Red Sox guarantees for 2015


There are certain guarantees in baseball and 2015 season should be no exception for the Boston Red Sox

Someone will tank – Every year a player of promise be it a newcomer – free agent or rookie – or a veteran will fail and fail miserably. Last season the Red Sox provided a rather interesting list with Jackie Bradley the most pronounced. Expect a similar occurrence in 2015 from someone else or, dreadful as the thought may be, more than one. It will happen.

Someone will shine – Who will it be? The Red Sox have added many new faces and have some old ones returning with something to prove. Will a Mike Napoli ring up big time power numbers in a walk year? Maybe Clay Buchholz will find the magic to get to 200 productive innings? Joe Kelly or another staff member could just chip in with 15+ wins and a 3.00 ERA. There will be players that will shine, but one will shine the brightest of all. It will happen.

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A surprise from nowhere – I didn’t see that coming! In 2014 it was the vanquished Brock Holt returns to Boston after a productive spring training and an expulsion to Pawtucket. Or even Daniel Nava rescuing his season from disaster. This will happen in 2015. Maybe someone like Heath Hembree? Maybe someone who is not even a blip on the baseball radar?

The curse of injury or “calling Dr. Howard, calling Dr. Fine, calling Dr. Howard” – In 2014 it was Shane Victorino and in 2015 it could be anyone. A slight tear that migrates to a visit to TJ surgery. A hamstring that never really heals. A broken bone that does not heal correctly. Just think of all the Dustin Pedroia injuries as an example. Most certainly a player of significance will be lost for an extended period of time to an injury. That outfield logjam could dissipate in a hurry.

Joe Hardy potential – Joe Hardy was the mythical “Shoeless Joe” of Damn Yankees fame, who led the dreadful Washington Senators to a championship. A musical version of Roy Hobbs. This is the rookie who blossoms. Maybe one the of promising left-handers will come out of nowhere and dazzle? Could be Rusney Castillo marching to a Rookie of The Year Award? Of all the guarantees this one is the most tenuous.

Get me out of here! – Someone will not be a happy camper. Last season there was talk that just maybe a few players were actually elated to be shipped off Red Sox Island. Will this happen in 2015? Just think of playing time, big salary, and frustration of collecting splinters. What will be leaked to the press? Maybe a player playing for contract? Someone will want out.

Say the right thing – Essentially do not burn bridges. If you get tossed in trade or demoted the idea is to handle it with dignity, professionalism and without rancor. But, hey, these are professional athletes. A thoughtful moment, sometimes vaporizes and what usually follows is the second phrase guaranteed to happen – “I was misquoted.”

A controversy will be created – Real or imagined the media needs something. The last thing is vanilla story after vanilla story with players saying the right things, a team distancing themselves from the competition and a happy and congenial group focused on the positive. That does not sell. Somewhere innuendo will take place. A void of no controversy must be filled. This, of course, depends entirely upon winning. Losing there is no issue with controversy real or imagined.

So throughout the season watch for the guarantees to happen here in Boston and elsewhere. I guarantee it.