So many decisions to be made…

Well, a valiant effort by everyone.  Fact of the matter is, when all was said and done, we just had too many injuries, and ran into too good of a pitcher come Game 7.

You gotta tip your cap to Matt Garza.  He had the game of his life.  But as crushed as I am, I’m not nearly as devastated as I was after Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

For starters, I was actually pretty surprised we were able to make it past the Angels in the ALDS.  They were the best team in baseball all year.  After making it past them, I figured we were playing with the house’s money.  This was especiaally true after we were down 3-1 against the Rays.

But it sure would have been sweet to make it back to the World Series with a chance to defend our title.

On the night of Game 7, a group of about 40 members of the Front Office gathered in a suite at Fenway to watch the game.  It was intense, it was thrilling, and it was very very sad.  We tried everything…moving into lucky seats, wearing the same shirts as the night before, etc.  But in the end, it just wasn’t enough.  Like many of you, as soon as the last out was recorded, someone shouted “shut this off!” and the TV screens immediately went to black.

There’s nothing worse than getting to a game 7 and watching the opposing team celebrate.  Maybe I’m just not mature enough for this not to bother me, but if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

So…here we go!  Our offseason is officially here.  The question is, what do Theo and Baseball Operations do?  Do you think we should re-sign Tek?  What should our rotation look like next year?  Do we make any big trades?  Where do you think we need the most help?

You know what’s funny?  All season I feel like people were clammoring for more bullpen help.  But in the end, the bullpen was one of our best strengths during the playoffs.  Okajima stepped up his game; Masterson found a way to get the big outs, and Papelbon, was…well…Papelbon.

Ok, time to continue clearing off my desk (no I haven’t been fired – yet) for an offseason office move…

All the best from a very deflated Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

29 Comments

I am not going to talk about last night. I can’t yet. It hurts too much.
But I will say this: Please re-sign Tek. I’m a big girl, I understand the reasons not to, but I still want to kick my feet an scream, don’t let him go! I know his offense has been lacking…or non-existent for quite sometime. I was super excited to see him hit that “homah” on Saturday…The only smart things the guys covering the game for TBS said during the entire ALCS was that Varitek is a computer. You can see his mind working, you can see him figuring out not just the next pitch but the next 2 or 3 pitches that Beckett, Lester, Dice K or Masterson is going to throw. Varitek knows how to work his pitchers, he knows how to get things done. I am willing to give him the credit for a good portion of Beckett’s decent performance on Saturday. It wasn’t vintage Beckett, but it was still a good go. Ok. I will get off my soapbox now. Let’s work on getting Beckett back to form and maybe getting a fourth solid starter ( no offense Wake).

Bethany

Re-sign Varitek? Of course you do! The biggest reason our pitchers do as well as they do is the man behind the plate. He knows batters as well as anyone and knows what pitches to call. His value as a catcher and captain is immeasurable.

You absolutely have to re-sign Tek. Even if he doesn’t get a hit all next season, what he brings to the defense is immeasurable, huge. Remember 2005? Tek got hurt and the season was basically over. Now, don’t get me wrong… Cash has done a pretty stand-up job, and we’ve managed to win under him, but give him another season under his belt first, at least.

Last night was heartbreaking. But I feel a sense of pride in my team for the way they fought it to the end. They could have given up in Game 5, but they never did. If they’d lost in Game 5, I would have been REALLY upset, but they slugged it out and made it last, and I’m proud. Of course, it didn’t stop me from hitting the couch last night when they lost, lol.

Keep Tek. He’s our heart.

Honestly? I think we need to rethink our DH situation. Although I think it might be impossible because people are blinded by love for Papi (present company included) as well as the fact that any trade at this point will require his approval. I’m not sure what impact the wrist injury is/was still having on him the second half of the year, but we need our #3 hitter driving in runs. Pedroia and Youk can’t do it alone.

