What Are Fans Entitled To?

Marciano490

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Since the word comes up so often, it might be helpful to put some criteria or general paradigm to our entitlements. Big picture, as a casual fan, I expect the Sox to be one of the "haves;" what that means for me (and sorry for my lackadaisical research skills, I ask for help when needed):

1. Win games

The Sox are a "have" here, tied for the 6th best record since 2015 (54.4%)

2. Make the playoffs consistently

The Sox are a "have not" here; 6 teams have made the playoffs at least 4 consecutive seasons (Dodgers 10, Astros and Yankees 6, Braves 5). Each of those top teams has also won a World Series during their streaks. If 6 other teams have found a way to consistently make (and win) in the playoffs, it's reasonable for the Sox to do so as well.

3. Retain homegrown talent

This is huge for me as a casual fan. With seasons and health always unpredictable and some emotional component to fandom for me, I like having some continuity, especially among the stars. This is where I'll call for research help, but the Sox seem to have lost a disproportionate number of big, homegrown stars compared to other big market teams. Complaining that teams like the Braves have figured this out consistently, while we've lost Mookie and Xander doesn't seem entitled to me.

4. Be competitive going into the season

Again this seems like a "have not" area and one that seems to be causing a lot of angst. Part of the fun of being a fan is the offseason optimism. When's the last time we were a consensus division winner projection or had a reasonable shot in April to win 100 games?

5. Be competitive throughout the season

Self-explanatory - it sucks being out of it in August or early September and that has clearly happened more often for the Sox recently than other "haves".

6. Big free agent signings

As a casual fan, I understand that this isn't necessarily the way to win, but feeling like your team is at least in on the game's biggest stars is fun and something that also seems to be missing lately.

7. Great trades

Understanding that there are a bunch of other teams competing for front office talent, this is sports and it's competitive and we're fucking Boston so, while I don't feel entitled to having the smartest guy in the room working for us, we should be pickpocketing other organizations everyone once in awhile or grabbing their stars without losing our future. Is it fair to say that's happened less often? The Mookie trade was...a trade, but it wasn't a brilliant one.

8. Farm system

The future's got to stay bright. Again, beyond my meager fandom, but ours seems to have improved dramatically recently, and obviously if Casas and then Mayer and Ceddanne pan out, we're all smiley people.
 

edoug

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I believe fans are entitled to have a team that acts in good faith. There is some question to whether the Sox have done that. But they have also won the World Series 4 times in 20 seasons. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm getting older and playoff runs tend to age me quicker than I want. So a down year every once in a while isn't the worst thing in the world for me.
Your second condition isn't 100% accurate. One of those teams listed hasn't won a championship in thirteen years.
 

jon abbey

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One of those teams listed hasn't won a championship in thirteen years.
They do have 30 consecutive winning seasons though, the last time they had a losing season Dan Quayle and Ross Perot were part of the Presidential race.

But yeah they haven't even made the WS since 2009, let alone winning it, lately they can't get past HOU (3 ALCS losses in the last 6 seasons).
 

edoug

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They do have 30 consecutive winning seasons though, the last time they had a losing season Dan Quayle and Ross Perot were part of the Presidential race.

But yeah they haven't even made the WS since 2009, let alone winning it, lately they can't get past HOU (3 ALCS losses in the last 6 seasons).
The Yankees have been consistently winning for decades. Make that a century. Strong contenders for a lot of that time. The Yankees are "haves" by any definition. I think the Red Sox are as well. But under Marciano's conditions, have they Yankees given you what you think their fans are entitled too?
 

jon abbey

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But under Marciano's conditions, have they Yankees given you what you think their fans are entitled too?
Dunno about all those conditions, but for me the Yankees won enough titles in my fan lifetime (77-78 when I was very young and the others since) that I could live without another title ever if that's how it is fated. I loathe the '1 winner, 29 losers' mentality that too many sports fans default to, obviously titles are the main goal but there is a ton of nuance between 2-30. Winning 100 games is impressive, no matter what happens after that.

What I care about I guess at this point in my sports fan career is to root for a team that makes consistently smart decisions, and if they don't, I will do my best to stop caring about them. I am super into what Cashman has done since 2016, I think he essentially quit and then got himself hired again as a new guy with a fresh slate in the same meeting, and since then I think he has done a remarkable job gutting and rebuilding in a few different ways, even with no titles so far. It looked at that point like NY was hopelessly behind BOS in the talent race for the foreseeable future, but he really managed to flip that fairly quickly.
 

edoug

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Dunno about all those conditions, but for me the Yankees won enough titles in my fan lifetime (77-78 when I was very young and the others since) that I could live without another title ever if that's how it is fated. I loathe the '1 winner, 29 loser' mentality that too many sports fans default to, obviously titles are the main goal but there is a ton of nuance between 2-30. Winning 100 games is impressive, no matter what happens after that.

