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Red Sox’ chemistry highs and lows

Looking at the last six seasons, the Red Sox provide a good study in the science of building a winning roster, from finding a championship formula in 2007 to last year's unmitigated disaster. Some players influenced the team in multiple ways, both positively and negatively -- and those factors are shown in this element chart. Click on the years below to see what positive and negative factors players brought to the Red Sox:

COMPILED BY SEAN SMITH

1

Br

Breakthrough

2

Bu

Bust

3

Du

Durable

4

Fa

Familiar

5

Fi

Fielder

6

Gl

Glue guy

7

Hr

HR threat

8

In

Injury

9

Po

Poison player

10

Ru

Rubber arm

11

Sp

Speed

12

Su

Superstar

13

Ve

Versatile

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

96-66, first place

Breakthrough (Br): 6
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Clay Buchholz
    Manny Delcarmen
    Hideki Okajima
A great mix of newcomers (Matsuzaka, Okajima) and young stars - including AL Rookie of the Year Pedroia - helped the Sox to the majors’ best record and their second title in four years.
Bust (Bu): 2
    Julio Lugo
    Eric Gagne
Durable (Du): 6
    Jason Varitek
    Mike Lowell
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Tim Wakefield
    Josh Beckett
    David Ortiz
Familiar (Fa): 3
    Jason Varitek
    Tim Wakefield
    Manny Ramirez
Fielder (Fi): 3
    Kevin Youkilis
    Mike Lowell
    Coco Crisp
Glue guy (Gl): 3
    Alex Cora
    Eric Hinske
    Bobby Kielty
Home run threat (Hr): 1
    David Ortiz
Injury (In): 2
    Curt Schilling
    Brendan Donnelly
Poison player (Po): 1
    Wily Mo Pena
Rubber arm (Ru): 2
    Hideki Okajima
    Javier Lopez
Speed (Sp): 3
    Julio Lugo
    Coco Crisp
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Superstar (Su): 4
    David Ortiz
    Mike Lowell
    Manny Ramirez
    Josh Beckett
Versatile (Ve): 3
    Alex Cora
    Eric Hinske
    Julian Tavarez

95-67, second place

Breakthrough (Br): 3
    Brandon Moss
    Jon Lester
    Justin Masterson
Bust (Bu): 3
    Julio Lugo
    Clay Buchholz
    Craig Hansen
Durable (Du): 3
    Jason Varitek
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jon Lester
Familiar (Fa): 5
    Jason Varitek
    David Ortiz
    Mike Timlin
    Tim Wakefield
    Manny Ramirez
Fielder (Fi): 4
    Kevin Youkilis
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Coco Crisp
Glue guy (Gl): 3
    Sean Casey
    Alex Cora
    Mark Kotsay
The ever-popular Casey chose to play his final big league season at Fenway Park, and he paired with fellow reserve Cora to give the Sox invaluable veteran input. The team also added Kotsay in late August.
Home run threat (Hr): 1
    Kevin Youkilis
Injury (In): 4
    Mike Lowell
    Coco Crisp
    J.D. Drew
    David Ortiz
Poison player (Po): 2
    Manny Ramirez
    Bartolo Colon
Rubber arm (Ru): 4
    Jonathan Papelbon
    Manny Delcarmen
    Javier Lopez
    Hideki Okajima
Papelbon had a career-best 41 saves, and the guys in front of him played their roles perfectly, with Lopez and Okajima neutralizing lefty batters and Delcarmen making a personal-best 73 appearances.
Speed (Sp): 2
    Coco Crisp
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Superstar (Su): 3
    Dustin Pedroia
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Jonathan Papelbon
Versatile (Ve): 1
    Jed Lowrie

95-67, second place

Breakthrough (Br): 1
    Jeff Bailey
Bust (Bu): 4
    Julio Lugo
    Brad Penny
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    John Smoltz
The rotation suffered as Matsuzaka began his downslide and free agent additions Penny and Smoltz combined for a 6.24 ERA. The last year of the Lugo era ended with the $9m shortstop traded in July.
Durable (Du): 6
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Jason Bay
    David Ortiz
    Josh Beckett
    Jon Lester
It was the only season in which Beckett and Lester both made more than 30 starts, combining to pitch 415.2 innings. It was also the last year Ortiz played at least 150 games - and Bay as well.
Familiar (Fa): 4
    Jason Varitek
    Tim Wakefield
    Kevin Youkilis
    David Ortiz
Fielder (Fi): 5
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Jason Bay
    Kevin Youkilis
    Alex Gonzalez
Glue guy (Gl): 3
    Rocco Baldelli
    Victor Martinez
    Mark Kotsay
Home run threat (Hr): 2
    Jason Bay
    David Ortiz
Injury (In): 3
    Mike Lowell
    Rocco Baldelli
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
Poison player (Po): 2
    Julio Lugo
    Brad Penny
Rubber arm (Ru): 4
    Hideki Okajima
    Jonathan Papelbon
    Ramon Ramirez
    Manny Delcarmen
Speed (Sp): 1
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Superstar (Su): 3
    Jason Bay
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jonathan Papelbon
Versatile (Ve): 1
    Kevin Youkilis

