Farewell, Large Father

I feel like I could write a novel about all the positive memories you’ve given me the last decade plus. From the 2004 ALCS to your final game in a Red Sox uniform, I’ve always been on the edge of my seat when you were at the plate, watching and waiting for something amazing to happen. To be honest, I even began to expect it from you because you have become a legend in your own right. Whether it was your powerful swing or your larger-than-life personality, you always gave me a reason to smile. I never met you, but I feel like I know you so well. You embody Boston and the never-quit spirit of the city. I can’t imagine what the game will be like without you and quite frankly I don’t want to. All I know is I’m going to miss you and the game will never be the same. The Red Sox will never be the same. Boston will never be the same. Thank you, Large Father, for some of the best memories of my life. Baseball will never be the same. This isn’t goodbye, it’s just “see you later.” When you put your cap on that boasts the Boston “B” during the Hall of Fame ceremony, I’ll be watching with all the fond memories you’ve given me over the years. I love you, Papi. Thanks for everything. 


With Opening Day closing in, are the Red Sox in trouble? 

In December, the Red Sox looked like a solid team on paper. With additions of David Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith and Chris Young, Boston looked like a team to beat in the AL East. Surely, with those additions and the young talent already in place, the Red Sox couldn’t have another terrible season, right? Not exactly. Are there reasons to worry? As of today, yes. 

Injuries happen to every team. They’re impossible to escape. The Red Sox are already experiencing this with the loss of Eduardo Rodriguez and Carson Smith, the Red Sox are in somewhat of a hole to begin the season. Most likely, we won’t see either for at least a month. 

What about Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello? Well, certainly they’re primed to have a better season, right? Clay is finally “healthy” and Porcello is supposedly going back to his old methods that made him successful in Detroit. From the small sample size, it seems neither have overcome their woes. Clay turned in a decent outing recently and there’s at least some optimism that he’ll pitch well if he’s healthy. Porcello, on the other hand, has an ERA north of 10 and has looked like a minor leaguer with all his issues. Joe Kelly has looked somewhat efficient but his command is still in question. Henry Owens still belongs in Triple A and Wright isn’t the answer for me. 

Without Carson Smith, the Red Sox lose a flamethrower and their setup man. Can Koji be counted on to fill in? Sure, I trust him. Can Taz regain his form after wearing down significantly last season? Maybe so. But losing Smith creates a lot of “ifs.” 

What should they do? 

Trade for Sonny Gray. Laughable, right? If only it were that easy. Gray is practically unavailable. Practically. Every team has a price. If I were Dave, I’d call up Billy Beane and offer him anyone outside of the core major league roster and Yoan Moncada. It would likely take Devers, Espinoza, Benintendi and another high-end prospect to even get the base for a deal. Probably looking at losing at least 3 top 5 prospects. Painful? That word doesn’t do it justice. But as a fan, I’d be thrilled to have Sonny Gray pitching behind his good friend, David Price. The Red Sox can’t afford another last place finish. That would be more painful for me than losing some great prospects. Of course, all of this is hypothetical and highly unlikely to happen but it’s fun to speculate. 

Thanks for reading. As always, sound off and let me know what you think. 


The Price Was Right

You all know by now that the big news of the night (and perhaps the entire offseason) is that the Boston Red Sox agreed to a record deal with David Price. The deal is for 7 years and 217 million dollars. The catch is that there’s an opt out clause after the third year. Here’s my evaluation of the whole process and the deal itself.

The contract: 

The contract was huge. That’s an understatement. It makes Price the richest pitcher in baseball history, surpassing Clayton Kershaw by 2 million dollars. 217 million is quite a bit but the Red Sox can definitely afford it. The opt out clause is key here. If Price dominates like I expect him to for three years, he’s definitely going to use that clause and try to get a better deal. I doubt the Red Sox would go that high again and they could very well have to watch him walk after year three. Overall, for at least three years, the Sox will control arguably one of the best two pitchers in the game. My grade for this is an A.

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox were also HEAVILY involved with Greinke as well. So much so that the two sides probably would have worked out an agreement had Price signed elsewhere. Speaking of him signing elsewhere, it’s also been reported that David’s first choice seemed to be the Cardinals. St. Louis offered him a lucrative deal but it fell nearly 30 million short of what the Red Sox offered according to USA Today. Remember that Incarecerated Bob guy? You know, the one that said Price was going back to the Blue Jays a few days ago? Obviously, he couldn’t have been more wrong. Apparently, the Jays knew from the get-go that Price wasn’t returning and they did not waste their time pursuing him. In the end, it came down to the Cardinals and the Red Sox. As we’ve learned, money definitely talks. Is Dombrowski done? Most would assume he is. He’s gotten the three “items” he set out to get this offseason (power reliever in Kimbrel, 4th outfielder in Chris Young, and, of course, a real ace in David Price). This is just my opinion, which carries absolutely no weight, but I have a feeling Dave is going to try to get a solid #2 starter to slot behind Price. After all, do we really want to count on Clay Buchholz and his injuries and inconsistency? Look for Dombrowski to gauge interest in his pitching inventory now that we have Price (nearly any starter SHOULD be available outside of Price and Rodriguez). Miley, Owens, Joe Kelly, Rick Porcello, and of course, Clay Buchholz could all be traded if Dave finds someone he likes. He could also pursue another reliever for the bullpen. We’ll have to wait and see. But seeing how quickly Dombrowski has moved in his short tenure, we shouldn’t have to wait long.


