David Price’s first year in Boston can officially be labeled as a bust. A 4 ERA to go along with a plethora of big starts in which he shat the bed, has pretty much equated to the first 31 of his 217 million dollar contract going straight down the drain. What kind of value we will get from the other $186 remains to be seen. After watching him prove all the haters right with that dreadful playoff performance in Game 2, my hopes aren’t high. Prove me wrong, David.
Craig Kimbrel, our other big offseason acquisition, was the definition of a wild card. When coming into save situations, he was nearly unhittable. When coming into non-save situations, he was terrible. Plain and simple. He had dominant stretches and stretches in which he couldn’t seem to throw a strike. By the end of the season, I felt as though it was just as likely that he was going to come in and walk 4 batters as it was that he was going to strike out the side. He wasn’t the lockdown closer that we thought we were getting, but he wasn’t a disappointment to the same extent as David Price. His walks were way up from past years, so we’ll have to see if this was a fluke or the beginning of an alarming trend.
Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. both went on hit streaks of over 25 games, both started for the American League All-Star team, and both forgot how to hit at about the end of June. It was even for the same reason. Each of them became more focused on hitting for power than hitting for contact. This explains why each of them reached the 20 home run plateau for the first time while watching their averages steadily decline throughout the entire second half of the season. These 2 can now be categorized as the less favored half of the Killer B’s and will need to bounce back next year to keep up with the likes of Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi.
Rick Porcello won 22 games and is considered by many the frontrunner to win the Cy Young award. It’s obviously upsetting that he wasn’t able to perform all that well in Game 1 of the ALDS, but you can’t let one example of failure take away from what he did this season. After an embarrassment of a first season in Boston, Porcello came back this year and made Ben Cherington look a hell of a lot smarter than we all thought he was. 22-4 is no joke. Hopefully Ricky P can keep it rolling into 2017.
Lastly, something I’ve never wanted to have to admit to myself. David Ortiz will never play another Major League Baseball game. Sure, Edwin Encarnacion could come in and replace his 30+ HR’s and 100+ RBI’s for the next couple of years; but nobody could ever replace what David Ortiz has done for the great city of Boston. He has brought us 3 World Series Championships after 86 excruciating years of not winning a single one. He has given us irreplaceable memories of clutch hit after clutch hit. More importantly, he has been a the leader for the Red Sox and the city of Boston whenever one is needed. The unforgettable speech following the marathon bombings, the speech he gave to his teammates in the visitors dugout in St.Louis during the 2013 World Series, and the amazing mentorship he has displayed for the Red Sox fresh young talent is not something that can ever be replaced. All we can do now is look back and appreciate all that he’s done for us over the years. Adios, Papi. See you in Cooperstown.