So wait a second. This is the only World Series we're having? The one that starts tonight? Crap. I need to go back to Downtown Crossing and rough up the guy that sold me this Red Sox AL Champs hat.
I'm just kidding. 1. I can't rough anyone up and B. Of course the Red Sox are out. They lost to a better Tampa team. They got 4 lousy nights of starting pitching from Beckett, Lester, Wakefield and Matsuzaka at the most inopportune time and it was too much to overcome. Fair enough. The question now is, what do they do to improve the ballclub for next season? The gist of this mostly impenetrable and snoozily repetitive interview with Theo Epstein is that the entire way the organization is now constructed precludes the need for massive season to season upgrages/moves.
He says that the Red Sox try to be league average at each position and above league average at as many positions as possible. Looking around the field, the one glaring position the Sox sit below league average is now catcher. No glossing over that one. Jason Varitek is a free agent this year and despite being a Seminole, Kevin Cash probably isn't a starting catcher for a contender. The free agent pool for catchers is non descript and any moves would have to come via trade. Big names like Russel Martin won't come cheap, and Epstein is rightly reluctant to part ways with too much young talent. A strategy that's paid off.
All of this sounds far less exciting than this team actually was to watch this year. Even though Beckett and Lowell were hampered all season, the maturation of Youkilis, Pedroia and Lester made this team as fun as last year's World Champs.
If I can channel Theo Epstein for a second, the Red Sox stay above average more consistently than any other baseball team in the 21st century. That's a pretty good sign for another good season next year.