Red Sox survival tutorial for Cherington and Farrell


For Red Sox Nation the large blooming flower known as “Panic” is sprouting up in gardens throughout the regions as the wheels continue to come off on a well-planned business model designed to resuscitate a dismal 2014 season.

The pitching coach has already been dismissed as have a few players as the Red Sox have swallowed payroll and attempted to find warm bodies to replace cold ones. The reality lies in the old adage that “The fish rots from the head down.”

I do not subscribe to tossing in the towel on this team and shouting “No Mas” for 2015 – at least not yet. Hold off fire sales and trades that may just create more problems than they solve. Now back to the fish.

The ownership is not going anywhere. There is no stockholders meeting to provide a vote of no confidence. That points the finger clearly at two prime targets – manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherrington. This team finishes below .500 both will certainly be gone with just a sliver of survival for Cherington.

There are two possibilities that emerge for the Cherington-Farrell combine to potentially rescue the season and their employment. Item one is the team suddenly discovers their lost skills.

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The bats have a history of success. Will a Mike Napoli continue to hit like Jon Lester? Can Blake Swihart provide production? Can David Ortiz get consistently hot? Will Dustin Pedroia continue his offensive rebirth? Is Xander Bogaerts able to touch .280 with some continued RISP success?

Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez appear to be early going free agents positives. Can Rusney Castillo finally surface in Boston and display his five-tool potential? Will Jackie Bradley finally find the magic of consistency? The offense does not worry me but oh that defense!

Pitching is the main component of defense and I could rattle off the metrics of the staff and especially the rotation, but why go to a baseball “R” rating? The performance has been beyond disappointing. And looking at the FIP of Cole Hamels it could have been tragic with either Swihart or energetic Mookie Betts shipped to Philadelphia.

Can this staff find any elixir that will suddenly lower the various WHIP’s, FIP’s, ERA’s and sundry metrics to a level where the offense could actually be relevant? That is where patience and panic collide and I am in the patience category. Give them some more time. Sixty games? The All-Star break? Then, if it fails comes survival option two.

On the job training for young pitchers is similar to allowing a novice tightrope walker to traverse two boundaries on a day with hurricane winds while intoxicated. You must expect the (hopefully) occasional disaster and, just maybe, a sign of promise for the future.

The names we know: Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Eduardo Rodriguez and Matt Barnes. If the plummet on the staff continues, then a priority should be to see what the kids can do. The raves about the farm system are just bluster without doing it in “The Show.” Make a selection of just who and toss them into the mix.

The potential for survival of Cherington-Farrell could ultimately rest of the shoulders of young pitchers and young hitters. With positive production comes both hope and promise. Red Sox fans love “promise” and the pain of failure could be eradicated with a strong second half showing by a Rodriguez, Owens or anyone who has been designated “can’t miss.”

The siren song of “Just wait until next year” could certainly provide a life-line for Cherington-Farrell and those of us with both and emotional and financial (Seats ain’t cheap) in the 2015 Red Sox.

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