What I care about I guess at this point in my sports fan career is to root for a team that makes consistently smart decisions, and if they don't, I will do my best to stop caring about them. I am super into what Cashman has done since 2016, I think he essentially quit and then got hired again as a new guy with a fresh slate in the same meeting, and since then I think he has done a remarkable job gutting and rebuilding in a few different ways, even with no titles so far. It looked at that point like NY was hopelessly behind BOS in the talent race for the foreseeable future at that point, but he really managed to flip that fairly quickly.
I think we feel pretty much the same way.
 

chrisfont9

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2. Make the playoffs consistently

The Sox are a "have not" here; 6 teams have made the playoffs at least 4 consecutive seasons (Dodgers 10, Astros and Yankees 6, Braves 5). Each of those top teams has also won a World Series during their streaks. If 6 other teams have found a way to consistently make (and win) in the playoffs, it's reasonable for the Sox to do so as well.
The Yankees won a WS in the last six years?? Also how is this defined solely by unbroken, currently active streaks? The Sox have made the playoffs in five of the last 10 years with two rings. Apart from the Astros, every other team would love to trade places with them. The Cardinals have made 7 of the last 10 postseasons. The Rays made the last four and eight of the last 15. That's pretty consistent in my book.

Look, I appreciate the effort here, this is a fun discussion. But I think this particular criterion has gone awry. All of these teams are "haves" unless you really just want to talk about postseason streaks for some reason. Which to me, saying your team is a have not unless they make the playoffs every single year, sounds entitled. 20 of the 30 MLB fanbases would do anything for their team to make the postseason half the time.
 

BaseballJones

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How the Red Sox aren't a "have" under this ownership group is beyond me. They've owned the team from the 2002 season through the 2022 season - 21 years. Over that span of time, the Red Sox:

- Have won 4 World Series - more than any other organization
- Have been to 4 World Series - more than any other organization
- Have been to 7 league championship series
- Have won the division 5 times, including 3 in a row for the first time in team history (2016-2018)
- Have won 90+ games 13 times
- Have made the playoffs 11 times

There is no universe where the Boston Red Sox under this ownership group are not one of the "haves" in MLB. Other teams have done some things better than Boston for sure, there's no disputing that. But my word.
 

tims4wins

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I think the best response so far is "act in good faith". And that has been the crux of pretty much every disagreement on SoSH since February 2020.
 

BaseballJones

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I believe fans are entitled to have a team that acts in good faith. There is some question to whether the Sox have done that. But they have also won the World Series 4 times in 20 seasons. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm getting older and playoff runs tend to age me quicker than I want. So a down year every once in a while isn't the worst thing in the world for me.
Your second condition isn't 100% accurate. One of those teams listed hasn't won a championship in thirteen years.
I agree with this. As fans we put money in the owners' and players' pockets by purchasing tickets, merchandise, NESN subscriptions, etc. We invest money and emotional energy into this organization, and it's more than fair for us to expect that they will put forth a good faith effort to give us a good on-field product.

I recognize that since I want this as often as possible, there will need to be times on occasion where the team doesn't do as well as they rebuild or restock. There are cycles to this thing. Even the teams mentioned in the OP have had down years or down stretches:

Houston - Before becoming a juggernaut, they endured five of the worst seasons in a row that a fan base can experience, from 2009-2014. That included three straight seasons where they won fewer than 56 games. That's primarily how they built this monster that they currently have.

Atlanta - From 2014-2017 they won 79, 67, 68, and 72 games. That allowed them to build up their farm system, which is now bearing amazing fruit. But it took four horrendous seasons to get there.

LA Dodgers - Their "down" years were nothing like what these other two teams have experienced, but even so, they had years where they won 82, 84, 80, and 82 games before they turned into a juggernaut.

NY Yankees - Similar to the Dodgers, their down years haven't been that bad, but they did recently go through a four year stretch from 2013-2016 where they won 84, 85, 87, and 84 games and made the playoffs just once - the WC game in 2015 that they lost to Houston. Plus, they haven't won it all in 13 years, and have won just once in the entire time that this ownership group has controlled the Red Sox. By Yankee standards, this has been a big failure, despite all the regular season wins.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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How the Red Sox aren't a "have" under this ownership group is beyond me. They've owned the team from the 2002 season through the 2022 season - 21 years. Over that span of time, the Red Sox:

- Have won 4 World Series - more than any other organization
- Have been to 4 World Series - more than any other organization
- Have been to 7 league championship series
- Have won the division 5 times, including 3 in a row for the first time in team history (2016-2018)
- Have won 90+ games 13 times
- Have made the playoffs 11 times

There is no universe where the Boston Red Sox under this ownership group are not one of the "haves" in MLB. Other teams have done some things better than Boston for sure, there's no disputing that. But my word.
Again, nobody is complaining about what the Sox did under Theo or Charrington or Dombrowski. They are complaining about the philosophy of the organization since Dombrowski's firing and the results since then, results that seem likely to be significantly worse over the next couple of years. Not sure why this is hard to grasp.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Again, nobody is complaining about what the Sox did under Theo or Charrington or Dombrowski. They are complaining about the philosophy of the organization since Dombrowski's firing and the results since then, results that seem likely to be significantly worse over the next couple of years. Not sure why this is hard to grasp.
Fans complain whenever their team isn't good. You think there wasn't complaining here in 2012? Or when they won fewer than 80 games in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015?

I don't know why you'd add that last sentence - that seems unnecessary.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Entitled to? Nothing other than 162 baseball games if there’s not a pandemic. That’s it.
If you chose to spend money on them more than I do…. You can expect more. But you’re not entitled to shit. Sorry.
If I buy a ticket and the Sox lose…. That’s the situation. I’m not entitled to a Sox victory.
Something really weird has happened with half the posters on this board.
 

