Back in 1994, Danny Glover, Christopher Lloyd and Tony Danza joined comedic forces to bring us the legendary film "Angels in the Outfield." The movie, with its airtight script and freight train of laughs, was a surprise hit at the Golden Globes before moving on to a historic sweep at the Oscars. The world has never seen anything like it, and probably never will.
However, this season in Boston, the Red Sox are filming their own version of the mid-nineties classic, aptly named: Injuries in the Outfield. It's nowhere near as funny, but almost as compelling and has left Bobby Valentine in a tough little predicament.
But if there's one benefit to the sudden lack of outfielders, it's that it's delayed a decision on what to do at third base. It's allowed the Sox to shift Adrian Gonzalez to the outfield, while leaving Kevin Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks in the every day mix, and keeping everyone happy. So far, it's been a hit, as the Sox have won four of five games to move past .500 and within two and half games of first place in the A.L. East. Hollywood ending, right?
No. Unfortunately, it won't last. Before long, the outfielders will start coming back to life, and Bobby V., Benny C. and Larry the Terrible will have to make a decision: What do you do at third base?
My answer now is the same as it was last month: You have to trade Kevin Youkilis or do SOMETHING that allows for Middlebrooks to remain the every day third baseman.
Listen, at this point, the kid is no fluke. Sure, he's come back to Earth a little since his torrid start, but he has a month in the books and is still above .300, he's still showing power, an ability to hit in the clutch, and he'll only get better with time. Meanwhile, Youk is as good as he's going to get. He's no where near as good as he was. At third base, the future is now.
But in the outfield, the present is a mess. And for that, the Sox will continue to have the luxury of delaying a decision on third base. But sooner or later they'll be forced to act, and here's hoping they do the right thing.