SNOW IS ON THE GROUND, but single game tickets for next season went on sale today. And, just like Butch asked Sundance, Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe asks what we’re all asking: “Who are these guys?”
So, we ask again: Is this progress? Loretta and Lowell have been productive players, but they’re both coming off subpar seasons. The Sox are high on Youkilis, and he should certainly give them more production than Kevin Millar did. If a Tejada deal is a nonstarter, Gonzalez, the free agent shortstop who was not offered arbitration by the Marlins, is a terrific fielder. Marte could be a jewel, a throwback (Lajoie’s word) third baseman who might wear out the Wall. The plan is for Marte to move up as the need arises, though some Sox insiders still wonder if the team would be willing to give up Marte for a pitcher such as Javier Vazquez.
Loretta’s presence gives top prospect Dustin Pedroia another year to develop, too.
If Damon and Ramírez stay, the offense should still be potent. The pitching will be better with Josh Beckett, and the bullpen is already better with Guillermo Mota.
But what we knew about Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller and Tony Graffanino and John Olerud and Doug Mirabelli and Wells is that they knew how to win.
The new guys from Florida can flash World Series rings, but the imports still have some proving to do here.