Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Red Sox have undergone a tremendous amount of change over the past few years.

Sure, some mainstays like David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and
Jacoby Ellsbury have defined the core of this team. Yet by my count, 13 or 14 of the players I consider most likely to be on the postseason roster have been with the team for no longer than two seasons.

That doesn’t just mean that a lot of new faces populate the 2013 roster. It means that we’ll be facing plenty of old faces as we (hopefully) progress through the playoffs this year.

I miss you, Adrian. Photo by Kelly O'Connor,

I miss you, Adrian. Photo by Kelly O’Connor,

The Braves and Cardinals are boring: They have no past Red Sox on their rosters. The Reds and Rays are also boring: The past Red Sox they employ include just Bronson Arroyo and James Loney, respectively.

Yet for the other six teams in the playoffs (or fighting for a playoff spot, in the case of Texas), former Red Sox abound.

The cynic in me is waiting for one of these players to end our season. The optimist sees this as a way to exorcize many of our ghosts at once.

Either way, let’s see some old friends and familiar faces we might run into over the next month.

Cleveland Indians

Matt Albers
Mike Aviles
Nick Hagadone
Rich Hill
Justin Masterson
Kelly Shoppach

A mostly uninspiring list of players, except for Masterson, Masterson’s wife’s cookies, Aviles’ calves and Hill’s comeback story. The prospect of Albers actually recording an out in a big situation makes me uneasy, as do visions of Shoppach throwing out Ellsbury in a big situation. But said scenarios are unlikely to happen: it’s Masterson or bust in terms of potential Indians Sox killers.

Oh, yeah, And Terry Francona and Brad Mills. They have some history with the Sox too.

Detroit Tigers

Anibal Sanchez
Jose Iglesias
Victor Martinez

Quality over quantity, here. Part of the Josh Beckett trade, Sanchez has blossomed into an excellent starting pitcher. Iglesias will probably make 2,432 spectacular defensive plays and hit .500 with a 1,000 BABIP if we face Detroit in the ALCS. Martinez is clearly in decline, but is still a decent hitter and I still miss him. This crew of former Sox scares me more than most others.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Josh Beckett
Carl Crawford
Tim Federowicz
Stephen Fife
Adrian Gonzalez
Nick Punto
Hanley Ramirez

Some stars and some fodder, with relatively little in between. Ramirez and Gonzalez are still among the better players in the game, even if they are inconsistent. Crawford still hasn’t (and probably never will) regain his Tampa form, but if we face LAD in the World Series, expect him to steal at least 75 bases. Did you know he didn’t like his time in Boston?

Fed-Ex and Fife were two C-level prospects who will only be notable if they play the role of unsung hero, while Punto only puts up stats in the “arbitrary headfirst slides into first base” column. If Nick f—ing Punto actually gets a meaningful hit against the Red Sox this October, I give up.

Beckett won’t get to pitch because he’s fat or golfing or likes chicken or something.

Oakland Athletics

Bartolo Colon
Coco Crisp
Jed Lowrie
Brandon Moss
Josh Reddick

I think this is the group of players most Sox fans are secretly expecting to come back to haunt us. Reddick will probably hit three homers per game against Boston, and one of those balls will reach the Mass Pike and shatter Ryan Kalish’s window as he drives by, leading to another year on the DL. Lowrie will probably harm the Sox by staying up late with Ellsbury and watching chick flicks and eating ice cream before the games. Moss is the perfect “why don’t we get players like that” Bob Lobel-line guy. It’s been so long for Crisp that I sort of no longer associate him with the Red Sox, although I’ll always remember that crappy Red Sox Nation commercial. When Colon was a Red Sox he still had his elbow ligament, so this shouldn’t count. Thanks for the lolz re: injuring yourself by swinging, tough.

At least we have Andrew Bailey.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Marlon Byrd
Kris Johnson
Mark Melancon
Stolmy Pimentel

The Pirates are the NL team most Sox fans seem to be rooting for. But as former Sox go, this is a pretty uninspired group. I still can’t believe Byrd is alive: He looked like he had passed away two years ago in 2012. Johnson is good for the “oh crap, was that the Jason Bay deal?” memories. Pimentel was once a top prospect and it’s nice to see him having some success elsewhere. Melancon was never as bad as his 2012 stats indicated,
and you should have known that. Shame on you.

At least we have Joel Hanrahan.

Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre
Engel Beltre
David Murphy

I miss Adrian terribly. I love me some WMB and I understand why he needed to leave, but he’s one of the most fun players Boston has housed in the last half-decade. Engel is just as likely to try and fight the entire Sox team as he has actually contribute meaningfully to the outcome of a game. Murphy continues to have a solid career after being tossed away in the Eric Gagne deal.

Remember Kason Gabbard? I remember Kason Gabbard.

And now, just for the fun of it …

Best Players

1. Adrian Beltre
2. Hanley Ramirez
3. Anibal Sanchez
4. Adrian Gonzalez
5. Justin Masterson
124323542. Nick Punto

The “Oh God This Reminds Me Of 2012” Crew

1. Nick Punto
2. James Loney
3. Marlon Byrd


1. Kris Johnson
2. Stephen Fife
3. Nick Hagadone

Potentially Most Devastating Walk-Off Winners

1. Carl Crawford
2. Josh Reddick
3. Jose Iglesias
HM: Nick Punto

The “Just For The Lulz” Past-Sox Lineup

1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
3. Hanley Ramirez, SS
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Josh Reddick, RF
6. Victor Martinez, DH
7. Carl Crawford, LF
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Jose Iglesias, 2B

Anibal Sanchez
Justin Masterson
Bartolo Colon
Bronson Arroyo

Kris Johnson
Matt Albers
Stephen Fife
Rich Hill
Mark Melancon

Aside from the bullpen, that’s actually pretty good.

Thankfully, it’s probably not 97-65 good.