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! 

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Should we worry about the rotation?

After a solid debut for each of our five starters, Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, and now Wade Miley looked absolutely awful in their second time through. Porcello had a pretty decent start, but it wasn’t anything that ‘wowed’ me. Kelly will take the ball tomorrow against the Orioles and his start could also have major implications for the future of the season. 

I know, I know, we’re 6-3 and we’re scoring a hefty amount of runs. We’ve won each series we’ve played thus far. All positive things, no doubt. And Buchholz, Masterson, and Miley are entitled to one bad start, right? I’m not so sure. Clay Buchholz was ROCKED by the Yankees last week. He left everything over the plate. It’s good to be able to throw strikes, but my God, Clay. He was so awful that night that even Stephen Drew hit a homerun off of him. Clay has the potential to be solid, and we’ve seen him do it before. But he’s not consistent. I don’t want a staff led by Clay Buchholz. Does that mean I don’t want him in the rotation? Not at all. I’d take him as a 3 or 4, much like the rest of this rotation. Masterson and Miley had horrendous comman issues. If you’ve ever seen Oprah giveaway something to an audience, just imagine her saying “YOU get a walk, and YOU get a walk, EVERYBODY gets a walk!” That’s how bad these guys were. Cause for concern? Still early, so I’m not on the “trade everybody” boat. But, from what I saw, I wasn’t pleased. Can these guys turn it around? Absolutely. Will they? We’ll see. Is anybody on this staff even capable of being mentioned in the same sentence as the word ‘ace’? No. 

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An Opening Day Evaluation

 After a horrid season last year, it felt good to get that sour taste out of my mouth by seeing the potential we have in this team. Here are my takeaways from the first game of 2015, and boy, was it a good one.

The gold stars go to….

1. Dustin Pedroia – HUGE day. Not one, but two homers. If you don’t remember, it took Pedroia over 100 at bats last season to hit his first. Now he’s on pace to hit 324. Will he reach that? No. But he’ll tell us that he will. Pedey finally looks healthy and I can assure you he’s going to have a big year. Wouldn’t expect anything less from the heart of the Red Sox. 

2. Clay Buchholz – Good God. Who saw that coming? He gave up only 3 hits and not a single run. Oh, and he had NINE (count ’em) strikeouts. He looked like 2013 Clay, and that’s the Clay that can truly be an ace. Can he keep it up? We’ll see. But today was certainly positive. 

3. Hanley Ramirez – like Pedroia, Hanley went deep twice. One of those was a grand slam. He had 5 RBI today and looked really locked in at the plate. When Hanley is healthy, watch out – he’s truly one of the best hitters in baseball. 

4. MOOKIE Betts – he’s always in the highlight reels. He went 2-4 today. Remember those people suggesting we should trade him for Cole Hamels? Oh, the irony. Betts smashed a solo homerun off that very same Cole Hamels today. We have our lead off man for years to come. 


The less-than-impressive….

1. David Ortiz – 0-4 with three strikeouts. Papi seemed a little too impatient at the ate today and it showed. He had a rather uneventful spring, but we all know what he can and will do. But hey, he played first base pretty decently. Ortiz will be fine. 

2. Pablo Sandoval – the Panda’s stat line was similar to Papi’s: 0-5 with three strikeouts. New team, new league, but Pablo will be fine. He made some plays at third and we can expect his bat to be a force sooner rather than later. 

Overall team grade: A+ 

The homeruns were great, but we can’t rely on those every single game. We’re gonna need to find ways to score when we aren’t smashing it out of the park. However, if there’s anything we can count on this season, it will be the offense. It’ll be exciting to watch. Clay was lights out. And Taz and Layne looked solid in their short amounts of work. In other news, the Red Sox have announced a 4-year extension with Rick Porcello. Personally, I think it’s a good move. Rick obviously wants to be here and he’s going to do very well. He’s still really young and he’s only trending upward. Can he be an ace? I believe he can. We will certainly see. Thank God 2014 is behind us because we have big things ahead this year. As always, thanks for reading! 

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Impact of Losing Vazquez

By now you know: Christian Vazquez is hurt. How hurt is he? We don’t entirely know for sure, but I can promise it’s not good. He was placed on the 60 day DL as of today, meaning at the very least, he’s out for awhile. If I had to bet, we won’t see Vazquez this season as he’s likely going to need season-ending surgery. What now? That’s the big question. 

Ryan Hanigan was acquired for Will Middlebrooks (thank God) in the offseason. Hanigan is subpar offensively but he’s a pretty solid defensive option. He’s a veteran and he knows how to play the game. Personally, I don’t want him as the primary option but that’s not my call to make. 

Then there’s Sandy Leon, acquired today from the Nationals. Leon is 26 and he’s also a steady defender but again, he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. I know what you’re saying, “we don’t need them to hit. We have a great lineup.” You’re right. Vazquez wasn’t expected to hit much either. But here’s the problem: 

Neither of these guys is as talented on defense as Vazquez. You’ll never hear either one of them compared to Yadier Molina, a comparison Vazquez receives quite often. Our pitching staff is average on a good day. Like it, love it, disagree with me, whatever. They’re not great. With Vazquez, they would have seemed a little better than they actually are because of how well he calls games and how well he throws runners out. Without him, you’ll see more of the Clay Buchholz of old and the Justin Masterson that gives up 5 runs an inning. I’m not suggesting Vazquez would have made them all stars, but he certainly would have made them better. 

My suggestion is to just see what happens. Give it a month or two and see how well Hanigan and Leon can do. If they prove to be more harmful than helpful, make a trade. We could always bring up Blake Swihart and let him have a shot but I’m still worried he’s not quite ready. After this season in Triple A, I’d be comfortable bringing him up and seeing what he can do. 

