How interested are you in the Red Sox at this point?

How interested are you in the Red Sox right now?

  • All time high ... this team could win next year (Willing to pay for season tickets/watch 100+ games)

    Votes: 11 2.3%
  • Pretty Interested, not as much as 2004 but I still going watch a majority of games

    Votes: 187 39.5%
  • Eh, the least interested I have been since FSG took over but still watch a game a week (Fire Chaim)

    Votes: 152 32.1%
  • Not even sure why I am here, couldn't care less, might catch some games this season out of habit

    Votes: 89 18.8%
  • I actively dislike the team and FSG at this point.

    Votes: 30 6.3%
  • Not a Red Sox fan, just here for the hawt MS Paint action

    Votes: 5 1.1%

  • Total voters
    474

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
947
To me losing interest means the ability to tune out / not care when things aren’t going well. Kind of like being a fair weather fan, with the slight difference that I’ll still pay attention at a macro level.
I hear you. That not caring when things aren't going well was a shift for me following 2004. While I was bummed seeing the team fall apart last year, it didn't ruin my August. I do become more of a casual fan at those low points but I'm still fully interested in the team.

It would be interesting to hear from a Mod about traffic on this board. I'm guessing the last week has seen some of the highest levels of activity in a while, which seems to indicate interest (which could be driven by frustration too).
 

4 6 3 DP

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2001
2,388
I will admit that I was pretty addicted to the intensity of the 2003-2011 years, and it's hard once you've had the sheer day to day rush from 2003-2019 that seemed to take up all 365 days of an arms race against the Yankees and then again after the Marathon bombing, into the late Ortiz years into what was such an amazing run in 2018 when everything aligned perfectly, that what they are currently presenting is not as exciting or interesting as what they presented over the last 20 or so years.

I have no idea whether the insides of that office run better now than they did 5 years ago or 10 or 15 or 20, but I know that public relations have gone from Evil Empire and the year to year drive to win, period, stop, to now the PR is about player development machines and Sam Kennedy as the face of the franchise letting us know that golly gee they are sure trying hard, and that just isn't as exciting as what we got the last couple of decades. I don't think it makes one less a fan to acknowledge that management and ownership simply do not publicly focus on winning the way they once did, and that I miss it. And obviously one can say that is just PR - but baseball is entertainment, and part of that entertainment has vanished with a Bloom/Kennedy front office that sounds more like a McKinsey consulting firm making recommendations on improving efficiency and less like the Henry/Werner/Lucchino days of 2002-2011 when it truly felt like ownership lived and breathed with every pitch.

Good things end, and new things come in their place, and it will allow myself and others to enjoy the franchise and pastime in a different way, and much like folks are nostalgic for the Orr/Sanderson Bruins or LarryKevinRobert Celtics or TB12 Patriots, we will grow to love a new generation of Red Sox in their own way - but there's a letdown for myself and all of my friends who used to live on every pitch, and I think it's understandable, and temporary.
 

KarlHungus

New Member
Feb 21, 2015
2
This is the least interested I’ve been in the Red Sox since I was a kid (I’m 41). I idolized Clemens and Dewey when I was little. Interest waned a bit in the early to mid nineties, but I liked Mo and Nomar….then God landed in our lives and the Sox were the most important team for me from 98 to 2018 or so. Being at Fenway for a WS game in 2018 is an all time memory.

Objective analysis and long term strategy have always fascinated me - it’s why I’ve made SoSH a daily read since I was in college twenty years ago. But the players are why I actually care/watch, and that chain of Red Sox torchbearers that I feel like I have to make time to actually watch (Pedro to Ortiz to Betts to X) is broken. I don’t care about a team of interchangeable parts. I didn’t watch more than a couple games live last year and I’d expect the same this year. Gave up a share of season tickets too.

It sucks. At least we have homegrown Celtics to live and die with now.
 

CreightonGubanich

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 13, 2006
1,400
north shore, MA
Part of it for me is that the team just feels rudderless. I don't know what the plan is. I look at the prospects both in the minors and emerging from them, and Mayer is the only one who looks like a safe bet as a future all star. They're spending money, so I don't think the "cheap" label applies, but I don't understand the way they're choosing to spend it. Are they bridging to some brighter future? If so, what future? It's not like we have a golden generation of prospects 2-3 years away. Are they trying to contend in 2023? If so, how? It's tough, if not impossible, to let Bogaerts and Devers walk and still improve the roster from where they were in '22.

And I do think it's a foregone conclusion that Devers walks. I hope I'm wrong. But I felt all along that the Mookie trade had absolutely nothing to do with the luxury tax threshold. It was a red herring - if they wanted to get under the tax threshold and still sign Mookie they could have. I think they didn't want to pay Mookie market value, because they didn't want to get locked into a ten year megadeal. Letting Bogaerts leave supports that idea. Of course, the front office will never come out and say it.

Can you win that way? Maybe. Maybe it's smart to stay away from massive long term contracts. But I'm skeptical. If the only time you have star-level talent on your team is when you develop them in house, and then they leave in six years unless they somehow agree to a team-friendly extension, I think it's tough to be competitive and it's even tougher to watch and root for.

Also, I'm grateful for this ownership group. I'm grateful for what they've done for Fenway, I'm grateful for the World Series titles. That won't ever change. But I don't trust them. I don't trust them to be honest with the fans, and I don't trust them to always put the best interests of the team and the players first. They lost that trust after the way they smeared Terry Francona after running him out of town, and every subsequent hit piece article on every player that's left. It's so transparent, and I just roll my eyes at everything coming directly or indirectly from the front office or ownership. There's a part of me that feels like Theo was an important bulwark against the worst instincts of this ownership group, and that the version of this franchise that I loved so much walked out the door when he did.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,768
I am still interested, yes but not as much as normal. Baseball has sunk its talons in me long ago and the Red Sox are its poison. It's never going away. I'll watch parts of most games, but I have to tell you, getting into this team was tough this past year. Maybe it was because the Celts were playing so well and I jumped on that bandwagon with both feet; but it took awhile for me to watch the Sox (like July-ish). I was still watching baseball, I was watching a bunch of Dodgers games after the Celts wrapped up, but the Sox weren't must-see-TV this season.

After taking a day to think about it though, I think that the main reason why I'm not that interested in the Sox is because I don't think Bloom really knows what he's doing.

I'm not going to go through the Betts trade again (you all know how I feel about that) but he got destroyed by his old boss. Verdguo, Downs and Wong aren't a good return. At all. The Benintendi trade wasn't great. I mean, I guess the jury is still out, but it's been almost two years; it would nice to see some results.

The drafts have been okay, I guess. I don't know. I agree with @hankscorpio that Mayer fell into his lap, which I guess you have to give Bloom credit for taking, but that's a can of corn. And the Judd Fabian mishap is really one of the first times that Bloom hasn't been able to read a market, which is becoming more and more of an issue for him. And I think that even though he got a compensatory pick the next year, you have to do better on your first and second round picks. Especially when your minor league system is barren. You just have to.

The Schwarber trade was terrific, but he was acquired only because he was injured and it took him two plus weeks to get in the lineup. When he got there, he raked (Good work Bloom!) but that two weeks literally almost cost us a post season appearance. If you remember the Sox were in a practical four-way tie on the last day of the season and needed to beat the Nats--and other teams to lose--in order to get into October. I'm not going to kill a guy who an alternative timeline where the Sox spent October 2021 watching at home, but for a team that was cruising most of the season, it was a little too close.

