All the fair-weather fans who’ve come out of the woodwork disgust me. There are literally hundreds of pages of comments on every major Boston publication’s website today calling for either the resignation of Theo, the head of Tito, or the open roasting of Carl Crawford in the middle of the Common. Or all three. I can’t honestly believe some of the things I’m hearing. You bitter, angry, fair weather, new era Red Sox fans. All of you forget the past, the dozens of times they didn’t make it to the post season, the dozens of times they self destructed. You forget the 86 YEARS we had to wait to finally reach the top again. Now, after all that, you EXPECT to win? What’s wrong with you people?
It’s all relative. You’re focusing on the little things in one game, trying to justify and entire season that never quite came together. Sure, Crawford should have caught the ball. He tried, albeit in a very ManRam sort of way, to get to that ball. The better question might be why did Paps throw a fast ball with an 0-2 count? Actually, a better question would be why did that game mean something in the first place, they should have been up by 9 games stilll. Even better than that, why did the starting rotation go 7-20 in September?
You can’t get angry at people for being paid huge amount of money and then losing. You can’t. You know why? Because you’re the ones buying the tickets and paying their salary. That’s right. You, the fan, you wrote that check to Crawford, not Theo. He got who he felt was an All-Star outfielder to fill a vacant and weak position. ManRam juiced out, Jason Bay was terrible, they needed some one in left. Sure, he had a mediocre year, but that’s one year. Ortiz had a terrible year last year, was completely fine this year. It comes and goes.
If anything, it was a combination of the starting rotation being weak in a tough AL-East and lots and lots of injuries. Listen, when you’re starting rotation has only two guys that have dependable records in it, it’s in trouble. Lester (15-9), Beckett (13-7), Lackey (12-12), Wakefield (7-8), Bedard (1-2). When that is your starting rotation for September, you’re in deep crap. Lester is the only one who had a somewhat normal year. Everyone else was sucking right out of the gate. Daisuke, Buchholz, Jenks, Hill, all on the DL. Combined with the fact that everyone in the bullpen had a terrible year, with the exception of Aceves and, if you made an argument for him having 30+ saves, Papelbon.
If anything needs to be done in the off-season, it’s not the firing of Theo or Tito. It’s strengthening the bullpen and the starting rotation. Paplebon, Aceves, Wakefield and Bard all are free agents next year. As are Ortiz, Scutaro, Ellsbury, Tek, and Salty, but we’re talking pitching. I don’t think there’s another 6 season, 30+ save, closer available. They don’t come along every day. They’ll have to resign Paplebon. Wake will probably retire, we’re assuming. I say keep Aceves, he worked his butt off for us this year. Danny Bard should probably be on the chopping block. Trade Daisuke and Hill, give Buchholz and Jenks one more year and see where they are. They really need a quality 3rd and 4th starter and a longman, 7th inning guy in the pen. That’s where I would be looking in the off season. Coming up for free agency next year, there are a couple interesting names.
Mark Buehrle (CWS), Rich Harden (OAK), Scott Kazmir (LAA), Hiroki Kuroda (LAD), Jason Marquis (WAS), Adam Wainwright (STL), Brandon Webb (ARI), C.J. Wilson (TEX), Chris Young (NYM).
The real question would be, are any of these guys better than Diasuke, Buchholz, Lackey, etc. Decidedly less interesting, and equally shallow, is the pool of relievers. They’ll have to find someone to trade with.
I didn’t mean to digress into a discussion about actual roster changes, I’m just saying that they need some help in the pitching department. They’ve shown they can go out and land big power hitters, now they need to work on the pitching for a couple years. There’s plenty of guys left in the farm system, despite criticism that Theo has traded away all our top talent, that we’re ok in the outfield and behind the plate for a while. Lavarnway, Kalish, Vitek, Iglesias, Nava, all rising stars.
My real point is that this might have been a “lost season”, but it’s nothing to cry about. Nothing to start warming up the pitch forks and torches over, and certain nothing to start calling for resignations about. Anyone who’s calling for Theo Epsteins head on a platter today simply doesn’t understand baseball as a whole. And anyone calling for Tito to be fired doesn’t understand that baseball teams are NOT “coached”, they’re “managed”. Huge difference. A football coach is in there, yelling and screaming, calling plays, super involved for a whopping 18 games. A baseball “manager” has 160 games. You can’t be yelling at people for 160 games. You have to let them play. You put people in the right situations, lineups, positions to help them play their best, but much more so than football, it’s really up to the individual player to achieve.
No one needs to get fired. You’ve got to realize this is just what happens. They’ve done it dozens and dozens of times. This is nothing new. All you fair-weather fans make me sick. Calling for heads to roll because they didn’t win it all this year. Please. This is Red Sox Nation. We survived 86 years with nothing but tears and disappointment. Remember that the next time you think you DESERVED a championship team for the 3rd time in 7 years.