Sure you can just get to the playoffs without and ace, but to get very far, you've got to have one.
That's what the Sports Tonight panel of Michael Felger, Lou Merloni and Steve Buckley contend after hearing Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington's comments that the Sox don't necessarily need a pitching staff anchored by a so-called "ace" after Jon Lester's departure to Oakland.
The three ran down the list of recent World Series winners, including three Red Sox teams, each led by an ace in the rotation.
"Maybe you can be the Pittsburgh Pirates or Baltimore Orioles or Milwaukee Breeers and and contend without an ace," Felger said. "But you're not going to go very far beyond that."
Buckley wants more than one.
"Listen, you want an ace. I want two aces," The Boston Herald columnist said. "You forget how good [Josh] Beckett was in '07, you forget how good [Curt] Schilling was in '04.
"You can dink and dunk your way into the postseason. If you really want to go deep into the playoffs, you need that guy who throws smoke and can mow people down."
Merloni said the Sox GM might be covering himself he he can't acquire a top-flight starter this offseason.
"He would like that type of pitcher," the former Red Sox infielder said. "Maybe he doesn't want to look desperate. There are only a couple of these guys available and if he doesn't get one, you look like a failure."