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So what's wrong with the Red Sox?

Apr 19, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

As I type this the Red Sox are down 8-2 to the Rays, and are about to lose their fifth straight game and their sixth out of seven. In ATH this morning I wrote that we’d see a bunch of “what’s wrong with the Red Sox” articles today, but I didn’t see any. With this fresh debacle to the Rays, however, I’m sure we’ll see them tomorrow.

Ah, screw it. Let’s write one of our own!  So what is wrong with the Red Sox?

  • Cold bats: As I type this the Rays game is still happening so it may get worse or may get better, but currently they’re 1 for 30-something with runners in scoring position (that one came courtesy of a Bill Hall single a few minutes ago). They’ve scored nine runs in the past five games.  Dustin Pedroia is hitting so far this season. Youkilis is doing OK too. Everyone else is snoozing. At least one of the snoozers — David Ortiz — may never wake up.
  • Health: Two-thirds of the outfield is out, Cameron with kidney stones and Ellsbury with his bruised ribs. This has contributed to the cold bats, of course, as well as some recently shaky defense. When those other “what’s wrong” articles come tomorrow morning you just watch: they’re going to say that the whole run prevention/defense approach is a failure. They won’t acknowledge that it’s hard to play good defense when two of your best defensive players are on the shelf.
  • The Competition: Like I said this morning, part of the reason the Red Sox have looked so bad over the last week is because their competition has been so good. The Rays don’t look like world beaters simply because they’ve been playing the Sox. They’re really, really good in their own right (I picked them second this year). Same goes for the Twins, who could run away with the AL Central if they keep doing what they’ve been doing. Getting beat by good teams doesn’t mean you’re fatally-flawed. It just means you’re not as good as the other guys.

But you know what? We can sit here and talk about what specifically ails the Sox all afternoon, but ultimately it may not matter. As soon as this game ends the Sox will be six games back of the Rays and 5.5 back of the Yankees. That’s an awful big hole for this early in the season in a division like the AL East.

So can what’s wrong with the Red Sox be fixed? I don’t know, but it may already be a pretty irrelevant question.

  1. joethefirst - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Heh, heh, heh. Got the goat of another YanPee fan. Hey, Harry Butt, it has been fun. I’ll troll around from time-to-time to get your goat again.
    BTW, have you considered going back to high school to work on your spelling? What’s a scholl?

  2. Don - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    I will preface my comment by saying I am a huge Yankee fan. That said it’s ridiculous to be talking gloom and doom about the Red Sox after a dozen games or so. The Yankees have had many years where they were much further behind much later in the season only to come on and win it all (again)

  3. Coloradobostonfan - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    The Red Sox have to solve the DH position in the heart of their line-up. It may be early in the season, but the Sox haven’t had any performance from the Big Guy for over a year and you can make a case for 2 years. He may not be done, but he’s not the same. He was a question coming into the season and a bigger question now.
    Also, in the bottom of the eleventh with the bases loaded, why would Francona let someone hit who strikes out every other time at bat? I know a change would have shown a lack of confidence, but but there’s a game to be won.

  4. joethefirst - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Yeah, like, didn’t the YanPees once have a 3 to 0 lead in an ALCS and lose it 4 games to 3?

  5. RaysFan - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    The Rays are simply a rally good team this year and currently better than the Red Sox. Get used to it for at least this year. The yankees and Rays will make the playoffs with Boston being the odd man out this year. I’m glad I got my $100 bet in against my red sox friend for best season record before the season started.

  6. djonny - Apr 19, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Are you kidding me? There are more than two teams in the American League? My faith has been shaken. More misery to NY and Boston.

  7. djonny - Apr 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Are you kidding me? There are more than two teams in the American League? My faith has been shaken. More misery to NY and Boston.

  8. dp - Apr 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    I’ll tell you what’s wrong , overrated pitching , I posted earlier they’re only real pitcher was Lackey , and today he makes me a liar. Everyone in the media said they lacked the offense to win , so the offense shouldn’t surprise anyone. Getting back to the pitching , Beckett , isn’t on the way up , he’s on the way down , Lester , I thought would be better. Bucholz Is erratic at best,Wakefield is older than Christ, and Dice-k (the pillsbury doughboy) is totally overrated , in my opinion , a bum. What about this supposed deep minor league system ? again overrated. Myself and alot of others , picked them for third , now that might be too generous.

