Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Stretch Of Meaningless Games Is Over

As I predicted, the Sox finished with a 9-4 record after being eliminated by the Twins, completing the season with a record of 83-79. That means the Sox have had four consecutive seasons of between 81 and 86 wins. Relentlessly consistent mediocrity. Determined mediocrity.

I would not be surprised for the Sox to make major changes in the offseason. I'm not sure they'll make all the right changes, but I think major changes will be coming.

Here are my initial thoughts on what the Sox need:

(1) A top-of-the-rotation starter. As I've written before, Brad Radke would be my number 1 choice, since he would not only make the Sox better, he would make the Twins worse in one fell swoop. Other targets would be Odalis Perez, Carl Pavano, and Matt Clement - roughly in that order.

(2) Two quality relievers. The Sox desparately need an upgrade over Cliff Politte in the 7th inning spot. They need a Tom Gordon type guy who can come in and hold the lead until Marte and Takatsu close out a game. They also need another high quality lefty to help out Marte. In the alternative, they would need a very good 8th inning guy to move Marte into the lefty specialist position.

(3) A high-OBP leadoff guy. Not much explanation necessary here. A guy who will get on base and score runs when the boppers in the order hit what otherwise would be solo home runs.

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