I promise, this is not clickbait. Read through the article. Digest it. If you still think this suggestion is asinine, let me have it in the comment section. I’m just out here trying to help Dave Dombrowski maximize his (tenuous) trade chip situation. But my reasoning for suggesting that the Sox move Mookie Betts back to his original position of second base kind of piggybacks on an article I wrote earlier this week mentioning that Dustin Pedroia’s injury may force the Sox into having to go get an everyday second baseman at the trade deadline. Some readers misconstrued this idea as me suggesting the Sox trade Pedroia. Dustin Pedroia has zero trade value, guys. This new idea makes way more sense. Here’s why…
I’m on record as saying the Red Sox need to do everything they can this year to bring home a championship. This is a “Win Now” team, because beginning this offseason, the Free Agency Train is going to be making a lot of stops on Jersey St. This winter, Craig Kimbrel and potentially David Price could hit the open market (Price has a player opt-out option, and if he pitches really well, he may just exercise it). Then guys like Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, and (gulp) Mookie Betts will hit free agency soon after. This current incarnation of the Red Sox that have won two straight AL East titles will be splitsville in the next year or two. That’s why we need to focus on the now.
Boston’s sports fans have been graced with some of the greatest athletes to ever play. From Ted Williams and David Ortiz shooting baseballs into Orbit out of Fenway Park. Larry Bird and Bill Russell tearing up the parquet floor winning championship after championship. Bobby Orr diving across the ice, to Tom Brady cementing the Patriots as a football dynasty. Behind all these sports greats, there are the little guys that made a short-lived, but massive impact with our beloved Boston sports teams. In this new weekly blog, I want to give a shout out to the little guys that played a year or less for Boston but left a memory in our hearts for a lifetime. Some of these guys may not have been the greatest ever to play their respective sport, but their presence in Boston was unmatched.
Over the last four years the Baltimore Orioles have been a pretty good team, averaging around 85 wins a season. They are just four years removed from a 96-win season, they were surely a team heading toward a great stretch of success. Last year was their first big hit with reality as they only won 75 games, which put them in last place in the tough American League East.
I totally understand that the Red Sox just stuffed the 19-48 Baltimore Orioles into a proverbial locker, and that I shouldn’t be “negative” after this monumental three game winning streak against the worst team in baseball. But I just can’t help it. I’m a critic at heart. Before taking on the 0’s (See what I did there? I used a zero instead of the letter “O”. Because the Orioles stink) the Red Sox lost two of three to another bottom feeder team, the Chicago White Sox. The (Red) Sox only managed 6 measly runs all series. Chris Sale was the victim of a grand total of zero runs on Friday. There are definite holes in this lineup everyone. And if you disagree, well then maybe you should join the Council of Elders on Krypton. The Sox’ 6-9 hitters are among the worst in the American League. Specifically, three guys are killing the Local Nine.
Mookie Betts has missed fourteen straight games. Fourteen games ago (a 7-1 Chris Sale loss against the Braves), we were told that Mookie was “day-to-day with an oblique strain.” Oblique strains are bad for hitters, because to be successful at the plate, your hips need to explode quickly and open up as you drive the ball. Having a strong core is where players get a lot of their power. It’s not just in the biceps. Since Mookie has been out of the lineup, the Red Sox are 8-6. A winning record, sure. But in that same span, the Yankees have bashed their way to a 10-4 record, and have made up for mediocre pitching with huge blasts from the usual suspects of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez. The Red Sox are unable to duplicate this intimating force in their lineup without Mookie at the top setting the table.
The Red Sox pitching this season has been very good. Their 3.51 team ERA ranks 5th in the MLB, a number that wouldn’t suggest they’re in need of any upgrades to their pitching staff. However, the Red Sox also ranked 5th in the MLB in team ERA last year, but it wasn’t enough once the postseason started. The Red Sox gave up a total of 24 runs in 4 games to the Astros in last year’s ALDS. None of the Red Sox 4 starters made it past 5 innings even once in the entire series and Chris Sale was the only one that made it past the 3rd inning. Are the Red Sox really going to head into this year’s postseason without any major additions to their pitching staff?
Chris Sale is a fun pitcher to watch. He strikes out a ton of guys and more importantly, he works quickly to deliver the ball to the plate. Plus his lanky frame and left-handed delivery makes it seem like the baseball is coming at batters from a sideways catapult. His desire to win and intensity on the mound are palpable when watching him pitch. When he scowls at hitters, it’s as if he dislikes them personally. And refreshingly, he doesn’t make excuses for poor performances. He’s like the anti-David Price. He doesn’t complain about tingly fingers, and he’s certainly not venting on twitter or sarcastically calling himself “soft” in front of the media like Price did last week. He stands up there, all seven feet 115 lbs of him, and calls it like he sees it. If he stinks, he wants the fans to know, and will be the first to criticize his own performance. Just don’t try to put him in a retro White Sox uniform when he’s trying to compete.
With the 26th pick in the 1st round of the 2018 MLB the Red Sox selected 1B Triston Casas.
The MLB draft is a special day for all those kids whose lifelong dream is to play for a major league baseball organization finally comes true. It’s also a big day for all of the MLB teams looking to change the path of their franchise or continue their sustained success by finding the next Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or even a hidden gem in the 5th round like Mookie Betts.