At This Point in the Season, What Would You Consider a Success?

Petagine in a Bottle

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It’s not a great list of FA 1b. Freddie Freeman, Brandon Belt, Rizzo, CJ Cron and my binky, Mark Canha. Can’t imagine the Sox will be in on Freeman or Rizzo with Casas on the way; Belt seems unlikely to leave SF.

I will keep beating the drum for Canha since he can play OF too and bat lead off, but I’m not sure it’s a great time to deal Dalbec. How high can his value be? They also really need some cheap players.

If they could move him straight up for someone like Aguilar, sure, but if that deal was possible seems like it would have been made in July.
 

jaytftwofive

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I hope I'm wrong but lets' be realistic. Because of all the players missing from Covid, the huge slump and the lineup craziness and changes I think the A's are getting the Wild Card. If our team makes the Wild Card Certainly the Yankees as they are playing right now are the better team, but in one game you never know. I think the Wild Card should be minimum 2 out of 3. One game is unfair. I've always been against the Wild Card. It downplays the Reg. Season which you should be rewarded for 162 games. That being said, of course I would be overjoyed if they beat the Yanks in a one game playoff. The Rays are the best team in the A.L no doubt. So if they win the WC game and give the next team a good series, of course I would be happy compared to now. But at the All Star break, I really thought they had a shot at the division. I even jinxed the Sox saying in early July on here saying, it's obvious the Sox are making the playoffs either as a WC or Div. winner. OOOPS!
 
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jaytftwofive

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i hope I'm wrong but lets' be realistic. Because of all the players missing from Covid, the huge slump and the lineup craziness and changes I think the A's are getting the Wild Card. If our team makes the Wild Card Certainly the Yankees as they are playing right now are the better team, but in one game you never know. I think the Wild Card should be minimum 2 out of 3. One game is unfair. I've always been against the Wild Card. It downplays the Reg. Season which you should be rewarded for 162 games. That being said, of course I would be overjoyed if they beat the Yanks in a one game playoff. The Rays are the best team in the A.L no doubt. So if they win the WC game and give the next team a good series, of course I would be happy compared to now. But at the All Star break, I really thought they had a shot at the division. I even jinxed the Sox saying in early July on here saying, it's obvious the Sox are making the playoffs either as a WC or Div. winner. OOOPS!
And even when Mad Bum carried his team on his back to the WS Title in 2014, I still don't think they were the best team. Hottest team yes, but like I said it should be about 162 games. It's kind of become like the NHL, no disrespect. Giants had 88 wins and had to win a one game playoff to get there, but I believe the Nationals were the best team in the NL and the Dodgers were better then the Giants also.
 
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cantor44

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It’s not a great list of FA 1b. Freddie Freeman, Brandon Belt, Rizzo, CJ Cron and my binky, Mark Canha. Can’t imagine the Sox will be in on Freeman or Rizzo with Casas on the way; Belt seems unlikely to leave SF.

I will keep beating the drum for Canha since he can play OF too and bat lead off, but I’m not sure it’s a great time to deal Dalbec. How high can his value be? They also really need some cheap players.

If they could move him straight up for someone like Aguilar, sure, but if that deal was possible seems like it would have been made in July.
If they're willing to spend, then Kris Bryant could be a good option. He could play first, third, and outfield ....Not a lefty platoon, but could add a lot. Wonder if he's looking/will get one of those 8 year deals, or would accept 4-5 year....
 

cantor44

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I think the real test in this regard will be what they do with Devers and X. If they let either of those guys go, then they absolutely deserve a reputation for valuing penny-pinching above retaining fan favorites that are the core of the team. If they re-sign/extend/etc. those guys, then Mookie starts to look more like an unfortunate one-off driven not by overall team philosophy but rather by DD's dumb moves in 2019 and Mookie's desire to be a free agent at all costs.
The difference being that neither of those players is the total player Betts is. And in Xander's case (and lord knows I love him!), he's a lesser player AND he if opts out after 2022, you'd be extending a 30-year-old player. Betts extension would have started in his 28-year-old season (this year). That's a big difference when offering long term contracts: losing two prime years when you know the back end will be an overpay.

