NO LONGER A BAY STATE
The way I look at it, Jason Bay was a nice little diversion, a fill-in, a substitute. He bridged the gap from that dog, Manny Ramirez to the long anticipated Mike Cameron era. In a heartbeat, Theo Epstein turned on a dime, signed Jon Lackey and Cameron and made the Red Sox a team richer in pitching and defense. Cameron and Jeremy Hermida will platoon in left and Lackey adds further depth to an already rock-solid rotation. Mike Lowell is still twisting in limbo, but I can’t imagine him coming back after this deal with Texas. The thing that scares me is that the offensive lineup has about as much pop as a day-old bowl of Rice Krispies. That may sound greedy, but we’re not trying to keep pace with the Orioles, or anyone else really, except New York. It leads me to believe that Theo may put Clay Buchholz up on the block for a third or first baseman. Kevin Youkilis will play the other corner, with Marco Scutaro at short, Dustin Pedroia at second and Victor Martinez catching. If Max Ramirez “bears fruit” you keep Youk at third and put V-Mart at first. Jacoby Ellsbury will patrol center and when he’s healthy enough to play, J.D. Drew will be in right. Hopefully, in the final year of his contract, David Ortiz will return to some semblance of his glory days. A rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Lackey, with Buchholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka and even old Tim Wakefield, would be unmatched in the Majors. The pen is solid. You need some pop off the bench. That is easily remedied. I was extremely pleased with the Lackey deal. Cameron somewhat surprises me, though. He is said to be a good influence in the clubhouse, and he gets on base. Obviously, the Sox covet that. I can’t say I’m really excited about this stuff, but I am a little intrigued and optimistic. Lackey is 31 and should have several good years ahead of him. Cameron is 36 and is near the tail end of his career. If Boston is any good this year, and I do thjnk they are MUCH better today than they were yesterday, Theo will deserve credit for going to Plan B and making it work.