YTF

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Sports is an entertainment business. The only thing you're "entitled" to is entertainment for your money.
Simple yet very subjective. I would offer that fans are also entitled to stop paying for said entertainment when they no longer feel entertained. If you continue paying for entertainment that no longer entertains you may need to reassess your personal and financial investment.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I’ll take the act in good faith a bit further. Baseball enjoys a monopoly. Why? Seems like the industry as a whole owes something to the public in return. A functional sport where every team’s fan base feels like the team can compete without going a decade of stinking?

What about the taxpayer supported ballparks most teams play in? Many of those deals actually require something back from the team, a commitment to the community of some sort. Funding for local fields and programs to grow the sport, etc. Value tickets so that average families can afford to go to an occasional game. Community outreach events.

As for how individual teams function, it is interesting how much we as fans expect in terms of transparency and accountability. Players, managers, GMs are expected to face media/fan scrutiny on a regular if not daily basis. League rules often back up those expectations. It’s sort of remarkable, really. 3M officials aren’t in front of the cameras and on tv on a daily basis explaining current company actions and decision making, updating us on their “forever chemicals” and ear plug litigation. And owning stock would seem to cause as much interest and entitlement as owning season tickets!
 
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BigSoxFan

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I think we're entitled to choose what team we root for and either support them financially or not. Beyond that, I don't think we're entitled to anything. But switching allegiances and/or our $ support is a fairly powerful thing.
I’d add that fans who pay and show up are entitled to voice their displeasure (sans profanity) when the level of effort/quality of play is not acceptable.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I’d add that fans who pay and show up are entitled to voice their displeasure (sans profanity) when the level of effort/quality of play is not acceptable.
Sure, I think that's totally fair. It's personally not my cup of tea, but I have no issue with money spending fans being entitled to be vocal about their feelings.
 

BigSoxFan

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Sure, I think that's totally fair. It's personally not my cup of tea, but I have no issue with money spending fans being entitled to be vocal about their feelings.
Not really mine either but if the team is making multiple mental errors in the same game, like 2-3 bad base running gaffes, they should absolutely hear about it. If a dude is obviously trying and pops out in a big spot, booing there is weak, IMO.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Not really mine either but if the team is making multiple mental errors in the same game, like 2-3 bad base running gaffes, they should absolutely hear about it. If a dude is obviously trying and pops out in a big spot, booing there is weak, IMO.
Agreed.
Although I would still argue that the paying fans are entitled to boo the pop out, regardless of whether I like it or not.
 

Bowhemian

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Entitled to? Nothing other than 162 baseball games if there’s not a pandemic. That’s it.
If you chose to spend money on them more than I do…. You can expect more. But you’re not entitled to shit. Sorry.
If I buy a ticket and the Sox lose…. That’s the situation. I’m not entitled to a Sox victory.
Something really weird has happened with half the posters on this board.
My thoughts exactly. We aren't entitled to anything.
As a fan, I hope they put out a competitive team. I also hope they win the WS every once in a while. That's it.
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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Entitled to? Nothing other than 162 baseball games if there’s not a pandemic. That’s it.
If you chose to spend money on them more than I do…. You can expect more. But you’re not entitled to shit. Sorry.
If I buy a ticket and the Sox lose…. That’s the situation. I’m not entitled to a Sox victory.
Something really weird has happened with half the posters on this board.
I agree with this but frame it differently. They're entitled to whatever they want to be entitled to. To each their own.

I was disappointed as the season swirled down the drain last year. But that didn't temper my enjoyment of watching wacha shutting down the Yankees for 7ip and 2hits in august, or bello handcuffing Texas for his 1st MLB win in September.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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The truth?

But we can't handle the truth.



I feel we're "entitled" to the owners of the Red Sox making a good faith effort to run the organization in a manner they believe will win titles, and putting their financial commitment to backing up that vision. Which, by the way, I think they CERTAINLY do.

To me that means spending up around the $luxury tax threshold consistently. Sure, get under it for a year if you stink, go over if you have a chance to win a title, but just as a reference point. Fans are entitled to a heck of a lot more than the Cincinnati Reds do, for instance.

Part of the fun of following a baseball team is discussing if you think what they're doing IS going to lead to titles (or if you believe the people executing the plan are doing a good job). However, even though I have not been a big fan of a lot of Bloom's decisions, in now way do I think he's NOT trying to execute a plan he believes will win titles (though the poster whom implied he was secretly trying to sabotage the Red Sox because he truly hated them was quite amusing).

Also, it'd be nice for them to have some manner of moral compass (nobody wants us going back to the Yawkey days, right. We don't want to miss out on players because of their skin color. I'd prefer not to sign Trevor Bauer, etc, etc).

Beyond that, the Red Sox have given such joy over the past 20 years that in no way do I feel the Red Sox don't owe me a thing.


*To be clear, in no way am I implying that I think the ownership group is cheap or anything like the Cincinnati Reds I certainly don't think that - I actually think quite the opposite, and by and large I agree with a TON of the decisions that FSG has made - which is easy to say in hindsight when you've been the most successful team of this century. Sure, I disagree with a large part of the way the current front office has chosen to spend that money, but that is a philosophical disagreement on what I think it makes sense to pay for and not pay for. There is a massive difference between disagreeing with how they spend their budget and calling them cheap.
 

