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Boston Red Sox, The Wind In Our Sale

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Boston Red Sox, The Wind In Our Sale

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale’s last start was a bonafide implosion; oh my lanta the sky is falling, whatever will we do? 

Simmer down now Red Sox Nation. Nothing has changed. 

Sale’s fluke of a start against the Indians is not a harbinger of a late-season breakdown, an alleged flaw that has plagued the lanky lefty his entire career. His numbers this year provide a perfect counterpoint to this contention, especially his numbers in the second-half. Chris Sale is still our ticket-to-ride here in Boston.

The winning atmosphere that surrounds the Sox has induced a conviction to win in Sale. The promise of success he has here in Boston is a privilege the young pitcher never had in Chicago. He admittedly felt that his former organization put “business before winning”, a practice he vehemently disagrees with.

This contrast of priorities was on display last July when Chris Sale eviscerated a White Sox throwback-jersey with a pair of scissors. He argued that the restrictive attire would have interfered with his mechanics on the mound. What an unruly little puke! It’s almost like he cares more about the scoreboard than his celebrity or merchandise sales. He was scratched from his start that night, following the highly controversial incident. But what’s more interesting is how this disgruntled ace pitched going forwards.

Sale put on his big-boy pants (regular not throwback) and performed with indignant fervor. His prowess on the mound was almost sarcastic. From last July to the end of 2016, despite being aggravated by a toxic environment, he finished with frontman numbers. In those last 3 months: Sale had a 3.88 ERA with a 1.095 WHIP.

Distractions abounded: he had to pitch in U.S. Cellular Field, where bright neon-signs and massive billboards filled the pockets of the very businessmen that he couldn’t stand playing for. Given the correlation between WHIP and ERA, it’s clear that his 2016 numbers were those of a distracted pitcher who allowed an inordinate amount of HRs. So how would this bulldog perform with a more compatible winning-first franchise?

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Boston You’re My Home

With stimulated pride, Chris Sale has proceeded to dominate with the Red Sox. What should quell the fan’s second-half forebodings, are his numbers this year since the All-Star game (where the starter produced 2 scoreless innings). He’s posted a 2.50 ERA with a practically immaculate 1.088 WHIP. It seems that when he’s unperturbed and focused, this kid will invariably light it up on the rubber.

What we saw in his last blow-up of a start was the perfect storm of peculiarities. His trusted battery-mate, Sandy Leon, wasn’t behind the dish. Leon calls Sale’s sequence of pitches every game, the two are greatly accustomed to working together.

With an unfamiliar strategy, Sale got knocked around by the Cleveland Indians this past Tuesday. It’s worth noting that Cleveland is a team that has an extensive history of doing battle with Sale, as they are in the same division as his former franchise. All of these variables render his failure a complete outlier.

Leon is day-to-day with a tweaked knee. Whether or not Sandy comes back, Chris Sale has the competitive nature to put this recent loss behind him and return to the evolved-form we’ve seen him in all season long. He’s a shark, and he smells the blood of postseason-glory, something he’s wanted to taste his whole career.

Columnist operating out of Manchester, NH. Retired pitcher (unprofessional not amateur). Voracious consumer of all things Celtics and Red Sox. Sometimes I produce content as well.

Boston Red Sox

Bottom Line: Boston Red Sox Need Stanton

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Boston Red Sox Team President Dave Dombrowski isn’t a great talent evaluator. Throughout his entire career, he has built his success by acquiring proven big league talent. Betting on that changing anytime soon is foolish, so why not make another move for proven talent?

Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins has long been rumored to be on the trade block and Boston is just one of his potential destinations. Reports have stated thought that Stanton would prefer a trade to a team like the Dodgers despite “advisers” pushing for Boston.

The Stanton vs Judge potential is enough to get any baseball fans heart racing. But should Boston present Miami a god offer? Some have balked at the potential of trading any more prospects but let me tell you a very well known secret, Boston’s farm system has been pillaged. Jay Groome and Michael Chavis are considered the best two prospects remaining under Dombrowski.

So any thought of depleting the farm system anymore should be tossed out the window as there isn’t much left there, to begin with. On top of that, the current makeup of the team and the organization is winning now, a strategy that is far from working given the current talent in the lineup. Last season the Red Sox lacked true pop in their lineup after the retirement of David Ortiz. Many at the time sold it as the 2015 Royals who nickeled and dimed their way to a world series title. But when it came down to it the 2017 Boston Red Sox lacked balls.

Boston needs a power bat in the heart of their order. Not just for the home runs from that player, but for the protection they would offer the other hitters in the lineup. If you were a pitcher facing the Red Sox last season almost every hitter in the lineup could be pitched too. The only exception might be Hanley Ramirez, but the BIG HR simply was set up to fail to have to step in for Ortiz with no protection around him.

Stanton would instantly bring in pop, lineup protection, and the much needed “it” factor that will help drive fans to the team. Without this type of move, it is hard to see how next season will be any different.

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Boston Red Sox

Minimum Expectations for the 2018 Red Sox

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Last year, it was Chris Sale; in 2016, the exorbitantly expensive David Price was all the hype. Both of these roundly heralded saviors produced the same underwhelming results. Another short-winded trip to the playoffs; another bummer of a year.

The Red Sox simply cannot afford a third consecutive first-round exit, in the 2018 postseason. And it seems that Dave Dombrowski knows this. In an attempt to prevent car-flipping anarchy in the streets, he fired the overseer of all this recent failure (his direct subordinate) – John Farrell.

Now the Sox will be heading into next season with a newfangled remedy. No, it’s not a hundred-million dollar player. This time around, management has received the upgrade. It’s the newly hired manager, Alex Cora, who will be charged with the burden of resurrecting one of the most venerated franchises in professional sports.

On Monday, Cora was formally introduced to Boston as the new manager (or scapegoat).

Good luck, buddy! You’re gonna need it.  

Should Boston fans really expect an appreciable change to be affected by just one man? After all, this is exactly what we’ve done, to no avail, for the past few years. And if Cora really represents the end-all-be-all solution, what is a realistic accomplishment for him, and his club, in the first season of his tenure?

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Like Looking in the Mirror

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After watching the Houston Astros win the 2017 World Series, Red Sox fans deserve to be upset.

Go ahead and sink into your bed of indignance, for a couple of days, and don’t let anyone stop you, Red Sox Nation. You’re safe there.  

The asseveration has lingered on the tip of Boston’s tongue, ever since the ALDS – “That could have been us!” And it’s true, it could have been the Sox hoisting that trophy, on Wednesday night.

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