My personal hope is that Xander does NOT opt out, so he sticks around on a 20/yr contract. If he does opt, as was posted above, I sure don't envy Bloom. That's a damn tricky position to be in; frankly my sense is that Red Sox should not extend him past the timeframe of his current contract ... Devers, OTOH, is so young and may well still get better, potentially becoming an elite bat. I hope they work to extend him sooner than later, so you can capture his prime and maybe get a smidge of a discount. Though his pretty awful fielding complicates his case, too.

All this is to revisit our ghosts: the Sox fucking blew it not extending Betts (and he HAS said he was open to resigning in Boston and was even looking for homes so it was not fait accompli that we was out). Mookie Betts, a homegrown player, supremely talented, five-tool, intelligent, exciting, of seemingly outstanding character, 26/27-years-old at the time they could have extended him. Mookie, a homegrown African-American player, in a sport losing African-American players, and an organization/park/city with a legacy of racism it's trying to vanquish. He is so unequivocally exactly the kind of player you extend, maybe knowing you might be overpaying at the end, and make the center of your team.

I don't quite feel that way about either Xander or Devers even. Both wonderful in their own way and I hope they stick around. But Mookie Betts is truly once in a generation.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The difference being that neither of those players is the total player Betts is. And in Xander's case (and lord knows I love him!), he's a lesser player AND he if opts out after 2022, you'd be extending a 30-year-old player. Betts extension would have started in his 28-year-old season (this year). That's a big difference when offering long term contracts: losing two prime years when you know the back end will be an overpay.

My personal hope is that Xander does NOT opt out, so he sticks around on a 20/yr contract. If he does opt, as was posted above, I sure don't envy Bloom. That's a damn tricky position to be in; frankly my sense is that Red Sox should not extend him past the timeframe of his current contract ... Devers, OTOH, is so young and may well still get better, potentially becoming an elite bat. I hope they work to extend him sooner than later, so you can capture his prime and maybe get a smidge of a discount. Though his pretty awful fielding complicates his case, too.

All this is to revisit our ghosts: the Sox fucking blew it not extending Betts (and he HAS said he was open to resigning in Boston and was even looking for homes so it was not fait accompli that we was out). Mookie Betts, a homegrown player, supremely talented, five-tool, intelligent, exciting, of seemingly outstanding character, 26/27-years-old at the time they could have extended him. Mookie, a homegrown African-American player, in a sport losing African-American players, and an organization/park/city with a legacy of racism it's trying to vanquish. He is so unequivocally exactly the kind of player you extend, maybe knowing you might be overpaying at the end, and make the center of your team.

I don't quite feel that way about either Xander or Devers even. Both wonderful in their own way and I hope they stick around. But Mookie Betts is truly a once a generation.
While I agree…. I don’t recall him ever saying he was open to signing here (nor especially “looking for a house here”). I really only remember him stating that he was looking forward to free agency.
 

mauf

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The Vegas over/under for Sox wins was 78, give or take. That represented a big expected improvement over the 65-win pace they logged in last year’s shortened season. I can’t see an 85+ win season, which they are likely to achieve (a 9-16 finish would put them 85-67), as anything but a success. Having a good year on the farm too is icing on the cake.
 

tims4wins

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The Vegas over/under for Sox wins was 78, give or take. That represented a big expected improvement over the 65-win pace they logged in last year’s shortened season. I can’t see an 85+ win season, which they are likely to achieve (a 9-16 finish would put them 85-67), as anything but a success. Having a good year on the farm too is icing on the cake.
Thank you for finding this. The 85 win bare minimum comment from SJH seemed pretty hyperbolic to me.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Thank you for finding this. The 85 win bare minimum comment from SJH seemed pretty hyperbolic to me.
Still feel the same after leading the division at the break with a .600+ winning percentage?

It's perfectly reasonable to change expectations based on actual results. If you're not going to take into account changed circumstances then your analysis is going to be rigid and quickly outdated.

