Maybe I should hide my face, but I'm pretty excited at the potential 2007 look of the Boston Red Sox.
With the signing of Hideki Okajima (yes, we have our own Hideki now!), the Red Sox are shaping into a Red Sox team that I've never seen before.
They're not buying high on old free-agents that have seen their best years go by them (Julian Tavarez, Rudy Seanez). They're not spending money for last year's production (Once again, Tavarez and Seanez are examples). They're investing in potential, something a lot of their recent signings and trades have not reflected (Uhhh ... Tavarez and Seanez?)
They're putting stock in some young guys too, like Dustin Pedroia, who will probably start opening day at second base. Not too mention we'll probably see Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen start the season in the bullpen. We've seen those two for awhile now, but this is a whole new season for both of them.
The Sox will be injected with some fresh faces, too. JD Drew? He could land in the outfield at a steep price, but he could also be 100% worth the money if he stays healthy. Julio Lugo? He's not my number one option (or two, three, four...) but he's new life that could produce.
Maybe what this teams needs to get out of the '05, '06 is some new faces. That includes trading Manny Ramirez. I'm not saying I'm for trading Manny -- because it all comes down to who comes to Boston -- but mixing up the lineup could do the team some real good.
But be aware that I'm excited, but I'm not necessarily completely happy with the way the off-season has gone. Once we snag Daisuke Matsuzaka, though, it could be a different story.
Whether you are pro-Manny, anti-Manny, pro-spending money, anti-spending money or anything else, this is shaping up to be a very exciting off-season.
I'm hoping at the end of this I won't need to hide my face.