Red Sox Reverting To Days Of Bad Offense

The Boston Red Sox suffer from a problem to put runs on the board. It became a problem after the 2013 World Series. It’s only gotten worse since then. For a few years now their hitters can’t seem to come through in clutch situations. They leave too many runners on base. In fact, as of July 26th, the Red Sox rank 24th out of the 30 MLB teams that leave runners on base at 7.03. Seeing the Red Sox reverting to their inability to post runs concerns Red Sox Nation. This problem comes as the New York Yankees seize on a chance to retake the lead in the American League East.

The Red Sox captured first place in the AL East last month but can’t quite hold ared sox reverting comfortable lead. They’ll win a few games in a row, then Rick Porcello will lose a game and the Red Sox find themselves on a losing streak again. A lot of fans blame Porcello for his lackluster pitching this season. According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have scored two or less runs for Porcello in 10 of of his 20 starts this season. The offense scored two or fewer only four times in 33 starts last season. So to say that the Red Sox slump falls on Porcello’s shoulders isn’t entirely fair. In fact, it’s not as much the pitching staff’s fault as much as it’s their hitters’.

The Red Sox Reverting To Their Old Ways Will Cripple Them

Several viable teams are contending for a spot in the 2017 playoffs. The Houston Astros will surely give the Red Sox a run for their money. The Seattle Mariners, beating the Red Sox in the first two of a three-game series, will also contend for a spot. With the Red Sox reverting to their old ways of bad offense, now’s the time to rethink strategy.

Let’s start with getting rid of John Farrell. It would jolt the team into some kind of pro-active approach to the game. It would also send a message to the rest of the team that no one is immune to change (David Price is finding that out the hard way). They need a manager like Crash Davis from Bull Durham. Someone who will call out the Lollygaggers and snap them into some real action. Do that and you’ll see more runs on the board!

It’s Time To Fire John Farrell

The Red Sox need do to something. Unfortunately, all they know how to do is lose right now. At this juncture, the Red Sox are a complete embarrassment. They have put a surprising boycott on winning games and have showed the attitude of a small child off the field. The move they need to make is not this Eduardo Nunez trade, it’s to fire John Farrell.

Being totally honest, I think Farrell was a much worse game manager last year than this Fire John Farrellyear. This year, I think Dave Dombrowski has put his manager in tough situations at points. With management forcing him to have Pablo Sandoval, that limited Farrell’s options. Sandoval, however, is gone. Gone forever.

The problem really hasn’t even been his on-field decision making. He’s had a excruciatingly hard time managing his bullpen, which has been fledgeling lately. The real problem is he has lost control of his team. Whining from their veteran second baseman, throwing teammates under the bus, and your $217 million pitcher calling out a Hall of Fame broadcaster are just the highlights of a season full of BS. All this could be glossed over if they would win, but they aren’t capable of that right now.

Let it not be lost that the players have been underwhelming. It’s not just one or two players, every non-pitcher has been underwhelming. I wish that was hyperbole, but it’s not. So yeah, the players are certainly at fault. To some extent, though, a good manager should have these guys turning things around before August. Now, it might be too late.

Luckily for him, the starting pitching has been excellent. Through no support, they’ve kept their team in games. The Red Sox are the luckiest first place team I’ve ever seen. They haven’t won a series since the Fourth of July and yet everyone else in the division continues to lose. Their standing in the division is a complete mirage. For a team that keeps saying they have yet to “hit their stride”, they are running out of time.

Fire John Farrell and Others

Obviously, the problem has been the offense. If nothing else, Chili Davis should definitely be fired. In fact, he shouldn’t even be on this upcoming home stand. If they aren’t the worst offense in the league, they’re certainly the most predictable. They refuse to swing at the first two strikes and never make any adjustments. How many times do we see Jackie Bradley strike out swinging on a low change-up? How many times do we see Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts whiff on a pitch way off outside part of the plate? What coach doesn’t correct that. This offense has been nothing short of a joke, and why Davis is still here is just silly.

