The Boston Red Sox came into this season riding high but it wouldn’t take long for that to wear off, and now they’re almost out of time.
It’s hard to make this statement, but I think it’s getting to that time to pull the plug on the 2019 Red Sox. We all know that it’s not over until the final out of the season but it’s hard to feel any positivity with this team lately. For every victory, they follow it right up with a loss. As I write this they’ve lost to the Yankees for the 12th time this season.
I’m out of responses and ideas for what could have been done differently this season. All year long Red Sox Nation heard from management and the front office that this team had no issues and merely needed to play better. We’re in the first week of September and they sadly own a 76-66 record. There wasn’t any urgency from any level of the organization this season and as a lifelong fan, it’s pretty damn irritating.
We all knew before this season that 2018 was some fairytale stuff that would be impossible to recreate, but I don’t think any of us thought there would be this level of drop-off. During the winter Boston lost the services of Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel and then did nothing to try and fill the void. That falls on the shoulders of President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski.
I think it’s safe to say that all of Red Sox Nation will forever be thankful for another World Series banner but the way within which Dombrowski achieved that championship will cripple the team. He did as he always does and followed his usual blueprint of raiding the farm system for trades and then signing big-money contracts.
This offseason was no different as Dombrowski gave Chris Sale a mega-deal (5-year/$145M) that was unnecessary. The Red Sox still had Sale locked up through 2019 and didn’t need to make a new contract with the lefty until this winter. I wasn’t a fan of the extension as Sale had a mystery ailment to end 2018, and was a shell of his former self for much of 2019 until another trip to the IL shut him down for the rest of the season.
Dombrowski’s big spending wasn’t all a bust as he was able to give an extension to long-time shortstop Xander Bogaerts that would make him the longest-tenured shortstop in Boston since Nomar Garciaparra. Whereas Sale was a bust after he put pen to paper, Bogey has had a career season and has elevated his game to a different level.
It wasn’t a secret that the pitching staff was the weak link heading into this year but nothing could really be done due to the Red Sox crushing the Luxury Tax. And even though ownership made it seem as if they were ok with adding more to the budget the message from Dealin’ Dave was often money-centric.
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He would repeatedly bring up the cost of the roster and that they should be performing better for their wages. A simple deflection for the botched offseason and failure of the title defense. As much of a high that 2018 ended on, I think it would be safe to say that they reached the inverse in 2019. I hate being negative but I feel like there have been just so few positives to counter the sadness of 2019.
There are only three weeks left in the season and the Red Sox just aren’t performing to their potential and aren’t getting an ounce of help from anyone. After tonight’s loss, they’re now seven games back in the Wild Card and their only hope is a four-game stand against Tampa the final week of the year. But if they don’t make any moves on their own then it’s all for nothing.
Dombrowski isn’t wrong, this team absolutely should be playing at a much higher level. It has baffled us all how a team so good could be so bad after winning 108 games last season. No matter how far-off a team is from their potential they need the support of their front office to fill the voids in the equation.
Time is nearly up and unfortunately, there is no solution for that. The Red Sox had all winter to correct their missteps and fill the gaps that had formed and instead chose to forge ahead with the roster that was in-house. This team should have contended for a playoff berth without a struggle. It may not have been a cruise to October like last year but it shouldn’t have gone like this. Time is running out for the Red Sox and this needs to be a wake-up call.