It was a great season, I have no complaints or regrets. I hope to see more courageous actions in the postseason reflective of the Manny trade and even rethinking the DH. I am in a quandry regarding Tek-his greatest contribution is intangible-it is a very hard decision. Will our pitchers be their best without him? Congrats to all, who can ask for more than playing your best, this is the scrapiest team in either league and I love them for it-thanks to all.

since we are talking about our DH — does anyone know what Ortiz’s t-shirt said last night? He was wearing a new shirt under his jersey — my friends and I were taking bets on what it said. My vote was for “Dear Manny, I miss you like crazy. Please come back to Papi.”
Can’t wait until April.

Bethany
http://tekett.wordpress.com

I’m not the least bit heartbroken. Disappointed — sure.
Everyone wants their team to win.

This was an amazing ride of a season…overcoming losing players to injuries, playing with injured players — controversies off and and on the field. Making history in their comebacks — that’s just magical.

These guys are all heart and soul and all about the game. You don’t find players who are so gracious in their defeat – as they are in their victories. There is a comraderie that this team has that many others could only wish to have.

I am so proud of this team — and they are absolute champions to me. Sometimes it isn’t just about the title of winning it all.

Do you re-sign Jason? Unequivocably, without a doubt. Shouldn’t even be a question. And to have seen his reaction to the question about him returning next year…sigh. This just should not even be a question.

Keep Wake as a 5th — but definitely obtain a solid 4th. Pitching is definitely a concern, and while the bullpen did well – middle relief is still a drum I’m banging.

Timlin… I love him, but I truly think his time has come.
Sean Casey is a great first baseman – but we’re not a shortage of those. So what do you do.

To stay with Lowrie or not…I’d suggest yes — why rotate SS yearly? He’s young, and he’s got room to grow.

Have to legitimately think about 3rd base with Mike Lowell’s injury — how much of an impact if any will the surgery have on his performance.

Changes will need to be made — it is going to be an interesting offseason to see just what happens!

Rebecca
http://supergoddessgirl.blogspot.com

Okay. I’m done crying at least until I go to bed tonight. This summer has been THE BEST summer of my life because of the Red Sox. I’m a Kid Nation Captain & got to make lots of new friends. I met reporters from NHK TV in Japan. I made friends with kids in Latin America through my Red Sox blog on MLB. Joe Chamas & the other people in the office were so great to us kids. Dustin Pedroria was awesome to the Captains. Meeting with us, giving us autographed ball and an autographed picture of me with him. Gettign to go on the field and yell play ball was the best moment of my life. The Kid Nation Captains are collecting winter coats for kids so they can stay warm this winter. I read a lot with Youks Reading Club. Win or lose the Red Sox are a big part of my life and I admire everyone of the guys because they play their best on the field and try to help people when they’re not playing. I loved watching every game I have been a Red Sox fan since I was 3 and saw my first game and I can’t wait until next year. And if anyone from the Red Sox reads this PLEASE RE-SIGN VARITEK and WE WANT SCHILLING if he decides not to retire.

Love
Victoria
redsoxkid
http://redsoxkid.mlblogs.com/

This was a great season. Yes I’m sad about not making it to the World Series but as I look back at all the injuries, this group of men showed their character. My hope is as they look back they’ll realize that playing as a TEAM, giving it their best, stepping up when team members go down, that’s says alot about the 2008 season.

Yes you sign Tek, think of the crop of young pitchers coming up. You need this man’s ability to lead and teach. That is a God given gift this man has; he’s a true professional.

Get healthy everyone and we all can’t wait till next season.
The Teacher

How come no one is talking about getting another big bat in the middle of our line-up. I love what Jason Bay did for our team in the second half, but lets face it, he’s not even close to the hitter that Manny is. I’m really hoping to see the Sox make a legit offer for Matt Holliday, who would be a beast hitting at Fenway.

this team better resign v-tek

they better resign v-tek

First of all, I want to say the Sox did a great job this year with everything that went on. From Japan, to injuries, to Manny. (I like the team better without him. Manny plays for Manny & no one or nothing else. He is a great hitter, but so what. There’s more to it than that.)

Signing Varitek is necessary. There are not a whole lot of quality catchers out there and when it comes to handling the pitching staff, I don’t believe there is anyone better. The pitchers have a world of confidence in him, and that is really important.

