Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bob Lobel: Can Anything Turn the Red Sox Around?

 By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Stepping into the batters box with an exploding bat is about as much fun as watching someone step into the batters box with no bat at all.

That's us at the moment, and it is painful to watch. To sit through nine innings and give your emotional all to the team that is masquerading as the Boston Red Sox is a painful process. Immediately you look for someone to  blame, and there is plenty to go around. 

Of course the manager, general manager and owner are in the spotlight. How can they be this bad? Where did it all go? Why did they bring certain players back with healthy raises? It begs the question, “does anybody here know how to run a baseball team?” 

I do believe the front office is terrified. It almost seems impossible to go night in and night out for a team that won't quit. They won't quit because they never started the pennant express in the first place.  

New pitchers, great young Cuban players. Another recalcitrant Rameriz in left. Where does he hide his glove when he goes to left? Why is Napoli, and his custom made Austin Martin, still doing everyday duty. The numbers are horrible… Batting averages, fielding percentages, slugging, OPS, and to single out a particularly bad spot, you have something called a wealthy Panda playing third. 

Well, I can't say there have been a lot of worse third basemen, but I can say with confidence that there have been many better. So, am I telling you to fire the manager and take Miley with him? 

No. So, if you want answers you have to look elsewhere. Minor league prospects seem to be overrated when they get here and, except for a few, it's pretty grim.  Mookie and Xander are two really up and coming stars. Throw Swihart in who has a cannon for an arm and a future with the bat. 

Is it permissible to declare the Big Papi era over? It was a great run with many exciting moments, but the reality is we all stick around longer than we should. You are more than capable of identifying the ones leading the parade out the door. The tank looks empty. The expressions on the faces in the dugout don’t exactly sing out with joy. It comes to pass that they look like a beaten and downtrodden bunch. 

Can this be turned around?  

What have you seen that would make you optimistic and joyful in the games that are left through September? Does the concept of leadership exist on this bench and in that clubhouse? It's hard to be a leader when it's your personal performance that seems to matter more to you than what the other 25 are doing to help the cause. 

Clearly, the shock has been so much greater because of the extremely optimistic  start to the season. Can we get a do over?  Here is a new twist;  “how come we get players like this?”  

End of story. The only thing we can hope for is that it’s a very short story.

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