After reading the Boston Red Sox got swept by the 5-18 Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards yesterday the first thing I thought was, "what the hell do the Sox do now?". Right now even the most die-hard Red Sox fan must be thinking that some kind of change needs to be made in order to bring this team back to life. Entering the first Monday in May, Boston is seven games back of the AL East lead and three games under .500, a radical change from the typical Boston start. Usually May 1st finds the Red Sox at the top of the pack with the traditionally slow starting Yankees chasing the pack, last year the Yankees were 13-11 at this point trailing the Red Sox by 2 games, a lead which would expand over the course of May.
The 2010 Boston Red Sox might not even reach the mid-May lows of the 2009 Yankees, however this season does not seem to have the same kind of leniency for mediocore May records. The Rays are looking like a legit World Series contender and the Yankees always play their best baseball once the weather heats up in the June-August months. If history plays out the Red Sox have a huge mountain to climb to get back into this race.
So what do the Red Sox do? From an impartial perspective of course. As a Yankees fan I'm not exactly sure what I would want the Red Sox to do anyway, however it is clear that they have two choices, either stay the course or make a big change in Beantown. Does this Red Sox team has what it takes to win the AL East? On certain days I would say of course, this team has some very very good components and has won in the past. More importantly though does this team have what it takes to chase down the Rays & Yankees? Can it outlast and out-endure one of those two teams when? In its current form, I would say no, this team cannot.
So the choice is pretty obvious in my mind, they can either:
1) Stay patient, develop their talent, rebuild their farm system, shed aging contracts, go back into the free agency pool, and reload.
2) Trade off their remaining farm system & acquire the big names in this season's trade market, hope some of their core players begin to turn it around, and go for it.
While a typical Sox fan might not think this is a decision at all, that they have to go for it all, that is a lot easier said than done. I equate this decision to the one the Yankees faced after they lost the 2001 World Series. To make a long story short, by the end of the 2001 season the Yankees faced a major transition from their old guard, who after winning three straight WS titles, seemed to had finally hit the wall. They had two choices after the heartbreaking loss, regroup and develop again from scratch or aggressively hit the market and fill in the pieces. As indicated by their collosal payroll, they chose option #2, and thus began the disappointing run of playoff misses from 2002-2007.
Players like Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Gary Sheffield, Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez (last time around), Randy Johnson, Jared Wright, Raul Mondesi, Armando Benitez, Jeff Weaver, Esteban Loaiza, & Kevin Brown came and went in the Big Apple with no success. Every season it seemed like the Yankees would trade another piece of their farm system away for another veteran who didn't produce.
I can easily see the Red Sox falling down that path as they have a very similar situation now to what the Yankees had then. Boston has a proven core of players that have won a WS title, much like the Yankees had, and the Sox feel they need to do everything in their power to put players around them to help win ballgames today just like the Yankees did. Things didn't work out well for the Bombers until they finally started changing their philospohy in the mid 2000's. Instead of signing every free agent
Is that what Red Sox fans really want for their team?
Red Sox Fate Tied To 2002 Yankees?
Posted on: May 3, 2010 5:51 pm