Well what can you say really….I guess thank goodness the Texas Rangers spit the bit in September….for if not for that…the Red Sox and closer Jonathan Papelbon would not have had the opportunity to spit the bit as well…..and so it goes…another what might have been season….down the drain….
From the start of this season, the 2009 Red Sox were a pretty flawed bunch. They didn’t pitch that well…they hit like ****…they played like ****…and their bullpen was pretty mediocre….in the end…the sins that haunted the Sox all year…all boiled up in this short three game post-season series. I find it interesting that Papelbon who had criticized the Sox acquisition of Wagner…turned out to be correct…that the move would not really help…and it didn’t…..and in the end…Wagner..along with Papelbon were the final nails in the Red Sox season.
The long and the short of this series will be that this off-season, Theo and company may have to finally open their check-books, because very rarely do bargin basement baseball players ever pan out….and they sure didn’t this season. The Angels spent 5 million on Bobby Abreu….the Sox spent 3 million on Mark Kotsay..and Rocco Baldelli….I think we all know how that turned out…especially after today.
It is certainly a disappointing end to a very frustrating season, to be certain. Hopefully thats where the frustration will end, and maybe the front-office will make some moves that will actually help the Sox for an ENTIRE season. There will certainly be many questions about the Sox in the coming days and weeks…and all I can say is….Theo can’t build a time machine….go 88 miles an hour…go back and fix the 2009 season….however..”what’s past is prologue”…and hopefully the boy wonder jackass learned a thing or two from the GM’s for Dummies book I sent him…..Either way…..good luck to the Angels…..and Go Twins…………….
You getting that old 2006 feeling again….well it’s more than just a feeling….the Red Sox have acquired former shortstop Alex Gonzalez…from 2006 Boston Red Sox fame. Alex was flashy with the leather in his time with Boston…but hit really light at the plate….and was oft injured…something that has followed him in his time since leaving Beantown. The good news for Alex is….he and .210 batting average should fit in nicely with the likes of David Ortiz .218 and Jason Vartiek .222 and his new back up Nick Green .233…and oh yea lets not forget the heir apparent Jed Lowerie…hitting a robust .154 .
So with each passing day and game…my prediction of this team meeting the same fate as thier 2006 brethern comes that much closer to being true. Once again a team that Theo Epstein said was built on pitching and defense…is going to fall woefully short. To make matters even worse…it’s the sixth time in Theo’s tenure that one of his teams have spit the bit after the All-Star break…..like Yogi said…..”it’s de-ja vu all over again.
I am curious how many of these low risk…high reward deals have panned out for the boy wonder…just one…David Ortiz…the rest is like a laundry list of guys that were way past thier prime….if they ever had a prime. How bad is it on Yawkey Way…they have signed Paul Byrd out of retirement. Such a far cry from a team that worried about finding a spot for John Smoltz….now the worry turns to…how can we dump this loser…and still save face. Then again…this is the same guy that in 2006 traded Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena…because he had too much pitching….that same year…we saw guys like Kyle Synder…Jason Jennings…and David Pauly…all make critical starts for the Sox….we also watched the Sox fade to third in the American League East…a fate they seem destined for this year.
It’s not like Theo didn’t know he had a problem with his pitching…he did…he just did not have the balls to fix the problem…once again…he was not willing to do what was needed to be done. Once again…he wanted to fix a mortal wound with a band-aid. Kinda-off like signing a journey-man named Nick Green to back up Julio Lugo and Jed Lowerie….whats the difference…they are all the same guy…worthless never was beens that are/will and will also be NADA. Did Theo try and fix the shortstop problem….nope…just decided to limp along….hence why we have a guy hitting .150 and .230 from the shortstop position.
We should not be suprised at the recent turn of events…the Sox have had the same problems all year….a bat short…a shortstop short…a few REAL starters short…and a bullpen that fails in REAL pressure situations. The only good thing that could come of all this…is maybe Theo will react to the Sox falling out of contention like he did in 2006. That fall Theo opened his wallet and spent 200 million…and brought in players like Jd RALLY KILLER DONKEY HOLE Drew…Julio Lugo…and the 100 Million Dollar man….Dice K…..err on second thought………..
So the Sox offense has looked like crap off and on since last September….Theo answers the bell by not signing anyone other than Rocco Balldelli and Nick Green. Too make matters worse Theo stands pat all season long, even though Mike Lowell thier best and most consistant hitter had off season hip surgery, and David Ortiz…bat and average (.226) seems to be slowing. Today….Theo answers the bell for those like me who say he is a complete IDIOT and D-BAG. He goes out an trades for Pirate Adam LaRoche, thats right, the .247 Adam LaRoche.
So I knew Theo Epstein had a love for chubby pitchers (see David Wells, Bartolo Colon, Brad Penny, Curt Schilling, Brenden Donnelly) however it seems he also has a love of aquiring medicore has beens or never was been’s at the trade deadline(see Tony Graffinino, Jeff Suppan, Scott Williamson, Bryan Corey, Javier Lopez (both of em) Bobby Keilty, Mark Kotsay, Adam Laroche). It’s seems it is more of the same from Theo and Co. on Yawkey Way.
