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Josh Beckett's debut with the Dodgers was just OK -- he gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, including a home run to lead off the game. Will he ever get his form back?

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The Red Sox are reportedly trying to move Josh Beckett before the trade deadline, but it'll be difficult to do so without some fancy maneuvering. Should Boston really be trying to trade him at this point?

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Did you know that the Boston Red Sox have the fourth-best offense in all of baseball? It's true. You can totally look it up if you don't believe us. That's a pretty good offense! It's just that the pitching is, well ... less than stellar. Only the Minnesota Twins have a higher team ERA, and considering Clay Buchholz is looking to avoid being the only pitcher in history to give up five runs or more in seven consecutive starts tonight, don't look for that ranking to be set in stone. It's officially gotten bad in Boston, as ace pitcher Josh Beckett was booed on Thursday night after bring lifted in the third inning. Is this as bad as it gets for the Red Sox?


Worst of the worst?

It seemed like the Red Sox had everything figured out a few weeks ago, but that was before they lost six straight games at home.

SportsNation

Have the Red Sox hit rock bottom?

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    58%
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    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,431)


Who's to blame?

The Ben Cherington/Bobby Valentine era in Boston has not gotten off to a great start, but most of these starters were on the Red Sox before those two took over.

SportsNation

Who do you blame the most for the Red Sox's struggles?

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    23%
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    4%
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    24%
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    49%

Discuss (Total votes: 84,682)


Bigger disappointment?

Clay Buchholz has a much higher ERA, but Beckett is the ace of the Red Sox franchise and an ostensible leader in the clubhouse.

SportsNation

Who has been the biggest disappointment in the Red Sox's starting rotation so far?

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    77%
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    23%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,224)


Just a fluke?

A 5.29 ERA is awfully high for an entire pitching staff. Are the Red Sox just going through a teamwide slump?

SportsNation

What do you make of the Red Sox's 5.29 team ERA?

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    80%
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    20%

Discuss (Total votes: 56,627)

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SportsNation isn't buying Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi's July 28 trade deadline (apparently, neither is he), but voters are still basically split 50-50 when it comes to the probability of any deal at all involving Roy Halladay. And if neither Halladay nor Indians ace Cliff Lee files a change-of-address form before August, there likely won't be any additions this year to Jerry Crasnick's list of the most noteworthy trades involving aces since 2000.

It's difficult to establish a firm grading process for these deals. The Diamondbacks didn't benefit in the short term when they traded for Curt Schilling in the middle of the 2000 season, but they won the World Series the next season with him. And it's not like they ever really missed Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla or Omar Daal. The Brewers didn't win it all with CC Sabathia last season, but they got a summer's worth of pennant race, and quite possibly a playoff berth, because of the big guy. That's a good deal, right?

In the end, it's probably safe to say that if you make a trade and no longer have a franchise in a few years (hello, Montreal!), you probably weren't the winner in the deal. Beyond that, it's a matter of debate. And that's what we live for.

gillie108

I hate the Red Sox, but getting Beckett and Lowel was as good as when they got Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera. I knew then The Yankees wouldn't be going to the World Series that year.

-- gillie108
berberage

Giving the Twins and Bill Smith a "D" for the Santana trade is charitable, to say the least. You don't have to look any further than the GM role to see why the Twins have gone from perennial contenders to irrelevance in such a short span of time. Terry Ryan was one of the best GMs in baseball; so far, Bill Smith appears to be one of the worst.

-- berberage

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