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Red Sox Shortstop Situation Is a Big Deal

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 08:  Alex Gonzalez #3 of the Boston Red Sox singles against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the third inning of Game One of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 8, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Amanda BrunoCorrespondent INovember 17, 2009

This is nothing new to Red Sox fans.

Ever since fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra was traded away in 2004 on the final day of the trading deadline, the shortstop position has been a revolving door.
Here is a list of players (in alphabetical order) who appeared in at least one game at shortstop since 2004:
1. Orlando Cabrera
2. Royce Clayton
3. Alex Cora
4. Cesar Crespo
5. Nomar Garciaparra 
6. Alex Gonzalez
7. Nick Green
8. Ricky Gutierrez
9. Jed Lowrie
10. Julio Lugo
11. Alejandro Machado
12. Hanley Ramirez
13. Pokey Reese
14. Edgar Renteria
15. Ramon Vazquez
16. Gil Velazquez
17. Chris Woodward

That's right, 17, count them. Seventeen. It appears there is a serious problem.
Jed Lowrie was supposed to fix the problem in 2009, but injuries got the best of him. Now it's even being questioned if he can handle being the everyday shortstop.
Lowrie only played in 32 games and batted a miserable .147, with two home runs, 11 runs-batted-in, six walks, and 20 strikeouts.
After playing for Boston in 2006, Alex Gonzalez was brought back into the mix in 2009. He not only had a defensive answer, but also made an impact on offense, which was an added bonus.
The Sox declined Gonzalez's $6 million option, but that doesn't mean he can't still be the starting shortstop in 2010. According to Tony Massarotti's article in The Boston Globe, after Gonzalez files for free agency, general manager Theo Epstein can start discussions for a new contract that won't cost as much.
Gonzo batted .284 in 44 games with five HRs and 15 RBIs. He didn't fare as well during the postseason as he only went 1-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout.
Should Gonzo be brought back as the everyday shortstop? He certainly proved during his brief time that he's capable of handling it. 
The answer is right in front of Epstein. Now that J.J. Hardy discussions are long gone, he should do the right thing and not overthink the situation.
If not, who else is there to fill in the role?
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