This team has no idea what it’s doing right now. After seemingly abandoning the third base trade, they called up their top prospect Rafael Devers. Before he could even finish his first game, they traded for a third baseman. Tuesday, the organization said they are interested in acquiring a first baseman. A first baseman? They have two of those in the majors and Sam Travis in AAA. If Travis is going to be their first baseman next year, it’s time for him to play. Moreland sucks and Hanley Ramirez refuses to play the field (and God forbid his manager make him do that). So if that’s the case, bring up Travis and play him five days a week. Is that so much to ask for?

Currently, the Boston Red Sox are in complete disarray. So yeah, it’s not exactly ideal, but you should fire Farrell. Fire Chili Davis while you’re at it. Gary DiSarcina would obviously step in to manage. Hire anyone you want for the hitting coach, just show you give a damn.  Right now, it’s hard to believe they care. No apologies for Dennis Eckersley, no repercussions for the crying infant David Price, no feel for what direction they’re going in. It’s time to light a fire under these guys and at this point, this might be the only way to do that.

Red Sox Management of Players is Lacking

With more details about the confrontation between Dennis Eckersley and David Price emerging, some are wondering who’s in charge in the front office. The Red Sox management is suffering from a credibility problem. Reports about the lack of respect John Farrell gets have circulated for months. It didn’t seem like anyone could control Pablo Sandoval at all. Sandoval did want he wanted when he wanted.

With new details about the Eckersley and Price confrontation comes questions aboutred sox management where Red Sox management was in all this? Anyone Red Sox fan worth his salt knows who Dennis Eckersley is. A former Cy Young Winner, MVP, and Baseball Hall of Famer, Eckersley currently works as a broadcaster with the Red Sox. Eckersley recently made comments about Price’s pitching in a game a few weeks back and Price took issue. Using taunts and “F” bombs, Price slammed Eckersley.

First of all, who does Price think he is? Eckersley called him out for not covering first base in a game a few weeks back and he was absolutely right to do so. Price messed up and Eckersley called him out for it. So instead of learning a lesson, he decided to insult a Hall of Famer because he thought that’s how he’d retain his dignity.

Classy.

By the way, Dennis Eckersley is also a recovering alcoholic who has endured more pain in his life than most ballplayers have. Price probably knows this, and still acted like a self-entitled jerk towards him. But what about Red Sox management? Why’d they let Price get away with this?

Red Sox Management Could Learn A Few Things About Leadership

Years ago I was teaching at an all-boys military school down in Virginia. Veterans of the Marines, Army, and other branches of the military taught there. One day during lunch a former solider told me a story about what it means to command. He was telling me about a video that went viral showing a man dressed in a Sergeant Major’s dress uniform attending a funeral. He clearly wasn’t in the Army, but he was pretending to be for attention. In the video, three real Army soldiers asked the impersonating Sergeant Major where he’d served and what medals he’d earned. The soldiers wanted to make an example of the impersonator. The poorly groomed uniform, or the way the impersonator stood, wasn’t what gave it away though.

What gave him away was the way the impersonator handled the questions. “A real Sergeant Major would NEVER put up with that kind of questioning. If he had been real, he would have reamed out those soldiers for even questioning him.” In other words, a real leader doesn’t let subordinates push him around.

But that’s exactly what’s happening to Dave Dombrowski and John Farrell. David Price confronts a Hall of Famer and nothing’s really done about it. Why didn’t Farrell confront Price immediately and demand he apologize to Eckersley? Yes, it’s childish, but that’s exactly how Price acted.

Dombrowski and Farrell need to step up their aggressive leadership. They’re getting pushed around and the rest of the team is suffering for it.

Price-Eckersley Confrontation Comes To The Light

The end of June seemed like ages ago for the Boston Red Sox. They had just come off a sweep and a demolition of the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the confrontation between David Price and Dennis Eckersley that set the Red Sox on a downward spiral they have yet to break free from. Details are coming out from the Price-Eckersley confrontation, and they’re scary.

