First off, I just wanted to say that my football picks from this past weekend were so bad, that I am allowing myself a mulligan and pretending that this past weekend did not happen.
I know that most people would say that I've got to take the good with the bad. But these are my picks and this is my blog, so my rules.
This past weekend the Tampa Rays defeated the Red Sox in Game 7 to move on to the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. After the game I tipped my hat to the Rays and congratulated them (I said this to the television, I wasn't actually there at the game). But, I will be honest and say that I probably won't watch as much of the World Series as I have in the past. It's probably because the Sox got so close and didn't make it, but I am just not that psyched up for these games. I would have been happier if either the Red Sox or the Dodgers had made it. But I'm sure that the people in Tampa and Philadelphia are ecstatic.
Since Tampa hasn't been around as a franchise for as long as Philadelphia, I will be rooting for the Phillies. Tampa has only been around for 10 years, and Philadelphia hasn't been in the World Series since 1983.
Getting back to the Red Sox, they have a busy off season ahead of them. First and foremost, they need to decide what they are going to do with their captain, Jason Varitek. He is still their leader, and he handles a pitching staff probably better than anyone in baseball. But, he had one of his worst seasons offensively this year. If I'm not mistaken, he left around 15 runners on base in the ALCS. With their not being a whole lot of catching alternatives out on the market this winter, their best bet may be to resign Varitek to a 2 year deal (he's 37 now) and look for catching help. Other issues that will have to be addressed will be whether to keep Mark Kotsay or Sean Casey, who are both free agents. If I had my choice, I'd keep Casey because I feel like he's a better hitter than Kotsay and can deliver in clutch situations better than him.
Other issues will be who will take the 5th spot in the starting rotation. Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, and Wakefield (he has an option that the Sox will most likely pick up.) are all coming back. The Sox need to decide whether to put Bucholz in the rotation, move Masterson back from the bullpen into the rotation, or go out on the open market and pick up a pitcher (Jake Peavy?).
These, among many other issues, will have to be decided upon before spring training next year. It should be a busy time for the Sox and many other clubs.
I am a baseball fan, but the off season is a very exciting time for me also! Trades are made, contracts are signed, salary caps are juggled, it's a very fun time of the year. I can't wait until spring!