The Red Sox are well on their way to a second straight losing season— the 3rd in 4 years—and Red Sox Nation is not happy. After winning 10 of 15 before the All-Star break, the Red Sox have picked up where they left off before that brief spark of hope. Rattling off 6 straight losses against the LA Angels and Houston Astros , both of which they were thoroughly outplayed.
So, who is responsible? Is it the players who have been vastly under performing? John Farrell who can’t seem to get a grip on things? Or maybe Ben Cherington who sold off our best assets, namely Jon Lester and John Lackey, and got very little in return? Or, as I believe, a combination of all 3?
In my mind, everyone from the top down to the players has to be held accountable for the past season and a half. Let’s start with the players. The players have been vastly under performing for the most part since the start of 2014, notably guys like Mike Napoli, David Ortiz and new guys Rusney Castillo, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Those last 3 guys especially have been under the microscope given what the Red Sox paid to get them here.
While Hanley has hit 17 home runs, he has shown that he is incapable of playing left field effectively. Pablo Sandoval has been exceedingly average given that the Red Sox gave him almost $100 million. Those 2 have been so sub-par that there have been calls for them to be removed, primarily from the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley.
Castillo is on track to be the most expensive minor league player in history. When the Red Sox gave him a 7-year, $72 million contract last season, I assumed that they saw something in him that would justify that kind of money, but I was wrong. He’s hit .230 in the majors in 26 games, and spent the rest of the time in Pawtucket.
Then there’s Ben Cherington who signed them to these deals, although he clearly didn’t foresee that they would under-achieve the way they have so far. My issue with Cherington is the way he blew up our pitching rotation last year, especially with regards to Jon Lester. I, and most of Red Sox Nation, would have loved to see Lester back in a Red Sox uniform. Sure it would have been tough to achieve after the initial 4-year/$70 million offer was made, but then Cherington pulled a deal that sent Lester to Oakland and probably killed any chance of Lester coming back!
Lastly, there’s John Farrell who can’t seem to keep any sort of grip on the clubhouse at the moment. Yes, the players are the ones who play the game, but the manager’s job is to push the right buttons and put the best possible lineup out which Farrell hasn’t been doing. He hasn’t been helped by injuries, but he hasn’t been good enough as Red Sox manager. In his first season, 2013, everything fell into place and he didn’t have to do much, but that hasn’t worked since.
So, who will get the ax at the end of the season? If the Red Sox finish last again, then the cries for heads of management will be greater than they are right now. The Red Sox better at least try and dig their way out of last—that’s all they can do at the moment.