By now, everyone’s well aware of what happened in September of 2011.  If you’re not, put on ESPN—they love to show it.  The Sox had a historic collapse and missed the playoffs on the last game of the season, and two days later their manager, two-time World Series champion Terry Francona found himself out of a job.

Over the course of the offseason, reports came out that Francona had lost the clubhouse, that players were getting drunk, eating chicken, and playing video games in the clubhouse during games.  It also came out that Francona had lost the team, and that his focus wasn’t on the team anyways, as pain medications and problems in his marriage were at the front of his mind.

Fast forward to April: The Sox 100th anniversary celebration is 9 days away.   The Sox have welcomed back every former player and manager in team history to return for what is likely to be an epic celebration of one of the nation’s beloved ballparks.  Francona, according to reports surfacing today, will not be making the trip next Saturday.

Do you think Francona’s making the right decision?  Should he stand his ground and not disrespect himself by attending a celebration for an organization that threw rotten tomatoes at him, painting him the biggest scapegoat of the collapse?  Or should he make a token appearance, not for the organization who shunned him, but for the fan base who loved him for his 8 years of service?  It’s time for you, the readers, to DROP THE HAMMER!

A look at the most successful Red Sox regime of the 2000s, in happier times.

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Welcome back, everbody. It’s time for another DTH. This week, we debate long term–should Jed Lowrie, April’s Wunderkin, be entrenched in the job he took away from Marco Scutaro, or should defensive wizard Jose Iglesias get the job?  I’ll admit, watching Iglesias this spring, and in his very brief stint in the pros this year, was a treat. Great defense, great baserunning, but as you’ll see after the jump, I’m not quite convinced. What’s your take on it, Red Sox Nation?

They might look like comrades here, but soon enough, these two will be fighting for the one free spot in Boston's infield. Who ya got?

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Sorry about the long distance between DTH’s, that’s on us. From now on we’ll be dropping the hammer every Monday.

The debate about whether or not we should resign David Ortiz would have been a lot easier if he had had another April slump, but he didn’t slump and he’s mashing the ball this year. Which makes the decision a lot harder because designated hitters like Ortiz are hard to find. Either way, it’s going to be a tough decision for Theo Epstein and an even tougher debate topic for our writers. The question is should we resign Ortiz or should we cast him away? Our writers answer that question in this week’s DTH.

David Ortiz

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Alas, the long awaited return of DTH! This week’s topic? The Red Sox catchers, a highly debated topic amongst Red Sox fans everywhere. Where does your vote lie? Should Salty and Varitek remain the 1-2 catching punch, despite the early results proving that all they can catch is flak from fans? Or should Red Sox Nation take a giant Valium and let these guys do as they do? Brendan Pitts and Andy Vanasse weigh in.

Salty and Tek's bags are packed..if you're Theo Epstein, do you ship them out?

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Hi, Sox fans! Unfortunately, there will be no Drop the Hammer debate this week.  Too many of our writers are wrapping up their college semesters this week, and we felt it would be better for you, the reader, if we took a week off to come up with a higher quality DTH next week instead of struggling and not putting our best effort forth this week. Check out the content we have posted this week, such as this afternoon’s “This Day In Red Sox History” article, or Jeff Bagwell’s JD Drew analysis.  Tune in next Monday for another DTH!

-Nick

PS- If you have a particular Red Sox debate (past or present Red Sox) send it to me at nickdibattista@bloodysox.com and I’ll be sure to work your ideas into the rotation!

Carl Crawford: The answer to our problems, or is he just an albatross of a contract on the Red Sox books for the next few seasons?  That’s this week’s debate here at Bloody Sox.  TJ Feeley takes the pro-Crawford signing, and Jeff Bagwell tears this move apart.  For the first time, I will not be actively involved in the Drop of the Hammer, and I, like you, will be able to cast my vote via comments!  Is Crawford the stolen base monster we watched tear these very basepaths apart, or is he the aging athlete without a designated lineup “role”, playing in a ballpark that hides his strengths and glorifies the weaknesses in his game?  You decide!

Is this a sign of things to come, or is CC getting our hopes up?

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It’s Monday!  That means it’s time to Drop the Hammer!  This week, we tackle the difficult task of assigning a starting shortstop.  Fresh in everyone’s mind is Jed Lowrie, the hotshot former prospect who is finally healthy and is absolutely killing the ball (as his .431/.455/.686 line demonstrates).  Marco Scutaro, the incumbent, has struggled out of the gate, only providing the previously anemic Sox offense with a .213/.315/.255 line.  While it’s clear that for now, Lowrie should be starting games, the question for this week is, for how long?  Should Lowrie be named the full time starter, and Marco Scutaro be the super utility infielder?  Or should Scutaro work out his struggles playing every day and Lowrie bounce around the infield like a pinball machine to get his bat in the lineup?

Coach, can I play too??

 

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Welcome to Drop the Hammer, a new section of the blog that will be posted every Monday on different Red Sox related issues where two of our writers will face off, each taking their own side.  The final verdict of the debate will be chosen by YOU, the readers!   These issues will cover a wide variety of topics relating to this year and past years Red Sox. It’ll be fun to read every Monday, so I hope you enjoy!

Would the 'real' Dice-K please stand up?

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