I knew that any hope of a second half comeback was lost when the Red Sox dropped two of three to the Yanks, in addition to losing their “ace” Clay Buchholz, back before the All-Star break. I thought, however, that the process of rebuilding for next year would begin with a few well thought out moves at the trade deadline. I was wrong. We are officially in trouble and here’s how I know.
YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN TROUBLE, WHEN…
1) The biggest news coming out of at the trade deadline is that you are getting a new executive. Larry Lucchino has done a great deal for the Sox since his arrival in 2002, including putting seats on top of the Green Monster, but you really have to be suspicious of the timing of the announcement. I think it’s safe to assume most Red Sox fans would have preferred hearing about the arrival of some new arms for the suffering bullpen, or another hitter, but not a front office move.
2) Your new third basemen takes signing a “fat” contract a little too literally. To say that Pablo Sandoval has been a disappointment to this point is an understatement. He’s not known for being a great regular season hitter, but his current stats of ,259, 9 HRs. 35 RBI are not pretty at all. Also, the last time I checked, he was ranked something like 13th in fielding for AL third basemen. There’s a growing concern that his extra weight is affecting his play, as he recently “ran out of gas” running the bases and was thrown out at home. There was some speculation that he might be traded to San Diego, as they were interested in him in the off season, but that obviously did not happen. Is it too late to put a weight clause in his contract?
3) You have a payroll in the $200 million range and you are in last place, with the fewest wins in the league. That probably doesn’t need any more explanation.
4) The second baseman, who is the heart and soul of your team, pulls a hamstring. The deeper issue is that this is something like the fourth year in a row that Dustin Pedroia hasn’t been able to stay healthy. One difference, however, is that he has been able to stay on the field in other years. It’s been a while since Pedroia’s been himself, and the Red Sox sorely miss that.
5) The pitcher you threw big money at has five wins and is on the DL. Boston took a big gamble with Ric Porcello, signing him to a 4 year, $82.5 million extension, and so far it’s not looking good. He’s 5-11, at this point, with a 5.81 ERA, with only one win since May. Porcello is only 26, so there is time time for him to mature, but you have to wonder if he’s just not front of the rotation, big market material.
6) When your prospects get an August 1st call up instead of a September 1st one. It seems like the only good that’s come of this mess is that infielder Travis Shaw, outfielder Rusney Castillo and pitchers Eduardo Rodriquez, Brain Johnson, and Henry Owens are getting some serious real time experience. It’s not much of a positive I suppose, but these might be the only things that cast a positive light on the future for the Sox. How much of a positive remains to be seen, so for now all I can say is…
- 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