2009 Red Sox: RIP

What an utter disappointment. The Red Sox actually showed some signs of life today, but could only watch as the Los Angeles Angels chipped away with two outs in the 9th off closer Jonathan Papelbon. First, it was Willy Aybar with an 0-2 single, then it was a Chone Figgins walk followed by a Bobby Abreu double. Terry Francona elected to put Torii Hunter on, and finally, it was Vladimir Guerrero that sank Boston’s postseason.

Perhaps the worst thing to happen in this series is the realization of every one of the paranoid Red Sox fan’s fears: this offense stinks, Papelbon is losing it, and the Angels are a better team. None of these is true. Yet here we are facing the sad reality of getting swept out of the first round of the playoffs.

The offense did stink – in this series. But it is a good offense. I’ve written about that already.

Let’s address the Papelbon issue. Fastball after fastball resulted in only 1 swinging strike, which sure raises some questions. Second guess all you want, but he was pumping 95-96 mph heat like he usually does, and the Sox needed only one more out. There were several times where the game could have been over, but the Angels always put a good swing on the ball when it counted. Give them credit, they executed; no blown calls by umpires, no muffed plays, just good hitting by the Halos.

As sad as this ending is, I think the Halos earned this win, and the right to face the Yankees in the ALCS. I hope they pull off an upset and go to the Series.

Alright, a few days to mourn, then let’s get on to plans for 2010.


4 Responses to 2009 Red Sox: RIP

  1. Pat says:

    Not that I like blaming people, it’s tough when there is no one to blame. Papi stunk, but he earned the right to play with a stellar second half.

    I like our chances in 2010. I’ll just take a deep breath and move on.

  2. Tim Wright says:

    With the Papelbon issue, many people are saying that he needs to go. I’m not so sure.

    He may be slipping a little since last year, but statistically he had a great season and I don’t think Bard is 100% ready to take over as the full-time closer.

    I think Papelbon is up for arbitration this year, they should resign him for the year, put bard in the setup role and see what happens. He’s been great for the Red Sox since he came to the club, I think he’s earn some loyalty.

    And one more thing, how bad a catcher is Victor Martinez? I think 3 or 4 Angels easily stole on him this ALDS. They need to break in a real catcher next season and prepare for either moving Martinez to first/Youk to third after Lowell leaves or YouK you third, Vmart to DH and someone like Prince Fielder to First (in 2011).


  3. Pat says:

    I like the idea of getting a real catcher a lot. I’ve been thinking for awhile now that what I want in a catcher first and foremost is good defense: good pitch calling, good pitch blocking, good percentage catching base stealers (sorry Varitek, not you).

    I think if the rest of our lineup is solid, we can afford to have a defensive catcher with a bad bat.

  4. redsoxtalk says:

    Papelbon – There is absolutely no reason for the Red Sox to let him go or trade him away, since he is still under team control. He’ll earn real closer money in 2010, but considering how little he’s been paid so far, it’s more than fine. I’ve mentioned several times my stance that when free agency finally does come around, the Sox should take their two draft picks and say thank you and good luck to Paps, who wants top-tier money.

    Catcher – Martinez has certainly brought the whole catcher defense into sharper focus. I am in favor of moving him to 1B/DH eventually as well, but the problem is that we have Mike Lowell and David Ortiz signed for another year. My guess is that you’ll see another year of Youkilis, Martinez, Lowell, Ortiz and (Varitek?) sharing duties at C/1B/3B/DH. I am in favor of bringing in a youngish catcher (25+ years old) to play and take over in 2011; I was really pushing for Chris Snyder or Miguel Montero last offseason, but the Montero boat has likely sailed with his breakout 2009. All this and more to be covered in subsequent posts!

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