Last offseason was strange. Schwarber wanted to stay in town, but he was jettisoned. Renfroe was traded for two prospects and the ghost of JBJ. Why? I still don't know the answer to this. Renfroe was youngish, had power and wasn't making a ton of cash. I think Bloom was really trying hard to be clever here. It flopped. Badly.

This year's deadline was strange too. It was manic, fluctuating from "guys we're totally in this thing!" to "guys, we're throwing up the white flag". It was really confusing to me and I think that it confused the team as well. Why did they go over the (defacto) cap by only a couple of million dollars? If you're going to go for it, fucking go for it. If you're not, don't. These weird half-measures are not a way to run a baseball franchise.

Which brings us to this year's Winter Meetings. I think that a lot of us have assumed that the beginning of his fourth offseason, this was probably Bloom's most important one. The Sox are slipping into irrelevance, people are questioning his and ownership's will to win and there are a bunch of self-inflicted holes that needed to be filled. Jansen, I thought, was a good start. Yoshida seems cool, but a lot of GMs are taking a lot of potshots at Bloom wildly overspending for him (which, honestly I don't give a shit, it's not my money) but seems like a strange thing for this new Sox organization to do. And then they lost Bogaerts. That's a big one, I think. What sucks isn't that he left, what sucks is that the Sox were caught flatfooted (again). If you read yesterday's Julian McWilliam's piece in the Globe he describes how and when Bloom found out. And guys, it's not great. Your President of Baseball OPs shouldn't be as stunned--staring at his phone, completely unable to speak--as we are. That's a terrible look.

And the Rule V draft was a disaster too. Three players were taken (and I have a feeling that two of them will be back in the organization) but Thad Ward won't. Why didn't Bloom protect him and drop Kaleb Ort? Did he misread the market (again)? This was supposed to be one of the Sox' better prospects and you lose him for nothing? Back in July, myself and others said that it might be a good idea for Bloom to start paring down the prospect heap and get assets for these guys so they don't get caught in roster crunch. But he didn't, he hoarded them all. And for what? We've heard a lot of good things about Ward for years and you're saying that he's not worth a roster spot over Ort? Was that all hype? What about these other minor league dudes? Are they all hype?

Bloom has been on the job for more than three years, and people make mistakes, but it's time that we stop treating him like the intern that put too much toner in the copier. Patience is earned. I have patience with Bill Belichick. I had patience with Danny Ainge. I had patience with Theo Epstein. I have patience with Brad Stevens and (I can't believe I'm saying this) Don Sweeney. What has Bloom done except make promises of minor league excellence and blunder after blunder after blunder?

Listen, I'm glad that ownership won four championships in 14 years. That's fucking awesome. But they've also finished last six times too and had a huge collapse in 2011. This team is rudderless and doesn't seem want to play with the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Padres, Rangers and other teams that want to spend to win. I guess that's okay, it's Henry's money and I suppose he can do what he wants. But it doesn't seem like he's all that interested in the Sox any more.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
12,652
The Red Sox largely seem to be operating as if degree of difficulty in an acquisition will get them extra credit.

-Assume Ottavino’s contract in order to get fringe prospect
-the weird Paxton “swell option”
-trade for Bradley in order to get two fringe prospects
-trade for injured Schwarber, but plan to play him at 1b
-sign Trevor Story, plan to play him at 2b
-sign Yoshida the second he is available, at ~2x estimated value
-talk with every pitcher under the sun, but hold fast to 1/2 year deals. This is now the third straight year they’ve been “in” on Corey Kluber
-trade for Hosmer, just because he’s free
-trade for Tommy Pham and pay his buyout to pretend the team is trying to win

I dunno, but everything seems to be overly complicated or no apparent reason. They are interested in everyone, but seem to have no real focus or clear strategy. The endless parade of players who are here a year or two is kind of off-putting, too.
 
Last edited:
Feb 26, 2002
6,708
Citifield - Queens, NY
I am still interested, yes but not as much as normal. Baseball has sunk its talons in me long ago and the Red Sox are its poison. It's never going away. I'll watch parts of most games, but I have to tell you, getting into this team was tough this past year. Maybe it was because the Celts were playing so well and I jumped on that bandwagon with both feet; but it took awhile for me to watch the Sox (like July-ish). I was still watching baseball, I was watching a bunch of Dodgers games after the Celts wrapped up, but the Sox weren't must-see-TV this season.

After taking a day to think about it though, I think that the main reason why I'm not that interested in the Sox is because I don't think Bloom really knows what he's doing.

I'm not going to go through the Betts trade again (you all know how I feel about that) but he got destroyed by his old boss. Verdguo, Downs and Wong aren't a good return. At all. The Benintendi trade wasn't great. I mean, I guess the jury is still out, but it's been almost two years; it would nice to see some results.

The drafts have been okay, I guess. I don't know. I agree with @hankscorpio that Mayer fell into his lap, which I guess you have to give Bloom credit for taking, but that's a can of corn. And the Judd Fabian mishap is really one of the first times that Bloom hasn't been able to read a market, which is becoming more and more of an issue for him. And I think that even though he got a compensatory pick the next year, you have to do better on your first and second round picks. Especially when your minor league system is barren. You just have to.

The Schwarber trade was terrific, but he was acquired only because he was injured and it took him two plus weeks to get in the lineup. When he got there, he raked (Good work Bloom!) but that two weeks literally almost cost us a post season appearance. If you remember the Sox were in a practical four-way tie on the last day of the season and needed to beat the Nats--and other teams to lose--in order to get into October. I'm not going to kill a guy who an alternative timeline where the Sox spent October 2021 watching at home, but for a team that was cruising most of the season, it was a little too close.

Last offseason was strange. Schwarber wanted to stay in town, but he was jettisoned. Renfroe was traded for two prospects and the ghost of JBJ. Why? I still don't know the answer to this. Renfroe was youngish, had power and wasn't making a ton of cash. I think Bloom was really trying hard to be clever here. It flopped. Badly.

This year's deadline was strange too. It was manic, fluctuating from "guys we're totally in this thing!" to "guys, we're throwing up the white flag". It was really confusing to me and I think that it confused the team as well. Why did they go over the (defacto) cap by only a couple of million dollars? If you're going to go for it, fucking go for it. If you're not, don't. These weird half-measures are not a way to run a baseball franchise.

Which brings us to this year's Winter Meetings. I think that a lot of us have assumed that the beginning of his fourth offseason, this was probably Bloom's most important one. The Sox are slipping into irrelevance, people are questioning his and ownership's will to win and there are a bunch of self-inflicted holes that needed to be filled. Jansen, I thought, was a good start. Yoshida seems cool, but a lot of GMs are taking a lot of potshots at Bloom wildly overspending for him (which, honestly I don't give a shit, it's not my money) but seems like a strange thing for this new Sox organization to do. And then they lost Bogaerts. That's a big one, I think. What sucks isn't that he left, what sucks is that the Sox were caught flatfooted (again). If you read yesterday's Julian McWilliam's piece in the Globe he describes how and when Bloom found out. And guys, it's not great. Your President of Baseball OPs shouldn't be as stunned--staring at his phone, completely unable to speak--as we are. That's a terrible look.

