The Boston Red Sox off-season has all the excitement of balancing your checkbook. The team has done nothing geared towards product improvement.
Teams are built to win, and some are built to lose. This current Boston Red Sox addition is most certainly on the cusp of losing, but not with a fall off the cliff precarious fall into a flaming lava abyss. After all, this is the defending division champions who did manage to win 93 games despite a series of pitfalls that centered on unfortunate injuries and disappointing individual performances.
Gone is manager John Farrell who in the corporate structure became the official sacrificial goat for the 2017 season. As somewhat of a Farrell “hater” this just seemed a rather strange move, but understandable since Farrell had no close ties to Dave Dombrowski.
Meanwhile the new manager – Alex Cora – has been given the keys to the immediate future. What Cora also has is a team that should perform like an Austin Martin, but it does have a flaw – a few wheels are missing, and some minor body damage is present. Unfortunately, little has been done to remediate the flaws from 2017.
I can certainly commensurate with Dombrowski on the acquisition of a “bat.” That term is one that even the most rudimentary observer of all things Red Sox knows is a player who carts legitimately serious lumber to the plate with intent to inflict serious pitcher harm. The Red Sox apparently have narrowed their search to J.D. Martinez and are engaged in a who blinks first contest with his agent.
But what frosts me is the little things – or a series of little things. The daily list of signings by other teams to plug holes is missing from the Red Sox. All the good stuff is gone and apparently, the Red Sox are content with the cheap stuff or internal solutions.
Missing is a noted backup for the infield. Nothing against Brock Holt, but Holt – like Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound – seems to attract injuries like flies are attracted to you know what. The most obvious solution is Eduardo Nunez, who performed admirably for Boston last season. The price is manageable, but the Red Sox seem to be ignoring Nunez like a cheerleader ignoring the advances of a geeky guy for the senior prom.
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The other issues I can go into the BSI vault for my own articles or the plethora of articles by fellow contributors and lay it upon you. An extra outfielder, a potential lefty for the bullpen, a spot starter, a veteran attempting a legitimate comeback, and on she goes with, well – nothing!
Dombrowski has a reputation as a wheeler-dealer of note but has been rather passive this off-season. Is it fiscal restraints? Is it waiting for a late shopping splurge? Is it no talent to trade?
The main issue for me in the built to lose category is the foundation and in baseball, that foundation is pitching. If – I really am beginning to dislike that word – if the Red Sox rotation comes together like peanut butter and jelly this team will win the division. But that is certainly a high-risk approach based on historical data. Could it happen? Is there magic pitching pixie dust to accomplish this? Sure – my pet unicorn says so.
The last part of a lose is the same as the pitching rotation and that is the offense. If – there I go again- if all the cylinders on DD’s and Cora’s Austin Martin, click as they have in the past you have the delectable and virtually unbeatable combination of exceptional pitching and hitting. Are you betting your tax plan bonus on that happening?
My Fellowship of the Miserable tendencies are surfacing. The inactivity is – to use a tired political term “troubling.” The Red Sox have solved nothing, and my baseball fear is even with a “bat” they are Costanza doomed in 2018.