  9. Wendall - Apr 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    I like it Mike , I don’t think anyone hates the sux more than I do. If you run a close second , be proud of yourself. The perfect season for me would to see them finish last . I can only hope.

  10. Harold - Apr 19, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    I think you guys are mean. Doesn’t anyone have any sympathy or compassion. Now I’ve gone out and cashed it all in for a chance at a Manhattan avenue apartment. Yes, in February I put everything in the Redsocks, everything. And you guys are laughing and joking about their demise.
    I sent an email this morning to Boston suggesting they work out a one year trade deal with the Yankee’s just for this year. I hope they listen. Or come mid September, I might be flying off one of those Manhattan Avenue Apts. I’ll start practicing arm flapping now. At the rate their going I might as well just do it in July.

  11. Jack Marshall - Apr 19, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    A classic losing streak: two games lost due to quirks, and then the roof falls in. If DeMarlo Hale is coaching 3rd, the win the suspended game; if Cameron catches a ball he’ll catch 99.99% of the time, the Sox beat the Rays in Game #2 as well. All the starters have ERAs way over their norms, and the team hasn’t started to hit. Writing off the Red Sox after 13 games is ridiculous.

  12. Anzi68 - Apr 19, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Good point. I’m a Yankees fan and every year when one of my friends freaks out because they Yanks lost three in a row in April or May, I tell them get used to it, if it’s a good year, they’re gonna lose 50 more.

  13. Big Harold - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    “what does ‘rapier’ mean?”
    Dictionary.com

  14. Deese Knutts - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    They just need Ortiz and some other Boston players to get back on the juice like they were during the World Series years. ESPN controls MLB and the NFL- they can get MLB to destroy positive drug tests like they got the NFL to destroy the Spygate tapes.

  15. Nasty Boy - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    I love it Big guy , no one hates them more than I do , but I may have met my equal. Last place for the Sux would be fine with me. I took alot of crap when I said they would finish third , if the O’s young pitching didn’t come around. I just hope they give up, like the losers that I think they are.

  16. Big Harold - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    “BTW, have you considered going back to high school to work on your spelling? What’s a scholl?”
    Hey jackass, here’s a clue, if you are going to call somebody out om a typo and then question the education it’s best not have a typo yourself, .. lest you look like. .. well a jackass. Exhibit one;
    “Hey, Harry Butt,…”
    In a battle of wits you are clearly unarmed. Try harder junior.

  17. Raysnut - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    After watching the Rays sweep the Sox 4 in a row at Fenway i can’t believe the Red Sox will be in the playoffs. they are old and slow. the catchers can’t throw anybody out. they can’t get the clutch hit right now. bases loaded and no one out. if you can’t hit them in, how about a once in a century bunt to score one lousy run.?? the friday night game was won on saturday by the Rays. it was really won on friday night in the 8th inning. base hit down in the right field corner. 20 something right fielder hits young 20 something second baseman right on the money cut off who hits 20 something catcher and gets slow old guy Red Sock guy out at home. this is why a good young athletic team will do well all season. speed and defense show up every game .

  18. Raysnut - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    After watching the Rays sweep the Sox 4 in a row at Fenway i can’t believe the Red Sox will be in the playoffs. they are old and slow. the catchers can’t throw anybody out. they can’t get the clutch hit right now. bases loaded and no one out. if you can’t hit them in, how about a once in a century bunt to score one lousy run.?? the friday night game was won on saturday by the Rays. it was really won on friday night in the 8th inning. base hit down in the right field corner. 20 something right fielder hits young 20 something second baseman right on the money cut off who hits 20 something catcher and gets slow old guy Red Sock guy out at home. this is why a good young athletic team will do well all season. speed and defense show up every game .

  19. Raysnut - Apr 19, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    After watching the Rays sweep the Sox 4 in a row at Fenway i can’t believe the Red Sox will be in the playoffs. they are old and slow. the catchers can’t throw anybody out. they can’t get the clutch hit right now. bases loaded and no one out. if you can’t hit them in, how about a once in a century bunt to score one lousy run.?? the friday night game was won on saturday by the Rays. it was really won on friday night in the 8th inning. base hit down in the right field corner. 20 something right fielder hits young 20 something second baseman right on the money cut off who hits 20 something catcher and gets slow old guy Red Sock guy out at home. this is why a good young athletic team will do well all season. speed and defense show up every game .