And the Rule V draft was a disaster too. Three players were taken (and I have a feeling that two of them will be back in the organization) but Thad Ward won't. Why didn't Bloom protect him and drop Kaleb Ort? Did he misread the market (again)? This was supposed to be one of the Sox' better prospects and you lose him for nothing? Back in July, myself and others said that it might be a good idea for Bloom to start paring down the prospect heap and get assets for these guys so they don't get caught in roster crunch. But he didn't, he hoarded them all. And for what? We've heard a lot of good things about Ward for years and you're saying that he's not worth a roster spot over Ort? Was that all hype? What about these other minor league dudes? Are they all hype?

Bloom has been on the job for more than three years, and people make mistakes, but it's time that we stop treating him like the intern that put too much toner in the copier. Patience is earned. I have patience with Bill Belichick. I had patience with Danny Ainge. I had patience with Theo Epstein. I have patience with Brad Stevens and (I can't believe I'm saying this) Don Sweeney. What has Bloom done except make promises of minor league excellence and blunder after blunder after blunder?

Listen, I'm glad that ownership won four championships in 14 years. That's fucking awesome. But they've also finished last six times too and had a huge collapse in 2011. This team is rudderless and doesn't seem want to play with the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Padres, Rangers and other teams that want to spend to win. I guess that's okay, it's Henry's money and I suppose he can do what he wants. But it doesn't seem like he's all that interested in the Sox any more.
Dayum! Only because there aren't any like buttons on this board.

That's an A-level post right there.

Nail meets hammer.
 
Part of the joy of watching the Red Sox for the past two decades has been the sense that the front office and ownership were super smart—that they were ahead of the curve in both player evaluation and stats analysis. Today, for the first time in a long time, the people running this team look like idiots.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,028
I see it, kinda, but I'm not sure it's working. And that troubles me. Last year's young batters were uniformly lousy: Dalbec, Durran, Cordero, Downs, Wong. Cassas showed promise with his power and plate patience.

Bello showed some promise after a very rocky start. But I was baffled at our usage of guys like Houck and Whitlock. Part of the development pipeline should be establishing clear roles for our young pitchers, and we sure didn't do that.

I don't know, I'm just kind of down on things because it's not like Chaim crushed the trades where we dumped the old core. We're about to be 5 seasons removed from 2018 and most of the prospects people here seem excited about are still years away.
Well, I mean, yeah, it might not be working at the moment. But every method has times when it doesn't work. Chaim hasn't been remotely flawless here. He's made some mistakes.

As far as how far away the big prospects are, according to SoxProspects, here's what we're looking at:

Casas - here
Bello - here
Rafaela - ETA late 2023
Mata - ETA mid 2023
Walter - ETA late 2023
Murphy - ETA mid 2023
German - ETA mid 2023

And then in 2024 at some point these guys are projected: Mayer, Yorke, Lugo, Kavadas

So not THAT far off. And obviously not all these guys will hit. Clearly. But some will, and we'll start to see this infusion of young homegrown talent. Hang in there!!!!
 

Farty Barrett

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2012
49
I always felt we are the best fans in baseball because of what we have all collectively gone through.
It makes sense to win 4 and finish last more.
 

pedro1999mvp

New Member
Dec 9, 2022
46
This is my 1st new post. I was a member before and totally forgot username and password after being dormant from the 2020 pandemic until now. I have been a fan since the early 80s (I was born in 75 and don't remember 78). This is the first time since I started following the Sox that I didn't have a favorite homegrown player (I love Devers, but I'm afraid he's the next to go). If someone offered to buy me a Sox jersey for Christmas, for the first time since my childhood, I wouldn't know what player I would want. All 4 Championship teams had a great base of homegrown players (not always drafted, but traded for when they were young like Tek, Lowe, Ortiz) with other guys sprinkled in. This recent trend of low balling our star players but then giving the money to outsiders who we don't even know if they can handle the scrutiny of playing in Boston has me feeling like even though I will root for the laundry, there is no players that I have a strong enough connection to to root for them. It started with low balling Lester but giving money to Price. Then we got a crappy return for Mookie because it was more important to get rid of Price than to get real prospects in return. Now we sign Story and immediately low ball Xander last spring. And I am afraid to get too attached to Devers because a. I don't know that we will offer him a fair, market value deal, and b. I'm not convinced he wants to stay without Bogey. There is definitely not a pitcher who you "must watch" every 5th day. I will always love the Red Sox and I will always follow them and watch games when I can, but I have to say this is the least attached I have been since I was 5 or 6 years old.
 

InsideTheParker

persists in error
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
40,857
Pioneer Valley
Here's where the Sox stood in terms of opening day payroll....

1999: #6

Henry et al bought the Sox in 2002.

2003: #6
2004: #2
2007: #2
2008: #4
2013: #4
2016: #3
2018: #1
2021: #3
2022: #6

So 2022 was a down year in terms of spending, but they still spent the 6th most money in baseball, at $195 million for their opening day payroll. It's not like they were "cheap". And they dropped down there because they were trying to reset the luxury tax situation.

Now I don't know when they'll once again be in the top 3 - the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, and Padres are going BONKERS with spending, so who knows. But you know how many championships those four teams have in the past 12 years? ONE. Add in the Phillies, who are always at the top, and you are still talking about ONE World Series championship since 2010 for all those teams COMBINED.

So I'm sure Chaim isn't thinking, if we only spend MORE, we'll have it. I think he's looking to spend SMARTER, not just MORE. The Astros had the 11th highest payroll this season. Atlanta was at #13 last season. The Nationals were at #7 in 2019. Houston in 2017 was #18 in payroll. In 2016 the Cubs were #14. In 2015 the Royals were #15. In 2014 the Giants were #7.

I mean, pretty clearly you don't have to be a top spender to win the World Series. So I want Bloom to spend SMART, not just to spend MORE. This past year he didn't spend smart. It happens. I hope he's spending smarter this year than last year. We shall see.
Thanks for this very informative post. All of your posts give me good info and something to think about.
 

Steve Dillard

wishes drew noticed him instead of sweet & sour
SoSH Member
Oct 7, 2003
5,995
I’d also be more interested in the strategy if Bloom showed an acumen for identifying the young talent in his trades, so there could be belief that this is a blip. But Freddy Valdez and De la Rosa for Benintendi, not even being starters in the Florida league after being evaluated as PTBNL for six months has me wondering. Same for getting Potts and Rosario for Moreland Or Binelas for taking on 19 mil for the corpse of JBJ. Or picking Downs and Wong as 2/3 in the Betts trade. I’ll give him props for Pivvetta but that’s about it. No shrewd “fleeced someone for 19 YO Tatis” trades.
So I could tolerate a fallow period, but the re-seeding has not inspired confidence that we will turn into the churning-out machine we’re trying to bridge to.
We have Mayer who fell to us
 

TheYellowDart5

Hustle and bustle
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
9,336
NYC
Can you win that way? Maybe. Maybe it's smart to stay away from massive long term contracts. But I'm skeptical. If the only time you have star-level talent on your team is when you develop them in house, and then they leave in six years unless they somehow agree to a team-friendly extension, I think it's tough to be competitive and it's even tougher to watch and root for.
Again: We're Rays fans now. This is what the Rays do. And it was always the likeliest outcome, because you don't hire the guy who ran the Rays to do anything but that.