Apart from this, I am really hoping the Red Sox have no intention of trading Ellsbury or Lowrie for a pitcher or catcher. Ellsbury brings so many things to the table and Lowrie has proven that he can be a really good shortstop. Their defense is great & I believe the offense will become more consistent the more they play. All 3 players have to be kept.

I’m sure next year’s team will be very exciting & can’t wait until spring training & the new season.

Please, absolutely do re-sign Jason Varitek! Yes, his offense was down this year, but what he does behind the plate and in the clubhouse can’t be replaced. He doesn’t wear that ‘C’ for nothing! Tek has some good years left for sure, and when he’s done, he should retire in a Red Sox jersey–and then become a coach!

how is the office move going, Insider?

Bethany
http://tekett.wordpress.com

I love tek! He is sooo goood behind the plate guiding our pitchers. He hasn’t been as good this year in batting but he is our guide behind the plate. He knows all the players and is very good as a leader!
I love Wakefield but feel we need a new #4. I don’t want to trade him. Can he be number 5. I think he has given a lot to the Red Sox and love his knuckleball when it’s on target.
Also, what about Schilling, I just love that guy and hope he stays with the redsox.
I hope Jacoby gets fired up in the off season because he is fun to watch-he flies around fenway in the field and on the bases.
I love our team and would hate to lose any of them.

ughhh…the move is ZERO fun, Bethany. Moving is by far my least favorite thing in the world. And doing it in a cramped space with dozens of your co-workers at the same time does not make it any easier…(side note: I love all of my co-workers)

-“The Voice”

The pain has been short lived: it was a fun year, filled w/injuries, and some unfortunate (Manny) drama. But, when you stop and consider that last year’s MVP didn’t play in most of the play-off games, that’s huge. Before long, we’ll get some official word on something-medical about Josh Beckett, and other aches, pains, and possible surgeries, will unravel, as well. It’s been a great year. Period. And for those of us who’ve been at this a long time, we can all celebrate that the annual wail, “Next year!” isn’t as forbidding as it once was, and that alone is TERRIFIC!

Im so proud of my Bo Sox!!! There is always next year and it will be great. To the Red Sox nation up north you have got it so good. Try being a fan living in Florida!! I tell these people when they see me in my Red Sox apparrel at least our fans did not jump on the band wagon after these guys won 70+ games.We have stood behind our team win or loose and will continue to. Lets see how many fans come back to the Trop next year even if they win the series. They are fair weather fans. I know Im one of the true Red Sox fans that go to the Trop to watch my team and the Rays fans are out numbered 25-1. Please keep Teck and Ellsberry you got the better of two worlds the experienced and the getting experience. Red Sox fan for 50 years and still PROUD!!!

without sounding like a complete devils advocate… does everyone really believe varitek is that valuable as a “game manager” etc..??

obviously none of us are in the clubhouse to see what kind of contributions he has as a leader etc… but i have an issue with the idea that hes this great pitching coach on the field or whatever we want to call it. where was he when craig hansen was spinning his wheels on the mound or when clay buchholz was imploding outing after outing?

my point is its preferential logic. whenever a pitcher does great its tek and when they suck its the pitcher.

anyway, if you can sign him at your price then you do it for 2 years. at least this way you’re set up to figure out an exit plan for the varitek era which is something that shouldve been happening 2 years ago.

Yes, ews1532, I think most Red Sox fans–and players, and management–think Tek is one of the best game managers in the game…elite level…and that it does matter. (The pitchers still have to execute the pitches, though.)

But I sure agree about a 2 year contract…I was talking about this with a friend and that’s exactly what I said to him: Offer him decent money for two more years. I think the Tek era has some very valuable life left yet, but it’s definitely closer to its end than its start.

Now, “Voice,” what’s this I read about trading Lowell? For Texeira? No, thanks…

I think Will is trying to start a riot. I also read about a hypothetical trade for Texeira … it made me sad. But I have said it once and I will say it again, our friend Theo is smart. If he thinks trading Lowell for Texeira is the best move, eventually we will all have to deal with that idea. And are we going to go after Derek Lowe who supposedly put Boston on the top of his list for places he would be willing to go for next season??? I say bring the guy back. We need a little spice in the player gossip department, don’t we?

