Back to the Red Sox

Research Paper.jpg

It’s done! It’s finally done! Thank you all for the positive support that you have shown me throughout this entire process. From topics to write about, to the intro paragraph to the outline to the rough draft, you guys were always there for me. I think that speaks wonders for the wonderful community that we have here. 

I want you all to know that I took into consideration each and every comment that you gave me. You guys caught some really important stuff. Whether it was my contradictions, or my tense changes, or the places that I should separate my paragraphs– it all really helped! 
It’s not like I haven’t been keeping up with the Red Sox. Research paper or not, I always check in on the site. I’ve made it unavoidable for myself because it’s my homepage. 
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I’m feeling quite confident about the Red Sox’s 2009 season. They went into 2008 with basically the exact same roster that they came out of the World Series with… so the question is– what happened? 
Curt Schilling 3.jpg
First of all, Curt Schilling was NOT healthy. He didn’t even make one pitch for the Red Sox. Not that I blame him or anything, I would not have wanted him to pitch unhealthy. So to fix this problem, the Red Sox went out and got John Smoltz. His role is almost identical to what Schilling’s was supposed to be last year. Schilling wasn’t supposed to come back until June of 2008 and look when Smoltz is supposed to come back: June 2009. Luckily Smoltz feels healthy. 
Josh Beckett.jpg
Josh Beckett was not his 2007 self. Like I said a few entries ago, Beckett is like a cyclical economy, only not as proportional. He has a really good year, and then he has a mediocre year. A cyclical economy is a bit more extreme. Statistically, he’s due to have a good year. Even Francona says that he looks like his 2007 self. Beckett made some interesting speculations during his interview. He said he was “catching up all year”. It started in Spring Training when he had back spasms. I was at that game, I was really excited because I had never seen him pitch before (I still haven’t seen it)… then Manny Delcarmen pitched. It was still fun. 
Clay Buchholz.jpg
We never had a solid fifth starter. It started with Clay Buchholz, the no-hitter phenomenon. Turns out he still needed a bit more seasoning in the minors after he posted a 2-9 record. So the Sox sent him back down to Double AA Portland– the problem was, they never really planned for this. Who was their fifth starter going to be? They experimented with Bartolo Colon (he was a bit of a fluke– good luck to you Chicago fans). Then there was Dave Pauley, Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden, but we all know that they still needed seasoning (Pauley is long gone now). Then we finally acquired Paul Byrd in late July– it helped a bit. So what did the Red Sox do to improve on that? They went out and got not only John Smoltz, but Brad Penny. That Brad Penny acquisition was perfect– I’m sensing a comeback year. I’ll report back if I like what I see at Spring Training. 
Jacoby Ellsbury.jpg
Jacoby Ellsbury was not as “Jacoby Ellsbury” as he was in 2007. But what do you expect? Everyone is worrying about how they don’t know what he’s going to do in 2009. Relax. Here is what I predict: He will bat about .285, maybe a bit higher, he will steal more bases, and he will be more consistent. Plus he still makes those incredible catches in the outfield. 
David Ortiz 2.jpg
Big Papi was not “Big Papi”. When this happens, it’s remarkable that you even get to the ALCS. His average dropped, his home runs dropped– everything dropped. So Ortiz worked out during the offseason, shaped up a bit, and rested his wrist. That was the big problem, I think he’ll be back. 
Manny being Manny was no longer the pride of Red Sox Nation. I loved Manny, I really did, but he had to go. He was just too worried about his contract and what was going to happen next year. If he can’t deal with the business of baseball, then he shouldn’t be playing. So he left, but boy did we get one hell of a guy. Jason Bay came in and performed beautifully. Not to mention that the “lack of experience in October” that everyone was fretting about turned into “Wow, Jason bay is thriving in October!!”. A better season this year? Oh yes. 
Mike Lowell 2.jpg
Mike Lowell’s hip basically blew up. A torn labarum I think it was– that doesn’t sound pretty, and it wasn’t. It was painful watching him being in pain. He lost his range over at third, and he lost some power in his bat. When that happens to your 2007 World Series MVP, what are you supposed to do? Well, not only did the Red Sox management go out and get Mark Kotsay, Kevin Youkilis stepped up and went to third. He looked like he played third everyday of his life (and I think he was brought up as a third baseman). 
The bullpen was inconsistent. Everyone was tired during the summer, and you could tell. Poor Jonathan Papelbon would not have pitched in Game 7 if he had been needed. We overused him because our relief was inconsistent Well just look at our bullpen now! We definitely have one of the best in the Majors. It’s also good to know that Papelbon feels rejuvenated now. 
Not to mention the great looking bench that we have. When you have a guy like Rocco Baldelli coming off your bench, I think you’re in pretty good shape. By the way, I think Rocco would like us all to know: He feels fine. I can imagine that he has been asked that questions way too many times. 
Both of the contenders for starting shortstop say that
they are ready to go and that they feel great. The article about Lugo made me feel a little bit guilty though. I didn’t forget about him!! Maybe I was just– angry! I know that he has always been a second half guy but… that doesn’t mean that he’s allowed to blow off the first half! After reading that article, I’ve decided that the shortstop spot is completely wide open. I don’t want Julio to be nervous about living up to his contract. That’s the problem with all the money in baseball these days, it puts pressure on these guys. I hope that Pedroia, Youkilis and Papelbon don’t let their nice contracts get to them. I don’t think they will.
Speaking of contracts, the Red Sox management have mentioned that they would be in favor of a salary cap. Like they said, it would just take time. Time to figure out how exactly to do this. It would be great for some teams, but it would also hurt other teams– like the Red Sox. They are in favor of a “competitive balance”. Well, wouldn’t that make baseball even better if the games were even closer? It would be tricky for general managers to try and work out their teams, and would players be in favor of taking some pay cut checks? I like this idea, I just don’t want to see another 1994. It would make baseball easier to relate to though– it would bring it closer to the level that the New York Knickerbockers wanted to keep it at: an amateur game. 
I’ll be doing a full look at the Red Sox’s roster in the near future. 
I have the final draft of my paper (with footnotes too!). If you are interested in a copy, please leave a comment with your e-mail or e-mail me at, and I’d be happy to send it. 


