A look at how the coronavirus has distracted from the Red Sox awful offseason and how a cancelled season wouldn’t be the worst thing.
Everything that has been going on with the coronavirus and the potential cancellation of the 2020 baseball season has been a huge disappointment. But it has been a good distraction for the Boston Red Sox following one of their worst offseasons ever, and a cancelled 2020 campaign would not be the worst thing.
The Red Sox had the worst offseason that I can remember in my young life. Between the Mookie Betts trade (that I do justify here), the Alex Cora firing and the cheating allegations that surrounded the Red Sox, finding a new manager, and Chris Sale getting Tommy John, it has all been a mess.
The only Red Sox related memories that have pained me to a similar extent are getting woken up at the age of 8 to hear that Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers, each one of Wily Mo Pena’s 58 strikeouts in 2007 (33.7% K rate with the Red Sox; guy couldn’t hit a beachball), and Bobby Valentine’s entire 2012 campaign.
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Anyways, it has been a bad offseason. It was a bad look for the Red Sox to be involved in the cheating scandal and having to fire Cora, and it greatly displeased fans when the Sox traded franchise cornerstone and superstar Mookie Betts.
But, right now, no one is talking about that. Instead, the entire MLB season is up in the air, and that is the storyline. We just want to see baseball at this point. Who cares if Mookie’s on the team? We just want to watch baseball!
The cheating stuff has been swept under the rug by both the media and by the commissioner who is done with the investigation, but has not written the report yet because he has “not had time to turn to it with the other issues.”
The Red Sox are not the talk of the town right now with the coronavirus shutdown , and that’s a good thing.
Onto a potential cancelled season. This would not be worst case scenario. ESPN released power rankings on what would have been opening day this week, and they had the Red Sox at 19. That seems way too low to me, but the reality is, the Red Sox did not have high expectations for 2020. A thin pitching staff is the main concern as well as the bullpen (offense I don’t think as big of a concern). That being said, this was going to be a weird transition year. It wouldn’t be the worst if it was just poof; vanished.
Yes, it sucks to lose a year of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, and JD Martinez all in their primes. But, after 2020, they only lose Jackie Bradley Jr. to free agency. A couple players go into arbitration like Rodriguez and Devers. JD could also opt out. But, they keep the young core of their team.
At the same time, players like Masahiro Tanaka, DJ Lemahieu, and James Paxton go to free agency and Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Gio Urshela go into arbitration for the Yankees. The Astros have George Springer, Josh Reddick, and Michael Brantley going to free agency and Carlos Correa, Roberto Osuna, and Yuli Gurriel going into arbitration.
There are more question marks with the Red Sox competitors than the Red Sox themselves. Without baseball in 2020, the Red Sox get a healthy Chris Sale back, a fully charged Bogaerts, Devers, and hopefully Martinez. 2021 is brighter than 2020 right now.
So losing the 2020 season wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Red Sox. A cancelled season would distract from one of the worst offseasons in Red Sox history as well as what would have been a likely underwhelming 2020 campaign.