There was a stretch of time early last week when I actually though that I could turn my back on the Red Sox for a while, and maybe catch up with the struggling Revs, or just wait for the the whole Tom Brady situation to resolve itself. But I was wrong, and just like Michael Corleone in “Godfather III”, I’ve been rather dramatically pulled back in. When you find out why, I expect you too will be nodding your head knowingly.
Although I was one of those who thought the Red Sox brass missed an opportunity to light a fire under the team by firing Farrell a month or two ago, I am now very glad they didn’t. I can’t imagine losing your job and then being faced with a cancer diagnosis all within a few weeks. Farrell is undoubtedly much more fortunate than many would be in this situation, as it was caught early, and he is likely in a better financial situation to deal with it than the more typical worker might be. But still, it can’t be easy. He’s also fortunate to have a friend like Terry Francona. As luck would have it, Farrell’s first bout of chemotherapy happened to coincide with the one and only appearance of the Cleveland Indians in Boston this season. Francona, who was a former teammate of Farrell’s, showed up at the hospital at 7:30 in the morning to be with his friend. I have always been a fan of Francona, and have never been able to totally forgive John Lackey and Jon Lester for their betrayal of him back in 2011. Especially when you consider that both of them had been touched by cancer as well. (Lackey’s wife suffered from breast cancer, while Lester also had lymphoma.) Anyway, Farrell may still lose his job, but I like his chances for beating cancer, and that’s obviously the most important thing on his mind right now.
CHERINGTON TO DOMBROSKI:
When I heard the news regarding Farrell, my first reaction was to shake my head in disbelief. When I heard the news about the hiring of Dave Dombrowski to head operations, and the subsequent departure of Ben Cherington, it was to nod my head knowingly. Let’s face it, although you may have been surprised by its timing and the manner in which it was done, you cannot be shocked that it happened. Yes, Ben has probably had a hand in one way or another in each of their three World Series wins, but three last place finishes in four years, plus a badly constructed 2015 team, spelled his doom.
I’ll admit to being perplexed by how badly this year’s team has done, and I would not be alone. Many an independent eye predicted that the Sox would have the best offensive lineup in the American League (ironically enough, most of them picked Detroit second) and although they lacked a true ace, you would have thought the pitching sufficient enough to at least be a contender. As I mentioned last time out, many in Red Sox Nation were disappointed coming out of the trade deadline that the big news was about the departure of Larry Lucchino, and although there was a great of talk about finding Cherington an older, experienced adviser, this was not what was anticipated. The 59 year old Dombrowski comes to Boston with 37 years of experience, 6 playoff appearances, 3 pennants, and a World Series title, but wanted total control and would not be someone’s adviser. He’s got it. Now let the magic begin.
After my “You Know You Are in Trouble When…” submission of a week or so ago, you probably would have been nodding your head knowingly if I had included one that pointed out that you know you are in trouble when your left fielder costs your team more runs with his defense than he produces with his bat. Although Ramirez has improved somewhat in the outfield, and is no longer giving up a run a game, he isn’t doing all that much better. He is currently ranked 31st out of 35 AL outfielders, with a range factor of 1.40, second worst in the league. His .263,19/53, batting stats hardly justify his 4 year, $88 million contract. You have to believe that one of the first order of business for Dombowski will be to figure out what to do with a crowded outfield that includes Mookie Betts (.270, 10/56), Rusney Castillo (.284, 4/19), and Jackie Bradley (.244, 4/17), all of whom have been playing very well of late. Will they move Ramirez to first? Will they try to trade him? Will they try to trade Bradley for some pitching? And what about Pablo Sandoval? All I can say is….stay tuned.
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016