89-73, third place

Breakthrough (Br): 4
    Jed Lowrie
    Ryan Kalish
    Clay Buchholz
    Daniel Bard
Bust (Bu): 3
    Mike Cameron
    Jeremy Hermida
    Scott Schoeneweis
Durable (Du): 3
    Adrian Beltre
    John Lackey
    Jon Lester
Familiar (Fa): 4
    Jason Varitek
    Tim Wakefield
    Kevin Youkilis
    David Ortiz
Fielder (Fi): 2
    Adrian Beltre
    J.D. Drew
Glue guy (Gl): 3
    Marco Scutaro
    Victor Martinez
    Mike Lowell
Home run threat (Hr): 1
    David Ortiz
Injury (In): 6
    Kevin Youkilis
    Dustin Pedroia
    Mike Cameron
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Josh Beckett
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
The lineup took a terrible beating with Cameron playing his last game on July 30, Youkilis Aug. 2, Ellsbury Aug. 13, and Pedroia Aug. 18. Beckett missed two months with a strained lower back.
Poison player (Po): 1
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Rubber arm (Ru): 2
    Daniel Bard
    Jonathan Papelbon
Speed (Sp): 1
    Ryan Kalish
Superstar (Su): 3
    Adrian Beltre
    David Ortiz
    Jon Lester
Versatile (Ve): 4
    Bill Hall
    Jed Lowrie
    Tim Wakefield
    Ryan Kalish

90-72, second place

Breakthrough (Br): 2
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    J.J. Reddick
Bust (Bu): 6
    Carl Crawford
    J.D. Drew
    John Lackey
    Bobby Jenks
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Erik Bedard
Crawford’s first season in Boston gave a whole new definition to “bust,” while Drew (81 games, $14m) couldn’t shed the label in his final season here. The Sox regretted their Jenks investment almost instantly.
Durable (Du): 3
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Adrian Gonzalez
Familiar (Fa): 7
    Jason Varitek
    Tim Wakefield
    Kevin Youkilis
    David Ortiz
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jon Lester
    Josh Beckett
Wakefield (17 years with team) and Varitek (15 years) both played their last season with the Sox. It was also the last full year with championship holdovers Ortiz, Pedroia, and Youkilis in the lineup.
Fielder (Fi): 3
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Glue guy (Gl): 2
    Marco Scutaro
    Mike Cameron
Home run threat (Hr): 2
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    David Ortiz
Injury (In): 4
    J.D. Drew
    Bobby Jenks
    Clay Buchholz
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
Poison player (Po): 2
    John Lackey
    Bobby Jenks
Rubber arm (Ru): 2
    Daniel Bard
    Jonathan Papelbon
Speed (Sp): 2
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Carl Crawford
Superstar (Su): 3
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Versatile (Ve): 3
    Mike Aviles
    Tim Wakefield
    Jed Lowrie

69-93, last place

Breakthrough (Br): 5
    Will Middlebrooks
    Pedro Ciriaco
    Felix Doubront
    Junichi Tazawa
    Andrew Miller
Bust (Bu): 7
    Kevin Youkilis
    Carl Crawford
    Jon Lester
    Josh Beckett
    Daniel Bard
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Mark Melancon
There was disappointment and substandard showings to be found in the lineup (Crawford, Youkilis), the rotation (Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka), and most definitely in the bullpen (Bard, Melancon).
Durable (Du): 1
    Jon Lester
Familiar (Fa): 3
    Dustin Pedroia
    Jon Lester
    David Ortiz
Fielder (Fi): 2
    Dustin Pedroia
    Adrian Gonzalez
Glue guy (Gl): 2
    Cody Ross
    Nick Punto
Home run threat (Hr): 1
    David Ortiz
Injury (In): 8
    Will Middlebrooks
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    David Ortiz
    Ryan Sweeney
    Carl Crawford
    Ryan Kalish
    Andrew Bailey
    John Lackey
Poison player (Po): 5
    Bobby Valentine
    Kelly Shoppach
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Josh Beckett
    Alfredo Aceves
Valentine was in charge of a very negative Sox team, whether it was a text message controversy that involved Shoppach and Gonzalez, Beckett carping about his free time, or Aceves just being himself.
Rubber arm (Ru): 1
    Alfredo Aceves
Speed (Sp): 1
    Jacoby Ellsbury
Superstar (Su): 2
    David Ortiz
    Dustin Pedroia
Versatile (Ve): 2
    Franklin Morales
    Pedro Ciriaco

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To Do list

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