I've held out hope that Bloom would follow an Andrew Friedman path; when he took over the Dodgers, Friedman spent the first few seasons seemingly afraid to spend any money or move any prospects. But eventually things changed, and the money started to flow, and Friedman started making the kind of moves you'd associate with a team that rich. But it's worth noting too that even with all the money in the world, the Dodgers still don't do big deals unless they're short-term/high AAV (Bauer, Freeman, both times Kershaw has re-upped). That feels like a strict organizational rule over there, and I wouldn't be surprised if Bloom has adopted the same mindset here. And maybe that's the secret to building the vaunted, mythical player development machine that we've been hearing about since Theo Epstein's first day on the job, but it's a very mercenary mindset that will inevitably alienate fans who care about the names on the back of the jersey. And those fans aren't wrong to do that; how else are we supposed to build emotional connections to a team?

I've been a Sox fan my whole life and a member of this board for 20 years (!) but it's hard to feel anything but disappointed at how things operate now. The fetishization of maximal efficiency; the cold-hearted calculus with regards to guys like Betts or Bogaerts, both of whom should've been here forever; the willingness and downright obsession with sifting through garbage that occasionally returns something good but is mostly, well, garbage — this is some extreme small-market stuff, and this is not supposed to be a small-market team. If I wanted to root for mid-tier free agents and spend more of the season looking at Double A boxscores than MLB ones and care deeply about every dollar on the payroll, I'd go be a Guardians fan. That may be appealing to some, but not to me. I want this team to be the best it can be, not the most cost-efficient.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,768
Again: We're Rays fans now. This is what the Rays do. And it was always the likeliest outcome, because you don't hire the guy who ran the Rays to do anything but that.

I've held out hope that Bloom would follow an Andrew Friedman path; when he took over the Dodgers, Friedman spent the first few seasons seemingly afraid to spend any money or move any prospects. But eventually things changed, and the money started to flow, and Friedman started making the kind of moves you'd associate with a team that rich. But it's worth noting too that even with all the money in the world, the Dodgers still don't do big deals unless they're short-term/high AAV (Bauer, Freeman, both times Kershaw has re-upped). That feels like a strict organizational rule over there, and I wouldn't be surprised if Bloom has adopted the same mindset here. And maybe that's the secret to building the vaunted, mythical player development machine that we've been hearing about since Theo Epstein's first day on the job, but it's a very mercenary mindset that will inevitably alienate fans who care about the names on the back of the jersey. And those fans aren't wrong to do that; how else are we supposed to build emotional connections to a team?

I've been a Sox fan my whole life and a member of this board for 20 years (!) but it's hard to feel anything but disappointed at how things operate now. The fetishization of maximal efficiency; the cold-hearted calculus with regards to guys like Betts or Bogaerts, both of whom should've been here forever; the willingness and downright obsession with sifting through garbage that occasionally returns something good but is mostly, well, garbage — this is some extreme small-market stuff, and this is not supposed to be a small-market team. If I wanted to root for mid-tier free agents and spend more of the season looking at Double A boxscores than MLB ones and care deeply about every dollar on the payroll, I'd go be a Guardians fan. That may be appealing to some, but not to me. I want this team to be the best it can be, not the most cost-efficient.
This post should be printed and sent to the inboxes of the Sox Front Office and Ownershop every day until they change their email addresses. Spot fucking on.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
25,408
Unreal America
Well, I mean, yeah, it might not be working at the moment. But every method has times when it doesn't work. Chaim hasn't been remotely flawless here. He's made some mistakes.

As far as how far away the big prospects are, according to SoxProspects, here's what we're looking at:

Casas - here
Bello - here
Rafaela - ETA late 2023
Mata - ETA mid 2023
Walter - ETA late 2023
Murphy - ETA mid 2023
German - ETA mid 2023

And then in 2024 at some point these guys are projected: Mayer, Yorke, Lugo, Kavadas

So not THAT far off. And obviously not all these guys will hit. Clearly. But some will, and we'll start to see this infusion of young homegrown talent. Hang in there!!!!
My worry is precisely that its not working at the moment. Because the young guys that Bloom brought in via trading off our previous core haven't been good. So why would I have confidence that the next round of young guys that are "ETA 2023-24" will be much better?

Every GM hits on a few players. Every single one. The great ones -- which we've seen operate for this very franchise -- hit on a lot, *and* they cut their losses quickly when they don't. Right now the '23 lineup looks mediocre at best, and potentially lousy. Devers is the only guy I have any confidence in being a plus player. The rest are either unknowns or need meaningful improvement. There's still time to fill holes, so I'm not utterly despondent. But it doesn't look encouraging to me.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
5,895
I've fallen off the Red Sox and baseball train pretty hard over the past few years, as anyone who checked what percentange of my SoSH posts these days are in the soccer subforum could tell you. It's gotten to the point where I checked out an inning of that Apple baseball stuff to see what that looked like and actually said aloud "oh yeah, baseball's really good" as if I had forgotten, which I basically did. I keep an eye on the results and highlights as the season goes through and let myself get sucked in if it looks like something special's happening, but there's too much else going on in life, entertainment and in sports for me to watch mediocre baseball with uninteresting players, even if they have a B on the cap.

Sometimes I think about the contexts I experienced regular season baseball in when I was deepest into it, and how those contexts are totally gone from my life. A baseball game was the anchor of idle channel surfing, my teenage self had the timing to an art where I could watch another show while basically not missing a pitch. I have not channel surfed in about 15 years, since whenever I first got early Netflix streaming. I don't listen to the radio anymore. Baseball was just part of the atmosphere for me then, it's now something I have to make an active choice to watch. I haven't seen a lot lately that makes it seem like an active choice I want to make often.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,028
My worry is precisely that its not working at the moment. Because the young guys that Bloom brought in via trading off our previous core haven't been good. So why would I have confidence that the next round of young guys that are "ETA 2023-24" will be much better?

Every GM hits on a few players. Every single one. The great ones -- which we've seen operate for this very franchise -- hit on a lot, *and* they cut their losses quickly when they don't. Right now the '23 lineup looks mediocre at best, and potentially lousy. Devers is the only guy I have any confidence in being a plus player. The rest are either unknowns or need meaningful improvement. There's still time to fill holes, so I'm not utterly despondent. But it doesn't look encouraging to me.
RIGHT NOW the 2023 lineup looks mediocre at best.

But we just finished with winter meetings. The offseason has many months still to go. But I understand how you feel here.
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
30,259
Alamogordo
I voted "Pretty Interested", which makes me sad because my interest in the sport of baseball is at an all time high right now, as I head into my mid-40's.

The Red Sox are still my favorite team, and I will cheer for them against any other team in the league, but there are absolutely days where I tune into a different game because it is more interesting to me.

Part of this is that I just don't like DOB in the booth (I almost exclusively watch the opponents' broadcasts these days). He is perfectly fine at his job, but I get zero feeling of joy out of him, and he feels like a guy who is just going through the motions to me. The loss of Remy (and now Eck) hurts here even more, because he isn't the kind of guy who can pull a new color guy up and make them better.

Part of it is that I haven't lived in New England since before the turn of the millennium, and I have developed some sense of place in a lot of different.... places. Working for the Mariners' AA team, even just as an usher, gave me a pretty strong connection to them this past season, a lot of which was due to the fact that I have watched and chatted with guys like Matt Brash, George Kirby and Julio Rodriguez while they were down here, and I have grown an attachment to them through that. I grew fond of the Giants while living in Northern California... stuff like that.

But a big part is that I finally came to realize that the business side of baseball makes the whole thing a little less fun and personal. I don't blame the Red Sox for not wanting to pay Xander until he is 40+ years old (and I honestly think he was going to free agency no matter what they offered him), but it makes following the specific team a little bit less fun. Because of this I have become less of a "Red Sox" fan, and more of a "baseball" fan.

