This is my first ever SF4 mailbag. The turnout was better than I expected and I hope to continue with this. If you enjoy our mailbag and want to submit your own, you can send Sportsfan4 your questions at any time.
With Youk on the DL does that put a fork in the 2010 Red Sox? Is Theo Epstein kicking himself in the ass for not going after Adam Dunn?
-Bill (in Saratoga, NY)
The fate of the 2010 Red Sox won't solely lie in the hands of Kevin Youkilis. With Youk being out for the entire season due to surgery on his thumb, Pedroia still out on the DL and our bullpen being the mess that it is, Adam Dunn wouldn't be the only answer to change the fact that we're 7 games out of first place and struggling just to get into contention for the AL Wildcard.
The vast injuries all season has hampered our ability to win, but it comes down to more than scoring runs when a team that was based on pitching and defense can't even cover the bases that they were designed to. Theo put together a great premise and roster for a steroid-free era of baseball where the home run is seen less often and pitching and defense will win games, however, the majority of the season our starting roster has not been in tact at all.
Youkilis is the heart of the team and our best player, but reiterating the fact that baseball is not a one man sport, we have far too many holes overall that acquiring Adam Dunn wouldn't be enough to push us into the post season.
With the extent of the injuries growing within the Red Sox and the lack of quality middle relief, how do you see the rest of the season going? What happens with the team this offseason? Something has got to give with the makeup of this team. Even the quality starting pitching we have can not make up for the lack of defense and offense. Losing to lesser teams with your stud pitchers is not the way to go. What changes need to be made to possibly improve the makeup of the team.
-Matthew (currently in Bahrain)
Following up on the previous question I can say that I still believe the Red Sox can make a push for the Wildcard. There's no way that both the Yankees and Devil Rays will be able to keep up their hot streaks for the remainder of the season. Boston is one of the most determined teams in Major League Baseball with tons of heart. The injuries, the bullpen and the hurt put upon our starting pitching just fuels the team more to do better and play harder. The wins will start to fall into place and we'll get a shot at the post season.
This offseason is going to be the most active that Boston has ever had. With the huge season that Adrian Beltre had and his lack of team chemistry, we're not going to offer him a huge long-term contract that he is going to want and deserve for his 2010 numbers. We're also going to have to revamp our entire bullpen except for Bard and Papelbon, which I don't necessarily agree with. It's time to give Bard the closer role and trade Pap for a big bat or a consistent, strong middle reliever for the 5th-8th innings type of guy.
We also need to let go of all the loyalty that we're holding with the '04 and '07 guys like Lowell, Varitek, Papelbon, Dice-K, Wakefield and maybe even Papi and start rebuilding the team for better hitters, consistent middle relief and better fits for the clubhouse that will bring back that family like style that we've had in the past when we were winning more games. The make up of the team will then be improved, leading to winning the games that we're expected to win just like you said.
Why did Michael Vick get his job back when a normal person who commits a felony ends up working at McDonalds?
-April (in West Roxbury, MA.)
This is a subject that I wavered on at first. When Vick was finally re-instated by Roger Goodell I agreed with the decision, but I also feel that it should go both ways and not solely based on the fact that he is an NFL superstar. Vick was sentenced, served his time and then returned to the field. Another player that had a run-in with the law that I couldn't agree with however, was Donte Stallworth. Donte was given a 30-day sentence for DUI manslaughter. How the hell does anyone get 30 days for killing another human being yet a man who killed dogs got two years? I would also say that Stallworth should have been able to return to the league after serving his sentence, but I was devastated that he got 30 days for killing someone.
Sadly, it all comes back to the fact that they're NFL stars. If you or I committed either of the crimes that they committed, we would both be serving maximum sentences and then return to the world with no chance of employment. I agree that once you serve your time you should then be able to move forward and continue on with your life, but that's just not the way it works.
How many times is Brett Favre going to retire?
-Jason (in Huntsville, AL.)
As many times as he wants. This saga will continue to be the story when there is no story in sports that day during every NFL off season for the next few years. Brett has earned the right to skip training camp and he should do so.
Do you feel like Brett Favre is being selfish with the way he is acting in terms of his holding out on a decision to play or not? Should the Vikings put a timetable on his decision? Or are the Vikings being selfish in allowing this behavior in hoping they get a marque quarteback?
-Matthew (currently in Bahrain)
He's not being selfish, this is just the way it's going to be for him every off season until he actually retires for real. The Vikings are doing the right thing by not placing a timetable on his decision. Giving him a deadline will cause him to retire, un-retire, and cycle over and over anyway. He doesn't need to go to training camp anymore and he can make his final decision at the last minute based on his health and his desire to play. The Vikings aren't being selfish either. They may be putting themselves in a tough situation by not having a solid replacement for Favre if he does decide not to play this season, but they know what they're doing and everything points to Favre playing this season. I do see them taking a quarterback in the first round in next years draft when Favre's contract is up and the off-season delays could cause them to enter the season without a quarterback though.
Should the Patriots trade Tom Brady? At this point, he's not going to get any better and as shown with Bledsoe and Cassel the system is the real star here in New England. Sure, Brady might be the best fit for the system, but wouldn't we be better off trading him for a bunch of picks and improving the team as a whole?
-Adam (in Dorchester)
Josh Gans is a Boston Sports Fanatic that will give you the answers from the fans point of view and not the run of the mill answer of the week that you'd get from the other major sports networks. If you have any questions for Sportsfan4, e-mail us and we'll get your questions posted for the next mailbag. The more questions we get, the more often we'll answer them and you'll get to see your questions here and get the answers you need.
Thanks to waltarrrrr for the photo of the USPS Mail Box