Comparing this bad start with the other recent bad starts, I find myself strangely optimistic about this particular iteration. Maybe it's because I've been so wrapped up in NHL playoffs and busy with work that I haven't had time to watch the repeated bed-crappings, or maybe, as Jim at Sox Machine pointed out, there have been much fewer complete no-shows by the offense. I think, however, that it's simply that the pitching on this team is really quite good. Yes, the starters have been somewhat underwhelming, but I expect that to turn around, and if it doesn't, this entire post is moot. Assuming, as most of us Sox fans did prior to the season, that the pitching is good enough to keep the Sox in contention, how can the Sox maximize their current assets and field a competitive ballclub?
Jim's post about A.J.'s possible precipitous decline got me thinking about the answer to that question. A close friend of mine, a die-hard Mariners fan, always roots against the players on his team that he thinks are worthless, hoping that their performances become so egregious that the team has no choice but to bench/release/DFA them. I think we as Sox fans have reached that point with A.J. and Kotsay. The more they suck, the quicker Ozzie will be to replace them.
I commented on a recent game thread that Andruw Jones reminds me of Jermaine Dye. Both were highly regarded early in their careers, enjoyed some success, and then had a few off years due to injury (or excessive pizza intake) and fell off the map. JD was 32 when the Sox acquired him; Andruw, though he's been around forever, is 33.
Andruw Jones might be the next Jermaine Dye. Tyler Flowers is continuing to rake in AAA. If we replace Kotsay and A.J. in the lineup with (everyday) Jones and Flowers, the offense looks a lot less feeble.
Oh, and while we're ousting 2005 heroes, let's remove our fifth- or sixth-best reliever from the closer's spot, yes?