The Boston Red Sox 2019 season is one that conjures up disappointment, disaster, and dismal to use the D-word connection. That D also connects to Dombrowski who must clean it up.
The reconstruction of the Red Sox will soon begin as the season slowly comes to its miserable and disappointing conclusion. Certainly, the blame game will jump far ahead of Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy among the disappointed denizens of fabled Red Sox Nation. Right now the RSN is becoming a baseball Venezuela.
Manager Alex Cora will get his Mulligan for 2019 since his pitching game pieces to capture another title were about as competent as the last twenty or so Congresses. Therefore the onus is squarely on upper management and most notable is the esteemed President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski.
Climbing up the blame ladder you can go right into the corporate shell located somewhere at Fenway Park in areas few of us can afford or have access. The Red Sox simply closed the checkbook, avoided a staggering luxury tax, and decided to allocate their monetary resources to three high-priced trinkets: Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, and Nathan Eovaldi.
One out of three makes you a .333 hitter, but one out of three in high-profile contracts makes senior management pray to all baseball Gods for a rebound.
The measure of Dombrowski will be this offseason. Undoubtedly Dealin’ Dave and his evaluators are sequestered in a metrics bunker at the old ballyard wistfully pinpointing trade targets, potential free agents, and what remains of a farm system in hopes of fumigating the stench of 2019.
Dealin’ Dave has his legacy to build and he will either be listed a one year wonder or will somehow make the right moves to make 2019 a mere dismal blip on the Red Sox historical record. Dombrowski in his extensive career has significantly participated in rebuilding teams such as the long-gone Montreal Expos and Miami Marlins.
In Miami, Dombrowski won a title, then tore it down per directions from owner Wayne Huizenga, then reconstructed the farm system before Miami bagged another title in 2003.
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Dombrowski isn’t going anywhere since he is signed for the long haul and this is his operation to make or break. But that certainly comes with a caveat such as a 2020 season blissfully going into the tank. The fortunate item for Dombrowski is a core of young players to build around.
The unfortunate is a pitching staff that is vastly overpaid and equally underperforming. Just David Price, Sale, and Eovaldi have contracts exceeding the payroll of Tampa Bay.
The offseason will be a template for the future Red Sox teams meaning at a minimum the next three seasons. This quite naturally will stir interest and most certainly provide fodder from the ferocious media and fan base who will make those adorable Raptors in Jurassic Park appear like a docile household pet.
The issue at hand for 2020 will be team performance and that could suddenly impact down the baseball food chain. Even Cora could become a member of the “What have you done for me lately?” club and become the next John Farrell. And Dombrowski? His close association with John Henry et al just might not be enough to insulate him from the baseball grim reaper.
I have noticed more acceptance of the inevitable as the season drifts to its sordid conclusion. If baseball has stages of grief the resignation is becoming more embraced with each dismal loss. And “wait ‘till next year” has now become the defensive reaction to our collective disappointment.