The Red Sox have no core IMO. If you're sketchy about how this team's most valued players might perform next season -- or, in some cases, every season --- then that's not a core.
This is the little game we play every year: hope our 'core' pulls through and plays to their potential. But all the inconsistency just affirms many players on this team shouldn't be built around -- that a new foundation is needed.
Core players should be money in the bank.
Sadly you're right. We've got a lot of talent, and guys that are the heart of our team. But there is no Manny or Ortiz in his prime. Kind of scary.