Sunday, August 24, 2014

What Have You Done for Me Lately? The Janet Jackson Red Sox

Does Sox management get a free pass, a few kudos, or both? Does winning a WS totally exonerate them for playing boring, bad baseball much of the time the past 3+ years? They're almost unwatchable these days. Christian Vazquez isn't enough to redeem this mess. 

Has Koji Uehara finally hit the wall?   Too soon to call Jacoby Ellsbury a bust in NY, but his numbers are poor for a guy in a bandbox and making a Brinks' truck haul of a salary.  No gripe with a guy getting paid, but he hasn't shown he's a top 10 MVP candidate to earn the big dollars/long-term money, no matter how much water some scribes carried for him. He has everything to prove and we'll find out whether the money has turned him into Josh Beckett.

It's always the Janet Jackson, "what have you done for me lately?" story in big markets.    Speaking of carrying water,Scott Boras will need to find some creative stats (OPS against RHP in day games not on the weekend) to put a shine on Stephen Drew. Aside from hurting the Sox offensively and damaging if not destroying Xander Bogaerts' confidence, Drew has hit even worse (almost unimaginable) since going to the Yankees. Sports psychologists should be in short supply this off-season. Can't blame Drew for XB's expanded strike zone, but in the epic bad decisions category, Ben Cherington gets an Oscar Gamble for that one. 

Last in runs scored and slugging, next to last in OPS, the Red Sox can't claim to be "smartest guys in the room" in the world of 'mean reversion.' Dustin Pedroia (still hurt?) can't drive the ball up the alleys anymore and getting Allen Craig "cheap" doesn't mean they got the productive Allen Craig. The Sox have gotten pretty woeful production from both the outfield and the corners, which doesn't even account for the Jarod Saltamacchia versus AJP...not that he's lighting it up.

Peter Gammons warned that players would start looking a lot older, sooner, in the post PED era. 

This season has certainly raised questions about the bargain basement approach to team building, and Larry Lucchino, Cherington, et al. better hope that the killer B's - Barnes, Bradley, Bogaerts, Betts - become more than AAAA talent. Speaking of Lucchino, he's everywhere when they win and the Invisible Man now. 

Losing isn't the ultimate sin, boring is. The Red Sox have become the 1961-1966 version 2.0 and regrettably, I'm old enough to remember those dark days, horror interrupted by no-nos byBill MonbouquetteEarl Wilson, and Dave Morehead. Fever Pitch has become Fever Bitch.