Has the Boston Red Sox offseason been exciting? The team has done nothing to improve. Forget the big names since there are no little names, either.
A recent BSI article by Charles Smith looked at the sudden offseason disappearance of Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox. A grade of “F” contingent upon not signing J.D. Martinez, but I may consider that grade even with such a signing. I realize that I, and others, are beating this topic like a rented mule, but deservedly so.
How many ways can the forces of the mysterious unknown conspire to make my life a bit more disheartening as possible? The visit of the annual wretched cold is example number one despite my chewing – under the direction of my spouse – zinc tablets like peanut M & M’s. And then the snow. There are places where I can sit on a deck in the middle of winter and enjoy a balmy breeze and temperatures that mandate a short sleeve shirt. Then there is baseball.
The offseason is supposed to be one of planning on how to torment my list of Yankee friends – an enjoyable payback for all pre-2004 embarrassments for tying my emotional anchor to the Red Sox. Now? “I have a bad feeling about this” to quote a purloined line from Star Wars. And the bad feeling is baseball season circa 2018.
The Red Sox have not sped away or idled the engine – they have simply not even started the engine. Maybe Dombrowski has not even opened the door to what was supposed to be a driving force for 2018 in the American League East. Brian Cashman has rebuilt the “Evil Empire” while the Red Sox seem to be observers. Hey, DD, this is the AL East and the Yankees are the primary competition.
I generally am a staunch proponent of patience. Give young players with a solid scouting resume an extended trial. If a deal goes sour such as Travis Shaw for Tyler Thornburg just give it a year or two. And a free agent failure? Well, maybe the second season will be profitable like Pablo Sandoval. Yeah – forget that option. But this offseason has me as jittery as a flea without a dog.
Is there a plan? Appears the answer to that is a firm negative. The latest signing is Ivan De Jesus with a minor league contract. I happen to be an ardent believer in the secondary market, but De Jesus? There were others available, but the Red Sox passed. Maybe De Jesus will find what he lost about four years ago but at 36-years-old?
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Tampa Bay is in the stages of a fire sale. Has Boston checked in? New York has expressed interest in Chris Archer who would be a very solid attention to a Boston rotation with numerous question marks. Archer is a big “name” and what concerns me is the names that are not up in lights. Dependable veterans who can slide in when needed. Maybe a nice trial run at Pawtucket? So far – silence.
OK – maybe it is still early going in a slow market and when snooze control is shut off Boston will get energized. A few warm baseball bodies capable of plugging some leaks or being a replacement for the departed Chris Young. Hey – Daniel Nava is still on the board.
However, the main opposition in the AL has brought in the ultimate power hitter and has a large bank account, trading possibilities, and an enriched farm system. I somehow doubt sending Xander Bogaerts to Baltimore for Manny Machado will invigorate this offseason.
The offseason is like a Broadway show doing a trial run. You get into a rhythm, cut down the numbers, change lines and do some fine tuning before your finished project is ready for The Great White Way. For baseball, the off-season functions in a similar fashion. Right now, this critic has thumbs down.
The Boston Red Sox off-season is better than a sleeping pill. So far, the team has clearly demonstrated a stuck in reverse approach to improvement.