In about an hour, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez will be introduced as the newest members of the Boston Red Sox (no worries, they won’t be the last; Pitchers are coming). In total, the Red Sox spent just under 200 million dollars on both guys, so it’s a pretty significant investment. Make no mistake though, this is not the Carl Crawford/Adrian Gonzalez situation of 2011 (regardless of what the “experts” suggest). But, nevertheless, it’s still a major commitment that could prove to be genius or disastrous. Obviously, as fans who have experienced a World Series title sandwiched between two last place finishes, we have high expectations, as we should. We need to curb the expectations a slight bit. Here’s why:
We have got to be patient. There is no alternative. Pablo and Hanley are coming to an entirely new league (yes, I know Hanley was here once before, but he played a game or two in Red Sox jersey), they’re coming to a new city, and they’re coming into a hostile media environment. San Francisco and LA obviously are big markets, but the media is different here. They’re going to criticize everything that happens with the Red Sox this season. If the team starts 0-1, you can be sure the media will unleash a hell of criticisms about how the Red Sox spending didn’t work. We can’t expect it to be 100% smooth sailing, because trust me, it won’t be. There will be rough stretches where the Sox will probably lose 3-5 games in a row, I can guarantee they’ll be swept at least twice, and some of our guys will get injured or struggle; that’s baseball. But the minute Pablo and or Hanley faces adversity, whether it be a slump, an injury, or whatever it may be, we CANNOT turn on them. They want our support and they deserve it, just like the other 38 guys on the roster. Pretty quickly, we found out Crawford was not a fit here, and he began to despise us just as much as we despised him. But Pablo and Hanley are different. I firmly believe they do fit here. And as fans, it’s our job to support them and rally behind them (again, along with the entire team) when something goes wrong. All I’m asking you to do is be patient. It’s gonna be hard at times. Both guys will make mistakes. But in the end, they are playing for the Boston Red Sox. My team. Your team. The best team in the world. And because of that, they deserve our love and support (that goes for all future acquisitions, well, most of them).
Patience is a virtue that we must have in 2015. Should be a hell of a year, but I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a damn good one.