It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the air is getting cooler, and the Red Sox are officially out of playoff contention.
It’s a hard time of year for Sox fans. Reflecting on the past season brings about many mixed emotions and the realization that the Sox will go another year without even coming close to winning the world series is a rather hard thing to swallow.
The Red Sox this season had as many problems as a high-level math test. Boston was riddled with injuries the entire season and started the season with one of the best hitters in baseball on the bench, Nomar Garciaparra.
During the season more key players went down like reliable catcher Jason Veritek, and all star pitcher Pedro Martinez, and superstar Mike “laser” Lansing. Clubhouse dance Carl Everett also had the injury bug this season, but his dwindling talent, declining numbers, and poor play were fortunately not effected by his injuries. Also, his failure to believe in dinosaurs has not changed this season.
The injuries this season were too much for the Sox to overcome, although many players stepped up their play when certain people were injured. Trot Nixon for example did a fine job playing center field when the lackluster Carl Everett went down with a hamstring injury late in the season. Tim Wakefield improved his record to a stellar 8-12 when Pedro Martinez went on the Disabled list. This is the kind of thing that managers want to see out of their club when things don’t go so smoothly. Unfortunately, Jimmy Williams was not around for too long to see this on account of him being fired in late August.
General Manager Dan Duquette’s managerial decisions are similar to those of the early Red Sox when Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees. Over playing salaries to D level ball players is not a way to build a solid baseball club.
Jose Offerman, who has trouble fielding even the softest dribbler at second base, is being paid 6.75 million dollars a year. You would think his poor play in the field would be overshadowed by his quick hands and good eye at the plate, but his 266 average doesn’t suggest that.
Mike Lansing, who makes 6.35 million dollars a year, might as well punch himself in the face rather than face a major league pitcher because either way he’s out.
Boston has been officially eliminated from the playoff race while the Yankees have clinched the AL east. The Oakland A’s have clinched the AL wild card. The false hope from the beginning has been erased by the team’s 25-39 record since the All-Star break.
For a team with the second highest payroll in baseball, averaging 3.4 million dollars per player, they are not good. In fact, they are poor. While Oakland has the second lowest payroll in baseball and the second best record in the American League.
Someday the Sox will scrape up the right players and stumble their way into the World Series. For Sox fans this will make up for all the years they watched Bruce Hurst and Damon Berryhill and players of that caliber disgrace the Red Sox uniform.
Until that day comes Sox fans will have to endure the sub par turmoil seasons like this one. But when the Sox leave a victorious season one October, it will all be worth it.