Axing main or longstanding characters from popular TV shows has become all the rage nowadays. From The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones, no character is safe from exiting stage left.
And while most shows wait until its season finale, the Red Sox should kick its longest tenured pitcher off the NESN airwaves in the middle of its 109th season.
In the most recent episode, Buchholz did everything possible to make sure the Red Sox did not have a chance to win on Saturday. In the first, he allowed one run. The Sox got the run back and even gave the righty a lead the very next half inning, but it was short lived. Astros right fielder George Springer sent one to the seats for a grand slam in the second inning.
Nevertheless, the resilient Red Sox were able to overcome the nine-year veterans start with a walk-off double in the eleventh inning courtesy of David Ortiz.
Talk about good television!
But with the action packed, drama filled win, Red Sox manager John Farrell should not take a no-harm-done approach to Buchholz’s terrible outing. He doesn’t have to.
Clay Buchholz staying in Red Sox rotation: "I needed a break a couple years ago. I don’t need a break…I'm close." https://t.co/CYShpRzsOY
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) May 16, 2016
With Joe Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez set to return from the DL, Farrell can make the call to take Buchholz out of the rotation.
“We’ve got a couple guys that are getting closer in their progression to get back to us, Farrell said of his pitching staff before Buchholz’s start on Saturday. The manager also challenged his starter to rise to the challenge. “Clay, go take the ball and pitch to your capabilities and everything will work out.”
So far in 2016, it hasn’t worked out for Buchholz who is having his worst season as a pro.
He has seen the ball leave the yard at a higher percentage than anytime in his Red Sox tenure. He’s also seen a career high in extra-base hit percentage and a career low in strikeout percentage.
And we haven’t even reached the point of the year where he will undoubtably get hurt, go on the DL for an extended period of time and when he comes back he’s a worse pitcher.
The hope that Clay Buchholz is going to be the next great Red Sox pitcher is dead and has been for a while. With the addition of David Price this offseason, it seems like the Red Sox are finally sobering up to that thought.
Now all Buchholz does is serve as a living reminder of what this 2016 squad is so desperately trying not to be. His jersey may look as clean as Mookie Betts’ or Xander Bogaerts’, but really it’s still stained with chicken and beer, uninspired starts and everything that has made the Red Sox a bad baseball team these last few years.
So go ahead Farrell; end the Clay Buchholz show.
There will be no outrage from fans like there was when Jon Snow from Game of Thrones or Glenn from the Walking Dead were seemingly taken off their TV sets.
Fans actually liked those characters.
Loudest chorus of boos I've heard at Fenway for a #RedSox player in a while. Not happy with Buchholz, who once again missed badly w/pitch
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) May 14, 2016
Buchholz, not so much apparently.