85 wins and missing the playoffs after the first half they had has to be considered a failure. As JMOH said, if you were told you'd have $10,000 at the end of the season but at one point had $200 million, how can you NOT be disappointed in that? They had a great, unexpected opportunity to have a successful year in the playoffs and no one here seems upset they threw it away. That absolutely boggles my mind.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Thank you for finding this. The 85 win bare minimum comment from SJH seemed pretty hyperbolic to me.
In our own pre-season poll, 85-89 wins was the leader in terms of predictions. So he may have been hyperbolic, but a lot of us were of the same optimistic mind back in March. Though to be fair, there were a lot more votes for less than 85 wins than more than 90.
 

tims4wins

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Still feel the same after leading the division at the break with a .600+ winning percentage?

It's perfectly reasonable to change expectations based on actual results. If you're not going to take into account changed circumstances then your analysis is going to be rigid and quickly outdated.

85 wins and missing the playoffs after the first half they had has to be considered a failure. As JMOH said, if you were told you'd have $10,000 at the end of the season but at one point had $200 million, how can you NOT be disappointed in that? They had a great, unexpected opportunity to have a successful year in the playoffs and no one here seems upset they threw it away. That absolutely boggles my mind.
I don't disagree with a word. It would be a disappointment and a failure to not make the playoffs. I just disagree about the preseason assessment of 85 wins as a bare minimum. Clearly the oddsmakers felt differently.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I can’t recall what I exactly voted but was generally optimistic they could get a WC slot. Before the ASB my expectations actually were lessened for the clear peripheral stats indicating they overperforming
 
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joe dokes

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Still feel the same after leading the division at the break with a .600+ winning percentage?

It's perfectly reasonable to change expectations based on actual results. If you're not going to take into account changed circumstances then your analysis is going to be rigid and quickly outdated.

85 wins and missing the playoffs after the first half they had has to be considered a failure. As JMOH said, if you were told you'd have $10,000 at the end of the season but at one point had $200 million, how can you NOT be disappointed in that? They had a great, unexpected opportunity to have a successful year in the playoffs and no one here seems upset they threw it away. That absolutely boggles my mind.
If the first half results included peripheral stats that suggested problems going forward, and those problems materialized, then the .600 winning pct *had* to have some grains of salt.
The lottery ticket analogy doesn't work for me. The Sox never had the 200 million.
 

BaseballJones

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The Red Sox are playing meaningful baseball in the month of September, in stark contrast to the past two seasons. Moreover, their future is very bright with more young talent in the system than they’ve had for years. And let’s not forget... as of today they’re actually IN the playoffs.

Furthermore, since Aug 14, they’ve actually gained three games on the Athletics in the standings.

Aug 14:
Bos: 68-51
Oak: 68-49

Since:
Bos: 8-8
Oak: 5-11
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If the first half results included peripheral stats that suggested problems going forward, and those problems materialized, then the .600 winning pct *had* to have some grains of salt.
The lottery ticket analogy doesn't work for me. The Sox never had the 200 million.
They had a helluva lot more than $10,000. They had a division lead and a huge lead over the Yankees. They have nothing now. Again, I cannot see how that's anything but a crushing loss.

EDIT: I misspoke, they have the 2 WC spot. Which is worth about $10,000.
 

BaseballJones

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They had a helluva lot more than $10,000. They had a division lead and a huge lead over the Yankees. They have nothing now. Again, I cannot see how that's anything but a crushing loss.
They don't have nothing. They have a seat in the playoffs if the season were to end today, and a 2-game lead over the team that's chasing them. That's FAR from nothing. It's not as good as what they had, but it's definitely not nothing.
 

joe dokes

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They had a helluva lot more than $10,000. They had a division lead and a huge lead over the Yankees. They have nothing now. Again, I cannot see how that's anything but a crushing loss.
They also have a helluva lot more than nothing. Its a long night at the mandatory casino. They aren't allowed to leave the table. The stack got high, and now it went down. But theyre far from busted.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They don't have nothing. They have a seat in the playoffs if the season were to end today, and a 2-game lead over the team that's chasing them. That's FAR from nothing. It's not as good as what they had, but it's definitely not nothing.
That's the $10,000 after once having had 2 million or 200 million or whatever. It's a paltry consolation prize for blowing an enormous lead and falling 10 games behind TB. And even that is hardly assured given how poorly they've been playing.

