I have already gone into detail about what I thought the Red Sox will look like in 2007 and what I think they should look like; however, like a Imelda Marcos in a shoe store, I keep bouncing ideas and changing my mind and coming up with a hodge-podge of ideas. So with that image straight out of 1986, here are a few more random thoughts:

Regarding the infield: OK, we all know that Theo Epstein is obsessed, and I mean obsessed like Nancy Reagan staring at the birth-mark on the bald forehead of Mikhail Gorbachev, with acquiring Julio Lugo (all 1986 references are due to reading Labyrinth by Jon Land. Land, a native of Rhode Island and simply one of the best writers of political/action/Mid-East thrillers, is a favorite author of mine and I just recently stumbled across one of his earliest out-of-print books and just finished it. In a word: fantastic. Land writes interesting, fast-moving, and thought provoking action. I always say he writes like Tom Clancy should write. Anyway, the book was written in 1987, so between reading it and watching too much VH1classic, I am hopelessly stuck in the eighties.). Lugo is a terrible defensive infielder, so I imagine he HAS to be coming over to play second base (I am loosely using the phrase, as in how the immortal Jose Offerman would play second base, which is to say by generally doing his best to avoid any contact with the batted ball.).

With Lugo at second base and free swinging in the six hole, Theo can turn his attention to keeping Alex Gonzalez in Boston for the foreseeable future. How the Sox can even consider getting rid of A-Gonzo is beyond my comprehension. If he hits .150 he is still too valuable to dump. The need for an elite defensive shortstop that can turn beautiful double plays in his sleep is priceless. I mean, if you had Ozzie Smith in the 1980s, would you trade him? OK, San Diego traded him for Gary Templeton in 1980, and look how that turned out for them. They played in taco-colored uniforms, they made a star of Carmelo Martinez and Kevin McReynolds, and they ended up with Steve Garvey at the end of his career. Not too stellar a record there.

I will argue until I am blue in the face with anyone who wants to argue with me, that David Ortiz should play first base. Manny Ramirez belongs at DH. Kevin Youkilis does not provide the power numbers necessary for a first baseman in the American League. Do not get me wrong, I am a long-time member of the Youk fan club, but his future lies at third base. Which, of course, begs the question of whither Mike Lowell? Well, I imagine that with Youk available at third base and the need to make room for the salary of Julio Lugo, Lowell will be packaged with a mid-level prospect and shipped out of town for a set-up man or middle reliever.

With Dustin Pedroia, Alejandro Machado, and Alex Cora still around, the utility infield position is set for the near future.

With Manny at DH, Big Papi at first base, and Youk at third, the Sox could conceivably re-sign Trot Nixon, keep him in leftfield, put Wily Mo Pena in leftfield, and have Coco Crisp in centerfield with David Murphy stealing some playing time at all three positions and Gabe Kapler reprising his back-up role.

There are possibilities abound as the off-season beckons. One thing is for sure: with the Red Sox, things are sure to be interesting!

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