8slim

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I expect the Sox to put as good of a product on the field each season as is possible given the circumstances. That’s it.

Some seasons that means selling out and going for it. Some seasons that means making tough but smart choices to protect the future.

Last season was the first time in a while that I felt the Sox didn’t meet those expectations, and we’ve spilled a lot of ink discussing why.

As of 1/13/23 I’m concerned that 2023 is heading the same way. We had substantial holes before the Story surgery, and now it’s worse.

The franchise is capable of being better this coming season without mortgaging the future they claim to be building. If they don’t do that then they won’t meet my expectations. I don’t think that makes me “entitled” if one is using it as a pejorative, like so many do around here.
 

jbupstate

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I’d add that fans who pay and show up are entitled to voice their displeasure (sans profanity) when the level of effort/quality of play is not acceptable.
As a fan I think I’m entitled to a competitive team and hope for a championship. Basically my expectations are FSG runs the team in good faith - spends at their norms, looks to acquire


The post 2018 Sox were not a juggernaut and facing major issues - already very expensive, homegrown stars about to get expensive and health.

2019 - 84-78 — If DD was held to the Bloom standard a ton of the fanbase would have wanted him fired.

2020 - COVID —. Huge win in draft capital

2021 - 92-70. — Flawed, overachieved. Great moves by Bloom throughout. Two games of WS. Knocked out the Yankees.
2022 - 78-84. —. 90+ win pace in to first week of July. The major flaw of the team - depth - was put to the test. It blew up in a bad way. The Orioles are killing us! Some how the worst team in Red Sox history and 2021 didn’t happen. Bloom inherited a WS winning team… yarda yada yada

2023 - Banking on health and growth in SP. The team isn’t a WS contender but they are not going to lose 100 games…. Too many good players.

2024/2025 - early 2020s draftees should be knocking on the door. Financial reset complete. Check out the list of potential FA elite starting pitchers!

The Red Sox are still offering good faith without bad investment. They are trying to finesse a rebuild with mid results. If they were not interested in being competitive or interested in offering a watchable product they would not have invested in the Bullpen, Turner or Yoshida.

Bloom’s job is dependent on development in the minors. If Mayer busts he’s gone. If Mayer meeting expectations and Yorke plus another hit… the plan is working and FSG will write some large checks. Writing long-term FA checks for 30 year old players doesn’t really move the needle the next two years. Signing Devers was a huge score.
 

Bergs

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Entitled to? Nothing other than 162 baseball games if there’s not a pandemic. That’s it.
If you chose to spend money on them more than I do…. You can expect more. But you’re not entitled to shit. Sorry.
If I buy a ticket and the Sox lose…. That’s the situation. I’m not entitled to a Sox victory.
Something really weird has happened with half the posters on this board.
This right here. The entire OP is at best, entitled. It is a laundry list of things everyone likes, with no consideration of the difficulties involved, nor the oftentimes conflicting nature of them. We're in the toughest division in baseball, and have 2 ALCS appearances and a WS win in the last 5 seasons. Jesus. I like bitching about shit as much as the next guy, but come the fuck on.
 

Fishercat

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This is huge for me as a casual fan. With seasons and health always unpredictable and some emotional component to fandom for me, I like having some continuity, especially among the stars. This is where I'll call for research help, but the Sox seem to have lost a disproportionate number of big, homegrown stars compared to other big market teams. Complaining that teams like the Braves have figured this out consistently, while we've lost Mookie and Xander doesn't seem entitled to me.
Can I just push back a bit on this? Both the Braves and Red Sox have lost two notable homegrown stars in the past five years (I'll use from 2018 as the title year/Dombrowski peak) - one was a face of the franchise level offensive superstar (Betts and Freeman) as the team was not willing to meet the pre-FA financial demands of the player and worked out a deal for his replacement directly or indirectly. One was their long-term homegrown SS who they likely had what they thought was a reasonable offer to keep and then a very aggressive market blew the doors off of that (Bogaerts and Swanson). Alternatively you could say each had one that had a post-arb extension and one that did not. The Braves have had a slew of 3-5 WAR offensive talent develop in the farm that they locked up, which I am guessing is more what you mean, but the Sox really haven't had that yet due, in part, to the farm system being depleted. I'm excluding players like Julio Teheran or Andrew Benintendi who were somewhat longer term homegrown guys who I think the team had actively decided to move on from as opposed to the above. Maybe you count Eduardo Rodriguez but I don't think anyone here wanted to keep him on the deal he got.

Like, I'm sure we'd love to be in a place where we had their core locked up at those prices, we can be jealous or feel like we want that or even be entitled to it, no issue there - I am confident we'd love if we had an underpaid, locked in long term core - but losing stars is a reality for even the best run franchises (Correa in Houston, Freeman and Swanson in Atlanta) that don't have infinite money - I think even moreso if we want to be like Atlanta who will lock up players who agree to a substantial discount or extra years on the end but let go of those who bet on themselves.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Entitled is an overused word these days, IMO. Good faith can be in they eye of the beholder. That being said, it's in the Sox interest to run their operation in a way that puts an entertaining and successful product out there to attract fan interest, support, and spending. So they can't be the A's, nor would I expect this ownership group ever to evolve into that.

