August 7, 2008

Goodboys Nation Weblog Interoffice Memorandum

TO: Terry Francona, Manager, Boston Red Sox

FROM: The Great White Shank

RE: Red Sox Lineup

First of all let me state that I was in complete agreement with your desire to personally help punch Manny Ramirez’ ticket out of Boston. No one ever said the dude couldn’t hit – as always, the question was just how much crap you and the head honchos on Yawkey Way were willing to put up with over the course of a season. Without a doubt, you were doing a Batusi with the devil, and after two World Series titles it was time to give the devil his due and allow him to take his stage and screen act to La-la Land. And I know you as well as I and most of (if not all) Red Sox Nation wishes Manny well and thanks him for all the good times over the past 7+ years – after all, there’s no way we in in 2004 and 2007 without him.

That being said, let’s talk lineup. And I mean permanent lineup – at least as permanent as any baseball lineup can be this time of year just before the pennant race kicks into it’s September high gear. I know you know that the post-Manny craze had to be allowed to run its course. And I know you know it made no sense to make certain changes that would set unfair expectations of anyone on the team to try and replace Manny – after all, you don’t replace a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer just like that. But I also think you know that the lineups you’ve been sending out these last few days fly in the face of what you know you ultimately have to do.

So let me be the one to tell you what you already know you need to do. We can keep it just between you and me, and when it’s wildly successful feel free to take all the credit. Frankly, I don’t need it. I just want the experience the enjoyment of sitting back and listen to the sound of that engine hum when all the pieces are finally put in their right places.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. Kevin Youkilis
4. David Ortiz
5. Jason Bay
6. J.D. Drew
7. Mike Lowell
8. Jason Varitek
9. Jed Lowrie

Why this line-up, you ask? For the following reasons:

One, Ellsbury needs to be up at the top. Period. Whether he’s going good or going bad, he needs to stop thinking about his swing or whether or not he’s Johnny Damon incarnate and just get on base. There’s no pressure on him – with Pedroia and Youkilis following him and Lowrie just behind him there’ll be plenty of opportunities for baserunners by the time Big Papi comes up. So he can relax and simply become boy wonder.

Two, The Manny Era is over and it’s time for Big Papi to realize he’s now The Big Stick around which the rest of the line-up will function. He’ll have plenty of protection around him – Youkilis is an animal in the third spot and Bay is already showing he’s got one quick bat. Between those two, he’ll get plenty of good pitches to hit.

Three: Mike Lowell is NOT a clean-up hitter, he’s a doubles machine. And I want that lower third of the line-up to start making a little more noise and spreading the hitters around, which is what hitting Lowell seventh and Lowrie ninth do. You have to assume you’re not gonna get anything more out of Jason (.219) Varitek than you’ve already been getting, so you need to surround him with some bats to avoid those dreaded quick innings.

Four: Whether Lowrie is a long-term solution at shortstop or not is not the question right now. The fact is, the guy fields his position well and dude knows how to hit with men on base. Putting him at the bottom of the order will also take a little pressure off Ellsbury at the top.

So there you have it. This is a lineup that works and will work well. Use it, and prepare for the rest of the American League to be the lawn and your team, the World Champion Boston Red Sox, to be the John Deere X700. You’ll be mowing and mulching like you never dreamed possible with what’s-his-name gone. Take my word for it.

The Great White Shank

Oh, and P.S. – if Julio Lugo’s name ever graces this line-up for more than a cup of coffee the rest of the way, be assured our relationship will be terminated.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:18 | Comments (2)
  1. Frankly, if I see Julio Lugo’s name on a Red Sox lineup card ever again, I’ll be writing a sternly-worded letter to corporate my self.

    Comment by Dave Richard — August 7, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  2. 🙂 But you don’t understand – Tito loves to play the veterans! Get ready to take a spot on the pine, Jed.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — August 7, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

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