No matter what happens, the loss of Vazquez will hurt. Just how much remains to be seen. 

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My 2015 player stat projections

Mookie Betts: .302 average, 13 homeruns, 61 RBI, 26 stolen bases

Dustin Pedroia: .286 average, 14 homeruns, 66 RBI, 11 stolen bases

David Ortiz: .273 average, 31 homeruns, 95 RBI, 2 stolen bases 

Hanley Ramirez: .281 average, 22 homeruns, 84 RBI, 12 stolen bases

Pablo Sandoval: .288 average, 24 homeruns, 90 RBI, 1 stolen base

Mike Napoli: .262 average, 25 homeruns, 73 RBI, 3 stolen bases

Rusney Castillo: .270 average, 11 homeruns, 57 RBI, 23 stolen bases

Xander Bogaerts: .262 average, 14 homeruns, 52 RBI, 8 stolen bases 

Christian Vazquez: .241 average, 7 homeruns, 30 RBI, 1 stolen base

Bench:

Allen Craig: .267 average, 10 homeruns, 41 RBI, 4 stolen bases

Daniel Nava: .280 average, 12 homeruns, 35 RBI, 6 stolen bases

Ryan Hanigan: .238 average, 6 homeruns, 20 RBI, 0 stolen bases

Brock Holt: .277 average, 8 homeruns, 31 RBI, 15 stolen bases 

Shane Victorino: .275 average, 9 homeruns, 38 RBI, 13 stolen bases 

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Who is Yoan Moncada?

If you haven’t heard, the Red Sox reached an agreement with the most sought-after Cuban player in recent history. Boston outbid a plethora of interested teams that included the Padres, free-spending Dodgers, and hated Yankees. I admit, I was one of the people that suspected Moncada to end up in New York playing in front of the worst fans in the world, but in a total surprise (to me, anyway), he’ll be playing in front of the best in the near future. So, if you haven’t heard much about this guy or you’re wondering what all the hype is about, here’s a quick rundown of Yoan Moncada and the talent and potential he possesses.

He’s considered a 5 tool player. What’s that? Basically, your quote-on-quote “superstar” player. That means he has power, hits for average, runs the bases with speed and skill, has a great arm, and a very good defensive skill set. Scouts around the league have likened Moncada to a young Chase Utley and there are even comparisons to Robinson Cano. In terms of how he compares to the best current prospects in the game, Moncada has been said to be at the top as well, with many suggesting he would easily be one of the best 10 (some say top 5 or even top 3) in the ENTIRE league. Needless to say, this kid is good. Take one look at his freakish arm size and you’ll quickly see the baseball equivalent to the Hulk.

What position does he play?

Moncada has some experience in the infield, particularly at second base and third base. Well, we have the best second baseman in the game along with a great addition at third in Pablo Sandoval. Where will Moncada go? Short answer: the minor leagues. He’s only 19 years old, meaning he isn’t exactly primed to go right now. I see him playing 1-3 years in the minor leagues and getting some seasoning before he gets the call up. Long answer: third base or the outfield. What about Pablo? Well, he’s definitely our third baseman right now, but he could move to first when Moncada arrives. If not, pull another Hanley Ramirez and stick him in the outfield somewhere (he could even play left if Hanley moves to first or DH).

Conclusion: this could very well be the next Yasiel Puig – just without a lot of the arrogance and baggage. You’ll want to be in Fenway Park in the next few years, because you could very well see another superstar lighting up the green monster. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for the support.

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2015 AL EAST Projections

Here are my predictions for the AL East for the upcoming season and my reasoning behind each one.

5. Yankees 79-83

Old, unhealthy, and a lackluster staff full of questions. Will Beltran and Ellsbury hold up an entire season? Not likely. How about Tanaka’s elbow? Huge question mark. Sabathia is a shell of his former self. McCann was about as useful as a burnt match last season and isn’t getting any younger. Oh, and they have a 40 year old, cheating, humiliating 3rd baseman/DH in A-Rod.

4. Rays 82-80

No more Joe Maddon, no more Wil Myers experiment, no more David Price. Longoria is still a question mark for me. Their offense should be quite anemic and I don’t think they have the pitching to get it done. Cobb isn’t too bad, and Archer still has potential. I don’t see the Rays being much of a threat this season.

3. Orioles 85-77

They didn’t do much this offseason. They lost Markakis, Cruz, and Andrew Miller. Their rotation is average. Machado, Wieters, and Davis will need to be healthy and need to have big years for the O’s to be back in the playoffs.

2. Blue Jays 86-76

They had a pretty solid offseason in terms of adding firepower. Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson should give them a nice boost. Throw in Bautista and Encarnacion and they should have a fun lineup to watch. Pitching will again be their biggest weakness. Dickey hasn’t regained his Cy Young form and I don’t see much potential for their rotation.

1. Red Sox 92-70

Most analysts don’t have the Red Sox reaching 90 wins. That’s fine. Most analysts didn’t pick the Red Sox to even make the playoffs in 2013 and we all know what happened. With the additions of Sandoval and Ramirez (as long as they stay healthy), a certain bouncback from Pedroia and Napoli, younger guys with tons of potential in Betts, Bogaerts, and Castillo, and one of the strongest benches in the league, the Red Sox will have a dynamic offense that will light up Fenway more times than not. The bullpen hasn’t gotten enough credit for how it’s been revamped, and I think it will be a very strong one. My biggest concern is still the rotation. Our guys are good, but they aren’t great. Throw in a Cole Hamels in the next few weeks and the Red Sox will look much more like the favorite. If they decide to pass on Hamels now, the trade deadline should still offer plenty to choose from. In the end, the Red Sox will have a strong second half and will win the AL East.

4.

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