The David Price Sweepstakes

David Price is the premier free agent target this offseason. His credentials speak for themselves and he’s a perennial Cy Young candidate. While many question his ability to pitch in the postseason, it is undeniable that Price is an immediate impact player for any contending team and that he would most certainly help get one of those teams to the playoffs. 

There has already been about 826642073 different reports about where Price will ultimately land. Though teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals and Giants have been mentioned and are very much possible landing spots, I see Price choosing between three teams: Blue Jays, Cubs and Red Sox. Which team has the advantage? I’ve divided it up into categories with a “score” for each team in each category with a score of 1-5, 5 being the best. Obviously, this is my opinion and not based off of anything more than that and the facts. 

#1 – Money

Money usually wins in any situation. Emphasis on usually. Though all three teams have money, they have spent it differently in the past. All three teams need a top quality starter but let’s face it: the Red Sox are the most desperate team to get one. The Cubs are more likely to go after someone like John Lackey in order to save big money for Arrieta. So, 1-5, which team is going to offer Price the contract he’s looking for? The Red Sox are reportedly prepared to significantly outbid the competition. 

Blue Jays: 3

Cubs: 3

Red Sox: 5
#2 – Familiarity

Comfort and familiarity go a long way in an athletes decision on where to sign. We know Price wants to be as close to his family in Nashville as possible and also that he’s already spent time with the Blue Jays. He knows Joe Maddon and I’m sure he’d gladly play for him again. Price has played against the Red Sox his entire career and knows Dave Dombrowski. Price seemingly really enjoyed his time in Toronto and bonded really well with his teammates and the fans, so I’d have the give the Jays the biggest advantage. 

Blue Jays: 4

Cubs: 3

Red Sox: 2

#3 – Immediate chance to win 

All three teams will most likely contend in 2016. The Cubs look to be perennial contenders for years to come. The Red Sox are in a similar position with stars like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. Ortiz will make sure his last season is a strong one. The Blue Jays have a deadly offense and a strong defense and look to have strong seasons from Donaldson and Tulo. As of today (November 27, 2015), all three clubs still have some holes to fill and this ranking will likely change by the end of the offseason when the teams have made more additions/subtractions to their rosters. 

Blue Jays: 4

Cubs: 5

Red Sox: 4

#4 – Future chance to win

As mentioned earlier, the Cubs look like they’ve finally “arrived” after a 100+ year layoff. They have plenty of young stars and will only get better. The Red Sox are also on the rise in young talent. With multiple prospects in the top 100 ranking, the Red Sox will soon boast an insanely talented lineup that will include Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., etc. (not to mention the pitching depth of ERod, Owens, Johnson, Espinoza). The Blue Jays have the talent now but their stars are aging. The Cubs and Red Sox have the clear edge here. 

Blue Jays: 3

Cubs: 5

Red Sox: 5

#5 – Market

Marketing may not seem that important but it does play an important factor. Boston, LA and New York are arguably the biggest markets in sports and understandably so. Chicago is close but it’s not on the same level. If Price wants to continue to show he’s one of the best to ever play the game, what better way to do so than in one of the best markets in baseball? Advantage Red Sox. 

Blue Jays: 2

Cubs: 4

Red Sox: 5

Blue Jays: 16

Cubs: 20

Red Sox: 21
Take it all with a grain of salt. Price could end up with any of the teams mentioned. Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts! 


Enjoy your summer, not the 2015 Red Sox

The 2015 Red Sox suck. There’s no sugar coating it. They’re awful in all phases. They can’t hit, they can’t run the bases well, they’ve pitched better, but the inconsistency is still there. The chemistry doesn’t exist, no matter what people may say. Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all we’ve heard this season. “They’re just a few games back.” “The division is awful.” “The bats will come around.” “It’s still early.” Stop. If you think this team is a contender, you’re only fooling yourself. The 2015 Red Sox are no better than the 2014 Red Sox. Sure, bigger names, bigger payroll, but same old shit. 

At nearly 7 games back, the team is rapidly losing what ground it could gain. They’re in last. The Orioles, Blue Jays, and the dreaded Yankees are all on a roll. The Rays, shitty as they may be, will still finish towards the top of the East. The Red Sox? No. What a shame it would be to finish in last for 3 out of the last 4 seasons but that’s exactly where this squad of overpaid drama queens is headed. Ortiz finally looks like he’s approaching age 40. Sandoval and Ramirez have been compared to Crawford and Gonzalez and with good reason. Napoli is hitting .200. Betts hasn’t had the breakout season we hoped. Castillo has been disappointing. Swihart has been rushed. The pitching staff has improved, but they’re still shitty (see Porcello, Rick). The lone bright spots of the season have been Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, and Eduardo Rodriguez. To think this team would quit would be a travesty, but let’s face it, they have. 

