The 2023 presentation was like a souffle that flopped and flopped it did with a division last-place finish. The team was dreadful on pitching and defense but occasionally could muster the offense that Red Sox fans wholeheartedly embrace.
If anything could go wrong, it did. The occasional bright light was darkened by watching the team slide into a Mariana Trench of misery, especially noted by the inactivity at the trading deadline that sealed playoff hopes to the dustbin of baseball history.
The Texas Rangers proved that getting to the show can result in success, with several 100+ win teams just getting participation trophies. I firmly believe that the final nail in Bloom's performance coffin was his inactivity at that deadline. I wonder if Craig Breslow will make the same mistake.
Could it get worse than 2023? I doubt it. Spending may be on the way and at historic levels. The team has spent the last few years with the Devers contract, Story's contract, and the signing of Masataka Yoshida, but they may do a Steve Cohen-type splurge. That may be hyperbole on my part.
The Red Sox's desperation in the pitching department is excellent news for free agents and their representatives. Do you spend $200 M for one or split it up among three? Boston also must deal with a new tax structure in Massachusetts that can influence free agent signings, adding to the cost.
The Red Sox's thirst for a power hitter is also on the table, with daily rumors about Shohei Ohtani, but will it materialize? This team needs a star power identity, and nothing is more prominent in the baseball universe than Ohtani.
The team also has young players on the way, and I am always cautious about pinning short and long-term success on the unproven at the MLB level. In a leap of faith - probably misdirected - I can sense the Red Sox's past success at churning out position players will continue.
Fenway could be an exciting place to see the Red Sox again and not check the schedule for a more compelling product to come to town. Those empty seats were a precursor for management.