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Sox pondering six-pack

Oldtimers must be curdling at the thought but the Boston Red Sox are thinking seriously about a six-man starting rotation for next season. Sunday's Inside Baseball column details the plan, which would largely have Josh Beckett pitching on his normal day and then provide extra days off for Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, Daisuke Matzusaka, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.

The four-man rotation was a staple in baseball into the 70s. Then five-man staffs became the norm. Now someone is thinking about six? The Sox are in a unique boat with two 40-somethings and two valuable youngsters they want to protect so I hope other teams don't get the same idea. Pitchers are babied enough these days in the minor leagues as it is.

Still, the Sox have been ahead of the curve on statistical analysis and, Theo Epstein's comments aside, they've probably already spent a ton of time researching this one.

Good idea for the Sox? Good idea for other teams?

---Mike Harrington

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