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May 20, 2010

10 reasons not to give up on the Red Sox

Agreed. It doesn't look good.

Theo Epstein, the architect. Terry Francona, the manager. Josh Beckett, the ace. Marco Scutaro, the shortstop. David Ortiz, the power hitter. Mike Lowell, the teammate. Mike Cameron, the center fielder. Jonathan Papelbon, the closer. Victor Martinez, the catcher. And John Lackey, the free agent.

All in slumps.

I could probably go on — see Dice-K, Jacoby Ellsbury and Hideki Okajima — but I won't.

Your Boston Red Sox, 3-2 winners last night over the visiting Twins, appear to be headed toward disaster, which means no October baseball.

The Tampa Bay Rays not only appear to be great, they are already postseason tested. I predict 100 wins, period.

And the New York Yankees, despite the weaklings in the back of their lineup, are headed for 95-plus wins.

From this vantage point, it appears the Red Sox might actually be out of the race in the middle of May, which is crazy.

These years happen, sometimes, for a reason. You can't win 'em all, or at least the division, every year.

So let's dig deep — and I mean really deep — and find some plausible reasons that it really isn't over, that they do have a chance at running off a 23-win month.

1. Varitek fooled us.

Guilty as charged. I didn't think Jason Varitek had this in him. He appears to be more refreshed and could be a key player in July and August, with his playing time probably doubling from the expected 40 games to nearly half of the schedule. His batteries appear to be recharged. At worst, if Sox never make a run, it will be nice seeing Varitek go out with respect.

2. Pedroia is the future.

I apologize before being repetitive here, but this is the face of the franchise, he and Kevin Youkilis (see No. 3). Pedroia brings it every game. And even in these difficult times, he's on pace for 30 homers and 100 RBI. Unfortunately, it's lost in the negativity. When this team settles down, particularly with a set lineup, we may see bigger numbers.

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