Again, for me the crux of this is an emotional issue. They traded Mookie. They had a horrible year last year, after a terrible disappointing 2019. They had to do something to get the fans back on their side, and in the first half they did exactly that. They looked to have a wonderful rebound year. But they seem strangely resigned to seeing that ebb away over the second half. Bloom and Cora don't seem to mind that they lost 10 games in the standings to Tampa in a single month. I simply don't understand the nonchalance. They deal with "Wait till next year" is that most of the time, next year never comes. The future is always brighter than the present, then it becomes the present and the can is kicked further down the road. We're seeing this happen in Seattle, where the M's are having a pretty good season but DiPoto seems content to bank on a future that perpetually remains 2 years away.
 
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joe dokes

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That's the $10,000 after once having had 2 million or 200 million or whatever. It's a paltry consolation prize for blowing an enormous lead and falling 10 games behind TB. And even that is hardly assured given how poorly they've been playing.
They never *had* anything. Not 2 or 200.
 

BaseballJones

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That's the $10,000 after once having had 2 million or 200 million or whatever. It's a paltry consolation prize for blowing an enormous lead and falling 10 games behind TB. And even that is hardly assured given how poorly they've been playing.
Being in the playoffs (as of this moment) is a "paltry consolation prize"? That's crazy talk. It's the hope of every team to get into the playoffs and see what happens.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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They also have a helluva lot more than nothing. Its a long night at the mandatory casino. They aren't allowed to leave the table. The stack got high, and now it went down. But theyre far from busted.
Yeah, and even if they end the season with the $10,000 (the WC2 spot), there's still a chance to turn that back into $200 million at the high stakes table known as the post-season.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Being in the playoffs (as of this moment) is a "paltry consolation prize"? That's crazy talk. It's the hope of every team to get into the playoffs and see what happens.
Being the 2 WC team is the suckeriest of bets. A one game elimination day is the only thing they'd have after leading the division for so long? That's barely anything. That's a play in game to the real tournament.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Yeah, and even if they end the season with the $10,000 (the WC2 spot), there's still a chance to turn that back into $200 million at the high stakes table known as the post-season.
Right. You could be one good Chris Sale start away from being in the same place you'd be if you won the division - in the AL Divisional Round.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Right. You could be one good Chris Sale start away from being in the same place you'd be if you won the division - in the AL Divisional Round.
And if he gave you that start, that removes him from 2 appearances in the divisional round. You start the playoffs already gimped.

That's why winning the division was so important. You don't have to go through the highwire act of the WC game.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Being the 2 WC team is the suckeriest of bets. A one game elimination day is the only thing they'd have after leading the division for so long? That's barely anything. That's a play in game to the real tournament.
It's not as nice as winning the division but it's WAYYYY more than "nothing". You're one of a small handful of teams that have a chance to win the World Series at that point.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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And if he gave you that start, that removes him from 2 appearances in the divisional round. You start the playoffs already gimped.

That's why winning the division was so important. You don't have to go through the highwire act of the WC game.
Yeah obviously it's not as good as winning the division. Nobody is disputing that. But my god man, making the one-game WC playoff is a LONG way from "nothing".

And Sale pitching in the WC game gives him one start in the divisional round, not two. And in many of those divisional round series', the Game 1 starter never sees another start anyway.

But I get it. You're pissed about Mookie. Understood.
 

mfried

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At beginning of season I predicted 88 wins and was viewed as a total Pollyanna by my Sox-fan friends. That remains a bar of success which I think they will reach. Now I am looking for knocking the Yanks out in the 1-game wc.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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And if he gave you that start, that removes him from 2 appearances in the divisional round. You start the playoffs already gimped.

That's why winning the division was so important. You don't have to go through the highwire act of the WC game.
And winning the division was never a lock even with how they played in the first half because the Rays have been right there every step of the way. The biggest lead they had was 4.5 games, and that was achieved during an 8 game win streak at the end of June during which the Rays lost 5 in a row. Since that high point, the Rays have gone 35-13. Even if things continued as they had been, it'd be difficult to hold off a team playing like that.

