Red Sox Nation with a gay flair



State of the Nation


On the night of President Bush's State of the Union address, I thought it would be interesting to assess the state of Red Sox Nation.

Defense
The 2006 Boston Red Sox will be a much better defensive team. Mark Loretta, Alex Gonzalez, Mike Lowell, and Coco Crisp will all be defensive improvements over last year's Sox. Kevin Youkilis is yet to be proven at first base but will be platooned with gold glove winner J.T. Snow. Manny will be Manny; Trot will be Trot; and Varitek will be Captain. The Sox will be an elite defensive team next season.

Offense

Last season, the Sox were MLB leaders in runs scored (910), hits (1579), doubles (339), RBI (863), batting average (.281), OBP (.357), and OPS (.811). Those are simply crazy offensive numbers and frankly, offense isn't what makes world champions! Take the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox as an example. They only cracked the top ten in MLB in one offensive category last season (5th in the majors for home runs). The Red Sox are going to take a step back offensively next season. Coco Crisp and Alex Gonzalez will most likely not provide the offense that Johnny Damon and Edgar Renteria provided. Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis are question marks. With this said, the Sox can afford to lose a little pop from their bats next season and still be quite fine.

Pitching
On paper, Red Sox pitching has improved all around. First of all, we have an abundance of starting pitchers (Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon, Wakefield, Clement, Wells, Arroyo). This depth is a great advantage, especially considering Schilling's & Beckett's health concerns and Clement's drop in performance in the second half of last season. Julian Tavarez, Rudy Seanez and David Riske are nice, experienced additions to the bullpen, providing some solid set-up men for the 6th & 7th innings. A healthly Keith Foulke is an important part of a successful Sox team, especially with the expected drop in offense. Let's hope that the successful mantra of "Timlin in the 8th; Foulke in th 9th" is revived in 2006. The lack of left handed pitchers is a bit worrisome (the only lefties on the roster are Abe Alvarez, Lenny DiNardo, and David Wells), especially since they gave up two of our left-handed specialists in Myers and Bradford. Ultimately, it will all come down to pitching next season. A healthy staff will propel this team into the playoffs.

The offseason has been very busy for the nation. "Tonight the state of our union is strong." It's going to be an exciting 2006!


On the DL - MLB Gossip Queens


Check out this blog called On the DL, a site which dishes out gossip on our favorite major leaguers. The writers want you to "Think of On The DL as Page 6... but all about baseball. Read juicy blind items and let your mind ponder over which dirty major leaguer it might be. Send us your guesses and gossip! We love the baseball dirt!" And Sox players definitely make numerous appearances on these pages....


TANGENT: Wally Szczerbiak is hot!


The Celtics traded for a hottie on Thursday. Check out Wally Szczerbiak! He's definitely going to make Celtics games interesting to watch!
















Sox enjoy some Coco Crispies


After weeks of the hot stove rumor mill working overtime, the Boston Red Sox have finally landed their man. Coco Crisp will be sporting a Red Sox jersey for the 2006 season and beyond. Crisp was by far the best available option for the Sox outfield. He fits both of the holes left by Johnny Damon (center field and leadoff hitter) and will cost the Sox somewhere around $32 million less over four years. He's energetic and has a name that Sox nation will fall in love with. I can only imagine the shirts that they'll be selling around Fenway next season!


Welcome Back Theo!!


Our favorite GM is returning to our favorite ball team. It was announced today that Theo Epstein will be returning to the Red Sox in a "full-time baseball operations capacity". The Sox released the following statement:
"As you know, we have spoken frequently during the last 10 weeks. We have engaged in healthy, spirited debates about what it will take over the long-term for the Red Sox to remain a great organization and, in fact, become a more effective organization in philosophy, approaches and ideals. Ironically, Theo’s departure has brought us closer together in many respects, and, thanks to these conversations, we now enjoy the bonds of a shared vision for the organization’s future that did not exist on October 31. With this vision in place, Theo will return to the Red Sox in a full-time baseball operations capacity, details of which will be announced next week.”
If we could have only been a fly on the wall during some of those conversations! It's pretty much popular belief that Theo is the best man for the head job of baseball operations. It's also very promising to see that John Henry and/or Larry Lucchino were able to do what's best for the ball club and "keep the door open" for Theo. Theo's back....now let's hope that he can find us a center fielder and a short stop!


Rookie Flashback - Mark Loretta


Mark Loretta is going to look good at second base next season. Loretta is a career .301 hitter and is a solid defensive addition to the Sox infield. He is also very patient while at the plate and will hopefully push up the pitch count on that elderly pitching staff from the Bronx. Now if we could only find someone to play at short next to him!


Cowboy tries out a different kind of bird...


Kevin Millar agrees to one -year deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Kentucky Fried is moving south! Love-'em or hate-'em, Kevin was an integral part to the Sox's 2004 run. Good luck in Baltimore!


Join a Group!


I found a Yahoo group especially for gay Red Sox fans. They have a bunch of links, photos, email streams, updates, etc. It's a great way to connect with other like-minded fans. Click the button below if you're interested in joining!


Click to join gaysoxfans


Rookie Flashback - David Arias-Ortiz



So who is Big Papi, international man of mystery? Apparently our favorite Red Sox player is the man of many names. D.O. doesn't have a rookie card, but D.A. does. Senor Papi's full name is David Americo Arias-Ortiz. As his rookie card shows, I guess he used to go by David Arias. Anyone else up for starting a David Arias chant at Fenway this season?


Hungarian God of Hits


Our GM's by committee have apparently solved one of the big questions for next season - first base. As of now, the Red Sox will be platooning Kevin Youkilis and J.T. Snow. I really like this situation and it will be great to see Youk playing on a regular basis. I predict that this season, Youkilis will shed his nickname of the past, "The Greek God of Walks", and adopt a new nickname: "The Hungarian God of Hits". (Kevin isn't even Greek!) Youkilis had a 0.8051 OPS in 2005, compared with Millar's 0.7532. Granted Youkilis had fewer at bats but when you incorporate his bats from Pawtucket, his OPS rises to 0.967. In comparison, Manny's OPS his rookie year was 0.502. I am by no means assuring that Youkilis is going to become a Ramirez-type hitter (it's waaaaay too early for that), but it is great to see such solid numbers for a rookie. Add into the picture an OBP hovering around .400, Youkilis isn't going to look too shabby in a line-up batting before Big Papi and Ramirez.


Gay Red Sox fans apparently don't like big TV's


What's the deal with this? I was looking on Amazon.com today and found a list called "Gifts for the Gay Boston Red Sox Fan". It is definitely a little cheesy, mixing up Red Sox history books with scandalous titles like "Changing Pitches (a classic adult novel about an aging pitcher and a hotshot young catcher)". The list also has an awesome 50 inch Phillips HDTV, or in the words of the author "a great big outta the ballpark shootyerload TV so he can watch his Red Sox Games at home". Sweet!

But apparently Red Sox fans aren't as obsessed with size as LA Dodgers fans. According to the list called "Gifts for the Gay Los Angeles Dodgers Fan", a gay Dodger fan needs to get a 60 inch HDTV! Come on guy! Just because Dodger Stadium is bigger than Fenway Park, it doesn't mean that us Sox fans don't like our big TVs.


Number 21


Only one person has worn #21 in a Boston Red Sox uniform since 1984. Let's make sure it stays that way.

#21: 1984-1996, 2006


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