This week we have Ian from the Red Sox Blog called Sox and Dawgs. Let’s make sure to hop over and give ’em hell when the Birds get back on track and sweep them in Fenway.

Are there any bright spots on this team so far?
Up until a few days ago, there really haven’t been too many bright spots. Jeremy Hermida got off to a hot start filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury but has since cooled off. Jason Varitek also got off to a nice start at the plate but obviously the big story is former O’s prospect Darnell McDonald. He’s given new life to this team in the past two games. Of course anything we get out him is better than what Mike Cameron was doing.

What’s the feeling around town with Ortiz’s continued struggles?
Personally, I do think it’s a little early in the season but the other night when he was pinch-hit for was a telling story. He saw 19 fastballs and didn’t put one into play. Now that’s telling you there’s something seriously wrong with his swing. The feeling around town is that they should move Mike Lowell to the full-time DH. I suspect that he and Big Papi will be splitting the duties for the foreseeable future with Lowell taking the starts against lefties and Big Papi against the righties. But if Big Papi doesn’t start doing something at the plate, I suspect they could release him (probably won’t happen though).

With the middle of the Sox order struggling, have the Adrian Gonzalez trade rumors started yet?  Is it feasible for the Sox to be able to put together a package to get him?
Honestly, we haven’t heard much about the Adrian Gonzalez rumors now that spring training is over. The real talk of the town has been the struggles of Jon Lester and David Ortiz.

The Red Sox definitely have the prospects to get Gonzalez and Padres GM Jed Hoyer knows who he would want. While you never wish what happened to Ryan Westmoreland to ever happen, I think it dealt a small blow to what they have to offer as he would have been one of the center pieces. They could also package a Clay Buchholz in there if Daisuke Matsuzaka comes back strong.  My question though is why would the Padres trade him this season when they have him wrapped up through 2011. Unless they are going to get players who are going to help them right away, there’s no real need to trade him until they realize they won’t be able to sign him.

What is your perspective on the Orioles organization and their horrible start this year?
Personally, I think someone like Cal Ripken or someone with a good baseball sense needs to buy the team. They did the right thing in bringing in McPhail and I do like the plan of rebuilding he’s taking. He’s doing it right by bringing in a few veterans to help with the rookies and newer players. I’d love to see the Orioles back in the talk at the top like they were in the past.

I think part of the horrible start for the Orioles has something to do with the injuries, especially to Brian Roberts. He’s the catalyst of the offense and can make things happen with his legs along with his bat. Without him at the top of the lineup, it hurts.  I can tell you from experience, Julio Lugo isn’t the everyday answer.

Another part of the horrible start is that no one on the O’s is really hitting right now and with a relatively young rotation you need hitting. Pitching and defense can win you games but you can’t win if you aren’t scoring.

I can say that I’ve been impressed with the start of Brian Matusz. I thought he should have been taken out a little earlier in his last start but I definitely think he’s someone to watch out for. The Orioles have some good prospects down on the farm who could help make contributions down the line. It’ll be up to McPhail to find the right pieces to fit with these young guys to help speed up the rebuilding process.

How do you view this upcoming series with the O’s? With frustration, relief?
Given the way the Red Sox started, I’d have been a little bit worried. But with them playing well the past few games, I see the chance for a sweep of the O’s. But baseball is a funny game and anything can happen.

It should be a good series though as the pitching matchups based on their starts this season is pretty even. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on Matsuz on Saturday.

Extra Credit- Did you cry during the scene in Good Will Hunting when Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams, recounts how he missed game 6 of the 1975 World Series and Pudge’s homerun because he had to “see about a girl?”
Not at all.