Big League Stew - MLB

While Theo Epstein and Terry Francona are meeting with the Boston media to address what went wrong, New England's bloggers and bards are performing their own dissections of the early playoff exit. Here's a sampling: 

Red, Surviving Grady: "Did it hurt? Hells yeah. Even with two more World Series titles in my back pocket than I ever thought I'd experience in my lifetime, you never want to see your team vanquished so quickly from the postseason. Especially after holding the lead for so long in Game Three, and convincing me that the offense might have just turned a corner.

"But after digesting this one — with the help of my good friends Bud and Coors Light — I've convinced myself that this one just wasn't in the cards. The 2009 Sox were a good team, not a great team. Not a world-beating team that wins championships."

Dan Lamothe, Red Sox Monster: "It was too sudden. During the ninth inning, I felt like I was watching a violent, cartoon car wreck in which 'Shipping Up to Boston' has been replaced with Rob Zombie's 'Superbeast' and all that was left at the end was a few hub caps rolling around."

Paul, Yanksfan/Soxfan: "The lineup is aging quickly, but it's hard to see what could be done to make it better. Lowell and Ortiz are too expensive to move. Ditto Drew, though there's no reason yet to move him. Unless Jed Lowrie(notes) can prove he's actually healthy, shortstop remains a void, though it seems clear catcher is now Victor Martinez's(notes) territory for two-thirds of 2010. The big name that could have taken care of all this went to the Yankees last offseason. Whatever else happens, signing one of Bay or Holliday seems imperative, after which it gets very murky very quickly."

Tony Massarotti, Boston Globe: "The easy thing now is to attribute all of this to the departure of Manny Ramirez(notes) or the failure to sign Mark Teixeira(notes) — or both. The truth is far more complicated. Obviously, David Ortiz(notes) (1 for 12, no walks in this year's ALDS) is not the same hitter anymore. Mike Lowell(notes) (2 for 10) will be 36 in February. And for as much as Kevin Youkilis(notes), Dustin Pedroia(notes), Victor Martinez and Jason Bay(notes) have given the Red Sox lineup in the last 15 months, the Red Sox are not nearly as deep or as thick as they used to be."

Steve Buckley, Boston Herald: "The Red Sox were, and are, a better team than the Angels. But they didn't play better than the Angels. Not even close. And that's why the Angels are going to the American League Championship Series and the Red Sox are going back to the drawing board: They were outclassed in every possible way."

Fenway Nation: "Face it, Red Sox fans, this team was just not that good. From early injuries to a non-existent pre-June Papi, to Varitek's demise to Papelbon's fall from perfection, this was one of the worst 95-win Red Sox teams ever. Maybe they just spared us further agony by getting swept in the first round."

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