Yes, the Sox lost a heart breaker last night. I'm beyond it now - I was 10 minutes after the game. That's what winning two World Series in four years will do for your damaged sports psyche. The Patriots going to the Super Bowl four times in the last seven years and the Celts pushing toward their first title in two decades didn't hurt. But that's not the point of this post.
One of the things that makes me more excited about the Sox this year than in years past is the fact that they are absolutely loaded with talent at all levels. Not just "Handley Ramirez/Jon Papelbon" loaded but they literally have about 9 guys down at the farm that could be starting for other major league teams. Just look at the decision the Sox have to make today when they option Craig Hansen and Jed Lowrie down to Pawtucket. Both have kicked some tail this time around in the Bigs.
What's nice is that we also have loads of veteran major league talent at every position too. There isn't one position right now where I look and say, "if only they had someone good at position x" (okay, maybe I say that about Lugo sometimes but even he doesn't give me too much Agita). Yes, there bullpen could use a little TLC right now but they'll get that sorted out soon. Delcarmen will come around and Timlin will probably end up on the DL for a long stretch. They will also likely deal for a power arm to set up Papelbon in the 7th or 8th to complement Okajima. That's the role that Delcarmen is supposed to fill - he may yet - but I'd prefer to see him come in the 6th and/or maybe the 7th.
One of the reasons why this is such a fantastic time to be a fan is that it feels like the Sox have a perfect mix of big league talent and dozens of assets down on the farm. They now have the luxury of taking the Twins approach of grooming their own talent and integrating experience with young power and enthusiasm. Or, they can go the route of the big market teams like the Mets, Yanks and Dodgers and trade for whomever they please come the trading deadline (my money says they go the former rather than the latter except to pick up a power arm for the pen).
Two separate notes:
- The last four or five games that I've turned the Sox on, they've been losing, only to immediately pull ahead within minutes. They've of course lost two of those games in the ninth inning (Lugo error game and blown Papelbon save Friday night). Not necessarily a trend I'd like to see continue but kind of exciting nonetheless.
- Guess who just suffered one of their first big injuries of the season. If you guessed the Blue Jays (Vernon Wells is out 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist) you are correct (I mentioned this in a post about a month ago). If I were one of the 7 Blue Jays fans out there, I'd start wondering if the "Curse of the Bambino" has moved several hundred miles north.