Boston Red Sox need a divorce from Clay Buchholz

May 9, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) bends over on the mound after giving up a home run to Oakland Athletics left fielder Khris Davis (not pictured) during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
May 9, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) bends over on the mound after giving up a home run to Oakland Athletics left fielder Khris Davis (not pictured) during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox have had ten years of disappointment from Clay Buchholz and now it is time for both to just move on.

I hate being late. If I have an appointment, I will get there early and simply wait. I was brought up like that and that trait can be blamed on my parental upbringing. My spouse is just the opposite, so we have had decades of conflict over this issue. However, enough of the internal marriage issues. Go to another tact, as they say in sailing.

The above can be placed into other areas where say a specific time is allotted for a delivery that seems to be on a different time zone than you live in. The same could apply to friends who are constantly late or cannot be relied upon for promised help. On and on we can build scenarios where perfectly reasonable and responsible people are capable of disappointment because of your own intrinsic structural system.

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Clay Buchholz is that neighbor who’s pledged help with a mundane project evaporates either out of forgetfulness or their own calendar dysfunction. Sometimes you are just tired of relationships that are exceedingly frustrating and move on while remaining social and avoid even appearing aloof. Only with Buchholz it is his performances that I, and no doubt many others within “The Nation,” now realize that is time for a separation from the rotation and possibly even the team. As Dear Abby would say: “Are you better off with or without him?”

Buchholz’s history of inconsistent performances is well documented and can go from start to start or season to season. At this point, Buchholz is 31 years old and will be forever known as promise unfulfilled unless some mid-career epiphany takes place and 30+ starts become routine. A better bet would be world peace – and not the basketball player.

Buchholz is like most players and probably quite reflective and certainly disappointed in his career trials and tribulations – maybe not the public persona for consumption, but when he is alone with his thoughts. Buchholz does not exist in a vacuum and is well aware of how the public and media perceives him right down to the doppelganger comments equating his physical appearance to Barney Fife – the classic comic character created by Don Knotts.

So what to do?

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The Red Sox have already committed to this season and 13 or so million with another option for a similar amount to be presented in 2017 at the discretion of the team. Picking up the option was a risky proposition and a gamble by management that apparently has failed. I would have risked it with the desire being the 12-1 or 17-7 from the past coming into play and pitch in 2016. Not happening.

Sometimes one must just move on. Buchholz does have value for Boston as a pitcher, but other options exist that provide a far higher degree of certainty and far fewer question marks. There is always a market for pitching and always a GM willing to roll the payroll dice and take a chance and Buchholz is a mountain size question mark. A GM could actually make or break his career with a Buchholz gamble.

Where does Buchholz go?

The number one exclusion is the division. Buchholz has an outstanding career record (5-3, 1.91) at Tropicana Field, but even the down and out Rays should be avoided – and the money alone would scare the fiscal bejeebers out of the parsimonious Rays. Baltimore (5-2, 1.91) drifts into the same category, but they are actually a serious contender. So as Horace Greely said: “Go West, young man.”

The Royals are world champions and hope to stay that way, but the rotation – never really slick in 2015 – has some really rough pitching edges and Kauffman Stadium (3-1, 3.00) has been a place where the home run prone Buchholz has done rather well. KC is also one place where the daily sports talk does not feed off the negative vibes and Buchholz’s psyche would be far more mellow in such a pleasant work environment.

Another contender that could always need a boost is the suddenly very hot Chicago White Sox and their camp ground known as Cellular Field. Buchholz has enjoyed (3-1, 3.19) his visits to that particular playground and Chicago ire is usually directed to the north side and the Cubs.

Lastly is as far west as one can go and that is in the general Los Angeles area and the Angels of California, LA or Anaheim – the shifting sands of name changes confuse me no end. Buchholz (1-1, 4.05) would enjoy a ballpark better suited to half of his starts and the Angels are certainly in need – as are most teams – of some arms.

The Red Sox have certain options that are available and certainly worth exploring – Joe Kelly is younger, cheaper and just a tad less frustrating. There is constant talk of Dave Dombrowski making a move to acquire another starter with a more reliable pedigree. Maybe a baseball miracle will happen and Henry Owens will somehow locate that mysterious strike zone his pitches have been avoiding?

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Buchholz’s career numbers are reasonably close at home and on the road, but certain parks and teams of the three listed provide a bit more of a comfort zone and all are in need, but any trade means you get something in return and just what do you get? What exactly is Buchholz worth? That is the question that will need defining by management. For the fans, it would be a paraphrase of Henny Youngman: “Take my pitcher – please.”