The friction arose from Eckersley commenting on one of Eduardo Rodriguez’s rehab Price-Eckersley confrontation starts. On the NESN broadcast, the stat line was flashed of Rodriguez’s putrid start in Pawtucket, to which Eckersley said “yuck.” One word. A bit out of the ordinary but not harsh considering the stats. David Price, like he often does, took offense.

In a heroic, righteous act of sticking up for his teammate, Price took matters into his own hands. As Eckersley was boarding the team plane, he saw that Price was waiting for him. What ensued was something out of a John Hughes film. Price (hardened jock in his letterman jacket and backwards cap) went right for Eckersley (nerd type who’s really into computers and is just doing what he’s told). That’s how it goes, right? Not exactly.

Instead of a nerd, Eckersley is the retired jock. In fact, he was one of the best jocks, ten times better than Price. Price goes on to mock Eckersley, sarcastically calling him “the greatest pitcher who ever lived” and saying “the game is easy for him.” When Eckersley tried to get on to his seat, Price told him to “get the f*** out of here.”

It Was Not Easy For Eckersley

I don’t even know where to start with this. Just when you thought Price couldn’t act like more of a child, he pulls this. First, I suppose I’ll start with the “easy” part. Was the game easy for Dennis Eckersley? About as easy as learning an entire Cicero oration in a day. Let’s dive in on how “easy” Eck’s career was, shall we?

Does anyone remember why he was traded to the Red Sox in the first place? It was because his wife cheated on him with one of his teammates. Anyone remember why he hardly ever does road trips? Well, he’s a recovering alcoholic who tries to avoid the temptations of the road. He has dealt with it for decades. Alcoholism is supposedly also the reason why his brother got a 40 year prison sentence for attempted murder and kidnapping. Now on his third wife, Eck has a lot of time in retirement to reflect on his “easy” career.

That’s not even the end of it. When Price made these remarks, some of his teammates began to applaud. That is the scariest part. If David Price is the clubhouse leader of this team, they are going NOWHERE. He is a child. Not a leader. He is not David Ortiz. If he is the voice of the clubhouse, the Red Sox are going in a very bad direction. Not only is Eckersley faultless here, he’s also Dennis freaking Eckersley. Furthermore, he’s not some putz like Dan Shaughnessy or Pete Abraham or even me. He played the game. As a matter of fact, he dominated it. This is the wrong guy to go after.

Red Sox Aren’t Handling The Price-Eckersley Confrontation Right

After all this, Eckersley has reportedly not received an apology from Price or the Red Sox on the matter. I’ll tell you what, this organization is painting a bad picture for itself this month. With the lackluster play on the field, no apology for Eckersley and trashing WEEI and accusing their fan base of blanket racism, it hasn’t been a charming few weeks. I am beginning to wonder just what is going on with our baseball team. This can’t stem all from David Ortiz’s retirement, right? Right?

This should be alarming for you, Red Sox fans. Price has had a good year on the mound (save Saturday’s disaster in Anaheim), but his off-the-field antics are crossing the line. If you defend this guy’s attitude, you are the poster child of the new era Boston pink hats. Not that he has said anything, but I’m also pretty sure Eduardo Rodriguez can take this criticism. So how about these guys focus less on the NESN broadcast and a little more on winning baseball games. Let’s see if that works.

Rafael Devers Promoted to Red Sox

It has certainly been an odd, unsuccessful and grossly disappointing week plus for the Red Sox since the All-Star break. Now, Dave Dombrowski is getting bold, but not in the trade market. With top prospect Rafael Devers promoted to the big club, the Red Sox are looking for a spark plug.

On the field, Boston has yet to win a series since the Fourth of July. Off it, they lost out on Rafael Devers calleda deal that looked like it was already done. Sure, missing out on Todd Frazier is not monumental, but the organization is surely disappointed. They felt they could get a guy to plug in some of their holes at a very low price. That is no longer the case, so it is time to embrace what they already have.