And as fans, we can be fickle, and inconsistent in our support and consumption of this product, and that's how the market works. For the first time since probably the mid late 90s, I didn't got to Fenway last year. My kids did, so the family was covered. This was not so much me purposely making a statement about the product or ownership, but a cocktail of life getting in the way and, for me at least, there not being a compelling reason to watch this particular team, especially Aug/Sept. The inertia of the high costs of attending--although not as bad as in more popular years-- the two hour drive both ways, the hassle of parking etc etc certainly affected that result.

I'm in the camp of 4 WS in less than 20 years = I can't be too upset about things, or have a case for the ownership is or has acted in bad faith. I'd agree with the questioning some of the decision making of late, but I'm not sure it can be chalked up to bad faith. Incompetence, or a bad plan, more likely. We will see.

I was watching the crawl on MLB network this morning, and looking at all the Sox FA adds, even if there wasn't a huge splash, as well as signing Raffy to a huge extension...I can't see that as not trying to win, or acting in bad faith. Might be some really bad decisions in those signings, but they might work out well. TBD, I guess. I think that's the fun part.
 

pk1627

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I expect the Sox to put as good of a product on the field each season as is possible given the circumstances. That’s it.

Some seasons that means selling out and going for it. Some seasons that means making tough but smart choices to protect the future.

Last season was the first time in a while that I felt the Sox didn’t meet those expectations, and we’ve spilled a lot of ink discussing why.

As of 1/13/23 I’m concerned that 2023 is heading the same way. We had substantial holes before the Story surgery, and now it’s worse.

The franchise is capable of being better this coming season without mortgaging the future they claim to be building. If they don’t do that then they won’t meet my expectations. I don’t think that makes me “entitled” if one is using it as a pejorative, like so many do around here.
This makes all the sense in the world to me.

Very happy with this tenure of the Sox ownership. Of course they’ve had some bad years and made questionable decisions. Never fun to be irrelevant in August but I don’t lose my sanity when it happens. It’s (ultimately) a game.

I expect better this year and am pretty hopeful there are additional moves to be made.
 

chawson

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In short, I don't know what all the damn fuss is about.

It feels like the Mookie trade — which had very little to do with Chaim Bloom — ripped open a ravenous chasm of rage that a lot of people are compelled to keep feeding. Covid stoked more anger and frustration and made everyone much more online. There was no solace to be found in the 2020 team, and no point of expending resources to make it better once Sale, EdRod, Benintendi and McHugh all went down.

There have been a few bad outcomes and a lot of injuries. I think many many people misread the Renfroe/JBJ gambit as a gamble on Jackie (and therefore evidence of incompetence), but it was really a gamble on Duran, an advanced-age prospect who we needed to clear outfield space for because the 2021 gambles on Kiké and Renfroe were such direct hits. (Seriously, Bloom found 7.2 bWAR of CF/RF off the scrap heap in 2021 for the grand total of $10.1 million). Jackie made a better theoretical bridge to Duran than Renfroe because he gave us a good defensive floor, can play CF, had a chance at rebounding in Boston and had already made his FA money. Basically, he had to trade Duran, Verdugo, Kiké or Renfroe. I'd have preferred he traded one of the first two, but it's totally reasonable that he chose Renfroe.

In hindsight, the decision to not trade JDM/Eovaldi last deadline hurt more than helped, but that's an impossible rock-and-a-hard-place type decision. Better that our FO gets the criticism they're getting than the "they gave up on the team"-type headlines they'd likely have weathered had they traded them.

Besides that, what's the problem? Sale keeps getting hurt, which sucks, but isn't Bloom's fault. I think not signing Springer seems like a missed opportunity, but 2021 Kiké was a revelation and you can't do anything about 2022 Kiké having a blood clot that affected everything he did in the field and required "one of the most traumatizing experiences (he's) ever had" to be fixed. I wanted him to sign Ozuna and Stroman, but it seems clear we were better off without both. I would have liked to sign Schwarber, but now we have Turner, who was just about as valuable last year and better fits our lineup. The hit rate for these free agents is very low.

The biggest problem, as I see it, has been that too few of our 40-45 FV prospects (or post-prospect reclamations) have solidified into usable (or tradable) role players. If one or two more of Dalbec, Downs, Duran, Chavis, Cordero, Groome, Rosario, Song, Winckowski, Jimenez, Seabold, or the Hernándezes Darwinzon, Marco and Ronaldo had hit, it would all look a lot better. (There's still time for a few of those, among other gambles On the other hand, we've had really useful out-of-nowhere breakouts or recuperations from Whitlock, Bello, Houck, Schreiber, Crawford, Pivetta, Refsnyder, Renfroe and Pivetta (and Rafaela, Bleis, Perales, et al.) on the farm.

I think what will happen this year is that we'll get steps forward from key players. I don't think enough people realize how good Brayan Bello or Triston Casas are. I bet we see someone else take a major step forward this year. My guess is Valdez, but it may well be Duran, Dalbec, Winckowski or Crawford.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
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Jul 14, 2005
19,039
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Entitled to? Nothing other than 162 baseball games if there’s not a pandemic. That’s it.
If you chose to spend money on them more than I do…. You can expect more. But you’re not entitled to shit. Sorry.
If I buy a ticket and the Sox lose…. That’s the situation. I’m not entitled to a Sox victory.
Something really weird has happened with half the posters on this board.
Fans are entitled to root for whatever team they want to.