The wildcard has ALWAYS been the more likely outcome for this team.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Yeah obviously it's not as good as winning the division. Nobody is disputing that. But my god man, making the one-game WC playoff is a LONG way from "nothing".

And Sale pitching in the WC game gives him one start in the divisional round, not two. And in many of those divisional round series', the Game 1 starter never sees another start anyway.

But I get it. You're pissed about Mookie. Understood.
I'm pissed that all the bad blood about Mookie and the constant erosion of goodwill that stemmed from that decision and led directly to a horrible 2020 season could have been quickly assauged by a strong, fun 2021 season with a divisional title....which they were well on their way to having until this second half collapse. They had the opportunity to salve a lot of wounds and blew it. Maybe they'll salvage something, but it's a terrible shame they are forced to scramble in the first place.

The game is neither played nor observed by robots. It is done so by people so emotions are a necessary part of the experience. I think a lot of the Tampa Bay experience in team-building and success isn't applicable to other teams because the Rays have so few fans in general, and thus operate in a near-vacuum of expectations and fan emotions. If the Rays trade a Rich Hill....well, no one cares. If they come up with some crazy strategy that doesn't work, or works but isn't aesthetically appealing, no one really minds. There's really no other market in the country like that. Bloom might be a smart man, but if he tries the Tampa thing here I doubt he'll have the same success, because the surrounding conditions are far different.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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I'm pissed that all the bad blood about Mookie and the constant erosion of goodwill that stemmed from that decision and led directly to a horrible 2020 season could have been quickly assauged by a strong, fun 2021 season with a divisional title....which they were well on their way to having until this second half collapse. They had the opportunity to salve a lot of wounds and blew it. Maybe they'll salvage something, but it's a terrible shame they are forced to scramble in the first place.

The game is neither played nor observed by robots. It is done so by people so emotions are a necessary part of the experience. I think a lot of the Tampa Bay experience in team-building and success isn't applicable to other teams because the Rays have so few fans in general, and thus operate in a near-vacuum of expectations and fan emotions. If the Rays trade a Rich Hill....well, no one cares.
No, I get it. I loved Mookie and never wanted to see him gone. I understand how this works. I wish they weren't scrambling at this point for a playoff spot too, but I'd encourage you to just take a deep breath for a minute. This organization sold its soul for the 2018 season and title - meaning they emptied the tank for that. And following that, they made some signings that they thought would allow it to continue, but it turned out that maybe they weren't so smart. It put them in a financial bind and Mookie showed no indication that he was going to stay with Boston. So they made a move. I didn't like the move. I didn't want Mookie anywhere but Boston. It sucks. But they endured a couple of awful seasons and have rebuilt the organization. This team is on the upswing, not the downswing. It's trending VERY much in the right direction.

This year they got off to a hotter start than any of us expected. That inflated expectations and hopes. They've come crashing back to earth. But they're still in this thing. They've essentially stopped the bleeding by going 8-8 in their last 16, and gaining three games on Oakland in the process. They got Sale back. Schwarber has been mashing for them. Covid is biting them in the ass and it may ultimately be the final nail in the coffin but they still have a legit shot at this thing.

Enjoy the ride. Or don't. Up to you. I, for one, am still hoping they hang in there, get a one-game crack at the Yankees, and hope like hell that they knock NY out of the tournament. Wouldn't THAT be sweet?
 

absintheofmalaise

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That's the $10,000 after once having had 2 million or 200 million or whatever. It's a paltry consolation prize for blowing an enormous lead and falling 10 games behind TB. And even that is hardly assured given how poorly they've been playing.

Again, for me the crux of this is an emotional issue. They traded Mookie. They had a horrible year last year, after a terrible disappointing 2019. They had to do something to get the fans back on their side, and in the first half they did exactly that. They looked to have a wonderful rebound year. But they seem strangely resigned to seeing that ebb away over the second half. Bloom and Cora don't seem to mind that they lost 10 games in the standings to Tampa in a single month. I simply don't understand the nonchalance. They deal with "Wait till next year" is that most of the time, next year never comes. The future is always brighter than the present, then it becomes the present and the can is kicked further down the road. We're seeing this happen in Seattle, where the M's are having a pretty good season but DiPoto seems content to bank on a future that perpetually remains 2 years away.
We as fans can afford to look at what the teams does from an emotional POV. Teams can't. When they do they overpay players on long term contracts that hamper the teams ability to sign or trade for players that they need. And when they do that they then need to trade those oversigns away and sometimes have to continue paying all or part of that salary which, at the present and in the near future, continue to hamper the team to a degree. But that trade will help to set up the team to be in a place where they will be able to sign, or trade for, the players they need to win.

