip for the infield bat the sox will be coveting. Your thoughts?
Tom, I think the Sox will be in on Crawford, but it seems to me that most people figure he will end up with the Yankees, with the Angels having an outside shot. I'm not sure how much trade value Ellsbury has after missing most of this season
I have not gotten to watch a lot lately but is Lars Anderson ready to take over at first and does that make lettign Bletre go possible or is he still a year or two away from being ready to play everyday
Chris, Sox have been singing Lars' praises since his callup, so much so that I wonder if they're marketing him as a trading chip. His defense has improved and he finished strong in Pawtucket, but I don't think Sox are ready to assume he could be their first baseman next season.
Hey thanks everyone, but we have an odd start time today (3:40 Seattle time), so I'm headed to the ballpark