Just as we did last season, we'll give Red Sox Nation five easy steps to help improve the team. Last year, the Red Sox hit on 4 of the 5 (Rafael Soriano they could've used), but too much beer and chicken apparently got in the way.
1. Trade Kevin Youkilis - I know, you think I'm crazy. But let's be honest -he's reportedly becoming a malcontent behind the scenes by getting into everyone's business and he can't stay on the field. In the last three seasons, Youk has been on the field for just 120, 102 and 136 games. He's yet to play 147 games in any season in the bigs. Trade now why the value is high.
2. Bye bye guys - That means bye bye to Tim Wakefield, Jason Veritek, Jed Lowrie, John Lackey. The time has come for Tek, who can't even manage to hold the clubhouse together. Wakey is more interested in one more win than the team these days. Lackey is well, Lackey and the fans just won't accept him back and Jed Lowrie, like Youk, can't stay healthy.
3. Put Aceves in the rotation - Alfredo Aceves is a guy with a rubber arm that can give you those badly needed innings from your fourth and fifth starter, something they could not put together down the stretch in 2011. Let new GM Ben Cherington round out his bullpen the right way, not the Theo way and let Aceves round out the rotation.
4. Free agency - Acquire quality! That means bringing guys like Mark Buehrle and Josh Willingham in as bit players. Buehler as a 4th starter with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester & Clay Buchholz and Willingham to take over right field.
5. I can dream can't I? - Bring in Dave Martinez and Jim Lackey from Tampa to be manager and pitching coach to get this team back on track. It won't happen, but I can dream, right? We're probably more looking at Tony Pena, Dale Sveum or someone like that to come try and manage this team back into the playoffs.
Bit parts - Ryan Lavarnway gets a full stint in Boston as the #2 catcher, Mike Aviles gets the full shot at the utility role.
Now as for David Ortiz, I'm torn. There aren't many guys out there that can bring you 20 HR's and nearly 100 RBI's anymore and Ortiz is one of them. If they can agree at a lower salary great. But if not, I'm not paying $12 million a year for a DH that is that old. I'd rather overpay for Prince Fielder and bring a young stud like him to Fenway.