The Red Sox have three catchers because……? – A Bleacher Report Article

With Ryan Lavarnway joining the team, the Red Sox have three big league catchers active.
In my latest for Bleacher Report, I question the wisdom of a team with this many holes not making a deal with one of their catchers.

You can read the who article HERE.

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A healthy way for Red Sox fans to view the 2012 season

OK, it is early in the season. But there is something so pure about how the Red Sox lost the first three games of the season that it actually is helpful and refreshing.

Remember last year? They had sky high expectations and started 0-6 and 2-10.
It was confusing.
It was perplexing.
It was unexpected.
And it haunted the Sox in September as they missed the post season by 2 swings.

This bad start?
Please, it is helpful.

First of all it clear illustrates what is wrong with the Red Sox.
What happens when you go to see the doctor?
The doctor asks “What’s the problem?”
You explain the problem and the doctor tries to help fix the problem.

That is EXACTLY what is happening with the Red Sox.
What seems to be the problem?
No starting pitcher is reliable other than Jon Lester, and even if the offense comes through, the bullpen stinks.

OK, then what is the solution?

I think for all Red Sox fans, we need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves 5 things.

1) There are 159 games left in the season.
2) The Tigers are actually one of the elite teams in the game.
3) The Red Sox are probably not going to make the playoffs.
4) That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
5) We ALL told everyone on the planet Earth that we just needed one World Series title before we died. We’ve had 2.

It is indeed a long season and who knows? The Red Sox could go on a nice winning streak. They could be getting the bad feelings out of the way early.

But guess what?
There might not be a quick fix.
Doctor’s can’t always prescribe a pill and sometimes surgery is needed.
Sometimes a natural healing process needs to happen.

And sometimes it is a good thing to have some pain in the body.
Pain tells us where the problem is.

And here is the Dr. Sully Diagnosis:

I’ve been saying this since Spring Training. The Red Sox are 8 players short of a pennant contender.
At least 2 starting pitchers… At least 2 Relief Pitchers… A Catcher… a Shortstop… A Rightfielder… And a Third Baseman for 2013 (Youkilis should become the full time DH after Ortiz’s contract expires.)

There is no way that they will fill 8 this year.
But 4 isn’t out of the question.

Imagine if the Red Sox develop 4 players this year.
Let’s say that the Jose Iglesias becomes the starting shortstop and fields his position well.
And Ryan Lavarnway shows he can be a decent big league catcher.

And someone like third baseman Will Middlebrooks or reliever Alex Wilson or Junichi Tazawa (who is only 26 years old) can fill holes in the team.

If that happens (which isn’t as unreasonable as asking a team to climb back from an 0-3 hole with Rivera on the mound), then the Red Sox will go into the 2013 season with Youkilis, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Lester, Ellsbury, depth up the middle and a slightly deeper pitching staff. Take Ortiz and Dice-K off the books and you fill the final 4 holes and BAM!

I see the 2013 Red Sox as legit pennant contenders.

That’s a healthy way to look at the season!

Not as a rebuilding season… but as a healing process.

And don’t give me the nonsense that “We can not accept anything less than a Championship team!”
Since when?
When did “Now I can die in peace” become “I need a miracle daily.”

The sooner we accept that we aren’t a playoff team the better. It will make this year a lot more fun to watch. It will be a recovery season where we see the new great Sox team rise from the ashes.

If they DO win it all, then great!
If they DO make the playoffs, then wow! It’s a bonus.

But if they have their third straight third place finish, at least we can say “At least we are heading in the right direction.”

Relax Sox fans.
Enjoy the season.

You are going to feel a little pinch.

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OK, it might not seem like there is much to be happy about tonight. The Rays were getting killed… the Red Sox were winning.

The Rays were a strike away from losing and the Sox were a strike away from winning.

And then NOTHING went right.
So what can we feel GOOD about?

I found a few things.

1. Young Red Sox fans have THEIR moment of angst!

I have a formula that you start to follow a team and know the players when you are 7 or 8 years old.

Keeping that in mind, every Red Sox fan 15 years or younger only know the Sox as a team that is capable of winning the World Series. The idea of them being able to let you down is unheard of for them. They are too young to remember Aaron Boone… they have memories of 2004 but much clearer ones of 2007.

Now they have experienced 2011. They can turn to us older fans and say “Was it ALWAYS like this?” And we can say “It was WORSE!”

2. The loss shows that we are stronger as a fan base

Since winning the 2004 and 2007 World Series, the Red Sox lost a heart breaking 7 game series against Tampa, saw a Papelbon melt down to end the 2009 playoffs, missed the playoffs in back to back seasons including this year’s historic face plant.

And oh yeah. The Yankees won a World Series in that stretch.

A season like this will toughen us up a bit. Maybe it will weed out some of the band wagon pink hat fans.

And frankly the losses don’t hurt as badly as they used to. You don’t have the “When will I EVER see them win?” angst.

And when the Sox DO win again, it will be sweeter.

3. Isn’t it nice to lose without being reminded how long its been since you’ve won?

There were no black and white clips. No Bucky Dent homers being shown on a loop. No mentions of curses. Nobody was looking for a piano in the bottom of a lake in Sudbury.

This wasn’t metaphysical.
The answer to the question “Why did the Red Sox lose in 2011” isn’t being posed to an exorcist.

It is about baseball. Their pitching sucked.
Most of their starting pitchers were awful. Bard was rotten. No mystery.

4. There was no 2011 Red Sox champagne celebration

Even if they won, they didn’t earn it.

5. Maybe this will help Theo kick his “expensive free agent habit.”

Theo helped construct two World Series winners by following the blue print of the 1990’s Yankees.

These days they resemble the Yankees of the 1980s! Expensive, full of stars and yet not good enough to make the post season.

For the second straight year, injuries and a shockingly thin pitching staff derailed the Red Sox. And some gigantic unmovable contracts are eating up payroll.

With J. D. Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka coming off of the books, the temptation will be “BUY MORE STARS!” I say no. Develop more Ryan Lavarnways! Throw that money into developing players from within.

Remember, we were all happy when Crawford arrived. And how symbolic was it that the ball JUST eluded Crawford to end the season while his old team went on to win because of superior young talent and a stronger farm system.

Another title can’t be bought, Theo. Develop the next winner. We’ll wait.

6. We still have the old DVDs to watch

The era of Idiots and Cowboy Up is over.

Varitek, Wakefield and Ortiz may or may not even be on the team next year. Papelbon is probably gone. Drew and Dice-K (both 2007 post season heroes) are all but gone.

Manny, Schilling, Pedro, Lowell, Meuller, Damon… they are all gone.

A new Sox team is slowly emerging. Pedroia, Gonzalez, Youk and Ellsbury are the new leaders but whenever a new pennant winner will emerge, it will look and feel quite different from the ’04 and ’07 team.

It’s the end of the greatest stretch in Red Sox history.
Let’s savor it.

It wasn’t long ago that were were resigned to the fact that we would NEVER see our team win the World Series.

It’s happened twice. It’s been glorious.
It’s over. And man it was fun.

7. You can spend this October with your family

Remember them?
Instead of fretting over the Red Sox all October and cursing at the screen, go talk to your wife, your kids, your husband, your mom and dad.

Go do some fun fall things.
Oh make a self deprecating Red Sox joke while you are at it, but you will be amazed how much time you will have on your hands now.

And wear your Sox hat while you go out too!

Show that you are not a fair weather fan.

Yeah it was a rough night. But that’s what makes us tough fans.

Walk tall Sox fans.

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