Not a talent failure, but a failure to evaluate talent
It’s been a long, long time since I posted to this blog. I didn’t feel much need to in 2013. Everything was going so well… and ending so well, too. Last year just felt like a hangover from the previous year and not worthy of comment. And I’ve got Twitter when I really need to vent.
But the 2015 edition of the Red Sox are so bad and in so many ways that I really do need the roomier space of a blog to get my frustrations with them out. Thus, like the Terminator rising from the debris of an explosion, fire in its eyes, Bloody Sox is stirring from its long nap.
At least this one time.
So, the Boston Red Sox. What to make of this miserable performance?
Actually, the real problem is that the rest of the division sucks too. As I write this, the Red Sox are only four games out of first, even though they have the fifth worst record in all MLB. This is just a tease that tickles us into continuing to have hope where none is really justified.
Because the sad truth is that this team just is not that talented. The lineup is consists of broken down veterans, unproven rookies (or near rookies), and Dustin Pedroia. The rotation are rejects from other clubs and Clay Buchholz, who should be a reject. The bullpen is cobbled together from retreads, with a 40-year-old closer.
John Farrell is going to take most of the heat for the 2015 failures, but the truth is that the real problem with the Boston Red Sox is that the front office sucks at talent evaluation. Want some evidence beyond this year’s performance:
- What did the team get in return for trading John Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Andrew Miller last July? Out of all the players they received in return, only Eduardo Rodriguez appears to be useful. I mean, wouldn’t you rather have John Lackey pitching for the Sox this year than Joe Kelly (and at the league minimum no less)?
- When was the last time a Red Sox prospect lived up to the hype beyond his initial, early success? Jacoby Ellsbury is my answer. Since then, a stream of young players have come and gone at Fenway, without making any impact. I still hold out hope for Mookie, Xander and Blake, but we can’t say any of them have established themselves as great players. Not yet.
- This past off season, instead of being creative (i.e. finding a way to trade for Josh Donaldson), they just over pay Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, then put Hanley in a position (left field) where he is destined to fail. Sandoval is an okay player, but he’s hardly a cornerstone worth the large contract they gave him.
- They’ve signed Wade Miley and Rick Porcello to contracts worth well-over $100 million, but they expect us to congratulate them on their fiscal responsibility, because neither contract is for more than four years. Seriously? They didn’t want to pay Jon Lester big money over six or seven years, because they thought the final three years of the contract he wouldn’t live up to it. So instead they are paying two players more than they’d pay Lester, and getting ONLY the mediocre, end-of-contract years.
Finally, imagine this scenario. Ben Cherington never signs Koji Uehura before the 2013 season. That signing always seemed an after thought. Certainly, he didn’t sign Koji to be the team’s closer (otherwise he never would have traded Mark Melancon for Joel Hanrahan). That team does not win the World Series without Koji. In fact, I doubt they even make the playoffs. Now think about how we’d view the Cherington era without that Wold Series title. It would be a colossal failure. Two last place finishes, sandwiched around a near miss and whatever this shitty season winds up being.