The Red Sox have had a rough 2010 due to injuries, slumps and age. The team got off to a rough start, but played very well from mid-May through the All-Star break. Currently, with about 60 games remaining the Red Sox are seven games out of first place and five games behind the Rays for the wild card. It will not be easy, but they could catch the Rays and maybe even the Yankees. This would suggest that the Red Sox should be buyers at the deadline. However, another approach might be to recognize that while the Red Sox might be able to sneak into the playoffs as the wild card, this is not the type of team that, even if it snuck into the wild card, can play far into the playoffs and to be a seller.
James is, to some extent, a victim of his own success. He changed the way we write about and understand baseball which led to many imitators who have become competitors. Similarly, James was too smart and too influential to be overlooked by the generation of general managers who have been influence by him. In this respect, Theo Epstein deserves credit for acting more quickly than his competitors in securing James’ services. James’ journey from fringe figure to wise old man of the game has been impressive and rewarding for both him and his longtime fans. However, his recent writings have been a disappointment. It would be great to see James regain the edge he had a quarter century ago, but perhaps that is not a realistic expectation and we should just be grateful for the contributions he has made.