Any Derek Lowe fans out there? Good, because I will be trading you his sorry ass from my fantasy team. I can hear Cindy Lauper belting out the lyrics to the D-Lowe 2005 theme song: And I see your true colors shining through! Yes, I bought into the hype. I thought that, armed with his ridiculous contract, Lowe was ready to turn it around in Lala land.

Yes, the 3.69 ERA is down from the abysmal 4.50 and 5.40 ERAs he put up in Boston, but the 5-7 record is typical D-Lowe. Granted, the Dodgers are not going to score him eight runs a game like the Red Sox did, but he has not looked like the confident pitcher he was in the post-season. My major gripe is that for almost half the season, he is killing my fantasy league team!

Does anyone else still want to argue that Lowe belongs in Boston instead of Matt Clement?

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Matt Clement has already turned heads and pitched as well or better than expected this season. The Boston Globe recently ran an article stating that Clement has actually pitched worse, numbers wise, than last season. Why the Yankees did not go after him is unfathomable, but I am certainly not complaining: for a team that stressed the advantage of having pitchers who can make batters swing and miss in key situations, they instead pass up on two pitchers who have been superb with that part of the game: David Wells and Matt Clement.

Wells all but got down on his hands and knees and begged New York to bring him back. Clement was viewed as a consolation prize for the Sox after the Yankees bagged Carl Pavano. The Sox also went hard after Brad Radke in addition to their former farmhand, but fortunately came up empty on both counts. Like the A-Rod deal, apparently sometimes the best moves are the ones you do not make, no matter how much you want to at the time. As long as Clement keeps throwing strikes, and with Jason Varitek behind the plate I do not see him allowing Clement to stray off course too much, he should be the consistent #2 starter that the Sox front office envisioned him being.

Of course, the Yankees also brought in the Big Unit and Jared Wright in their quixotic quest to replace David Wells, Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettitte. Wright, with a history of getting hurt, amazingly has barely pitched this season due to injuries, and he was ineffective when he did pitch. The Big Unit has been erratic at best. He appears to be struggling to adapt to the fact that his fastball is getting hit for the first time in his career. He has had some good performances surrounded by a lot of struggles. Not exactly what the Yankees expected in return for their top minor league pitcher, Brad Halsey; their ace from 2004, Javier Vazquez; and their top minor league prospect and future replacement for the aging Jorge Posada, Dionner Navarro, who the Diamondbacks promptly turned around and packaged off to the Dodgers.

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Let me clarify my thoughts on Pedro Martinez once and for all. Do I think Pedro is one of the five best pitchers in baseball? Yes. Do I think the Red Sox made a fair offer with a two year deal? Yes. Do I think that a three year deal was stretching it for a player with his fragile physique? Yes. Do I think the Mets are insane for handing out a four year deal to Petey? Yes.

Martinez, for one or two years at $12 million or so, is a very good deal. After two years though, I would be very hesitant to guarantee him any money, let alone more than $10 million a season. I think the Sox did well by not caving in to Martinez, and letting him go to the Mets. The deal may look bad this season and next season, but by 2008 the Sox will have the last laugh.

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