We all want the team to win now. The team wants to win now and most teams do everything they can, within whatever constraints they have, to do just that. And there are constraints. Especially with the penalties for going over the spending ceiling set by MLB which will hamper a teams ability to sign new players into the system.

Bloom was brought in to set up the team to be able to reach the playoffs every year. What he has to do to achieve that goal is sometimes painful and difficult for us fans to understand.
And yeah, I have no fucking clue why Bloom brought in players like Robles. But I'm going to reserve judgement until he has more than a couple of years to fix things. He's a pretty smart guy.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I feel like I keep hammering this point, but what is the evidence that this team is on the upswing and that the organization is rebuilt? That seems completely up in the air to me and dependent on player development and what the Sox do with their own and other free agents (ahixh

The only players the Sox control for 2023 or beyond are (based on current roster)

IF: Devers, Arroyo, Arauz, Dalbec
SP: Pivetta, Houck, Whitlock
RP: Barnes, Brasier, Davis, Sawa, Taylor, Hernandez
OF: Renfroe, Cordero, Verdugo, Duran
C:

Some of these players won’t make it this long, and others (Seabold, Bello, Mata, Wong, Casas, Mayer) will be on the team, knocking on the door, traded by then…. But the core of this team, even two years from now….is largely unknown.

It’s not like years ago when Betts, Devers, Bogaerts etc were all locked up for a long time.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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The evidence is:

(1) A *much* improved team from a year ago.
(2) Chris Sale is back and throwing well, when two years ago we learned that he needed TJ surgery.
(3) Devers has shown that he's not just a kid who had one great season; he's proven to be a MLB stud and franchise player.
(4) They've added a number of good young pitchers: Whitlock and Houck in particular, both of whom are under team control for a long time.
(5) Their farm system has gone from the dregs of MLB to one of the better ones in all of baseball.

It may not be enough to convince *you*, but it's certainly evidence that the organization is on the upswing.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Still feel the same after leading the division at the break with a .600+ winning percentage?

It's perfectly reasonable to change expectations based on actual results. If you're not going to take into account changed circumstances then your analysis is going to be rigid and quickly outdated.

85 wins and missing the playoffs after the first half they had has to be considered a failure. As JMOH said, if you were told you'd have $10,000 at the end of the season but at one point had $200 million, how can you NOT be disappointed in that? They had a great, unexpected opportunity to have a successful year in the playoffs and no one here seems upset they threw it away. That absolutely boggles my mind.
So if they had started out terribly, then caught fire in the second half and charged all the way up to leading the race for the second wild card right now, the season would NOT have been an abject failure, it would have been an amazing success.

Even if they had the exact same record and playoff position they have right now.

Because expectations would have changed based on actual results.

Why couldn't these losers have started poorly to get to 76-59, instead of starting hot to get to 76-59?
That would have been so much better! Why isn't everyone else really angry about this?
 

aminahyaquin

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At close of season I would like to see us ahead In ALE by 1.5 games. Is that still mathematically possible? Otherwise I will settle for the Wildcard entree and then BAM! all the way to the WC once again. Although, strengthening the good of this team and playing beautiful baseball, whatever the outcome...that would also be a success given the rollercoaster of the good ,the bad and the ugly and the ugly again this season
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
19,341
Rogers Park
I feel like I keep hammering this point, but what is the evidence that this team is on the upswing and that the organization is rebuilt? That seems completely up in the air to me and dependent on player development and what the Sox do with their own and other free agents (ahixh

The only players the Sox control for 2023 or beyond are (based on current roster)

IF: Devers, Arroyo, Arauz, Dalbec
SP: Pivetta, Houck, Whitlock
RP: Barnes, Brasier, Davis, Sawa, Taylor, Hernandez
OF: Renfroe, Cordero, Verdugo, Duran
C:

Some of these players won’t make it this long, and others (Seabold, Bello, Mata, Wong, Casas, Mayer) will be on the team, knocking on the door, traded by then…. But the core of this team, even two years from now….is largely unknown.