Bethany
http://tekett.wordpress.com

Please, please, PLEASE – if you do anything, resign Tek. I will be heartbroken if you let him get away. He is the heart and soul of the team, and is worth his weight in gold even without stellar offensive production.

Who, me? Start a riot? I’d never even consider such a thing… 🙂

The Mets are going after DLowe — and even if they weren’t I’d highly doubt the Sox would retain him again.

I think the Sox would trade Lugo and a collection of folks before Lowell; but who knows – though I think decisions would be made much further out than this.

Rebecca
http://supergoddessgirl.blogspot.com

Keep Tek. Of COURSE keep Tek!

I don’t pretend to be unbiased here — who can help being biased when it comes to the Captain? But quite apart from all the team owes him, and apart from leadership and famous ‘intangibles,’ there is no way the Sox are ready to replace what he does. His defense is still rock solid, he’s still the best there is at calling a game. The pitching staff still relies on him. He still gives his all, every game, and it shows. No one available can begin to fill those shoes.

Wake? I repeat: “of course!” He, too, looked pretty worn out by the end of this season, but didn’t everyone? He can be relied on for double digit wins, and his 4 mil contract remains a bargain. (Sure, I’m biased about Wake too, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s worth keeping).

Mr. Insider, go into the front office with a nice hot cup of coffee for Theo & sit down and tell him that he HAS to
sign #33 Captain Jason Varitek to at least 2-3 more
years,with a coaching option at the tail end. I live too
far away, so you have to go see him & talk to Theo. He
seems very smart, so he will listen.
Also, please tell him that I am still waiting for a thank
you for sending my Red Sox boys the Good Luck Fruit
Arrangement (huge) that caused the fruity sugar rush
and great feelings that led to the Game 5 7th inning comeback at Fenway. Maybe he could send me Jason
Varitek wrapped-up in a bow (signed contract in hand).
Best wishes to both of you. Someday I will send you a
fruity arrangement, so don’t feel left-out. I will be watching for news of the new Red Sox – Varitek contract.
P.S. How do people get those field box great seats ??

This team would be in the WS if Epstein could have gotten over his own ego issues and NOT traded Manny. You are all ridiculous if you think that in any way, shape, or form this is a better team without OUR All Star HOF slugger. The FO screwed up by not even talking with the man about his contract and then did a great job getting fans to think that Manny was all in the wrong. NO story is ever as one-sided as this one was presented to be. People you need to get real and not believe everything you read and hear from people who have a stake in you believing only their side to a story. I have been a Red Sox fan for 50 years and that is my opinion of that situation.

I posted this on the Halloween blog, but maybe more appropriate for this one:
Here’s what I’d like to see, for what it’s worth… It’s safe to say we all love Tek, and realize what his value to the team is. Sign him, sure, but don’t get into a bidding war for him. His agent has already begun to float a story out there about the Tigers’ interest in him, in an attempt to drive up his value. Offer Tek the “Wakefield job,” and see about a younger catcher starting to take over the everyday job. Is Cash the guy, or is there someone else out there? By the way, if Tek does leave and we like having an older catcher on the roster, grab Brad Ausmus- a Connecticut native with an Ivy League degree.
As far as the rest of the lineup is concerned, try this on for size: Mark Teixeira. Sign him and put him at first base. Move Youkilis back to third and trade Lowell and Lugo as a package to whomever is willing to take them. Sure, we’ll end up eating half of their salaries, but for Gold Glovers in their mid 20’s at first and third? Heck yeah!
This one move would make Tito a very happy man: Jacoby/Coco leading off, Pedroia batting second, Ortiz, then Teixeira. Then at five-six-seven run Youk, Bay and Drew. Our new catcher at eight and Jed batting ninth. Wow, think of the McCarver-isms that this lineup could produce!
Those two moves, phasing in a new starting catcher and signing Mark Teixeira, would allow the front office to focus on the pitching, which already looks pretty solid as it stands. Forget Sabathia- go for Jake Peavy (another move with the Padres?!?) and a few fresh faces in the pen, and we’re ready to make the AL East ours again!

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