I am a Yankees fan but, I love when the Red Sox are good. When the Red Sox are good and the Yankees are good, baseball is good. The epic battles are what make me tune in game after game 162 times a year.
When the Red Sox beat the Yanks the first eight meetings of the season it was a media frenzy. The Yanks fans were panicked and Sox fans were arrogant, and to see the Yanks come back and almost sweep the rest of the season to win the Division and eventually the World Series was fantastic.
So, that said, this offseason has got me a little concerned that the Red Sox have taken themselves out of the race. Hear me out, the additions of Adrian Beltre and Mike Cameron sound good and have been talked up like it was 2004 when Beltre was good and Cameron was only 32.
The loss of Jason Bay is very understated by the Sox. Bay hit more HR's and RBI's than Cameron and Beltre combined. Bay also struck out 162 times last season but, still ended the season with a better batting average than either of the new acquisitions. Mike Lowell hit .290 last year and had 75 RBIs. That 75 RBI doesn't sound like much until you see that Beltre only hit 44 last season and Cameron only 70.
That brings me to Marco Scutaro. Scutaro is a definite offensive upgrade for the Sox at short stop but, his offensive numbers last year were career highs in every category by a long shot. The career .265 hitter (he hit .282 last year) will probably revert back to himself.
Scutaro will turn 35 this year and he is replacing a 25-year-old. Mike Cameron is 37 and Beltre is 31. Bay was 31, so the only place you are getting younger is third base and you lose so much offense there that it shouldn't even count.
That brings me to Lackey. A terrific No. 3 guy in the rotation. He's 32 and has good stuff, but he has terrible injury problems. On a rotation that has seen Dice K, Wakefield, and Beckett spend some serious time on the DL in the last two seasons you can't afford another guy in the training room.
To me it looks like the BoSox have taken themselves and placed their team behind the Rays for 2010. Maybe Im wrong or maybe the Sox will be scrambling come all-star break looking for their lost offense and a fresh arm. Time will tell.