Red Sox Take First Place Going Into May

“The Red Sox take first place.” That’s a headline Red Sox fans haven’t consistently seen since 2013. The Boston Red Sox took command of first place Sunday night in a win over the New York Yankees, sweeping their long time rivals in a three game series to edge out the Orioles in the American League East. It remains to be seen how long they can stay Red Sox take first placethere, but one thing is for sure: the Red Sox are a completely new and reinvigorated team.

The season started out with its fair share of problems. Pablo Sandoval’s weight made many question how much he’d be able to contribute to the team. Clay Buchholz fumbled out of the gate in April. And, like many times before, the team blew leads in late innings. But since traveling to Atlanta to take on the Braves in late April, the Red Sox have suddenly come alive. Dustin Pedrioa had a multiple home run game, including a grand slam off Pesky’s Pole. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit two triples against the Yankees. Rick Porcello is now 5-0 for the season. If the Red Sox continue with this streak, ticket demands and crowds at and around Fenway will swell, filling in the voids that I saw earlier in April.

Much of the reason as to why the Red Sox are suddenly on fire is likely because Pablo Sandoval hasn’t been around. It’s no secret that he’s been a drag for the team in more ways than one. After all, his bad juju had a bad affect on the team. While I’m also still not 100% sold on whether Farrell should stay or go, he’ll have much less to worry about if the Sox continue their tear, especially against the Chicago White Sox this week, who are holding onto a first place lead of their own in the American League Central.

Fans are filling their hearts with hope again as the Red Sox take first place. If we dare, we’ll keep that faith and hope to see them in the post-season.

Red Sox Should Drop Farrell for Lovullo

It’s early in the season, but the Red Sox are already showing signs that this season won’t be much different than the last two. Clay Buchholtz continues to struggle on the mound, the team fails to drive in crucial runs, and for the first time since I started attending Sox games in 2014, I’ve seen a visible drop in attendance. You could attribute it to the cold weather (45 degree temperatures make it hard to enjoy a game, especially at night), but it drop Farrelldoesn’t help that the Sox are off to a challenging start. This idea leads me to ask whether the Red Sox should drop Farrell now and replace him with Torey Lovullo, who did much better managing the team last season. Personally, I think it’s time to drop Farrell.

Tory Lovullo took over as manager last season when Farrell was diagnosed with stage 1
lymphoma. The team went from performing sluggishly to scoring 37 runs in the first two games. Lovullo even had a .636 winning percentage through the end of September. This positive turn of events overshadowed the .439 winning percentage Farrell had before leaving for medical treatment. Farrell eventually returned to the team, taking the reigns back from Lovullo, who the Red Sox signed to a two-year contract to stay with the team as bench coach. Many saw this as an insurance move in the event that Farrell, God forbid, gets sick again.

Is it Time to Drop Farrell?

There’s another reason to drop Farrell from the Red Sox. Last June, after he was pulled from the game, Wade Miley got into a heated argument in the dugout with Farrell. Some saw this as Farrell’s inability to manage his team and retain their respect. Of course, players get angry and want to vent from time to time, but the fact that Miley blew up at Farrell is a sign that he’s not commanding the respect that managers deserve. While Miley is partly to blame for that incident, a stronger manager would have never tolerated that in the first place. On a larger level, it is a sign that tensions were, and probably still are, high in the clubhouse. If that’s the case, it needs to be defused by a change in management.

Maybe it’s still too early to tell, but at what point do you decide that it’s time for a change?