Devers will be with the team Monday in Seattle and is already expected to make his first start Tuesday. This is a kid who, just last month, was playing in Portland. After a cup of coffee in Pawtucket, here he comes Red Sox fans. Much like Andrew Benintendi last year, he joins the team in Seattle to fill an immediate need. Benintendi skipped AAA and Devers might as well have, but can we expect similar results?

Devers didn’t become the top prospect in the Red Sox system by accident. This season in Portland, he mashed 18 homers and 56 RBI while hitting .300. In all, he racked up 40 extra base hits in 77 games before being promoted to AAA. In nine games with Pawtucket, he hit .324, including a night where he went 4-4 with a homer. Devers’ glove is still raw, but his offense has shown he is ready for the major leagues.

Rafael Devers Promoted With Big Expectations

Third base has been a glaring problem for the Red Sox all year. Starting with the dumpster fire that was Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox have been reeling at that position. With the rest of the lineup being just horrendous on a good day, that spot becomes even more important. Without the league’s best offense, third base turns from a want to a need. Now, if the Red Sox can’t upgrade there, a deep playoff run can be compromised.

While third base is a major issue right now, it doesn’t look like Dombrowski will try to solve it at the trade deadline. If he can add a bullpen arm, Boston should be in really good shape. Their offense won’t be number one, but it sure can’t get much worse. With their starting pitching, this is a team built for the postseason. If they can bolster their bullpen, they could be a tremblingly dangerous team come October.

So, the kid is gonna get a shot, whether he likes it or not. And yes, he will be expected to produce. He’s not going to make this team Murderer’s Row, but he should make them better. Since Devers didn’t even play AA till this year, this could be a lot of pressure. The 20 year-old will be thrusted in like Xander Bogaerts was in 2013. We all remember how Bogaerts thrived and what the Red Sox did that year, don’t we? So stay up late Tuesday night, you just might see the birth of a new era and a new Red Sox team.

Portland Beats Hartford, Slugs Five Home Runs

Portland, Maine – The Sea Dogs (44-50) were propelled by a season-high five home runs, as Portland beats Hartford (44-51) 12-6 in the series opener on Thursday night at Hadlock Field. 

portland beats hartford
The win ended the Sea Dogs’ five-game losing streak and also ended the Yard Goats’ six-game win streak.
 
Hartford got off two a hot start on a solo homer by Max White on the second pitch of the game by Elih Villanueva. Two batters later Drew Weeks homered to make it 2-0 ‘Goats.
 
Portland quickly responded in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run by Chad De La Guerra off of Parker French.
 
Jordan Procyshen hit an opposite-field three-run homer in the second to extend the ‘Dogs lead to 5-2, then Portland brought all nine to the plate in a six-run third.  Mike Olt hit a three-run homer, Procyshen pulled a RBI double down the right field line, then Danny Mars hit a two-run blast to make it 11-2.
 
Parker French (7-8) went 2.2 innings and allowed 11 runs on nine hits.  In two starts against Portland this year, French has allowed eight home runs.
 
Hartford started to climb back, adding a run in the fourth and three more on a home run by Stephen Cardullo in the fifth to cut the deficit to 11-6.
 
Villanueva (4-3) allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings while walking one and striking out five in the victory.  Josh Smith (three innings) and Jake Cosart (one inning) combined to pitch the final four innings and did not allow a hit.
 
Jeremy Barfield hit a solo homer in the sixth off of Troy Nieman to make it a 12-6 ballgame.
 
All nine Sea Dogs had at least one hit.  Olt finished a triple shy of the cycle while De La Guerra, Barfield, and Procyshen each had two hits apiece.

The Road Ahead

 Portland and Hartford play a doubleheader Friday at Hadlock Field, first pitch in game one is scheduled for 5:00 PM.
Radio coverage on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network begins at 4:45 PM. MiLB.TV starts at 4:55 PM.