It’s not like years ago when Betts, Devers, Bogaerts etc were all locked up for a long time.
Well, yeah: it's more like 2012 or 2013 than it is like like 2015. We have a bunch of guys who could be about to become huge prospects, and a few who look like they might be doing it right now (Yorke just responded to a promotion to high A by hitting .448/.500/.759 in his first week — he's 19!).

Saying that the crop of young talent we have coming isn't as good as the wave we had coming after 2011, which will probably end up grading out as one of the top drafts by any MLB organization ever (when you consider our first pick was #19) is not really a huge surprise. It's basically the same as pointing out that our farm now is ranked in the ten to twelve range, while by 2014 or so it was ranked in the top five, and that was before Betts and Benintendi shot it to number one. The farm we had then made it pretty clear that we were about to be World Series contenders; now the picture isn't quite so clear. But there's also more young talent on the big league club now than there was in 2012, when our young players were... Felix Doubront and Will Middlebrooks. That's not quite fair, because you might broaden the focus slightly and choose to include Josh Reddick and Clay Buchholz and José Iglesias and Daniel Bard, but the point basically remains.

I'll take Pivetta over Doubront. I'll take Devers over Middlebrooks. The good scenario is that if we keep Duran, he can become an approximation of Reddick.

Although we lack the up the middle two-way superstar we had in Bogaerts (so far; Mayer looks to change that), the big difference between then and now is that we actually look like we might produce some starting pitchers. Reading the SoxProspects rating histories from that period is a great reminder that TINSTAAP — Anthony Ranaudo, Henry Owens, Anderson Espinoza... — but now we just have more of them than we typically do. Houck, Whitlock, Seabold, Mata, Bello, Groome, Ward, Murphy, Song, Walter, Gonzalez, Winckowski, and German is just a ton of guys. Of these guys, you'd really only say that Houck, Whitlock, Seabold, and maybe Bello have a good chance to make, say, 20 MLB starts, but a lot of the other guys have some chance, which counts for a lot! You'd expect one of the injury guys (Groome, Mata, Ward) to come back strong, and who knows what's going on with Song.

So that prospect pitching depth is really what I'm looking at here. As recently as two years ago, we had essentially no starting pitching on the horizon, but Houck and Mata made leaps, Groome came back from surgery, and Bloom added a ton of depth.
 

8slim

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Nov 6, 2001
17,579
Unreal America
The Vegas over/under for Sox wins was 78, give or take. That represented a big expected improvement over the 65-win pace they logged in last year’s shortened season. I can’t see an 85+ win season, which they are likely to achieve (a 9-16 finish would put them 85-67), as anything but a success. Having a good year on the farm too is icing on the cake.
Perhaps I just have a different definition of "success" than some of you. I don't really care what the Vegas expectation was, or even how our win total in 2021 compares to 2020. To me (and maybe only me) the Boston Red Sox do not have a "successful" season if they don't at least make the playoffs, period. It's a top 5 franchise in terms of resources, and should almost always be competing meaningfully for a post-season appearance.

This doesn't mean I'm furious every season we don't make the playoffs. I understand some years are going to be about rebuilding or resetting. And maybe in those years certain goals can be accomplished, such as improving the farm system, or having young, major league-level talent develop.

However, I can't label a season where we improve our win total from a historically poor prior year, and don't trade away any high-end minor league talent, as a "success". Those are two goals that have been accomplished, which is good. But if we miss the playoffs, after having missed it in 2019 and 2020, then personally I can't call this season successful.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
985
Drexel Hill Pa.
No, I get it. I loved Mookie and never wanted to see him gone. I understand how this works. I wish they weren't scrambling at this point for a playoff spot too, but I'd encourage you to just take a deep breath for a minute. This organization sold its soul for the 2018 season and title - meaning they emptied the tank for that. And following that, they made some signings that they thought would allow it to continue, but it turned out that maybe they weren't so smart. It put them in a financial bind and Mookie showed no indication that he was going to stay with Boston. So they made a move. I didn't like the move. I didn't want Mookie anywhere but Boston. It sucks. But they endured a couple of awful seasons and have rebuilt the organization. This team is on the upswing, not the downswing. It's trending VERY much in the right direction.