If one's criteria is that one really really wants to root for a team that operates like the Dodgers, well, the Dodgers are available.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Again, nobody is complaining about what the Sox did under Theo or Charrington or Dombrowski. They are complaining about the philosophy of the organization since Dombrowski's firing and the results since then, results that seem likely to be significantly worse over the next couple of years. Not sure why this is hard to grasp.
Because it's very short-sighted -- the number of years since they won games in the ALCS is still 1 -- and because your assumption about the next few years isn't something everyone shares.
 

jbupstate

Member
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Dec 1, 2022
133
New York, USA
It feels like the Mookie trade — which had very little to do with Chaim Bloom — ripped open a ravenous chasm of rage that a lot of people are compelled to keep feeding.
This is ground zero for Bloom hatred. If you cannot get past that trade you most likely hate Bloom. Everything else is an add on.
 

simplicio

Member
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Apr 11, 2012
2,259
3. Retain homegrown talent

This is huge for me as a casual fan. With seasons and health always unpredictable and some emotional component to fandom for me, I like having some continuity, especially among the stars. This is where I'll call for research help, but the Sox seem to have lost a disproportionate number of big, homegrown stars compared to other big market teams. Complaining that teams like the Braves have figured this out consistently, while we've lost Mookie and Xander doesn't seem entitled to me.
The same Braves that have let go of Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson in the last two off seasons? I mean, I certainly envy their extension binge, but that kinda requires having young players worth extending.

Things the Astros, Braves, Dodgers, Red Sox, Nationals, Cubs, Royals and Giants have in common: 1) Winning a world series with homegrown stars in the last decade. 2) Letting some of those players walk, or trading them.

No team can (or should want to) keep all of its homegrown stars in perpetuity. It doesn't make sense in terms putting a team together. Would Xander have made sense for Boston for the next two years? Absolutely. For the next 8 years after that? Likely not.
 

8slim

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Nov 6, 2001
20,551
Unreal America
Besides that, what's the problem?
Acknowledging that it's 1/13 and we have several more weeks before Spring Training begins... who's playing 2B, SS and CF this year? Where is the power coming from aside from Devers (and maybe Turner)? What's the starting 5 in the rotation, and will we get more than 50 IP from 2 of the guys we seem to be counting on?

I'm not apoplectic about things like some people are, but the past 18 months have been pretty disappointing from my POV. We went into 2022 with a team that looked worse than 2021, and unfortunately that's how it turned out. We're going into 2023 in no better shape, IMHO.

So that's my problem.

Like I said above, my expectation is that the front office is doing everything they can to put the best possible product on the field, given each season's unique circumstances. I firmly believe they have not done that recently.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Entitled to? Nothing other than 162 baseball games if there’s not a pandemic. That’s it.
If you chose to spend money on them more than I do…. You can expect more. But you’re not entitled to shit. Sorry.
If I buy a ticket and the Sox lose…. That’s the situation. I’m not entitled to a Sox victory Something really weird has happened with half the posters on this board.
Unfortunately it's not board specific.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
22,271
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
My take, and it's just my opinion.

I believe that the team should be as committed to spending to win as they are to ensuring I pay the highest ticket price in baseball. With costs come standards and justified expectations. That doesn't mean they need to win the World Series every year. It doesn't mean there won't be down periods. But unless they are willing to lower ticket prices during lean period, then even in those "down" years there should be a commitment and a willingness to spend all that is needed to win as many games as possible (to the extent that it doesnt absolutely destroy the future of the franchise). I don't believe this team should be finishing in last place and if it does, there should be a massive and relatively immediate financial commitment to ensuring a very quick turnaround.

That's just my take, and it is admittedly narrow. Others likely feel differently.
 
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Bergs

Member
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Jul 22, 2005
18,906
I don't believe this team should be finishing in last place and if it does, there should be a massive and relatively immediate financial commitment to ensuring a very quick turnaround.
The bolded doesn't exist, imo. "Ensuring" is a bar high enough to be unclearable.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
5,055
from the wilds of western ma
For a franchise like the Red Sox: A legitimate effort to put the best team on the field, every year, that their (realistic) resources will allow them to. That's about it for me. Beyond that, things like luck, injuries, randomness, etc. will effect how results go. But over time, if they do that, playoff appearances, and championships, should take care of themselves. And that's what we've seen between 2002-2019. The last 3 seasons have obviously sparked intense debate about whether that good faith effort has been put forth by ownership and the FO. I tend to think, given the constraints of the luxury tax, the insanity of the FA market right now, and the farm system that was inherited by Bloom, he/they have generally acted in good faith. I mean, as pointed out by others, we're less than a year and a half removed from being 2 wins from the World Series. Trying to thread the needle between rebuilding and staying in something close to contention, isn't easy. But this isn't a market that will stand for a multi-year suck/reload period, like Houston. Fairly or unfairly, they're going to need to go into 2024 with a substantially improved club, and with some buzz and excitement.

Edit: meant 2024. This coming season will not have have buzz or excitement going in.
 
