It happened. The impossible happened. The Red Sox lost. They aren't in the playoffs. Sports Illustrated picked them to win the World Series. They had a 9 game lead in the Wild Card with a month remaining. They led Baltimore 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. New York led Tampa Bay 7-0 in the eighth and 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two strikes. But Boston lost and Tampa won. It's over. But. We learned. We learned it's never over and we learned we can always improve. So let's not dwell on the season that was and then quickly wasn't, let's think ahead. It's time for my annual predictions and reccomendations on what they should do next year. After all, we still finished the season with 90 wins.
Players That Will Remain With the Team (Bold Predictions in Bold)
Players Leaving The Team
Players That Will Join The Team
Here's the rundown. The Red Sox will start next season like the Bruins started the '11 playoffs after their collapse (Boston has had their fair share of collapse, huh?) Cold. Just like the beginning of this season. Everyone will say the Sox will be done, but just like last year they'll come back. It seemed that there was a grand player in every month (Ortiz in April, Gonzalez in May, Beckett in June, Pedroia in July, Ellsbury in August, Scutaro in September.) Not this year. I think that the team will evaluate what they did wrong and change it. I can see Pedroia and Ellsbury and Gonzalez as potential MVP candidates again. Beckett won't be the same in 2012, but better than most even years of his career. Crawford will begin to pick up his slack making early career numbers once again. David Ortiz and Jason Varitek will be playing in the final years of their careers. Ortiz's numbers will skyrocket, but Varitek's numbers will plummet. The best addition will be Wilson although everyone will think it's Cuddyer. Lester will be the team's ace. Papelbon will bounce back and overtake Mariano Rivera as the best closer in the American League. Lavarnaway will see some more action when Salty is out. The Red Sox will win the division as more players leave the Yankees and Rays. The Sox will get to the ALCS, but eventually fall to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who will eventually beat the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. Everyone is wondering about Theo Epstein and Terry Francona. Here's what I see, Ken Williams, the Chicago White Sox GM, will come in and replace Theo Epstein as the general manager. Ken will play a James Spader type trying to replace the big boss while the one who replaces the manager is Terry Francona. Francona's not gonna lose his job! Enough worry. You gotta blame the players for the collapse. However, Ken Williams isn't replacing a man who has left. Theo will be replacing a man who has left who will be replacing a man who has left. My prediction: Bud Selig will step down as the MLB comissioner. Larry Lucchino, Red Sox president, will be called upon to replace him. Theo Epstein will take Larry's place as team president and Ken Williams will take over Theo's job. Larry will instill the 5-team playoffs into the MLB after watching Boston the past two years. The Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Tigers, and White Sox will make the playoffs from the AL and the Giants, Cardinals, Brewers, Phillies, and Marlins will make the playoffs from the NL. I'm basically just winging it here. Wishful thinking! It was a good season Boston! I loved watching, but definitely wanted to wake up when September ended. Have a good postseason everyone else. I'll see you all next spring when the Miami Marlins open the season.