Boston Red Sox terrible, horrible, no good, very bad offseason
Other Odds and Ends:
There are other smaller but no less damaging hits in public perception the team has taken this offseason. They’ve raised ticket prices yet again after proclaiming their own cost-cutting while apparently not thinking fans might want to do the same (especially after a lousy season and a forthcoming one that doesn’t look much better).
An employee of theirs was convicted of twenty-six counts of sexual assault at the New Hampshire State children’s detention home (to their credit, the team promptly suspended him). It’s been one thing after another for this team in what’s been their worst offseason in a long time, if not ever.
The obvious comparison to be made here is the 2011 offseason which started with the “fried chicken and beer” scandal and the historic September collapse and ended with the Red Sox out of the postseason. The fallout from that was enormous: Terry Francona was fired and smeared by Henry’s Globe on the way out, GM Theo Epstein resigned, and the entire team (especially Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and John Lackey) were humiliated. The team tried to make things better (unbelievably) by hiring Bobby Valentine to manage the team in 2012…we all know how that turned out and I don’t need to rehash that low point in Red Sox history.
I’d argue that this offseason has been far worse than 2011. Not only does the team seem utterly directionless from ownership and the front office on down, but the talent on the roster has remained stagnant while the Yankees, Twins, Indians, and White Sox (not to mention the still-dangerous Astros and Athletics) have all improved. The team is involved in a cheating scandal which cost them their disgraced manager, there is major uncertainty with their best player, and various other slings and arrows which have all added up to bloody and batter the Red Sox as a brand and as a team.
If the 2020 season is even remotely similar to 2019 on the field, things will get even uglier in a hurry. Regardless, the Red Sox will have no one to blame but themselves as these problems have been almost entirely self-inflicted. This team turned in a season for the ages two years ago and that’s never felt as far away as it does right now.