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End of the 2023 Red Sox

Saturday 8/5/23

Much more important things to get to than this, but it just happened so I'll take care of it quickly.

Today marks the day that the 2023 Red Sox are all done. That's it. They won't come back from this. Horrendous fundamental ball club, and a team splitting apart. There is stuff that is way wrong internally with this club.

Yesterday's series opener against the Jays began with the Sox surrendering a first-pitch home run. Someone will say it's just one run, but to me, that sets a tone for the weekend. I don't think something like that is just one run.

Today, they lost on a base running mistake that you won't see very often in Little League. Inexcusable. As bad a play as a major league ball player can make. Guy who would have been the tying run who was on second just took off on a fly to center field that looked like it was at least going to hit the wall, but you can't assume that. You go halfway. If it does hit the wall, you score easily. If it's caught, you return to second. Not only did he just take off running, the third base coach--I mean, seriously, what is going on here?--waved this idiot on home. Only problem was, the ball was caught, and he was halfway between third and home when they doubled him up at second to end the game.

Devers was awful in the field again. I said this is what's happening. Had a throwing error, and then almost had another when he nonchalanted a ball across the diamond and the first baseman bailed him out with a leaping catch and then got the bag in time. Then you have Wakefield in the booth. Does he even understand baseball, or could he just throw a knuckle ball? Because when I hear him talk, I don't think this guy has a clue. He starts saying what a great fielder Devers is, so this is surprising.

Even that lickspittle and perpetually substance-free Dave O'Brien with his 1979 AHL announcer voice said something about Devers not having his head in the game. Do you know how obvious something has to be for O'Brien to make a remark like that? He never criticizes anyone on the Red Sox. About as toothless as they come. And even he spoke up. Meanwhile, you got the Wake going on like it's Brooks fucking Robinson redux over here.

Hey, Wakefield: This guy sucks defensively. What's more, he is lazy and doesn't try to get any better at the position, and he's a space cadet over at third, with his head up his ass a lot of the time. Also: He got paid a mountain of money and he cares less than ever. And there is no one on this team, either, to put pressure on him to focus and improve. He's one of your veterans now.

Then we get to the press conference. Alex Cora, man. This is a guy who wants out. Something has to give. He has to go, or Bloom has to go. It's also obvious that Cora hates managing this team. He hates this team. He hates the operation. He sat Alex Verdugo, a player with a very questionable moral background--it looked like he allowed a rape to go down--and then aired this guy out with his postgame remarks. Verdugo was benched earlier for not hustling. I don't think this was the same thing. For starters, he was scratched, not benched. That's not what I mean anyway, though. Cora said he wasn't ready to go, after he'd been penciled into the line-up. He wasn't available. He said that several times. So he was in, then he was taken out. He wasn't fit to play.

You know what that suggests to me? The player showed up incapacitated. Drunk, for instance. I think Cora chose the words he chose for a reason. Not available. Why wouldn't you be available? Because you weren't physically prepared to play. Why wouldn't you be physically prepared to play? You were drunk or high or hungover or whatever it was.

No one has brought this up yet--and I'm sure no one will--but Cora even aired out the analytics people. He said they're not doing their job--not in those exact words, but he got his point across. It was so underhanded at the same time, because Cora was like, "I'm the leader, I protect my guys, it stays in-house," when you just blasted this scumbag in Verdugo and made cryptic remarks about how this is one of your worst days in this organization. Be open and honest about what you just did. You wanted to nail this guy. He probably deserves nailing. So just own it. Don't be a passive aggressive bitch yourself, cheater boy. You're not some hero of morality here.

Here's something I know for sure: Alex Cora's teams, with the exception of that 2018 squad, are some of the worst ball clubs in terms of the fundamentals I've ever seen. Why is that? Is that him? He's big-time to blame. It's his team. He sets the tone. Cora seems to me like a guy who'd care a lot about the fundamentals, because he wasn't a very good player. His whole thing was being smart and fundamentally strong, because he didn't have that much ability. So that's how he carved out his playing career. I think his message--or however he tries to get over what he believes and wants--does not get through to his teams. For whatever reason. Year in, year out, they are embarrassing with the most basic stuff. They don't know situation, how many outs there are, they run into tons of outs, they throw to the wrong base, the miss cut off men. They Bad News Bears it up, if you will.

Cora has become an old man in the time since 2018. He looks tired, aggravated, his body language his bad, he's lethargic, mopey, a downer, no energy. It was easy when you were winning 108 games, wasn't it? He's been terrible since then. And I didn't like what he was doing in-game in the 2018 postseason. They won in spite of him, just as they won in spite of Betts and Sale, who were also bad in that postseason. But this is a guy who wants out. You can tell. He has no respect for Chaim Bloom. He's probably looking to his next job and has been for some time.

He had to show he could be a good boy after being suspended for a season on account of his cheating, and that meant biting the bullet or the sock or however you want to put it, and then he had to deal with Bloom's Tampa North routine, with this GM who has no idea of what makes a ballplayer a ballplayer and his obsession with analytics who is also this baseball lifer's boss, the guy who played the game, studied the game, and knows the game a lot better than Bloom does, which is a low bar, because it's not as if I think Cora ever has this fantastic handle on things.

But I bet he resents the arrangement, and he resents the roster he's been given or not given, and the absence of moves, the passivity, the capitulating, the prioritization of the farm system above all else, and players like Alex Verdugo. I can't see who Cora would really like on this team, who is his kind of guy or player. Turner, maybe. It's not Casas, it's not Duran, it's not the idiot catcher who cost them the game today, it's not Devers, he couldn't stand Hernandez.

You never know until it's all over in sports, but at the same time, you do pretty much know when a team is all done, cooked, and it's see ya next year. See ya next for the 2023 Red Sox came today on August 5. Unless there's some huge ass bounce back now that we've hit rock bottom--and one that happens very quickly--that's it. And almost always when you hit rock bottom it's going to take some time before you even get back to level ground again, never mind start really going good places.

This team doesn't even have nearly enough starting pitchers to make a rotation. I don't know, maybe try having starting pitchers? It's not that you don't even have good ones, you barely have any at all. Seems like having some of those could help. I think that's been pretty clear since like 1872.


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