  1. Elizabeth D.

    Julia: Yeah, that would be great! Luckily we have a bench and a deep pitching staff.

    Melissa: I’m glad it was, just a few minor changes!

    Aaron: Thanks, and lol!


  2. Jane Heller

    Congratulations on finishing your paper!!!!! You must feel so relieved. I can relate, just knowing how I feel when I turn in an article or a book. Just such a sense of AHHHHHH. So give yourself a pat on the back. As for the Red Sox, they look strong and I’m sure the rivalry will be fun to watch this year.

  3. raysrenegade

    The thing about the Boston pitching this year is the fact they did not have to mortgage Yawkey Way to get their staff. It should be fun to see the Rays play the Red Sox in that first series of the year in Boston.

    I love a great series with pitching match ups that sizzle from both sides of the dugouts. And in 2009, I think both teams have a lot to prove to themselves and the fans. Some of your signed new relief corp members might struggle at first coming over from the National League, but the back end of that Bullpen is still strong ans will be feared for years to come.

    On the bases, you are strong again, but the David Ortiz situation hopefully will not rear its ugly head in 2009. I truly think he should of had off season surgery to clean those wrists up, but we shall see if he is truly healed after about 100 at bats. I am not trying to smack talk, just hope that it is a injury free year for everyone bu the Yankees. lol

    I always look forward to your accounts on the Red Sox. Hope you get an “A” on that paper, or turn your teacher inas a Florida Marlins hater.

    Rays Renegade

  4. Elizabeth D.

    Jane: I spent so much time on it! It prevented me from watching MLB Network, which I missed greatly.

    Jeff: Thanks, I hope the same, and that they demonstrate the beauty of baseball that I talk about in my paper (not the ugly parts).

    Happy: He’s wonderful to watch! I was surprised we got him– he’s such an Atlanta guy!!

    Rays Renegade: The beauty of one year, incentive laden contracts– sounds like the entire free agent market this year (except for the Yankees lol). I’m hoping to make my way up to a Red Sox vs Rays Spring Training game. We can hope!! I think you’re right about the bullpen– pitchers do tend to struggle when transferring leagues (specifically national to american). Hopefully the “rest” that the doctor prescribed for Ortiz was enough. I hope nothing bad happens during the World Baseball Classic.


  5. Elizabeth D.

    Bob: We definitely had one of the best teams on paper, those injuries just really hurt us. It’s remarkable that we got as far as we did.

    Caroline: I hope you’re right!!


  6. rockymountainway

    If you keep writing your school papers like you do your blog and the same passion comes out you’ll be fine! I’d love to check out the finished dealio and for sure the grade you get! You know where to find me : ) Congrats again on wrapping it up. Wait till college and it’s 30 pages minimum!

  7. Elizabeth D.

    Tom: 30 pages… are you… serious?? I hope that I can write about passions that I’m passionate about.

    King: Thanks!!! and will do!


  8. Elizabeth D.

    I just realized that my comment to Tom made no sense… I hope that I can write about stuff that I’m passionate about.
    And thanks Julia!!!

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