While watching ESPN today, SportsCenter ran a story about the Boston Red Sox. The entirety of the story was that they made an offer to free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson but are unlikely to land him as there are other teams with better offers still in the mix.
That was it.
With that I can call this the most random and mind boggling off season I have ever witnessed by the Boston Red Sox.
I have no idea what is going on and it hurts me to be a Red Sox fan right now. With how last season ended, it has been hard to even think about it. I haven’t even been able to rant about them being so terrible because I just couldn’t muster up enough emotion to care.
The end of last season was embarrassing for everyone involved. As soon as it was over the finger pointing started and the stories started coming out: fried chicken and beer in the club house, players not trying and the manager losing the club house which was already divided.
Just when you thought is couldn’t get any worse things roller coastered out of control. Just look back at the last few months and try to figure out what is happening at Fenway:
- Massive collapse to end the season
- Fired Manager Terry Francona, replaced by Bobby Valentine
- Lost GM Theo Epstein to the Chicago Cubs, compensation is still unknown
- Lost Closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies
- OF Carl Crawford has wrist surgery, availability for the start of next season is unsure
- Traded for A’s closer Andrew Bailey
- Traded SS Marco Scutaro to Colorado for pitcher Clay Mortensen
- Signed OF Cody Ross
- Seeking deals with SP Roy Oswalt and DH David Ortiz
The Francona/Epstein debacle is too mind numbingly frustrating to get into. All I will add is that the Bobby Valentine signing will be null in void in two years and they will be looking for a new manager all over again.
When you look at the personnel moves that have been made so far this offseason, it becomes even more surprising when you consider the major needs of the team.
- Starting pitching concerns
- Future of Kevin Youkilis and 3B
- Who plays Short Stop?
- Who is your Closer?
- Who is your number one catcher?
- What does your starting outfield look like?
Some of that has been answered. Andrew Bailey will be the closer going into spring training. The outfield is solid with Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Cody Ross in Right and a platoon of Ryan Sweeney and Darnell McDonald in left until Carl Crawford is ready to go. But what about the rest of it?
The starting rotation is filled with question marks. Can Josh Beckett and Jon Lester recover from down years? Will Clay Buchholz be able to recover from injury? Who are the fourth and fifth starters - John Lackey is out for the year, Dice-K will miss most of the year, Tim Wakefield is a free agent, do you trust any of the stop gaps used last year?
I guess they trust Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway enough to hold things down behind the plate but I sure do not. They offered Jason Varitek a non roster invitation to spring training but his retirement is considered immanent. Offensively they should be fine, but it’s their ability to call a game that will suffer.
Third base could be a worry a year early but with Youkilis’ health concerns it is something that should be watched.
The trade of Scutaro makes a huge hole for this team. Jed Lowrie would make the most sense but considering he hasn’t played a full season since being called up, there is nothing to make me think he is the answer full time. There is no one out there to sign, which would mean a trade. Who that is, I have no idea.
This year is going to be very interesting to watch and my expectations couldn’t be lower. At least I will be able to focus on them again soon...of course that could be short lived if the Celtics and Bruins continue to play well.