Red Sox: This team is a power hitting embarrassment to our history

May 30, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Deven Marrero celebrates after hitting a three run home run in the third inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
May 30, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Deven Marrero celebrates after hitting a three run home run in the third inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /

Where is the Boston Red Sox long ball? Has the Boston home run history now part of the past and not the present? Will we have a home run future?

This lineup is an apparition and an insult to Boston Red Sox fans and tradition.

Do you think an Ace has it in his brain pan that “I must get this guy with Josh Rutledge coming up next?” A catcher goes out with “Hey, Meat. Keep this dude off the sacks. I don’t want anyone on when Sandy Leon comes up.” This is downright embarrassing. This lineup has home run ED. Geez – Brett Gardner is out-homering our guys!

I’m sure Mitch Moreland is a solid guy – you know – shares cat videos, tips well, keeps the toilet seat just right, but, hey – Mitch does not make a pitcher’s knees knock or a third baseman check his life insurance policy. None of them do. A Red Sox lineup without the monster home run guy is like going through Boston without traffic – doesn’t happen.

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A majestic towering fly ball that goes into the twilight and disappears over a distant barrier and guides into welcoming arms or even leaving the ballpark allowing tape measure blast to be mentioned. The home run in baseball is like the most colorful of slam dunks in basketball or a spectacular one-handed touchdown reception in football. The home run is a statement.

In 2017, the Red Sox team has lacked for power and by power, I do not mean doubles, but the cleaning of the bases a home run brings. Not just playing station-to-station, but simply clearing all the stations. This season Boston is ranked dead last in the American League in home runs. Cicadas hatching happens with far more regularity than a Red Sox team languishing in the home run department.

"“In my mind, the home run is paramount because it means instant runs.” –  Earl Weaver"

You simply need the “Big Bopper” in your lineup. This is a fear factor that is lurking as the possibility that Mr. Home Run could come up with runners on. Pitchers avoid that RBI producing circumstance by suddenly finding a bit more control to those that precede the power man in the lineup. Late game situations regarding the bullpen are often dictated by anticipating just when your bullpen ace will be needed to potentially eradicate the blaster in a mano a mano faceoff.

"“Home run hitters drive Cadillacs and singles hitters drive Fords” – Ralph Kiner"

In days past when the Red Sox were irrelevant, Fenway Park would clear out after Ted Williams had his last swing of the game. The same applies more recently, as bathroom breaks were delayed until David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez took their cuts. That is now history. Does anyone care to say “I can’t leave this seat until Deven Marrero hits.” Maybe just family.

The game that is played today, just about demands a hitter who is a threat to “Go yard” on any given pitch. Just as you know that a killer awaits out of the bullpen in the ninth, so does a hitter will rack up 35-40 dingers awaits to close the deal. It happens all the time. Walk off home run. The ultimate statement of authority and for Boston authority is sorely lacking in 2017.

"“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run” – Babe Ruth"

Home run hitters are the matinee idols of baseball. The home run is what has changed the game starting with Babe Ruth who made it socially acceptable. Owners and players easily recognized the value in ticket sales and salaries. Home runs certainly came an ingredient in the infamous use of PED’s. Not only does the lineup need one or more prolific home run hitters, but so do the fans. That is the elixir for most of us.

Back to Boston and the desert landscape that our power department has become. Many within Red Sox Nation expected Edwin Encarnacion to be the designated replacement. Others were available when cost factors seemed to flush Encarnacion to Cleveland. Boston simply chooses to ignore all others – even low-cost items went elsewhere as in New York Yankees. Boston stood like a bride stood up by a groom who just skedaddled with the Maid of Honor.

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This season there will be no late miracle or post All-Star miracle. There are no rocks to turn over to find a slugger or pixie dust that can suddenly turn Andrew Benintendi or Xander Bogaerts into 40+ threats. There is nothing in the farm system that is as barren as the pantry of a depression era field hand. Our system will provide nothing now, next year or the year beyond.

The mistake will be rectified in the off-season – even if the Red Sox raise another World Series banner. That they will capture with pitching. The Red Sox know the hole in the lineup. You know it and I know it and every manager, GM, owner, media member and fan knows it. The Red Sox have no bite. This team is a shark without teeth.

Next: Red Sox vs. Philadephia Phillies preview

In 2018 the lineup will have a different look – a much different look. There are free agents available, but just who is another thing to consider. Many are baseball ancient, but that may not be an issue. Trades are a possibility, but the Red Sox may have to overpay. The issue will be resolved as the Red Sox without a home run threat is just not baseball kosher. Where is Davis Eckstein when you really need him

Quotes courtesy of Brainy Quotes and Wiki.