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The Royce Clayton Era, a Pre-Emptive Strike.

Headline says it all.

Dear Theo,

I don't ask for much. Pitch and inning management for the kids on the farm (Buchholz, Masterson, Bowden), faith that our diminutive second baseman would find his hitting legs (yeah, it's a mixed metaphor or something, whatever) early in the season, and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the postseason at Fenway. I don't think any of this is too much to ask.

However, I'm going to make a significant request at this point. Do not call up Royce Clayton. Don't do it.

It's not in your best interests. Remember the J.C. Romero debacle? Joel Pineiro, Red Sox closer? ...Eric Gagne. We've forgiven you for these (and in the case of Romero, forgotten), because we know you have our best interests at heart. You're trying to do what's best for the team while keeping the best of the farm system in the organization.

At this point, I must beg of you again: do not call up Royce Clayton. If you believe DP's x-rays were "false negatives", so to speak, then give Jed Lowrie a shot. He has hit at AA this season, and he has hit at the AAA level recently. We don't know if he can hit ML pitching, but what we do know is that Royce Clayton can't. If you don't think he's ready, may I suggest Bobby Scales? OPSing .828 and has stolen 13 bags in Pawtucket. Is he the answer to a temporary DP DL trip? Maybe, maybe not. But again, we KNOW that Royce Clayton is not.

Tell me this is a depth move. Tell me I'm overreacting, that if DP were seriously hurt, Clayton would only be here to keep Lowrie's spot warm in Pawtucket. Just don't tell me he's coming to Boston. Please.