Red Sox road to recovery will be long and arduous

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Torey Lovullo
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Torey Lovullo /

The Boston Red Sox have been disposed of like a three-day old newspaper to a soggy landfill. What does the future hold? For this rant, it looks bleak.

Baseball is a game that is often compared to chess in that moves must be planned for a few innings or even a few games ahead.  Decisions that may reek of being classic bonehead moves prove to be correct. Bullpen management, knowing your opponent’s options and all the other minutiae of baseball decision-making. This also applies to the upper echelon where planning will be far more extensive.

The Boston Red Sox know their projections for salary and they certainly are aware of free agents who may come on the market and what they may offer to Boston. Talent within the system at all levels and talent on other teams is assessed with extensive scouting reports and advanced metrics.

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I am a normal Red Sox fan and our baseball life exists with both eyes firmly focused about 200 miles south – the New York Yankees.  So, Dave Dombrowski,  how do you at this time stack up with Brian Cashman and New York?  If this was a chess match Cashman is Bobby Fisher and Dombrowski a checkers player.

Cashman rebuilt NY in a year with astute trading, keeping top of the line prospects and now having some high-profile contracts ready to expire. Boston needs a home run bat and NY has Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird. If the last two seasons were gradable Cashman gets an A+ and Dombrowski an F. Which team would you rather have the next few years?

A successful Red Sox farm system has been picked clean and the results have been less than dramatic.  Free agents and trades seem to have collected players whose heroics end when the postseason begins. Personally, I would have doubts thyat Dombrowski will survive another Red Sox failure.

In a earlier life I was employed by several companies in the DPS (Dreaded Private Sector).  One company was rather short-term consulting basis and that was Wang – a noted computer company. The other was Howard Johnson Company and no one over 30-years-old needs a biography of HoJo’s. Both companies have failed after decades of success. Maybe I was the common denominator?

The issues with the Red Sox will eventually have ownership as patient zero in any corporate failure. Poor management, lack of vision and relying of past success can most certainly insulate senior management from seeing the potholes that are cropping up like weeds in my garden. I saw that first hand in the DPS.

The Red Sox made dramatic changes in the baseball operations department over the last few years.  Ben Cherington became a baseball Peter Principal and the Red Sox replaced him with Dombrowski, who ownership already knew and respected. Have the results been pleasing? Do you see a marvelous future for the Red Sox?

With both Cherington and Drombowski a bit of research can dredge up success and failures with free agent signings, drafting, trades and all the baseball nitty-gritty that we consume as the real attention-getting moves.  Are you impressed with the Red Sox since Theo Epstein left the circus? A championship in 2013 that was based with a healthy dose of “intangibles” that have been vacant since that surprise. A team that looks like the casting call for The Walking Dead.

The fish rots from the head down and that means John Henry who is most noted for a dorky straw hat and exquisite arm candy. Henry apparently is focused on the real important baseball issues that face the Red Sox such as renaming Yawkey Way or knee jerk reactions to unsubstantiated claims by an Orioles outfielder. But close – very close to the head – is Dombrowski.

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I am all “Debbie Downer” with the Red Sox.  I see Cleveland and Houston accomplishing more with less. And NY can outspend Boston and now can make far more positive baseball decisions.  All three I would trade roster for roster in a micro second. Boston’s talent is there, but it seems to have stalled and even taken a step back. I see a farm system that had a last gasp of productivity with Rafael Devers. Otherwise, there is little of merit.

Dombrowski will be around since he is supposed to have “a plan” and just what might that be? The wallet is probably closed so the chances of J.D. Martinez coming to town are nil. To make a baseball analogy Dombrowski is Willie Mays circa 1973 flopping around in center field with only a shell of his former talent. Yes – I am bitter over the Red Sox demise.

The Red Sox are ready to capitulate in this chess match with the American League rivals.  They have been out boxed and out foxed. As mentioned the payroll may negate the signing of the necessary parts to repair the damage. Escalating contracts are on the horizon as noted in this BSI article. Ratings are down and fan interest is waning. This is a franchise in the very early stages of becoming comatose.

Next: Three Red Sox positions that may need a reset for 2018

The beauty of baseball is there is always promise for the next season.  Maybe a managerial shift will resurrect some of the more morbid talent? Maybe they will catch a free agent diamond in the rough? Maybe David Price will opt out? Maybe all that pitching will suddenly jell?  Maybe they will spend with abandon? Maybe next October I will be praising Dombrowski?