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Hot Stove Heaters, ESPN, and the Red Sox.

Where Sox are best/good: Ballpark, Rookie, Bryce Cox mention in top prospects, Offseason pitcher acquisition, Manny mentioned in Milestone article, #5 Outfield, Rotation.

Cold plate special: Lineup, Infield, Bullpen.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. We're all worried about it, from Red Sox fans to Yankee closers. Is ESPN giving us enough respect? Do we care?

"The Worldwide Leader in Sports" has shown a love-hate relationship with the Red Sox over the years. It's no secret that most of their coverage of baseball ends up about the Sox or Yankees, to the delight of us, if to the detriment of some other fan bases.

At first glance, it's not easy to argue with the cold plate assignments. I'm downright scared about our bullpen, depth be damned. The amount of guys in the bullpen who were well above-average relievers in 2006 is negative five. This is a group that could be good, but there's the qualifier right there. So I'm going to excuse Sean McAdam for now. Whoa whoa. Hold on there Klapisch. Your rationale?

In the meantime, however, the infield has degraded. Epstein has (so far) chosen not to deal for Todd Helton, leaving him without an All-Star at any of the four positions. Julio Lugo, the incoming shortstop, is a better defender than predecessor Alex Gonzalez, but neither has Hanley Ramirez's ceiling. The Sox can only hope they'll eventually be proven right in having traded Ramirez to the Marlins in the deal for Josh Beckett.
Stop the presses. Imaginary Klapisch: "No All-Stars? Opportunity to blast the Sox for trading Hanley Ramirez? I mean...I guess I could do an objective analysis, but that doesn't seem right. Better to poke fun at them about a completely hindsight-based poor move. Also, surely there haven't been any teams to make the World Series in recent years with no all-stars in the infield.

Bob? Bob? Pay attention. Unless you count catchers: 2006 Detroit Tigers, 2004 Boston Red Sox (not even a catcher). These are just two recent teams who made it to the WS (hey, one of them won too) with no infield all-stars.

Your turn John Shea:

So now they'll try to survive again with the best left-right combination in the game, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, who was limited with a knee injury to 11 games in the final six weeks. Oh, we forgot to mention the Red Sox tried to trade Ramirez again.

Aside from the Ramirez saga, most of the Red Sox's offseason headlines focused on their pursuit of Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka and their prolonged contract dilemma with Drew. In the end, Drew is an expensive health concern. Mike Lowell knows his team tried to trade him to Colorado in the Helton deal. And Manny is, well, Manny.

From 2003 to 2005, the Red Sox appeared in three straight postseasons for the first time in club history. Their offense slipped in '06, and their postseason streak ended. We'll see if the bats tell a different story in '07.

First of all, ESPN hardly failed to mention the Ramirez trade attempts. Mike Lowell is as professional a ballplayer as you'll find, and even joked with Francona in terms of the trade rumor. Drew is an expensive health concern with some offensive potency, while Trot had just become a health concern only. He also mentions that "they pursued Todd Helton but failed." I'll re-write that part for him, free of charge.
The Rockies pursued a trade to relieve them of the huge budgetary constraint that is Todd Helton. They were unsuccessful, unwilling to move the possibly declining slugger for non-prospect contributers.
There. Now one of his points matches up with the facts.

The overall point here? It's bad writing, not a lack of respect. FJM takes an example of Klapisch's "writing" and burns it to the ground. In summation, ESPN is not a source for good analytical objective writing, and should be treated as such.