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Murderer's Crow

Dragon Wangler 216
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,631
Garden City
This right here. The entire OP is at best, entitled. It is a laundry list of things everyone likes, with no consideration of the difficulties involved, nor the oftentimes conflicting nature of them. We're in the toughest division in baseball, and have 2 ALCS appearances and a WS win in the last 5 seasons. Jesus. I like bitching about shit as much as the next guy, but come the fuck on.
I would start with the why is a fan entitled to something. I think it's fair to say sports organizations have an agreement with their local market to provide a service and entertainment that drives economic development and growth. So many teams influence local governments to give them tax breaks, special land lease agreements, new roads and public transportation...and its the citizens of that state who pay for it. So, yea, I think the word entitled sounds wrong but is totally appropriate. We pay for something and expect something back. If you aren't a fan and don't care at all about the New York Yankees or the Brooklyn Nets, you still benefit more from when the organization is competently run and wins than when they don't. The team has the obligation to their market to continue to support that local economy that has also invested in them. The only way to do that consistently is to win.
 

brs3

sings praises of pinstripes
SoSH Member
May 20, 2008
5,119
Jackson Heights, NYC
My take, and it's just my opinion.

I believe that the team should be as committed to spending to win as they are to ensuring I pay the highest ticket price in baseball. With costs come standards and justified expectations. That doesn't mean they need to win the World Series every year. It doesn't mean there won't be down periods. But unless they are willing to lower ticket prices during lean period, then even in those "down" years there should be a commitment and a willingness to spend all that is needed to win as many games as possible (to the extent that it doesnt absolutely destroy the future of the franchise). I don't believe this team should be finishing in last place and if it does, there should be a massive and relatively immediate financial commitment to ensuring a very quick turnaround.

That's just my take, and it is admittedly narrow. Others likely feel differently.
This is more or less how I feel. At this point ticket sales do not directly relate to the financial ability of the team to field a team..unless I'm woefully mistaken? When was the last time that was true? Why not lower tickets prices? I think mainly because Fenway and the experience is still a draw for very casual fans/tourists/companies, so they don't have to. It'd be a nice thing to do!
 

Skiponzo

Member
SoSH Member
The Red Sox are still offering good faith without bad investment. They are trying to finesse a rebuild with mid results. If they were not interested in being competitive or interested in offering a watchable product they would not have invested in the Bullpen, Turner or Yoshida.
This is where I am at....it just seems pretty clear to me that this is what they are trying to do....build the foundation correctly while continuing to paste over the "holes in the walls" until the foundation can support and sustain long term success. It's just a tough process to play out in an environment that EXPECTS constant success.
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

Member
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Nov 10, 2006
2,244
Scituate, MA
I believe fans are entitled to have a team that acts in good faith. There is some question to whether the Sox have done that. But they have also won the World Series 4 times in 20 seasons. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm getting older and playoff runs tend to age me quicker than I want. So a down year every once in a while isn't the worst thing in the world for me.
Your second condition isn't 100% accurate. One of those teams listed hasn't won a championship in thirteen years.
I think this is the most astute post here. As a season ticket holder, I look at the entertainment value proposition. That's not entirely a monetary value proposition either because I'm not attending every game in person, but I am investing time as well as money into something I love.

Acting in good faith is a broad term, but it speaks to what our expectations should be. It's also why in a year like last year, we were right to be frustrated by the trade deadline. Good faith doesn't necessarily mean always competing. It means being aware of your current situation and capitalizing on that situation. Last year, that meant making efforts to get under the luxury tax when they were mathematically eliminated. They didn't do that.

The other issue here is that a gross miscalculation can come off as not acting in good faith. I've stated that I don't think Bloom has properly evaluated the market at times, and as such it appears that he is not acting in good faith when he very well may have been.
 

splendid splinter

Member
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Aug 1, 2001
1,040
Greenville, SC
I think fan expectations - across all big-time professional sports - are based largely on whether you view your team as a business, or some sort of sacred public trust. If you view it as a business, you probably expect the team to make its best effort to put a winning product on the field, within the financial constraints imposed by its league and market revenues and league rules. Ownership is entitled to make some money, or at least not lose it. If you view it as a sacred trust, then pretty much all bets are off when it comes to what ownership is entitled to. You deserve a winner at just about any cost. The owner is entitled to...cash in when he or she sells the team.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
22,483
I would start with the why is a fan entitled to something. I think it's fair to say sports organizations have an agreement with their local market to provide a service and entertainment that drives economic development and growth. So many teams influence local governments to give them tax breaks, special land lease agreements, new roads and public transportation...and its the citizens of that state who pay for it. So, yea, I think the word entitled sounds wrong but is totally appropriate. We pay for something and expect something back. If you aren't a fan and don't care at all about the New York Yankees or the Brooklyn Nets, you still benefit more from when the organization is competently run and wins than when they don't. The team has the obligation to their market to continue to support that local economy that has also invested in them. The only way to do that consistently is to win.
I think that Crow has it here. But I'd add that baseball and the Red Sox are entertainment and when they put a bad team on the field (and that can run the gamut from poor management to "bad luck") it's incumbent on them to fix the issue. Only the absolute cynical of people would think that Boston was purposely putting out a lousy team, but if they do; I think it's more than okay to register your displeasure. If you see a bad movie, you have the right to say it stinks. Same with a bad TV show or a terrible book or a bad meal. It doesn't make you an "entitled" (and I'm only using this word because I think that the way it's used around here by some people is akin to saying "whiny" or "bad", which are two synonyms I don't agree with at all) fan, it makes you a fan with an opinion.