Come October, teams like the Royals and Cardinals will be eyeing a championship. And teams like the Red Sox, well, they’ll be eyeing 2016. 


The time to get an ace is now

Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto. Both are great pitchers, both are more likely than not to be traded by July 31. One, if not BOTH could be had by the Red Sox due to their stacked farm system. However, knowing how Ben Cherington is, he would probably go for only one, or, hell, none. He loves the “sit on my ass and wait” approach and look where that got us last season. The AL East is complete shit. It’s the worst division in baseball right now. The Red Sox are THREE games under .500 and are still within reach of the Rays, who are in first. There is no clear cut front runner and I doubt there will be until August when the teams have made upgrades or have decided to sell. The Red Sox could get a head start and put themselves in position to take first place right now. 

Johnny Cueto probably won’t be traded until July, but Cole Hamels could be had right now. There are more than a handful of Red Sox fans that are anti-Hamels. They say he’d get rocked in the American League and that his contract isn’t exactly team friendly. However, there are way more positives than negatives. He’s a left hander, he’s been dominant the last month, he has a track record for success, and he’s been a World Series MVP. Should the Red Sox decide to get off their ass and do something big, this is the time and this is the player. Amaro will trade Hamels now for the right price. What is the right price though? Betts and Swihart are untouchable. That would leave Owens, Johnson, and Rodriguez on the table. I can almost guarantee the Phillies would ask for E-Rod. 
Here’s my proposal: Eduardo Rodriguez and Rafael Devers for Cole Hamels and 10-15 million dollars from the Phillies. 

Before you grab your pitch forks for suggesting we trade perhaps our best future arm, let me state my case for why. Hamels would help the team right now. He would help the team for at least 3-4 more years in my opinion. With prospects, you can never really know what you’re going to get. Look at how many “busts” there have been even in recent years. Remember Will Middlebrooks? He was a number one prospect for the Red Sox just a few years ago and now he hits 7th in the Padres lineup. I’m not saying E-Rod will be a bust, in fact, I think he’s gonna be good. But again, you know what you’re getting with Cole Hamels and he would instantly make the Red Sox better now. With the highest payroll in team history and with the (stagnant) firepower in the lineup, this team is built to win right now. Guys like Ortiz, Pedroia, Napoli, and Ramirez aren’t getting any younger. The time to go get another ring is now. If the Red Sox can vault themselves ahead of the other AL East teams right now, imagine what will be available in July. Who knows, maybe Ben Cherington will do his job and make the team better. 

That’s all I have for today. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know! Thanks for reading! 


Why the Red Sox should fire John Farrell

Some of you are thinking, “woah, this guy is jumping ship way too fast. It’s still May. Oh, and we won a World Series just two years ago with this guy.” Others are thinking, “yes, it’s about time for him to get the hell out of Boston.” Count me in the second line of thinking. John Farrell’s time in Boston should be close to striking midnight. 

Two years ago when he was hired, the Red Sox were a mess. However, EVERYTHING went right for the team that season. Few injuries + timely hitting + veterans playing above and beyond what was expected of them led to the Red Sox winning their 8th title. Hell of a manager we must have hired, right? No. 

As manager of the Blue Jays, Farrell was a mediocre 154-170 in 2 seasons. With the Red Sox, through over two years, he’s 187-179. A winning record, but not by much. With the slide taking place this year, it’s bound to reach a losing percentage again. 

It’s not solely about the less-than-spectacular record he’s accumulated. It’s about the questionable managerial decisions he makes almost on a gamely basis. How about pitching to perhaps the hottest hitter in the game, Nelson Cruz, with first base open in a dire situation with the game on the line. And how many times has Farrell left a pitcher in WAY too long when it was obvious they didn’t have their best stuff that day. Just this season alone, Farrell has cost the Red Sox a handful of games because of his moronic decisions. Lastly, it’s justifiable to question his leadership ability and stubbornness. When a current lineup doesn’t work, he keeps it. He refuses to make a change and it can be said he plays favorites (Victorino) even when they’re as horrible as stepping in a pile of fresh horse shit. How do you have a lineup with Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia and have a negative run differential? Is it ALL Farrell’s fault those guys have been forgettable? Not entirely. But some of the blame has to be placed on the leader of the team – I.e. Farrell. 

The Red Sox rushed to give him an extension before the season, even on the heels of a last place finish. Idiotic is too nice a word. Point is, John Farrell isn’t getting it done. I’m done having patience with him. As for Ben Cherington? I’ll save my rant for him for another time but let’s just say I don’t think his job should be safe, either. Thanks for reading!