What's strange is that I have firmly been on the side of the union for years because I see how underpaid minor leaguers and rookies/pre-free agents are in comparison to the money that these teams print, but I also wish the league would find better ways to encourage players spending their career with the team they started with. That's a conversation for a different thread, though, I think.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
Moderator
SoSH Member
May 20, 2003
36,143
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I will once again bang the drum that JMOH and I have been banging for a while now and urge people to read Craig Calcaterra's "Rethinking Fandom."

If a baseball team cynically (or perhaps incompetently) puts out a mediocre, unenjoyable product, we as fans are not obligated to support or watch it. I think there's a pretty large swath of guilt that we as fans take on where we often feel obligated to continue following a team that isn't making a full effort to win, either due to rebuilding for years or crass profit-taking.

Note: I am not saying the Sox are doing either of these things.

BUT.

If Bloom's rebuild continues to produce bad teams on the field that aren't pleasant to watch, then no one should be chided for doing something else with their time besides following the team.

Anyway. Just a quick thought.
 

phineas gage

New Member
Jan 2, 2009
96
I have been an ardent fan of the Red Sox since 1975. So, the lows have been very low, while the highs have been very high.

For a very long time after the 1986 season, I was convinced I would NEVER see the Red Sox win a World Series. The notion that I got to sit in Section 37, in 2013, to see my beloved Red Sox win at World Series in Fenway Park, for the first time since 1918, still makes me emotional every time I recollect that fantastic night. Thank you, again, @johnmd20 !

I absolutely love baseball and the Red Sox have been my vessel for baseball and my fondest connection to my grandfather and cousin for decades now. I am going nowhere!
I think that poster and myself might be about the same age, because 1975 was the beginning for me as well. I'm never going to stop being a Red Sox fan, but rather than watching I expect I will be mostly listening now. I've always preferred the radio call, and it is good background while doing other summer things. I'll always root for them, but it is different now, and not in a good way. Not that ownership would care a whit about a fan like me from whom they are not squeezing much cash.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,768
I will once again bang the drum that JMOH and I have been banging for a while now and urge people to read Craig Calcaterra's "Rethinking Fandom."

If a baseball team cynically (or perhaps incompetently) puts out a mediocre, unenjoyable product, we as fans are not obligated to support or watch it. I think there's a pretty large swath of guilt that we as fans take on where we often feel obligated to continue following a team that isn't making a full effort to win, either due to rebuilding for years or crass profit-taking.

Note: I am not saying the Sox are doing either of these things.

BUT.

If Bloom's rebuild continues to produce bad teams on the field that aren't pleasant to watch, then no one should be chided for doing something else with their time besides following the team.

Anyway. Just a quick thought.
It's funny you bring this up, because Calcaterra writes about the Sox today in his newsletter and I think it's appropriate to our discussion, I put it in a spoiler tag because it's long-ish. But give it a read:

Great job, Red Sox
There’s a lot of Red Sox fan anger in the wake of Xander Bogaerts signing with the Padres. It’s not anger at Bogaerts, though, who even the most ardent homers know was lowballed by Boston and was never coming back.

No, it’s anger at the Red Sox front office. Anger which can be summed up pretty well by the fact that, when Chaim Bloom was hired as the Red Sox’ Chief Baseball Officer following the 2019 season, he had a core of:

  • 27 year-old Mookie Betts;
  • 27 year-old Xander Bogaerts;
  • 25 year-old Andrew Benintendi, and
  • 23 year-old Rafael Devers
Three of the four are gone now. That talent has been turned into Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, Connor Wong, Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski, Grant Gambrell, Luis De La Rosa, and Freddy Valdez. Devers is still in town but he’s entering his walk year without a long-term deal. And, of course, over that time the Red Sox have turned into a last place team.

Whether it’s Bloom or ownership making the ultimate call, the Red Sox have steadfastly avoided offering superstars superstar-level deals, the sort of which all the big market and a number of the not-so-big-market contenders do. Atlanta has avoided it thus far because they have, somehow, been more persuasive in getting their pre-arbitration players to agree to team-friendly long-term extensions, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

For the rest of baseball you either live like the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, and Padres and pay for superstar talent if you want to attract or retain superstars or else you have to be like the Tampa Bay Rays and manage to constantly churn out new young talent to make up for the fact that you’re unwilling to pay for it at market rates. Being in-between, and neither paying top dollar nor being near the leading edge in developing players, will leave you in no-man’s land.

And that’s where the Red Sox are. No-man’s land. And they have way, way, way less of an excuse than any of the many other teams residing in no-man’s land because they print money just like the Yankees and the Dodgers do. Indeed, they might print it at a higher rate given how filthy stinkin’ rich the Fenway Sports Group is.

While almost every team in major league baseball could afford a couple of these monster superstar deals on their payroll and simply choose not to, a great many of them at least maintain the illusion that they’re revenue-challenged and need to be super budget conscious. There is absolutely no excuse — not even a pretense of one — for Boston to behave that way, however. They’re simply, and loudly, telling their fans that they’d prefer to pocket as much revenue as possible and trot out a pretty crappy team rather than improve. If I was a Red Sox fan I wouldn’t simply be mad. I’d feel insulted.

"Rethinking Fandom" is probably the most impactful book (though Robert Evans' bio "The Kid Stays in the Picture" is the one that I think about the most) I've read all year and I urge you to give it a shot. I don't agree with everything with Calcaterra says but it's helped me shed the guilt that comes along with being a pro sports fan. Owners know we have this deep seeded guilt about "being a real fan" and "supporting the team through thick and thin at all times" wrapped up with a deep vein of nostalgia and they exploit it at every chance they have. You don't have to be that person. If an owner or a team acts dumb or greedy or contrary to what you think the team should do, say it. It doesn't make you a bad fan.

He's way more eloquent than me (and Robert Evans for that matter, though Calcaterra's cocaine habit isn't quite as epic) but I promise you, you'll have a different perspective on sports in America today.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,604
I will once again bang the drum that JMOH and I have been banging for a while now and urge people to read Craig Calcaterra's "Rethinking Fandom."

If a baseball team cynically (or perhaps incompetently) puts out a mediocre, unenjoyable product, we as fans are not obligated to support or watch it. I think there's a pretty large swath of guilt that we as fans take on where we often feel obligated to continue following a team that isn't making a full effort to win, either due to rebuilding for years or crass profit-taking.

Note: I am not saying the Sox are doing either of these things.

BUT.

If Bloom's rebuild continues to produce bad teams on the field that aren't pleasant to watch, then no one should be chided for doing something else with their time besides following the team.

Anyway. Just a quick thought.
People follow teams out of guilt?!?!? What????

I follow the Sox because I grew up with them. I always hold out hope that they'll be a good, fun team to watch* and my favorite players shift every year. By the end of July my interest will either grow or ebb depending on where they're at and/or if they bring up young players from the farm system. I'm curious about these fans that are somehow guilted into following "their" team.....

*I knew in my heart that the "great" Pedro years that the team didn't stand a chance because they refused to get or develop another great pitcher to slot behind Pedro but I still loved those teams. A regular season win over the MFY's was heavenly until the next game 21 hours later. But yeah... watching Pedro and Nomar was thrilling. When Sale was vintage Sale he was pretty thrilling. Right now I'll be tuning in to Casas, Devers and Bello and hope.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
Moderator
SoSH Member
May 20, 2003
36,143
Deep inside Muppet Labs
People follow teams out of guilt?!?!? What????
They are often made to feel guilty if their interest wanes due to lack of results, either by other fans or the team itself. Hell, we see some of that here, and we're the most supportive community I've ever seen. But I do see it. Think of the derision in the old term "pink hats" or "fairweather fans," etc.