  20. Nasty Boy - Apr 19, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Live in the present jerk-off , that was a long time ago. Would you like to try they’re luck now ? Think third or fourth place , or better yet try putting a razor to your wrist.

  21. Pistol - Apr 19, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    What’s wrong with the Red Sux ? try the lack of juice , overrated pitching , no bullpen , way overrated minor league system , and a bunch of loser . Hows that for a few reasons ?

  22. Big Harold - Apr 19, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    Hate the Red Sox, nah not really. Some of the card carrying, koolaid drinking members of the Nation, .. well you got me there. Frankly, without a worthy opponent there is no rivalry.
    That being said the Nation went overboard this off season lapping up that pitching and run prevention hog wash from the mother ship. Run prevention and pitching was merely code for; “we got a bunch of bad contacts on the books and we’re not spending much on free agents until there gone”. They were always going to wait until the contracts of Lugo, Lowell, Capt Bench Warmer and Ortiz came off the books. When they came out and said that, .. with Epstein’s remark about it being a “bridge year” the Nation got up in arms. That’s when the Brain Trust at Yawkey drummed up run prevention and pitching. It’s merely marketing to keep the hoi polloi from deserting the cause and keeping ticket sales brisk.
    George Steinbrenner, and subsequently his sons, followed the notion that they are sports entrepreneurs. And as such there goal each and every year is to win the World Series, not just be competitive get into the playoffs and hope for the best. The owners of the Red Sox are business man and one of their businesses happens to be the Red Sox. They clearly seem to manage by profit and loss statements rather than the AL East standings. And, my premiss can easily be proved. In the winter of 2003-04 the Red Sox had worked out a deal for A-Rod. And, despite what the Nation says about him today at that time he was considered the best player in the game and was entering his prime. A-Rod went as far as he could in terms of contract concessions but nevertheless there was still 15 million dollar difference. And, the Red Sox wouldn’t go the difference, .. they would give what amounted to 2.15 mil a year for the best player in baseball in his prime. Which begs the question; If you won’t stretch the budget for the best player in the game entering his prime when would you? The answer is clearly never. Why, because they’re business man and that didn’t fit their business model which includes, as much as anything, the notion of not exceeding the luxury tax threshold for any reason. Because all they want to do is be competitive, get into the playoffs and hope for the best. I’m glad the Red Sox have their owners but I’m truly grateful that the Steinbrenner’s own the Yankee. They don’t believe in bridge years.
    The Red Sox were overrated before the season started and nothing that has happen so far is that surprising to me. They’ll play better but third is about were they look like they’re headed.

  23. Joe Deuces - Apr 19, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Yeah, I’m a Yankee fan and glad as can be that the SOX are doing poorly now. Remember that the Yanks were given up for dead at the start of last season but won it all at the end. The Red Sox are too good of an organization to give up on this early in the year. I am sure they will be back with a vengeance, and give the top teams some decent competition, especially the Yanks. The yankees will prevail again this year but will have a rough time with the JAYS ,RAYS,and RED SOX.If,Boston, by some strange quirk of fate, really stinks, baseball will really be dull this year. Have a lot of respect for Terry Francona and the BOSTON organization,and think they will become competetive soon.See ya in the WORLD SERIES,SOX.

  24. twins2010 - Apr 19, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    You sir, are just a moron! You are not funny, bring nothing interesting to the conversation, and appear to have a 3rd grade education at best. I do not like the Yankees, but to discredit what they have accomplished is beyond comprehension, even for a simpleton like you. Realizing that you are most likely a Red Sox fan, with nothing to be happy about right now, it still defies me as to what the purpose of your post or replies to everyone else is. Other than to humor your self. Please go away, and leave the site to people with at least a double digit IQ!

  25. NotthebestGM - Apr 20, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    “Withdrawel” Definition/ Overpriced, cheating, a-hole players being forced to play without the benefit of performance enhancing drugs. Deflation of skills, unable to hit, unable to pitch, unable to field, continuing to draw overpriced contract on skills long gone.”Withdrawel”

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