I’ve been helping coach my son’s baseball team this season. They’re boys, ages ranging from 8-10 years old, who are still learning the basics of the game—hitting, throwing, pitching, catching, base-running. Understandably, as befits the learning process, they make mistakes and, idealistically, learn from them.
For example, if a ball is hit to the left-fielder—an anomaly, seeing the games mostly consist of watching the kids either walk or strikeout—said outfielder will go into a visible state of shock, his legs shaking, his eyes squeezed shut with the glove out in front of him. If he is lucky, the ball will hit off the glove, at which point the boys proceed to throw the ball around the diamond. Meanwhile, the runner, intent of rounding the bases, blows all the signs from his base coaches.
Meanwhile, the parents will wildly cheer as we, the coaches, throw our hands in the air, exasperated, wondering if our players have retained anything that they learned in practice.
Watching the Red Sox’s shit show this season, I’m left with that same exasperated feeling, wondering if there will be anything worth watching by the Fourth of July.
As I see it, this season’s fiasco came to its head on Thursday afternoon when the Red Sox imploded in the ninth inning to lose a second straight game and split the series at home with the Minnesota Twins. But this goes beyond the fact that the Red Sox blew a four-run lead. It was the manner in which they blew it and the atrocious little league errors that spoke volumes of this season.
Let’s start with the $40 million of suck and indifference the Red Sox blew on Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Rasmirez. Listen, no one is going to argue that Hanley can hit the cover off a baseball (as I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon, Ramirez just went deep to center for his 13th home run); however, every other aspect of his game is painful to watch, and Ramirez’s colossal apathy, the way he dogs plays in the field would get him benched on my son’s team.
In Thursday’s game, Ramirez made a base-running blunder that pretty much sums him up for me. Ramirez was on second base, in scoring position in a tie game in the seventh-inning with one out. A ground ball was hit to the left side, and inexplicably, Ramirez took off and was gunned down. Apparently, Hanley didn’t know how many outs there were in the inning. This is stuff we reinforce on my son’s team: always pay attention to game.
Then you have Sandoval, the man the Sox courted and spent $95 million to acquire. So far, Sandoval doesn’t seem to be any discernible upgrade from Will Middlebrooks, the latter who also gets to go bed with Jenny Dell each night. Sandoval made two fielding errors during Thursday’s loss that had everyone shaking their heads, again exasperated.
But Sandoval’s bat is more problematic. Right now, Sandoval is hitting .239 with an OBP of .306. A literal fucking panda could put up better numbers. I’m sure the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants are having a good laugh on the West Coast at the Red Sox expense.
It’s only June, and Red Sox fans are already in the same miserable spot we were in last year, in the same miserable spot we were in during the Bobby V. debacle, and quite frankly, this is growing tiresome. With their resources and salary, it is inexcusable for the Red Sox organization to continue to wield such a shoddy product. Eventually, as fans, we will throw up our hands, exasperated to point of resignation, and finally say, “Enough.”
My son’s team finishes their season next week, and the way things are looking right now, that will be the end of any viable and competitive baseball for the summer. What a shit show.