Some major changes. Look for some retooling of the pitching staff.
Call me crazy, but I like the way Crede saves runs as much as he drives them in. Even with a big raise, Crede does more for the Sox right now than A-Rod. I like your creativity, but who bats leadoff in your proposal?
With rest this winter and no Baseball Classic in the spring, Sox pitchers might be strong and ready next season, but who do we send on their way? I think Mark Buehrle has been the biggest disappointment, but could he bounce back next year? Garcia might be stronger without the baseball classic and Vazquez has started to pitch better. What do you think? --David Ciasto, Silvis, Ill.
This is where Kenny Williams earns his money this winter. Whoever can bring the Sox a starting pitching prospect and a reliever works for me.
The Rangers are a team loaded with hitters, but are weak in the bottom of the rotation. Do you think a trade of Javier Vazquez, Juan Uribe and Sean Tracey would be enough to lure him out of Texas? --Russell Hoskins, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Who? Michael Young? Maybe.
What prospects among Josh Fields, Ryan Sweeney, Jerry Owens and Charlie Haeger do you see having a legit chance of opening '07 on the big league roster? --Rob, Lime Rock, Conn.
I think the Sox have to be careful about making sure that whoever gets promoted from Triple-A Charlotte gets enough playing time so their growth isn't stunted. I think Fields is ready and Sweeney could be ready. This will be an important Arizona Fall League season for Jerry Owens. I think Haeger will be the wild card this winter.
I was at a recent West Coast game and the Sox looked awful. They didn't pitch that well, didn't hit (against Esteban Loiaza of all people) and looked really sloppy on defense, making a number of inept, or bone-headed plays that cost them. And against Seattle they were positively embarrassing. Have they simply quit? --Gerald Reese, Alameda, Calif.
Gerald, I think it comes down to opponents exploiting every weakness (throwing breaking pitches to Uribe, stealing on pitchers, etc.). There will be an emphasis on addressing these shortcomings next spring, but I don't think the players quit.
You disagreed last week with my analysis of Jim Thome because he hasn't been 100 percent. If that's the case, then someone should have sat him down a long time ago. He has cost us big time since the break. We would have been much better off with Pablo Ozuna's bat in the lineup everyday. It would have been the perfect place for him, lead-off as the DH. Keeps his bat and wheels in the line up and his glove out of left field. It also allows you to replace Pods with someone who can both hit and field better. --Spiro, Hagerstown, Md.
Spiro, for some reason the Sox don't think Ozuna should play more than he does. One of the great mysteries of the season.
I am not piling on, but after watching Joe Crede hit into three DPs last night, I realized the Sox did that a lot this season. Am I right on that? Have they hit into more this year than other teams? More than last year? Which players have hit into the most? --Charles Gedge, West Chester, Penn.
Entering Tuesday's game at Cleveland, the Sox have grounded into 116 double plays, six fewer than last year's total. Believe it or not, 10 teams have grounded into more double plays than the Sox. But the Sox have grounded into 56 DPs since the All-Star break.
Paul Konerko has grounded into 25 DPs, followed by Joe Crede (18), Jermaine Dye (15) and Tadahito Iguchi and Juan Uribe (10 each). Last year, Aaron Rowand grounded into a team-high 17 DPs, followed by Iguchi (16) and Dye (15).
How can I get Ozzie's job? He has ruined Brandon McCarthy, is ruining Brian Anderson and continues to lose games for us with his incessant pitching changes. Soon he will be changing pitchers after every pitch. We need to either get rid of Ozzie or get rid of Anderson before he is worthless like McCarthy is now. I will take the job for free, just buy me some Chicago pizza. Hook me up. --Steve, Austin, Texas
Do you think Ozzie Guillen can manage effectively under pressure? Last year, he had a very easy time of it for a World Series manager. But faced with more injuries and other player issues this year, they have floundered down the stretch. Each and every player needs to stand up and be responsible for themselves, but Ozzie seems to have made numerous bad calls when the pressure was on. What do you think? --Robert Shaffer, Matteson, Ill.