Disproving Red Sox fans most unreasonable complaints
As the Boston Red Sox continue to make their climb up the AL East standings, I can’t help but be frustrated by the reaction of Red Sox fans. Boston has long been known as an extremely tough place to play, but there’s a stark difference between tough and delusional. And far too often, Red Sox fans are falling into the latter category.
I understand Red Sox fans are never going to stop being the most passionate, demanding fans in baseball. But with this article, I want to point out four of the most common criticisms I see roaming the web, ranging from misguided to flat-out wrong, and give evidence to the contrary. So let’s dive right in.
Red Sox owners are cheap!
I don’t even really see the argument here. From the moment they bought the team in 2002, the Red Sox have shown a commitment to winning virtually unmatched by any other owner. One of their first moves was to hire Theo Epstein, and give him and the rest of the front office free reign to do whatever it took to end the team’s 86 year championship drought.
With the owners squarely in his corner, Epstein was free to make the moves that led to two World Series championships. He spent big money on Keith Foulke, J.D Drew, and Diasuke Matsuzaka. He made a risky trade for Curt Schilling. The Red Sox owners also recognized the importance of spending money on the draft, and backed the decisions to go over-slot on many eventual big league contributors, including Mookie Betts.
Even after Epstein resigned after the 2011 season, the Red Sox ownership group continued to back Red Sox GMs. When Ben Cherington was general manager, they supported the fire-sale of big-name stars Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. When Dave Domborwski was GM, they backed the signing of David Price and J.D Martinez, and the trade of Chris Sale despite the steep prospect package. And even though Chaim Bloom hasn’t spent nearly as much money as his predecessors, John Henry and Co. still backed the decision to spend big on Trevor Story. Through all these GMs, the Red Sox have been near the tops of the payroll leaderboards.
Most of this foolish argument centers around the trade of Mookie Betts, but rational fans will realize that trading Mookie, while heartbreaking, was the right move. With the money given out to players who weren’t even on the big league roster, like Pablo Sandoval, Dustin Pedroia, and Rusney Castillo, the Red Sox were in payroll hell, and the farm system was suffering. The Red Sox chose to deal Mookie, and even though he has still been excellent with the Dodgers, he has missed significant time with injuries in each of the past two seasons, a problem that should only worse as the 5’9, 180 pound outfielder ages.
What’s most mind-blowing about this complaint is that if the Red Sox do pay for a big-name free agent and it doesn’t pan out, fans will complain about management being careless with their money. It’s a lose-lose situation. If said fans want to see a team that isn’t committed to winning, they can go be fans of the Rockies or Reds, because as long as John Henry’s group is in charge, the Red Sox are going to be spending money.