The Complacent Boston Red Sox Basically Tell Their Team and Fans to Go F'ck Themselves at the Trade Deadline
“Well, we talked right to the deadline,” Dombrowski said, as seen on NESN’s trade deadline coverage. “Our primary focus was relief pitching, that was our primary focus. Not back-end-type guys, because I think the reality of back-end guys when we start getting into those conversations, I don’t know of any back-end — well, Shane Green is one guy that moved — back-end guys that any of the ones we had on our list really moved. And I think part of that was the acquisition price. … We tried to (add bullpen pieces), we just didn’t like the asking price so we went right to the very end. Some people brought up positional player stuff to us today, so again you listen to anything, I bet you I have texts from 20 general managers on my phone right now from today and more than that over the last couple days. So we tried, we just didn’t like the price at the very end.
Excerpt via: https://nesn.com/2019/07/dave-dombrowski-explains-why-red-sox-didnt-make-move-at-trade-deadline/
Unfuckingbelievable. I cannot believe this team just did nothing at the deadline. Nahhhh, we're cool leading the world in blown saves! The 4th place Cincinnati Reds are out here bettering themselves with trades while the defending World Champs will just re-watch the God Awful 2018 World Series film all October with their thumbs up their asses because of how poorly allocated the Red Sox resources have been.
They (Albert Einstein, ever heard of him?) say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well ladies and gentlemen, It appears the Red Sox have gone insane. There's no more waiver-trades, so this roster is pretty much what the Red Sox have going forward. Boston relievers have a 5.18 ERA (83 1/3 innings, 48 earned runs) and 1.51 WHIP during July. Overall, Boston relievers have combined for a 4.53 ERA in 411 innings. (numbers via Mass Live). Buckle-up for the final 54 games of 2019.
While I totally agree the club here needs to be more consistent the biggest reason they haven't been and are 9 games back in the AL East is the bullpen. If they only have say, 13 blown saves this year (which is still pretty bad) they're right in the heart of this.
Despite losing about 10 games they just frankly should've never lost, the Sox are 10 games over .500. They're only two games out of the wild card with the potential to "do damage" again in October. They have most of the pieces. With the Yankees starting pitching woes and recent struggles against the Sox, you never know, it's not like teams haven't blown leads that big before in baseball history. (Look up 69 Cubs, 78 Red Sox, 95 Angels, 14 A's...those are just off the top of my head)
But even if you want to concede the division, this organization should be trying to get in the dance by any means necessary. We all know the tough decisions that are coming with J.D. and Mookie, you gotta go for it when you can because you're never promised another shot. I understand not wanting to mortgage the future, I don't want to either. But you gotta do something. You can't keep sending these same guys out there night after night. If you're gonna have this mentality to just bring back the entire team from last year that won the World Series then you also have to believe that this team can do it again if they get in, so wouldn't you do something to help their chances? Deep down the Sox front office knows they can't because of this bullpen, but since they already butchered the payroll they'll just keep going with they've got and what they've got is a bullpen that walks everybody and blows about 2 games a week. Poor Matt Barnes arm is going to fall off.
The biggest reason they're 9 games back has been because of the bullpen! I want to be mad at the guys on the roster but it's almost not even their fault. You can't put AAA guys into these high leverage situations night after night and get mad at them for failing. You need to be mad at the guys who put them in a positon to fail. I will say the blown save stat is a little skewed because technically relievers that blow leads in the 7th or 8th that never would be in the game for the remainder of it are hit will blown saves when they give up a lead, so it's not like they've blown 18 9th inning leads, but still it's pretty fucking bad and frankly inexcusable for a team that just won 108 games and a championship. Highest payroll in baseball and they've spent about 40 bucks on the bullpen. Instead of doing anything to address that this off season when they let a HOF closer, and pretty cool set-up man go they replaced them with a bunch of nothing.
The Red Sox offense as a team is first in the AL in hits, runs, doubles, batting average, and OBP. They're 3rd in slugging % and 4th in homers. They rake. The offense has for the most part been 2018-like. Mookie isn't having an MVP season, but the left-side of the infield in Xander Bogaerts & Rafael "Baby Beluga" Devers are having MVP-type campaigns.
It's so annoying as a Red Sox fan. Part of me feels bad complaining, because I mean this ownership has won four World Series in 15 years, hands down the most in the majors, I'll always be grateful and appreciative of those years. We also have to acknowledge the constant bad contracts to the wrong guys, and overall attitude of ownership that seems to be pretty complacent after such a magical 2018. John Henry is more worried about Liverpool, and killing the constitution by controlling the newspaper and radio than putting money in the right spots. Yes this team spends money, but in the wrong ways. I almost wish they had a small-market guy in here. You gotta know how build a TEAM. Not just throw 30 million at starting pitchers. The 2019 Red Sox are basically a luxury mansion with a leaking roof and no windows. Yeah it may look great from a far, but it's going to protect you for shit. It doesn't matter how many runs you score or how the starters perform if you have nobody to get the final 9 outs of the game.
I think at this point bringing back the whole 2018 team minus a bullpen was a mistake. The way this team handled Spring Training was a mistake, and the way Alex Cora managed the majority of the 1st half just saying we're good, we'll be find was a mistake. I think teams that won a championship always need to bring in a couple hungry guys whether in be in free agency or the draft. Look at the NFL. Cause I mean, I get it, I'm a human. I understand how human nature works, after winning it all I'm sure you get a little complacent. It's hard not to. Sure they may say and do all the right things with the media saying we embrace the chase to repeat, but the on-field production and overall just vibe of this team has shown guys that may not have the same fire in their belly.
It all comes down to this offseason, the Red Sox got too sentimental and spent money the wrong way which handcuffed the pen. Dave Dumbroski is infamous for putting together great teams with poor bullpens. It's a major reason why the Red Sox won in 2013 and the Tigers haven't won a World Series since '84. Last year was incredible but it's fucking embarrassing how this team has followed it up this year. While I'm upset with Dumbo, the front office and ownership, a large slice of the blame pie belongs to the starting rotation. Chris Sale and Rick Porcello have been gross in 2019, and while David Price has carried the staff he too at times has had his bad moments, although his major issue is really just health and attitude.
Today embarks the unofficial final third of the season. With no waiver-trades anymore the Red Sox are going out there with Colten Brewer and Marcus Walden. Awesome.
Congratulations to the Houston Astros on winning the AL Pennant.