the three hole
papi's struggles have officially moved from being merely curious, a la his absence of any home runs this year, to positively alarming. this last performance, going o-fer-seven in one game, while having guys (almost always plural) on base literally every time he came to the plate, is not just a statistical anomaly, but a growing representation of his entire season.
the franconaman is known for his patience in sticking with his starters, as has been observed in the coddling of over $20M of his payroll in two particularly frustrating positions this year, but this is getting to the point where something simply has to be done about it. the absence of a reliable lefty is one issue, observing tito's preference to alternate sides of the plate in the lineup, but having ellsbury, pedroia, youkilis and bay being your 1-4 hitters is pretty formidable, even against righties. having mike lowell protecting your cleanup guy is pretty good, too. and nobody will complain to have the likes of big papi further down the lineup where he just might see a few extra easy pitches to hit. (you know, with guys like youk and mr. jason bay behind you, and dustin and/or jacoby always on base when you come up, you're not going to see a lot of half-hearted offerings).
cmon, terry, you know you can do it.