Boston Red Sox have been infected by some sort of malady

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Clouds form over the grandstand before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on September 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Clouds form over the grandstand before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on September 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox are certainly not on life support with a season so young, but they apparently have cornered the market on listlessness.

I will now join the ever-growing chorus venting their frustration with a Boston Red Sox team that apparently cannot build upon success. If this was an item you purchased it would be on a recall list for defective products. The idea is to build upon success such as the three-game sweep of Tampa, but just the opposite has happened. Just what gives?

The Red Sox have certainly managed to get completely out of synch with offense and defense as neither supports the other with but just a negligible degree of baseball companionship. The latest was symptomatic of the season – a microcosm of failure against the Tigers. The Tigers are a dreadful team, but against Boston, on a dismal afternoon, they had what it took – a hand delivered game. Then the nightcap was a game the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (134 losses) would have been proud of.

Chris Sale actually managed to give a reasonable facsimile of Sale of his past with ten strikeouts. The downside is Sale’s pitch count (97) limited the newest addition (2020) to the $30 million a year club. What followed was the one item of note that simply drives me into a curse-laden torrent – first batter walks thanks to Colten Brewer and Bobby Poyner. But enough of a two-game view but this is now a seasonal montage that is becoming routine.

I have no idea just why a team that won 119 games suddenly goes into cardiac arrest? Certainly, the absence of Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel is not the reasoning as Kimbrel’s replacement – Ryan Brasier has been six-for-six in saves. And Kelly? Kelly’s 9.90 ERA with the Dodgers would fit right in with the Red Sox bullpen.

The absence of Sandy Leon was tossed about as a reason the starters suddenly resembled a rotation answer to greater Chernobyl. Leon’s recall has certainly not been a stroke of management genius. In fact, the Pawtucket staff was not exactly a zero frame producing outfit with Leon. Look elsewhere.

The next look for a target rich environment is Manager Alex Cora and pitching coach Dana LeVangie. Both had minimized the load on the arms after a long and successful playoff run. An extended spring hiatus. Made sense, but after a month all should be in pristine form. Maybe I could buy that bill of goods for two or three starts, but now?

So just what is it? What plague suddenly causes a team-wide collapse? David Price has already spoken about the fact trades can be contemplated and executed with no one subject to an exemption. Price is an astute observer and aware that no one is secure. A verbal dope slap for his teammates. Maybe a dramatic trade could shake the doldrums out?

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Then the really bad news that continues to surface and it is not related to the Red Sox but towards New York and the Yankees. The Yankees roster appears like the remains of buzzard stripped cattle but they continue to win with an improbable cast. And then there is Tampa, which despite a Boston sweep, quickly recovered.

The Red Sox have been down this road before with first-to-worst this century and apparently are making an effort to do it once again. A mighty task considering Baltimore is in the division. What a wonder it would be with such an enormous payroll and talented roster (on paper) to miss out on the playoffs.

Just what possible solution could I offer? There is really none to put forward based on the collective effort by the team. The course I would choose is a simple one that relates to personal health care and that is to wait it out. Treat it like the cold or flu and eventually, it just goes away. But if it doesn’t then you may end up planted or in an urn. The Red Sox 2019 could end that way.

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The season is relatively young but bad habits are difficult to break and the Red Sox seem to develop new and exotic ways of fumbling away games. So far it is one step forward followed by one step backward. I have not pressed the panic button but my hand is slowly inching closer to doing so. The team has shown little to give me the confidence of a successful season a jump-start.