Boston Red Sox, Patriots engage in race to respectability

The Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots have fallen on hard times, with neither team showing any signs of being championship caliber. Who can climb out of the mess and return to glory?
Cleveland Guardians v Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Guardians v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox finished last in the American League East, and that trend is frightening in its frequency. Not to be outdone, the local football team is also on a slide to oblivion and on the path to finishing last in their division. How the mighty have fallen.

The patient zero in both instances is a star player leaving. Mookie Betts was traded to the Dodgers, won a World Series title, and continues to bolster his future Hall of Fame credentials. The Patriot's centerpiece was quarterback Tom Brady, who left and won a championship with Tampa before calling it quits.

The Red Sox senior management fired Chaim Bloom, and I would not be shocked to see the same outcome for coach/GM Bill Belichick of the Patriots. Empty seats and dismal teams do not make a lengthy career. As a football Giants fan, I certainly feel the pain the Patriots fans endure.

Both teams are facing a staggering rebuilding process, and with the pigskin (is it really a pigskin?), the process is finding that QB that can run the show, and so far, that has been a mystery for the local football squad. I wish them well.

The Red Sox rebuild is underway, or is it? The baseball operations position is different from the sought-after job it once was with BSI is making a cottage industry out of this worldwide hunt. Working for John Henry et al does not ensure a lengthy shelf life as you get canned if you succeed and canned if you don't. Working for the Red Sox is a lose-lose situation.

Boston has a great equalizer in their hunt for respectability: money. Money makes mistakes and covers mistakes in baseball, and Boston has money poured in by a sturdy fan base and advertisers willing to be the official (insert whatever) of the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox have been through the doldrums before with last-place finishes followed by a championship so a turnaround can be a simple blink, and you are back on Easy Street. The trouble is that the path to the street relies on pitching, which is costly either via trade or free agency.

The talk around the campfire is Juan Soto, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and a few other hitters. Home runs are the Big Sexy, but the pitching that starts the success ball rolling. That is where the new guy or gal will have to focus. Two starters would be the recommended RX for the 2024 season and beyond.

Red Sox's task of winning is easier than the Patriots

To this observer who has no skin in the game, the Patriots need significant updating at skill positions, especially on their tepid offense. The QB situation is a tunnel with no light at the end, and critical positions at running back and receiver show no sign of instant improvement. Too bad the Patriots didn't have the Red Sox "offense" and the Red Sox the Patriots "defense." I will stick to my baseball message and leave the Patriots to their frustrated fans.

The Red Sox management has undoubtedly suffered from a negative PR onslaught, especially with the ongoing search for a GM. Manager Alex Cora removed himself from consideration, which may present a rather touchy situation for a new GM who usually has his own team in place.

The Red Sox will win this race for respectability, and it could happen in 2024, especially if they start the money presses cranking out big paydays for free agents. The Red Sox also have some reasonably promising talent in the minor league system, but that is a risky proposition, as fans have seen far too many fail.

The Red Sox need a star, and as good a hitter as Rafael Devers is, he is not that star. That circles back to Ohtani and the rumors surfacing that Boston may be the landing spot, and they don't get more prominent in the star category than Ohtani. Ohtani is the offensive centerpiece and two quality starters. It sounds simple until it is attempted. Ohtani is just a player you can't avoid making an effort for, even if his arm will be in rehab for 2024.

I expect the Patriots to continue to drift and the local nine to get a revamping that can get them 95+ wins in 2024. This is a race the Red Sox can win and should.