Sorry to derail, just wanted to clarify.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,680
Some smart and thoughtful posts here but I gotta say, all this anguish and outrage seems overblown.

I don't fault Bloom/the FO for 2020 whatsoever. Baseball was the furthest thing from my mind that year. From an accelerationist perspective, there's an equally valid argument that our last place finish that year was incredibly canny, because it brought us Mayer. Once E-Rod, Sale and Benintendi went down, there was no way we were going to be competitive, and honestly, who cared anyway? Bloom had a year to throw some spaghetti at the wall and essentially tank without any pressure.

2021 was terrific. There were some rocky moments, but the team got very good seasons out of Pivetta, Whitlock, Kiké Hernández, Renfroe, Arroyo and Houck when nobody at the start of the season had expected them to contribute whatsoever. The team ran into a terrific Astros team that they mostly shut down, except for Yordan Alvarez.

2022 was a cursed year from the start, complicated over the winter by lingering pandemic concerns, the lockout and dead ball situations, the fuzzy regulations about sticky stuff, plus another Sale injury. The biggest issue was that we had terrible injury luck. Bloom traded Renfroe to clear a spot for Duran, a guy that 90 percent of this board was psyched about, and it backfired, because everyone got hurt and Duran stunk. In fact, several of the 40-45 FV prospects that Bloom had hoped would click did not pan out (Duran, Dalbec, Downs, Cordero, Darwinzon Hernandez, Jimenez, Groome, Rosario, Potts), which is a drag, while others (Winckowski, Seabold) were thrust into emergency duty. Nonetheless, the team got a great year out of Wacha and Strahm, and may have found solid long-term pieces in Schreiber, Refsnyder, McGuire and Crawford.

On Bogaerts, I'm convinced that the Sox FO simply didn't see him as a shortstop long-term. ZIPS has him projected for a .764 OPS in 2025 and struggling to crack .700 OPS in 2029, when he still has five more years left on this deal. I believe they would still have kept him around at 7/$200M or so, but no one could have blamed them for not matching Preller's deal. I suppose offering 7/$175M a year ago might have done it, but do we really want a .760 OPS 2B/3B making that kind of money? When we have Devers/Yorke/Romero/Lugo/Valdez/Hamilton/Paulino in the system? I think some of the outrage is the Sox fanbase's inability to reckon with the idea that Xander Bogaerts is a very good player and a great dude, but not a superstar.

Were there things I would have done differently? Absolutely. Signing Correa at 10/$325M last year would have looked absurd at the time, but it's below-market now. In hindsight, it would have made a lot of sense to sign Gausman, Springer, Schwarber or Realmuto at their respective deals (though one never knows: the Bumgarner, Rendon, Strasburg, Donaldson, Ozuna and Ray deals look like disasters).

But I still believe there is a plan in place. The plan absolutely needs to cohere around some star players, which is why I think a Devers extension and Correa signing is still very possible. (Or maybe the plan is Ohtani, or Soto). Or, I suppose, giving long-term extensions to core pre-arb players like Bello, Casas and eventually Mayer — though I don't like a half-decade rebuild. If that stuff doesn't happen, then I'll be mad. But I'm not mad on December 8. I'm kind of excited by the additions of Jansen, Martin and Yoshida, and I'm looking forward to the next wave of transactions that Bloom is going to make.

It does not help us that the Boston media, aided by advanced subscription and click-rate metrics, now admittedly covers the team "like a soap opera" (to quote Rob Bradford after the Plawecki nonsense).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,604
They are often made to feel guilty if their interest wanes due to lack of results, either by other fans or the team itself. Hell, we see some of that here, and we're the most supportive community I've ever seen. But I do see it. Think of the derision in the old term "pink hats" or "fairweather fans," etc.

Sorry to derail, just wanted to clarify.
Wow. That shit doesn't bother me. But okay.... thanks.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
They are often made to feel guilty if their interest wanes due to lack of results, either by other fans or the team itself. Hell, we see some of that here, and we're the most supportive community I've ever seen. But I do see it. Think of the derision in the old term "pink hats" or "fairweather fans," etc.

Sorry to derail, just wanted to clarify.
I think that this is a term that we should retire here.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,871
Some smart and thoughtful posts here but I gotta say, all this anguish and outrage seems overblown.

I don't fault Bloom/the FO for 2020 whatsoever. Baseball was the furthest thing from my mind that year. From an accelerationist perspective, there's an equally valid argument that our last place finish that year was incredibly canny, because it brought us Mayer. Once E-Rod, Sale and Benintendi went down, there was no way we were going to be competitive, and honestly, who cared anyway? Bloom had a year to throw some spaghetti at the wall and essentially tank without any pressure.

2021 was terrific. There were some rocky moments, but the team got very good seasons out of Pivetta, Whitlock, Kiké Hernández, Renfroe, Arroyo and Houck when nobody at the start of the season had expected them to contribute whatsoever. The team ran into a terrific Astros team that they mostly shut down, except for Yordan Alvarez.

2022 was a cursed year from the start, complicated over the winter by lingering pandemic concerns, the lockout and dead ball situations, the fuzzy regulations about sticky stuff, plus another Sale injury. The biggest issue was that we had terrible injury luck. Bloom traded Renfroe to clear a spot for Duran, a guy that 90 percent of this board was psyched about, and it backfired, because everyone got hurt and Duran stunk. In fact, several of the 40-45 FV prospects that Bloom had hoped would click did not pan out (Duran, Dalbec, Downs, Cordero, Darwinzon Hernandez, Jimenez, Groome, Rosario, Potts), which is a drag, while others (Winckowski, Seabold) were thrust into emergency duty. Nonetheless, the team got a great year out of Wacha and Strahm, and may have found solid long-term pieces in Schreiber, Refsnyder, McGuire and Crawford.

On Bogaerts, I'm convinced that the Sox FO simply didn't see him as a shortstop long-term. ZIPS has him projected for a .764 OPS in 2025 and struggling to crack .700 OPS in 2029, when he still has five more years left on this deal. I believe they would still have kept him around at 7/$200M or so, but no one could have blamed them for not matching Preller's deal. I suppose offering 7/$175M a year ago might have done it, but do we really want a .760 OPS 2B/3B making that kind of money? When we have Devers/Yorke/Romero/Lugo/Valdez/Hamilton/Paulino in the system? I think some of the outrage is the Sox fanbase's inability to reckon with the idea that Xander Bogaerts is a very good player and a great dude, but not a superstar.

Were there things I would have done differently? Absolutely. Signing Correa at 10/$325M last year would have looked absurd at the time, but it's below-market now. In hindsight, it would have made a lot of sense to sign Gausman, Springer, Schwarber or Realmuto at their respective deals (though one never knows: the Bumgarner, Rendon, Strasburg, Donaldson, Ozuna and Ray deals look like disasters).

But I still believe there is a plan in place. The plan absolutely needs to cohere around some star players, which is why I think a Devers extension and Correa signing is still very possible. (Or maybe the plan is Ohtani, or Soto). Or, I suppose, giving long-term extensions to core pre-arb players like Bello, Casas and eventually Mayer — though I don't like a half-decade rebuild. If that stuff doesn't happen, then I'll be mad. But I'm not mad on December 8. I'm kind of excited by the additions of Jansen, Martin and Yoshida, and I'm looking forward to the next wave of transactions that Bloom is going to make.