And opinions matter. I don't think that John Henry signed Devers because he was booed on January 2. But I do believe that Henry leaned on Bloom to get the job done quicker because he may have been feeling heat from the fan base. Like I've said before, you don't listen to the fans who are begging you to trade Mayer for Manny Machado. But if there is a ground swell of angst against your team, you have to answer it or face the consequences. Fenway was a ghost town last August and September. With the way this team has been built (and I realize it's January 13, but I can't comment on what this team will look like on Jan. 14 or Feb 14 or Aug 14, I can only comment on what I know today in regards to the roster), Fenway has the potential to be a ghost town this summer. That can't make Henry happy.

Sports is the ultimate what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. The minute someone doesn't perform, they're gone. Yes, we can look back and marvel at the years that they were stars, but that's for Old Timers Day. That's why I don't put much stock into the, "FOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 14 YEARS!!!" argument. Because while that's true, they've also had five last place finishes and one monumental choke job that resulted in the best manager and GM getting tarred and feathered by the ownership group as they left town. That was embarrassing. And winning the World Series that many times wasn't an altruistic move for John Henry. He made a ton of money off that (Do people still have their test tubes of "real Fenway dirt from the historic 2004 Championship season!"?) and his investment has skyrocketed, due to the winning.

So yeah, I expect things from him and FSG. And you should too. John Henry is not your friend. He's a businessman if he could make a nickle more by moving the team to Birmingham, he'd move them to Alabama. He doesn't care about you or that you and your Dad went to Fenway when you were six and you saw Jim Rice hit a home run. Don't make it easier for him by watching poor teams because "we're rebuilding the farm team." This is not a binary choice. You can rebuild the farm team AND have a good Major League team. Year after year after year the Yankees do it and the Rays do it the Giants do it and he Dodgers do it and the Cardinals do it. Why is it that the Red Sox have to choose to focus on their farm system at the expense of the team in Boston?

They don't and we're being taken for a ride.

I get that that last sentence is going to piss people (especially the ones who have made rooting for the Red Sox their identity) but the Sox aren't your family any more than Disney is your family. Expect more from the team and you'll get more. If you don't, then Christian Arroyo is going to get 450 at bats this year, Jarred Duran is going to be running around in centerfield and James Paxton will throw an inning and the only thing we'll hear from Yawkey Way is, "Gosh, if we had better luck and didn't have so many injuries--we'd really be something!" and "Hey our minor league system is ambiguously rated number 11 in all of the MLB! Pretty neat, huh?"

I can't recommend reading "Rethinking Fandom" by Craig Calcaterra enough. We all care about baseball and the Red Sox, but don't let that caring take away your objectivity.
 

8slim

Member
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Nov 6, 2001
20,551
Unreal America
This is where I am at....it just seems pretty clear to me that this is what they are trying to do....build the foundation correctly while continuing to paste over the "holes in the walls" until the foundation can support and sustain long term success. It's just a tough process to play out in an environment that EXPECTS constant success.
My frustration is that they haven't properly patched over those positions of needs for the past 15 months. The post you quoted mentioned "Bullpen, Turner or Yoshida", and I do agree that those are efforts to do just that. However, we are currently up the creek when it comes to 2B, SS, CF and another power bat. Plus we may only have one or two starters who we can be sure is capable of throwing 5-6 innings a start for a full season without his arm falling off.

So I, for one, disagree that the front office has done enough to address needs that make the team viable while we wait patiently for the farm to pay off. Not since November 2021.
 

8slim

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Nov 6, 2001
20,551
Unreal America
Don't make it easier for him by watching poor teams because "we're rebuilding the farm team." This is not a binary choice. You can rebuild the farm team AND have a good Major League team. Year after year after year the Yankees do it and the Rays do it the Giants do it and he Dodgers do it and the Cardinals do it. Why is it that the Red Sox have to choose to focus on their farm system at the expense of the team in Boston?
This is all it comes down to for me. We're Boston, we have the resources to do both. ESPECIALLY after trading Mookie/Price and doing the luxury tax reset that many folks here said was an imperative. We should not be going into next season with Arroyo, Kike and Duran up the middle. We should not be praying that Sale and Paxton give us 300 innings. There are ways to address these gaping holes that don't mortgage the future and to-date we haven't done so adequately.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
19,878
You can rebuild the farm team AND have a good Major League team. Year after year after year the Yankees do it and the Rays do it the Giants do it and he Dodgers do it and the Cardinals do it. Why is it that the Red Sox have to choose to focus on their farm system at the expense of the team in Boston?
The Rays won 77 games in 2014. They won 68 games in 2016. They won just 80 games in both 2015 and 2017. So from 2014-2017 they averaged 76 wins.

The Cardinals are historically pretty good on a regular basis but even they have some down years. They won just 78 games in 2007 and 83 in 2017 and 2006. Of course in 2006, those 83 games were enough to make the playoffs and then they went on an improbable title run.

The Giants were in the 70s in wins four straight years from 2005-2008. They won 76 games in 2013. From 2017-2019 they won 64, 73, and 77 games. In 2020 (which I don't even really count but most people here seem to think mattered), they were under .500 at 29-31. Even this year they only went 81-81.

The three teams that you can say have been the most consistent, year in and year out, have been the Yankees, Cardinals, and Dodgers. But in the last 10 years, the Red Sox have as many World Series titles as all three of those organizations put together.