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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Report Card at the Break: D

- Red Sox: D- or worse, 7 games back at the break. Yeah, it could be worse (could be 10 games) , but at this pace they will finish 13+ games behind the Yankees by season's end. If you think that's acceptable - even if they Do win the Wild Card - then you and I are on different wavelengths.
- D. Lowe: D, Insists he's not a head case, but he's swimming up that river in Egypt called DeNial.
- Schilling: B+, everything he was advertised to be, including rabble rouser and chief critic. Worth the signing, willing to say No to WEEI.
- Pedro: B, Now, a good Number 2 starter. Not the old Pedro, but seemingly easier to live and deal with (we'll see as the contract thing plays out). Also: who cares if he took off for the AS Break. That's just 'EEI Talk Radio Masturbation BS.
- Nomar: C, Has got it really good here in Boston and needs to recognize that, or maybe doesn't care. Also: Excellence of Pokey with the leather highlights Nomar's weaker defensive side.
- Francona: D- The underperforming record speaks for itself, especially compared to the managing performances of Buck Showalter and Lou Pinella; guys who got more out of what they were given than could be expected. Can Terry say that?
- Manny: A, The clear MVP so far, and the Manny-Schilling babble: More 'EEI Talk Radio Masturbation BS. Who cares about this hammy thing? The guy's done it consistently - leave him alone and focus attention on those who have not performed.
- Foulke: B Great first two months, but last few weeks have been shaky. Hope the second half is not shaping up as a disappointment.
- Theo: B- The Jury's Still out, though management's relationship with Francona is confusing: Just how much is Terry actually deciding by himself, or are strings constantly being pulled somewhere else? (If they are, shame on you Theo!). Plus points: signs Nixon and Ortiz, picks up Leskanic on the cheap. Minus: None of the Big Guys signed, Burks a bust, Kim and Mendoza are a waste of millions, and getting ready - again - to trade the farm system for another rent-an-arm (Freddie Sanchez for Suppan, remember?)
- Ortiz: A - Does the job, shows up, great clubhouse guy. Wish his defense was better so we could solve this first base issue; only team in baseball with 4 or 5 first baseman on the roster?
- Ownership: C, None of the Big Guys signed, more crass commercialism surrounding the franchise, mixed messages coming from the Front Office, even higher ticket prices. Pluses: Monster seats a hit, right field roof seats should come with binoculars though. And no publicly-announced stadium plans.
- Bottom Line: $129M team built to win it all is still trying to win consistently enough to make the post-season. Outlook: shaky at best, and pray that Manny doesn't slide head-first into home anytime soon.