Saturday, September 03, 2016


The Yoan Moncada countdown is on. You won't convince me that Travis Shaw (three extra base hits, five RBI last night) isn't feeling it. I won't suggest that Shaw has rested on his laurels; maybe competition will help him focus. 

Supposedly, Moncada's English has advanced very well. I don't know whether that's an advantage. Were I sharing media advice with him, I'd suggest some shoulder shrugging and a big dose of "I don't know."

Expecting a lot from a kid isn't realistic. But with John Farrell seeing his managerial mortality dwindling, he has an entirely new attitude toward young players. His perceived mistreatment of a younger Bogaerts and Bradley is unquestionable. But a drowning man who refuses a life preserver is not simple; he is a fool. Of course, a drowning man wearing a bullpen anchor needs more than a life preserver. 

In a way, I feel a little bad for Farrell. A little. He has 'mean reversion' going for him on David Price, but against him on Steven Wright and Rick Porcello. But nobody thinks his game management, especially his use of the bullpen, passes muster. When you use up Junichi Tazawa like a box of tissues, you need a new box, not used tissues. 

Farrell got his reputation for being a tough guy, "John Wayne" Farrell. Get in people's faces, especially after the 'chicken and beer' era. That dog don't hunt. 

In a large sample size, Farrell is a .500 manager, managing in a city where .500 reminds fans of Dan Shaughnessy's "Loserville" mantra. 

It is only fitting that Farrell's future probably hinges on a final Armageddon weekend against his former team. 

All of us should root for Farrell to succeed improbably rather than fail conventionally. Boston's destiny links inextricably to Farrell's. The 2013 horseshoe supported by overachievement by an unlikely cast created high expectations. Two years of abject failure disheartened even the most optimistic fans. 

After the West Coast swing, the Red Sox finish the entire month with 23 games against AL East rivals. John Wooden's father would remind them, "Don't whine. Don't complain. Don't make excuses." Put up or shut up. 

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