Theo’s mouth piece the Boston Globe has already rubber stamped the move made today…..BIG SHOCKER. The Sox have a mortal wound…and it is as if Theo is trying to fix a gun shot wound with a band-aid….not a good move…and one that will certainly not work. I was hoping to be suprised by a trade by the Sox this year, and I guess I was…just not a good suprise. It never ceases to amaze me how nut-less Theo is and the problem seems to be getting worse.
So we all know that the job of the hometown newspaper is to be pretty much a mouth piece for the team, it’s players and it’s mangement. However, today pretty much proves what I have always said about the Globe, they play fast and loose on the state of the team, how players and managment are doing alike.
First comes the blog written by Tony Mazz today, about how it’s too soon to press the panic button, and bring back Clay Bucholtz. I agree, that Buchy may not be Cy Young, however….he was to be an upgrade to what the Sox have in the back of thier rotation. Smoltz has fallen woefully short of being an American League pitcher, and his 1-3 record and 6.31 e.r.a tells us that. The word from the Sox is, that Smoltz is working through “stuff” and he will be there in the end. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that was what his extended rehab was for. In case Mazz hasn’t noticed the Sox are in the American League East, and they also happen to be in the same division with the red hot Yankees and surging Rays. The Sox can not afford to keep giving away games, this is not spring training, look up at the scoreboard, they count.
Then to make matters worse, the topic on the globe 10.0 was about whether Daniel Bard would unseat Papelbon in 2011, are you kidding me. I guess it’s not worth kicking the tires on the Sox pathetic offense, or the starting pitching that was supposed to be all world. I guess looking down the road at Daniel Bard’s future is more important than the three game lead the Sox have blown in three days.
I guess to the Globe, maybe all this is old news, no reason to hold the current Sox GM accountable for anything. No reason to speculate on why Theo’s clubs seem to choke, gag and wheez down the stretch every year. The Sox were the leader in the clubhouse in 2005, 2006,2007,2008 and this year 2009. In everyone of those years they suffered catastropic meltdowns. Even in 2007, the year the Sox won the pennant and the World Series, they let a 14 game lead melt away in to one, before winning by a mere 2.
The New York media, flawed as it is, holds it’s teams and management accountable for it’s failures and short comings. It’s time that somebody other than bloggers speculate on why Theo Epstein is doing such a bad job, on why he refuses every year to do anything to keep his team in the race. I guess we will never know the true motivation behind the Globe not reporting the obvious woes of the sox pitching and OFFENSE, and the lack of any urgency to fix it. I guess you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
So even though there are going to be no better bats during this years off-season free agency period….and even though the Yankess are going to have about 50 million or so coming off thier books in November……some how WHITE HOT Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has failed to sign up coming free agent to be….Jason Bay….even though..he has now had almost a year to do so………..
BUT…….I have good new for RED SOX NATION………..
The number 44 has already been worn and retired by Reggie Jackson….so unlike in the case of when Johnny Damon went to the Yanks and wore his old Boston number…we will not be subjected to Bay in the #44……
So it seems we have been here before….a Red Sox team at the half way point…with a seemingly good record…but beneath the surface many problems are lurking…and it does not take a real baseball insider to figure it out. In the 2005 the Sox needed to augment their squad…with a pitcher…what they got was Tony Graffinino….that season went down in flames versus the White Sox. In 2006 the Sox were again in first at the All-Star break…however that team…like this one…had flaws all up and down the line up. Of course the Sox choked up the lead and failed to make the playoffs. In 2007 the Sox were a pretty good team. That year…Theo trades and gets Eric Gagne…who almost blew the AL East race for the Sox by himself. Last season the Sox needed to dump Man-Ram…they did…but they came up a bat short at the deadline….and they came a bat short in the ALCS versus the Rays.
In the words of Yogi Berra, “it’s deja vu all over again”. On friday Epstein was quoted in the Boston Globe as saying, “he was pleased with the roster and the results”. You have to be kidding right, what has Theo been watching all season, certainly not this team, because if he was…he would know the Sox offense is woefully short of being championship caliber. The Sox had many questions about thier offense going into the 2009 season, and for the most part, they have all been answered with resounding authority. David Ortiz has failed to hit consistantly, Mike Lowell has missed alot of time with his sore hip, and JD Drew….again has failed way short of his job.
So with all the evidence pointing to the Sox needing to make a deal, all seems quiet on Yawkey Way. The Sox are rumored to be in on nobody, even though they have the resources to make many deals and re-tool this team. Lets face facts, unless the Sox sweep the season series with the Yanks, there is no way they can’t hold them off. They would be lucky to hold off the surging Rays for the wild-card, a team that the Sox have to play 10 more times, and a team that plays .700 ball versus the Sox in the last year.
You heard it here first, if the Sox do not make a deal worthwhile, they cannot and will not make the playoffs. The AL East is too loaded, and the Sox can not keep pace with thier pitching alone, and p.s. they can’t get anyone out that is left-handed. It seems that Theo is not much of a poker player, and he plays losing chicken waaaaaayyy to often ( see Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeria, negotiations). In a what have you done for me lately world….it’s been a long time since Theo has done anything close to resembling a savy GM ( see JD Drew, Dice-K, Matt Clement, Julio Lugo signings). At the end of the day, the most commited teams and management wins….and that will not be the team on Yawkey Way.