I have watched and listened to a good majority of the Red Sox games this year, and though I know you have a far more intimate knowledge of the team, I wanted to offer a few suggestions, just based on my amateur observations.
1. The team isn’t aggressive in manufacturing runs. This you know – they don’t bunt, ever. They steal infrequently (even Pokey has been a station-to-station guy, despite his surprising average). They have had a hard time coming back and maybe the strict devotion to a sabermetric strategy hurts us here. Bottom line: tell Tito to loosen up, keep other teams on their toes by forcing a third baseman in on the grass, etc. In the long run a couple of sacrificed big innings will pay off, particularly in the playoffs. The “book” on the team won’t be so easy to read.
2. We need a bottom-of-the-rotation guy. This you know. Wakefield has been as erratic as the knuckler lately, and it’s time to give up on the Bronson Arroyo learn-on-the-job crap. Arroyo hasn’t won in 7 weeks or something. The Sox have been out of the games he has pitched by the 5th inning too many times. If he makes 25 starts this year, we might win 9 of them. That’s unacceptable.
3. Do not overpay for anyone but Randy Johnson. This you also know. Even taking into account my own posted item #2 above, you can probably get one of Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia, Tom Glavine, etc. for less than you think. Be clever (I know you are), pull a Billy Beane and get a third team involved. That way, we can avoid relying on Kim and his active middle finger as our bottom of the rotation savior (though I know if he’s healthy he can help) and keep the team intact.
4. Do not trade for offense.
5. Tell Tito to have a couple of extra fungo sessions over the next couple of weeks. Waaaay too many unearned runs, as you too well know.
Anyhow, I realize that much of what I write here has been covered in other press, even maybe within the front office on Yawkey Way, but I still think this is the best team in the East, despite the last 50 games. We’re almost there – fill in that 5th starter and we can make it back to the top.