What ever will the Red Sox do without Adrian Gonzalez

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Headline of Rob Bradford’s latest column at WEEI: “What becomes of the Red Sox without Adrian Gonzalez.”

Only Red Sox Nation worries about what will happen if
they lose the player they never had in the first place. And they wonder why the rest of the baseball world hates them.

Headline and opening Adrian Gonzalez-coveting paragraphs aside, the bulk of the article is devoted to speculating what the Sox might do to fill the middle of their order going forward.  I don’t really take issue with any of Bradford’s assessments of Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez or David Ortiz, but with his references to Gonzalez, Prince Fielder and regret over not getting Mark Teixeira, it seems like he’s sort of assuming that the Sox absolutely have to bring in some giant middle-of-the-order bat or else all is lost.

The Sox, however, are leading the American League in scoring right now and Kevin Youkilis is performing as if he’s (shock!) a giant, middle-of-the order bat. Probably because he is.  In the grand scheme of things, then, I’m not seeing why the Sox need to go and get someone else huge.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.