Johnny Damon, Bill Mueller, Tony Graffanino, Kevin Millar, Mike Timlin, Mike Myers, John Olerud, and Matt Mantei are all free agents. (So is GM Theo Epstein.) David Wells will have knee surgery and is considering retirement.
Who will play third: Bill Mueller or Kevin Youkilis? Who will play first base? Which of the promising youngsters -- Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Lenny DiNardo -- should be brought into the mix?
Can Keith Foulke, Curt Schilling, Edgar Renteria, and Trot Nixon overcome the various injuries that plagued them this season?
And then there is the Manny Question. The Red Sox will listen to trade offers for Ramirez (no harm in listening), but as Gordon Edes points out, "with only three years and roughly $60 million left on his contract, moving him would not create as much financial flexibility as it would have in the past, making a trade less likely."
The front office is also apparently not convinced that Manny is unhappy in Boston. And when I checked a poll at the Globe's site, out of 14,386 votes, 70.5% want Manny to stay. (So do I; how will we replace those 17 assists in left field!)
I have friends over there and you don't want to see them go through bad times. But for management to get rid of me the way they did, [the loss] was kind of satisfying to watch.It's a start: Matt Clement has shaved his ugly goatee.