This year they got off to a hotter start than any of us expected. That inflated expectations and hopes. They've come crashing back to earth. But they're still in this thing. They've essentially stopped the bleeding by going 8-8 in their last 16, and gaining three games on Oakland in the process. They got Sale back. Schwarber has been mashing for them. Covid is biting them in the ass and it may ultimately be the final nail in the coffin but they still have a legit shot at this thing.

Enjoy the ride. Or don't. Up to you. I, for one, am still hoping they hang in there, get a one-game crack at the Yankees, and hope like hell that they knock NY out of the tournament. Wouldn't THAT be sweet?
I agree. Mookie wanted to go. He will always be one of my favorites.
 

cantor44

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Dec 23, 2020
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While I agree…. I don’t recall him ever saying he was open to signing here (nor especially “looking for a house here”). I really only remember him stating that he was looking forward to free agency.
I did read an article that discussed exactly both things. No time to look for it now, but I will this weekend ...
 

pk1627

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May 24, 2003
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This has been a really fun season. I expect this team to keep fighting and the only disappointment would be if they inexplicably give up. Whether or not they win or even make what still is a hokey WC game means little.

That being said, the next 4 weeks each have their perils and opportunities. (Especially that road trip to CWS and SEA while the A’s and MFY have lesser foes). Sept Baseball is great.
 

cantor44

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Dec 23, 2020
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Chicago, IL
I did read an article that discussed exactly both things. No time to look for it now, but I will this weekend ...
https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2021-03-16/mookie-betts-red-sox-for-life-dodgers-gq

and also from GQ, which the LAT article references: "Betts thought he’d be with the Sox for life, and says he loved his time there—he and Bri had begun looking at new houses before the trade. But he isn’t sentimental about the bonds between player and team. The Red Sox “didn't owe me anything; I didn't owe them anything. The city didn't owe me anything; I didn't owe the city anything. We did what we were supposed to do. And at that point,” he says, “it's a business.” The Sox couldn’t—or just wouldn’t—pay him what he knew he was worth. So he wound up with a team that could."

there are other sources as well, because I didn't originally read this in from either of the above, but when looking again this is what I found ...
 

cantor44

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Dec 23, 2020
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To me, success, at this point would be getting the top WC spot, so having that game at home, and beating the Yankees. Actually, I'd prefer the Yankees didn't even make it, but that seems highly unlikely.

Losing divisional series to TB, Houston, or CWS would be a dignified end - all three are superb teams. But I will reiterate, if they team can get right in terms of health, I think they could advance in the post season, really do ...
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
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Even if Betts did want to stay, is that a deal we would have been comfortable with the Sox signing? A ‘21 Red Sox team with Betts and no Verdugo would be no better but have a much higher payroll…and having Betts would make it harder to sign Devers and / or Bogaerts. You can certainly win with big money players underperforming their deals….as long as you have a bunch of players over performing.
 

bosockboy

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Jul 15, 2005
15,511
St. Louis, MO
To me, success, at this point would be getting the top WC spot, so having that game at home, and beating the Yankees. Actually, I'd prefer the Yankees didn't even make it, but that seems highly unlikely.

Losing divisional series to TB, Houston, or CWS would be a dignified end - all three are superb teams. But I will reiterate, if they team can get right in terms of health, I think they could advance in the post season, really do ...
It would be TB. And I’m here for it. Our SP is really coming together and we will be a helluva tough out.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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Jul 20, 2005
5,394
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The most common suggestion was to sign Betts for whatever he wanted and let both Sale and Eovaldi walk. Then sign some mid level free agent starter. The team would definitely be worse at this moment with Betts, Price, and average starter versus Verdugo, Sale, and Eovaldi.