Ya know, you claim that as if you've actually offered a shred of counter debate to my pov here beyond "uh uhh". Oh, and the attempt to portray me as stating things i haven't.
Beyond getting all worked up over the the presented notion that the Sox are on a decline as a franchise, i'm actually not even sure at this point whether you even have an opinion here to debate. Which is actually a fairly typical scenario i've experienced in the past there, as once i get beyond the dancing, i usually just find somebody that was simply attempting to score what they had initially viewed as easy points. It is a Red Sox board after all, and it does not get much safer then taking the 'safe stance" Even if one is taking it for default reasons, while essentially letting other people do the thinking for them.
I got my girlfriend over tonight, and was responding first to those who came at me with a more civil tone to their posts. So unless you are actually going to do more then talk shit to me (pro-tip btw, if you want to call me out and not replying to you sooner, at least offer your own reasoning why this franchise *isn't* on a decline first), sit back and hold your horses. I have not forgotten you guys
Fine. If I have to oppose your argument to get you to explain it here are the reasons that I don't think the Red Sox are going to "get overrun as an AL powerhouse completely" or "this is ultimately a franchise on a path going backwards. Period. No doubt about it." Both direct quotes from you.
1. The current roster was the best offense in baseball last year, it included 6 starters under the age of 30, all of whom are under contract until at least 2014
2. That includes 3 of the top 9 WAR earners in the AL
3. They have 3 well above average starting pitchers in Lester, Buchholz and Beckett, with deals ending 2014,2015,2016.
4. They have at least 3 above average young bullpen arms in Bard, Melancon, and Aceves all under 30 with deals expiring 2015,2016,2017
5. While not as solid as it was before several trades and injuries, the farm system is not exactly barren, (I'd expect it to be top half when the BP and BA lists come out)
6. The team has one of the best revenue streams in the league meaning there is never likely to be a financial need for a complete blow up.
7. While several big money moves have not worked out: Lackey, possibly Crawford, the Red Sox only have 2 big money commitments beyond 2014 (Gonzalez and Crawford)
8. Of our best regarded prospects/young players close to major league ready most play positions where we are getting older or have holes such as Reddick, Kalish, Lavarnway and Middlebrooks.
9. We don't have any of the usual decline indicators: players in their mid 30's on long term contracts, ownership with cash flow problems, a barren farm system, multiple years of poor drafting.
Those are the reasons I think the Red Sox are in good shape to contend perennially in the AL. Now will you give us your specific reasoning, beyond vague assertions of poor management and direction shift based on one poor signing in Crawford?
The entire point is that a team with both the talent foundation and the financial advantages the Red Sox have can afford to eat a few bad signings, last year they had a disaster year from Crawford, lost Dice K for the year, Lackey continued his steep decline, they suffered injuries that cost large stretches of games to Buchholz, Jenks, Drew, Youkilis and Scutaro. Despite all of that they won 90 games and came within a game of making the playoffs.