The Red Sox stink. There, it has been written. They actually are a bad team this year. Everyone thought the historic collapse of the team in September 2011 was terrible, but this season may have been worst. Not only because everything from that point on would be a result from “that-month-which-must-not-be-spoken-of,” but because they were a complete wreck.
Maybe it’s the Boston media hyping this up to be more than it is (a completely plausible idea). It is true that the media in Boston do play it up when something goes bad, which is their job to a degree. Then again, they do need fodder, which the team has been providing on and off the field this season.
On the field, they’re the worst team in the division with a record of 66-81, putting them 17.5 games behind the deadlock of the Baltimore Orioles (really?) and the New York Yankees. This marks the team’s third straight season without the postseason. Although the team is in the middle ground for batting and fielding, it is on the mound where the woes reside. The team is in the league’s bottom half of pitching, with an ERA of 4.57, according to the MLB website. The team’s best pitcher, Clay Buchholz, is making a record of 11-6 and a 4.47 ERA. This isn’t good.
Off the field, the team is slowly building a mutiny against Bobby Valentine. There are many contributing factors to this—his ripping into (current White Sox) Kevin Youklis for not being the same player he was several years ago, the July meeting between players and owners blasting Valentine, and other outspoken moments we should have expected from the manager who tried to sneak back into a game after being ejected.
However, it could be worse. The team could still be on the hand for the contracts of Josh Beckett, the always-injured Carl Crawford, and Adrien Gonzalez. The trio was traded to the Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Dodgers, where they are sputtering along for the rest of the season. Their contracts were the top three on the team, and shedding them is a chance to restart. The Sox only got back prospects, so the results will not be immediate, but the move did open up salary space, should they want to go after anyone.
And now, there are rumors of owner John Henry wanting to sell the team, refuted by the man himself. That’s the pit. When the rumors come around, that is when the team may have hit bottom. The hope is that going into the offseason, the Red Sox sign some good players (pitchers) and make the appropriate personal changes needed to make it back to the playoffs. This is a team that can actually do something when all the pieces are there. They just need to be put together.