It does not help us that the Boston media, aided by advanced subscription and click-rate metrics, now admittedly covers the team "like a soap opera" (to quote Rob Bradford after the Plawecki nonsense).
Great post.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
10,342
Here's where the Sox stood in terms of opening day payroll....

1999: #6

Henry et al bought the Sox in 2002.

2003: #6
2004: #2
2007: #2
2008: #4
2013: #4
2016: #3
2018: #1
2021: #3
2022: #6
Where do you think the Sox will rank after this off-season? Where will we rank next year when Devers is gone?

Do you notice the trend of the last five years? Now let's post the same numbers for ticket prices...
 

pedro1999mvp

New Member
Dec 9, 2022
46
Well certainly a lot of Sox fans still do care, but they're caring in negative ways:

View: https://twitter.com/PeteAbe/status/1601279491094941697?s=20&t=I1l2hwKTjo0P4z2s9jgG6g
Caring in a negative way about a franchise icon that fans felt a strong connection to is a sign that we still care. On the flip side, is there anyone else to still feel passionately about? Devers, yes, but I think we are all prepared to lose him based on how things went with other "faces of the franchise". So maybe the negativity will end soon, but is that a good sign or is it a bad sign that there aren't any players we feel a strong connection to anymore?
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
25,408
Unreal America
The fan reaction is a national story. Just saw an item in the Sports Business Journal, of all places, with a headline "Pressure on Red Sox ownership to win now following Bogaerts exit".
 

astrozombie

New Member
Sep 12, 2022
445
Btw, if there’s anyone in Sox management who’s reading this, the fact that folks on *this board* are saying this should terrify you.
Part of the reason I am sort of done with this team is I don't think management actually cares any more. They have had missteps before (trading Lester and thinking he was going to come back, the Crawford signing, the Betts trade, panic signing Sandoval, chicken and beer, besmirching everyone on the way out the door, Orsillo leaving, etc.) and it never seemed to hurt the bottom line. There was a lot of investment and interest in the 2000s and since that time, it has waned and now seems to be pretty limited. FSG is looking to exit Liverpool (their primary focus of late) and trying to get in on the Commanders, which will be their primary focus going forward. Plenty of owners have gotten quite rich by putting terrible teams on the field, knowing that the money will come from national contracts. Furthermore, FSG knows Sox fans will keep showing up - why bother spending $270 million when you are going to get the same level of engagement spending $140 million? That the Sox view themselves as closer to the As or Rays or Marlins than the Yankees or Dodgers is patently absurd, but management wants to ride the coattails of their previous goodwill and not spend all that much.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,028
Where do you think the Sox will rank after this off-season? Where will we rank next year when Devers is gone?

Do you notice the trend of the last five years? Now let's post the same numbers for ticket prices...
They had to drop payroll to get under the luxury tax.
 

Toe Nash

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2005
5,686
02130
To be honest I have never really gotten over firing Francona and leaking bullshit after he left. Cora is fine but Francona should be wrapping up his managerial career here and it's not like he was demanding $300m. If you want continuity and people having ties to more than just the laundry then keeping a popular and excellent manager around (or at least making the exit as amicable as possible) might be a way to do it.

Since then I have had varying levels of interest and since the COVID year /losing Betts it has been pretty low. This year doesn't really change it much because I wasn't expecting much last year either. A lot of my interest would have waned regardless because I have a family and job that takes up a lot of time and my evenings aren't spent hanging out with college roommates and friends. But on the team side the biggest issues are:
  • No real cogent plan, oscillating between big FA spending / extensions and lowballing popular homegrown guys, ever since Lester if not before
  • Related, a seeming overreaction to certain things by ownership which leads to really puzzling decisions like hiring Valentine, firing Cherington before he could really build anything, and the aforementioned FA spending
  • Some ickyness during the last couple years when social justice was in the forefront / visiting Trump didn't help, though i imagine most baseball players would be like that
  • Betts was huge for me. I can understand being hesitant on Xander or Devers or a pitcher because they aren't necessarily top 10 players and have defensive questions and downside risk, but if you are going to dick around and not extend a homegrown superstar who plays a premium position very well and won an MVP, you're just saying you're never going to spend what it takes on anyone. Mookie is exactly the guy you break the bank for even if you are a cold analytics department because of the marginal value he adds at a premium position. Add in the emotional connection and it's nuts to even consider letting him leave.
What I wished the FO realized is that the main thing that correlates with ticket sales and TV viewership is not signing Carl Crawford, it's winning. And the way to win is to have some kind of multi-year plan that doesn't hinge on nailing all your FA signings. If they give Bloom a couple more years, maybe that will show that they get this, but I wonder if they will lose patience like they have every other time they've had to rebuild the farm system.
 
Last edited:

Toe Nash

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2005
5,686
02130
Whoever mentioned the broadcast team had a great point.

I've never liked O'Brien. I actually hated the rotating cast of analysts less than a lot of people, but the lack of a good, day in day out broadcast team is a big problem. If these people are going to be in my living room 80-120 times per year, I kind of want to like them.
I forgot to mention losing Orsillo in my post. Along with Francona that would be a relatively cheap way to keep people engaged even when the team isn't that great. Obviously guys don't last forever but O'Brien is bad, Eck was a saving grace but now he's retired and I don't really care about who's next up. They obviously had to scramble with Remy's health issues but this is is a pretty big decision in how people consume Red Sox baseball (and its ads) and it feels like they don't put as much effort or thought into this as they should.
 

astrozombie

New Member
Sep 12, 2022
445
Where do you think the Sox will rank after this off-season? Where will we rank next year when Devers is gone?

Do you notice the trend of the last five years? Now let's post the same numbers for ticket prices...
One thing that was wild is looking at the spotrac data from the recent past and seeing how much of those salaries were wrapped up in Sandoval/Price/Pedroia/Sale.
 

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
2,048
Isle of Plum
This thread has contained some terrific posts, and man are we into our feelings or what? I do mean we.

The Bloomap is clear: sign minimal risk deals that represent value from day 1 and wait for the prospect machine to deliver. As has been noted, this is not remotely innovative so the test his how well you do it. I’m pretty much all out of love with Bloom, but if the reliever roulette delivers and new OF rakes enough to compensate for apparent lead feet, etc. then great…I will come back for a winner.

Three biggest challenges:
X - Even now I can’t decide which causes me more concern about Bloom, that he thought he would land X with their approach & cost ceiling or that he never wanted him at anything approaching market.

Devers - unless something structural changes we are Rays north and he’s gone. Only minuscule chance is if Henry personally steps in to say to Bloom ‘you have a 225m budget PLUS whatever you need for Devers…get it done.’ What stinks is I think the excess value he represents next year likely exceeds whatever the traded assets would contribute so we watch him play out the string. ill be sure to savor the financial efficiency of the early Mayer years.

The rest of it - it’s better litigated above but I’ve always hoped for 3D chess and I’m not seeing it. Looking at the $ reliever selections it’s mostly just bidding for the same names and hoping. I was hoping the RF and 1B shenanigans last year were leading someplace more…just more. I was impressed the scrap heap starters seemed to over produce for a good chunk of last year and a couple young arms look good but that’s about it.

