Red Sox resemble riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma
The Boston Red Sox are now the baseball version of the iconic game show “To Tell The Truth.” The show – now rebooted – would have one person of notoriety and two impostors. Just what are the Red Sox? Did we see the real team during April or impostors for the last seven games?
Boston faced off against two of the dredges of the American League – the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. Either the opposition played to Boston’s level or Boston sunk to their level. The pre-season prognosticators were in general agreement that the Red Sox were in a reconstruction phase and .500 was a worthy goal.
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The seven games were a smorgasbord of just how not to play baseball. The defense was sloppy, the pitching pedestrian, and the hitting flawed. Rafael Devers showed his defensive incompetence almost nightly after some measure of improvement during April. Garrett Whitlock finally got torched. And the bottom of the order showed just why it is called the bottom.
Teams go through hot and cold spells where nothing goes as expected. The nightly question becomes not how we will win but how will we lose? The Red Sox became rather inventive in the losing part. Hardly a player was immune to the sudden outbreak of incompetence. There is no Moderna or Pfizer for a cure. There is, however, Chaim Bloom.
Bloom is quite a patient fellow who understands the long and winding road to the playoffs. As a fan, I look and say Jarren Duran cannot possibly be a worse option than Hunter Renfroe or Franchy Cordero. That having Tanner Houck wasting his pitch count in Triple-A is in the high crimes of baseball category. Being a fan, we deal with the emotional aspect of the game.
The roster is imperfect as all rosters are. The idea is to minimize the imperfections or cover them up like a teenager dealing with a zits outbreak. But minimizing is difficult when replacements are just as questionable. I doubt the now available Albert Pujols is a remedy or even recently signed returnee Brandon Workman.
This for me is a hold ‘em situation. The next few weeks will clearly say if April was a mirage and a tease to fans. At that point, the Red Sox may have to succumb to more drastic moves if the performance levels continue to go south. For me, it is the one-third mark – 50+ games. That is when a solid idea of what you have takes place.
This is far from being a great team. No 2018 Red Sox. And no 2020 Red Sox as a counterpoint. What will be watched diligently by Moi is the minor leagues where a healthy dose of the future resides. Bloom has made an effort to restock and the minors are back in action.
The other item to note is the waiver wire. Much is internal and does not surface for public view, but players are routinely placed on waivers to test the market. An incubator for trades but not one where Mike Trout suddenly arrives in Boston. Bloom is a value shopper and may see riches where others see fools gold.
A last and quite important item to spy is the standings. Always nice in a sick sort of way to see the miseries of your possible division challengers. Their problems can impact Bloom’s decision-making.
So now we can watch the merry month of May proceed and scream at the television, express ire on social media, or (most hopefully) enjoy a month where the team has a .600 record after those 50+ games I mentioned.