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Red Sox Surrender Game 1, Defeated from the Start



Chris Sale was not wearing his usual expression of professional ferocity. His whole body sighed as he stepped back onto the mound, totally deflated. A powerless John Farrell frowned as he gazed from the dugout, his chin resting apathetically in his palm. It was the portrait of defeat.

The crestfallen ace, Chris Sale, had just given up another home run to Jose Altuve. Houston now lead by 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th. At this point it was preordained: The Astros would win the first game of the 2017 ALDS. They ended up shellacking the Red Sox, on Thursday afternoon, 8-2.

It wasn’t the score that was the most disheartening element of this game; it wasn’t the severe underperformance of the starter Chris Sale. No, what was most unnerving about this Game 1 loss was the hopeless atmosphere that surrounded Boston during entire the contest.

Right out of the gate, it was apparent that the Sox did not have the resolve necessary to get the win, nor the tenacity to find it. This can be attributed to the reverberating absence of a leader in the clubhouse.

The only good news: There’s still plenty of time for somebody to step up. A lot can change over the course of a 5-game series.

The Blind Leading the Blind

This question has dogged the Red Sox, like a phantom predator, all season long: Who leads this team? It’s not a matter of statistics; leadership deals with the qualitative not the quantitative. Which one of these guys has the audacity to pick his teammates up when they’re on the verge of surrender?

Dustin Pedroia vehemently asserted that he was “right here”, when the Red Sox were searching for a captain earlier in the season. But he’s certainly not walking the walk, now that October has arrived. In the midst of an “0 for” day, he meandered about the dugout, distraught and abstracted by personal frustrations. Pedroia delivered no inspirational speech. And it didn’t seem as though that any Boston player would have been susceptible to such a turn-it-around moment.


It has become a hackneyed topic, but we now realize what the players meant when they spoke about the “intangibles” of an inveterate leader like David Ortiz.

Without the infallibility of a cold-blooded veteran, this postseason game turned out to be a 9 inning long concession made to the Houston Astros.

Boston: David Ortiz is gone. The guy that we called “Papi” is no longer here to give this team a piggyback ride to the finish line. A personality like his is so singular and so inestimably rare. To expect a player on this Sox roster to suddenly mutate into an Ortiz impersonator is completely absurd. However, it is not too outlandish to hope that someone, be it a pitcher or a position-player, can grab the reigns of this series before the Fat Lady starts her song.

A strong individual performance could be enough to kindle the spark. One pivotal play is all it takes to ignite the fire in the proverbial belly of a team. Presumably, such a play will have to come from a younger guy like Jackie Bradley or Mookie Betts. This Red Sox team has glaring on-paper potential: They just need a heavy-handed slap in the face to materialize it.

If it’s any consolation, every returning member of the Boston Red Sox is currently having nightmares of yesteryear. Hopefully that will prove to be sufficient motivation for somebody to rise up.

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

Red Sox Rumor: Jackie Bradley Jr. Being Shopped For Trade



Red Sox

With the Boston Red Sox looking to acquire a power bat this offseason to keep up with the Yankees they are reportedly shopping a core member of their current team.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today the player Boston is shopping is center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. One potential destination for Bradley is the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has been connected to Boston with slugger Kyle Schwarber potentially being available.

Schwarber has mashing power but has had issues at the plate having a .211 average last season that caused the Cubs to send the home run hitter back to the minors last June.

Bradley who hit 26 home runs two seasons ago fell back to 17 home runs this past season with a .245 batting average. His fielding ability though makes up for any shortcomings he has at the plate and his contract status could be very appealing in the trade market. Bradley Jr. has three years of arbitration remaining on his contract.

If Boston moves on from Bradley the likely scenario of outfield positioning would be moving Andrew Benintendi over to center field keeping Mookie Betts out in right field.

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Boston Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Stanton in Pinstripes Edition



MLB Home Run Derby

The snow is now cascading down upon us with indifferent wrath. Today, Boston saw the first real Winter Storm of the impending season. And while you were outside futilely efforting to resist nature, with your shovels and snowblowers, the World of Baseball fractured entirely.

If you haven’t heard by now, you live under the most obscure rock in existence. The New York Yankees have purportedly acquired Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. 

Stanton is currently going through the formality of physicals and medical checkups – as if there’s going to be anything physically wrong with this inhuman behemoth.

The Winter Meetings commence tomorrow. It is expected that the trade will be officially announced soon after.

Reports suggest that the Yankees have agreed to eat $265 million of Stanton’s contract, while sending Starlin Castro to Miami along with a couple of low-level pitching prospects.

This was our White Whale, Boston – this one got away and we still ended up dying in the end.

Dave Dombrowski looks like an absolute fool for having let this chiseled new-school Bambino slip through his hands. He immolated the entire pitching crop, down on the farm. So it’s inconceivable that Dombrowski didn’t offer the kitchen sink, in his pursuit of Stanton.

Conversely, underneath the surface, Giancarlo’s mind might have been irrevocably made up, before talks even started. He’s a city-slicker. Miami nightlife translates better to Big Apple nightlife than it does to the half-revelry of the Boston Commonwealth.

The Yankees obtain Giancarlo Stanton, presupposing the implications for the Red Sox and fans alike. It’s with a heavy heart that I unfortunately welcome you to a familiar and antique era of Red Sox Baseball. It’s the late 90’s all over again…

But, you know what? Let’s try to make light of this nonplussing news! Yeah, we don’t need Giancarlo Stanton and those Damn Yankees still won’t win the World Series! It’s time for another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Do Not Need To Get A Big Bat



Red Sox

Many have stated their wishes that the Boston Red Sox will go out and get a big-time bat for the heart of their order. A bat that they seemingly need to help protect the likes of Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup. One of the bigger names connected to the team is Giancarlo Stanton, but reports show that idea as a longshot with Stanton not looking at Boston as a possibility.

Another name, Jose Abreu, is also reportedly out of the running with Ken Rosenthal reporting that the White Sox will not trade their slugger before the start of the season. With the potential list shortening with JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer leading the running, maybe Boston should sit still this offseason.

That is sort of a controversial take, but the notion of Hosmer or Martinez doesn’t get the juices flowing, and ultimately will cost the Red Sox more then they are worth.

So what is the answer, Boston still needs a first basemen for next season. A position that could be filled with Sam Travis and Hanley Ramirez given the idea that Dustin Pedroia will find some time at the DH spot next season with Eduardo Nunez getting some quality time at second base. Another possibility is Rafael Devers not panning out at third base and needing to move to first base or DH at times.

Also in the cards is prospect Michael Chavis who should find himself in AAA Pawtucket at some point next season and maybe in Boston at third base or first. Then comes the possibility of Blake Swihart or my favorite, Bryce Brentz. Both were getting trained at first base with Pawtucket last season and could see reps at first base if Dave Dombrowski opts to not sign a big-time bat.

Of course, these solutions are not as flashy and will not present an immediate threat for Boston in the heart of their order. But betting on the current roster to bounce back at the plate and see an emergence of another young player might be a route to take.

Worse case scenario they get the same amount of production and end up right around 90 wins like they were this past season. But the upside of keeping the financial flexibility going forward while trying out prospects might be the best thing for Boston to do instead of overreacting to fan pressure.

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