Thanks, David Ortiz. The memories were great, but nobody believes your Saturday speech. When I sat hanging out with a friend and heard that you and Manny failed your drug test prior to the 2003 season, all I could mutter was that's so "sad."
You've gradually declined for a couple of years now. Bill Simmons hoped that it was non U.S. "baseball player aging" (i.e. lying on birth certificates to get a bigger contract - Miguel Tejada and Orlando Hernandez, for example). The truth was that the line of use and non-use had caught up to the big guy.
It's not that you're alone in this. Most players use (sadly, I believe Jose Canseco on this). It's just how bad this season got with people believing you could turn it around. Your batting average is a liability. You don't play a position. You're over the hill, and it hurts to say goodbye, but we must (wish someone would have done that for John Smoltz before the season started).
On top of this, Lowell is injury plagued. The offense was terrible this weekend in going 30+ innings without a run before the guy who will replace Varitek (Victor Martinez - bold move by the way) hit a homerun. Now, we have to face a future without Varitek's leadership (even if his offense is a liability). Daisuke has been injured and whining. Leadership chooses to believe in Bucholz even though he should have been jettisoned in any good pitching trade (why isn't Halladay pitching at Fenway?).
The only thing left to believe in is Youkilis, Beckett, Pedroia, Papelbon, Bay, and Lester. That's it.
Time to rebuild. This team has officially run its course.