Here in the Boston area, the word “off-season” doesn’t exist for Red Sox fans and definitely not for the press. Me, I don’t mind the time off and I try not to pay too much attention to things. Everyone needs a break, except for WEEI. I mean, how will they sell any advertising?

Regardless, there’s been a firestorm here lately over the Manny Ramirez tradewinds that are developing into a category 5 hurricane. It seems as if he might be gone by the weekend, some say. You can be sure the Red Sox have laid down all kinds of spreadsheets about how losing Ramirez might affect the team offensively, but it’s clear to me that unless they get something back that comparable, David Ortiz is a) in trouble and b) in line for 200+ walks next season.

For example, take a look at Ortiz’s numbers by month this year – remember, Ramirez went down to injury in mid-August and did not play.

April: 19 Runs, 10 HR , 20 RBI, 17 Walks
May: 15 Runs, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 12 Walks
June: 20 Runs, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 21 Walks
July: 26 Runs, 14 HR, 35 RBI, 16 Walks
August : 19 Runs, 10 HR, 16 RBI, 25 Walks
September : 15 Runs, 7 HR, 16 RBI, 26 Walks

See the change in August and September? That is what you can probably expect monthly from Ortiz if there’s not someone of Ramirez’s caliber to protect him in the lineup. They may very well sign guys like Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew to replace Ramirez’s production, but there are very little players who are available that make pitcher throw what they throw to Ortiz. There are rumors circulating about Andruw Jones possibly being available – that’s about the only guy who might keep Ortiz torrid. Will be interesting to see…..

It’s also interesting to note that the Red Sox in July were 5th in the league in batting average with 42 total HR’s and 146 RBI, while in September (without Ramirez), the team was 28th in the league with 18 HR’s and 92 RBI. This cannot be entirely attributed to Ramirez’s absence, of course, but it’s a major factor.

Should they keep Ramirez? I don’t know. Word is that Drew puts up solid numbers, but lacks passion and clubhouse presence. Upon Drew not exercising his option to remain with the Dodgers in November, I read that Dodger teammates were calling each other to share their excitement about it. Not a good sign. However, I’ve always been a pitching guy. If they can replace Ramirez with some frontline pitching, it could be ok. It’s a real predicament.

Last 10:
Pink Floyd – Dogs
Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown
The Beatles – And Your Bird Can Sing
Bruce Springsteen – John Henry
Gob Iron – Death Is Only A Dream
Minutemen – Retreat
Elliot Smith -Bottle Up And Explode!
Sloan – Golden Eyes
Howlin’ Wolf – Highway Man
The Black Keys – Have Mercy On Me