Win or go home Bloom.
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,494
I’ve said this before - whatever the merits of the current approach, it isn’t very much fun, and it’s jarring to see it juxtaposed against (seemingly) the rest of MLB deciding “Fuck it, let’s spend some cash!” And, sure, again, we can debate the merits of both approaches, and I know we all think some of these contracts are going to backfire, but the Padres, Phillies, and Mets all actually made the playoffs last year. And I know that if the Sox start winning, a lot of fans don’t or won’t care how they got there, but they’ve finished in last two of the last three years. And it’s not by design, and it’s not like we have a farm like the Orioles had entering this year.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
12,652
The Red Sox won 119 games in 2018.

Remarkably, they are down to just 4 players from that roster still on the team- Devers, Sale, Barnes, and Brasier.

And has been pointed out, blowing up that team has basically brought in three guys who have a chance to make the 23 team- Verdugo, Pivetta, and Wong. Yuck.
 

gkelly53

New Member
Aug 6, 2019
23
Henry will be at the Winter Classic in his Penguins Jersey playing the home town team. Full heel turn incoming
 

Tim Salmon

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2005
3,326
I become incrementally less interested in the Red Sox every time I check the main board for updates and see the thread about Chris Martin at the top.

Is he a middle-reliever? Is he a set-up guy? Man, I love hot stove season!
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
31,235
Part of the reason I am sort of done with this team is I don't think management actually cares any more. They have had missteps before (trading Lester and thinking he was going to come back, the Crawford signing, the Betts trade, panic signing Sandoval, chicken and beer, besmirching everyone on the way out the door, Orsillo leaving, etc.) and it never seemed to hurt the bottom line. There was a lot of investment and interest in the 2000s and since that time, it has waned and now seems to be pretty limited. FSG is looking to exit Liverpool (their primary focus of late) and trying to get in on the Commanders, which will be their primary focus going forward. Plenty of owners have gotten quite rich by putting terrible teams on the field, knowing that the money will come from national contracts. Furthermore, FSG knows Sox fans will keep showing up - why bother spending $270 million when you are going to get the same level of engagement spending $140 million? That the Sox view themselves as closer to the As or Rays or Marlins than the Yankees or Dodgers is patently absurd, but management wants to ride the coattails of their previous goodwill and not spend all that much.
I said this in the other thread but if management didn't care, the easier path (and a path some franchises take) is to spend the money to keep fan favorites at home and not worry about the results. (Or, as Jerry Reinsdorf allgedly said, "Finish in second place every single year because your fans will say 'Wow, we got a shot. We're in it!' But there's always the carrot left.")

Letting players like X walk and trying to find multiple "excess value" transactions - particularly in the AL East - is a much more difficult road to hoe as if it doesn't work, they are going to be in last place (again) and that's when revenue really starts to fall.

Just to answer to the question, I'm personally a lot less interested in baseball because baseball is less interesting these days but I'm pretty sure that if the Sox win 95 games next year, things will be hopping here and people will be rooting for the Next Great Story (sort of like the way we Cs fans have gravitated to Derrick White and Sam Hauser).

But there is a very real chance the Sox end up in last place again - particularly with the Os reaching the end of their tanking seasons - and if that happens, Chaim's seat will be awfully warm.
 

Sille Skrub

Dope
Dope
SoSH Member
Mar 3, 2004
5,956
Massachusetts
It's funny you bring this up, because Calcaterra writes about the Sox today in his newsletter and I think it's appropriate to our discussion, I put it in a spoiler tag because it's long-ish. But give it a read:

Great job, Red Sox
There’s a lot of Red Sox fan anger in the wake of Xander Bogaerts signing with the Padres. It’s not anger at Bogaerts, though, who even the most ardent homers know was lowballed by Boston and was never coming back.

No, it’s anger at the Red Sox front office. Anger which can be summed up pretty well by the fact that, when Chaim Bloom was hired as the Red Sox’ Chief Baseball Officer following the 2019 season, he had a core of:

  • 27 year-old Mookie Betts;
  • 27 year-old Xander Bogaerts;
  • 25 year-old Andrew Benintendi, and
  • 23 year-old Rafael Devers
Three of the four are gone now. That talent has been turned into Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, Connor Wong, Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski, Grant Gambrell, Luis De La Rosa, and Freddy Valdez. Devers is still in town but he’s entering his walk year without a long-term deal. And, of course, over that time the Red Sox have turned into a last place team.

Whether it’s Bloom or ownership making the ultimate call, the Red Sox have steadfastly avoided offering superstars superstar-level deals, the sort of which all the big market and a number of the not-so-big-market contenders do. Atlanta has avoided it thus far because they have, somehow, been more persuasive in getting their pre-arbitration players to agree to team-friendly long-term extensions, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

For the rest of baseball you either live like the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, and Padres and pay for superstar talent if you want to attract or retain superstars or else you have to be like the Tampa Bay Rays and manage to constantly churn out new young talent to make up for the fact that you’re unwilling to pay for it at market rates. Being in-between, and neither paying top dollar nor being near the leading edge in developing players, will leave you in no-man’s land.

And that’s where the Red Sox are. No-man’s land. And they have way, way, way less of an excuse than any of the many other teams residing in no-man’s land because they print money just like the Yankees and the Dodgers do. Indeed, they might print it at a higher rate given how filthy stinkin’ rich the Fenway Sports Group is.

While almost every team in major league baseball could afford a couple of these monster superstar deals on their payroll and simply choose not to, a great many of them at least maintain the illusion that they’re revenue-challenged and need to be super budget conscious. There is absolutely no excuse — not even a pretense of one — for Boston to behave that way, however. They’re simply, and loudly, telling their fans that they’d prefer to pocket as much revenue as possible and trot out a pretty crappy team rather than improve. If I was a Red Sox fan I wouldn’t simply be mad. I’d feel insulted.
This is absolutely spot on.

Thanks for sharing, JMOH. I am going to check out that book.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
10,605
On Bogaerts, I'm convinced that the Sox FO simply didn't see him as a shortstop long-term. ZIPS has him projected for a .764 OPS in 2025 and struggling to crack .700 OPS in 2029, when he still has five more years left on this deal. I believe they would still have kept him around at 7/$200M or so, but no one could have blamed them for not matching Preller's deal. I suppose offering 7/$175M a year ago might have done it, but do we really want a .760 OPS 2B/3B making that kind of money? When we have Devers/Yorke/Romero/Lugo/Valdez/Hamilton/Paulino in the system? I think some of the outrage is the Sox fanbase's inability to reckon with the idea that Xander Bogaerts is a very good player and a great dude, but not a superstar.


It does not help us that the Boston media, aided by advanced subscription and click-rate metrics, now admittedly covers the team "like a soap opera" (to quote Rob Bradford after the Plawecki nonsense).
I think the outrage from the Sox fanbase is that the Sox FO told them that Xander was a major priority and that they really wanted to resign him…and that the situation even got to this point. In fact, I am actually very confident in that versus the theory that you floated.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
12,297
To use a particular metric that I find telling, the forum with the most unread threads for me on all of SoSH is the soccer one. Second is the main board.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
25,408
Unreal America
I think the outrage from the Sox fanbase is that the Sox FO told them that Xander was a major priority and that they really wanted to resign him…and that the situation even got to this point. In fact, I am actually very confident in that versus the theory that you floated.
Agree. Plus, it's not like this is a unique event. Mookie... Benintendi... Schwarber... Vazquez... Xander. This franchise has continued to part with popular players for 3 years running. Many fans are sick of it.