OK. This is where it starts to get interesting! The Sox get to play lowly Seattle, while the Yanks and the Rays have to slug it out against each other. If the Sox can win some games, and then somebody sweeps the Yanks-Rays series…
Yeah, I can’t do it either. I’m not going to say it can’t happen. The Sox made up a margin about this big in a lot less time earlier in the season. Heck, didn’t the Phillies make up seven games in a day and a half a couple years ago? But, there one distinct difference between those two instances. The trailing team was trying to win. If the Red Sox are comfortable giving up, then I really have no choice but to follow. It looks like Theo will be able to keep his goal of reaching the playoffs seven out of every ten years right on schedule. In the eight years he’s been the GM, the Sox have made the playoffs six times. That’s actually better than his goal. He can slack off even more now the next couple years.
My main thought at this point is, why is his goal only to make the playoffs? And why doesn’t he want to do it every year? It was pretty clear from his actions this year, that he had no intention of making a run at it, once the season started. His opening day roster was fine. I’ll give him that. But, when things start to happen, a decent general manager needs to adjust. Theo didn’t. He lost two-thirds of his starting outfield in April. He still hasn’t made a move to replace them. Why not? Why is he more concerned with the minor league team than the major league team?
I promise. I understand the need for a strong farm system. I really do. But, I guess the reason I think you need them is so that you can improve your major league club year after year. Theo seems to think you need them so that you have good minor league clubs year after year. At some point, Theo has to realize that there is, in fact, such a thing as too many minor league prospects. The Sox have Beckett, Lester, and Lackey tied into rotation spots until 2014. Clay Buchholz is under club control for the immediate future. So, really, even if those guys stink up the joint, they will be four of your five starters for the next four years. So, with one spot remaining, why keep so many pitching prospects? Why not flip them for a position you don’t have players filling? How about a corner infielder to replace Beltre next season? How about an outfielder to replace Cameron or Drew in 2012? How about a shortstop to take over for Scutaro? How about a bullpen that can actually throw a ball over that white pentagon thing? Sure, just because a player is under contract doesn’t mean everything is rosy. I know that Lackey could break his elbow tomorrow, and free up a rotation spot. But, the Sox aren’t the Royals. If disaster strikes, the Sox have the means to deal with it. IF they choose to. This year, they chose not to. After all, that wasn’t the goal.
Do you think the Patriots goal is to make the playoffs every year? I bet not. I bet that Tom Brady would laugh at me if I even asked the question. Their goal is to win the super bowl every year. I’m sure of it. I know they don’t always accomplish that. But, at least it’s comforting to know that they’re trying. They’re not looking at next year. They wouldn’t rather have a decent future than a great past. Theo likes to say he wants to model the Red Sox after the Braves. He keeps forgetting one thing though.
The Braves only won one World Series during their run.