What Are Fans Entitled To?

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
22,483
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.
The overall point is that the teams I listed have been consistently good over the last decade plus. The Red Sox have finished last since 2012 which is more than any of the teams you pointed out. Put together.

Shit happens. Teams have bad seasons every once in awhile and I never said that the Red Sox have to be immune to poor seasons. But the Red Sox have had a strange boom/bust decade. I can’t tell you why, but it shouldn’t be 5/12 seasons due to the advantage the club had that 8slim talked a above.

We’ve seen a lot of great baseball over the last 12 seasons but we’ve also witnessed a lot of shitty baseball too. If you’re okay with the latter, that’s great. But not everyone is and those people are crazy, entitled or whiny.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,878
Well I'm not "okay" with the Sox being terrible. I'd rather they be good all the time. But I can live with the boom/bust cycle when the boom is a World Series trophy. But I do get that rebuilding sometimes comes with down periods. The Astros didn't get great without a stretch of HORRIFIC play for years. The Rays have been bad. The Giants have been terrible. It happens to ALMOST everyone.
 

Skiponzo

Member
SoSH Member
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.
Completely understand this POV and it IS frustrating....especially while watching during the season. I believe that "if everything goes right" they can contend this year (that is of course pending the completion of the team this offseason) as they could have last year "if everything went right". I have no issues with a few seasons of "if everything goes right" as long as they are bulding to a sustained success future. Which I beleive they are doing.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
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.
This and many other posts here are phrased in a vacuum, but to me that's what is so off the mark and "entitled" about a lot of Sox fans. Literally every game and season has winners and losers, so if you are saying you are entitled to have a consistently winning team, then you're denying someone else's "right". Why? Because they are lesser beings, or they didn't suffer through the 1978 playoff? Or we think their teams are run by cheapskate idiot owners whose cousin is the GM and son-in-law the manager? Sadly, that's no longer true. The luxury tax levels the playing field some, and the explosion of TV money took that further. The explosion of talent and the spread of sophisticated training and evaluation science means there are no longer 18 teams who only exist for the elite ones to pad their stats against.

So in the modern-ultra-competitive environment, here is what we Sox fans are entitled to: winning seasons every other year. A farm system ranked 15th, give or take, with 3.3 of the top 100 prospects. A world title once every 30 years. That's it. The Sox have outperformed this dramatically because they got smart 20 years ago instead of just in the last 10, but it gets harder every year to keep doing that.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
Completely understand this POV and it IS frustrating....especially while watching during the season. I believe that "if everything goes right" they can contend this year (that is of course pending the completion of the team this offseason) as they could have last year "if everything went right". I have no issues with a few seasons of "if everything goes right" as long as they are bulding to a sustained success future. Which I beleive they are doing.
I think our difference is in the "if everything goes right" criteria. I think that's fine if we're using 2013 as a gold standard. Everything went right and we won a title. The difference is that it is exceedingly rare for everything to go right, and I don't believe that when it happens we should be finishing in last place. Right now we can see a half-dozen glaring positions of need on this team, and many of them aren't going to be ducky in a year because there's a kid at AAA waiting to move into the role. I can say with bravado that if we roll Arroyo, Kike and Durran out as our starters then not everything will go right. And that's a failure of the front office who has the means to address it right now.

And look, maybe they will, I'm not freaking out. But if they don't I don't want to hear "well who could have guessed they'd all have 75 OPS+ seasons".
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
This and many other posts here are phrased in a vacuum, but to me that's what is so off the mark and "entitled" about a lot of Sox fans. Literally every game and season has winners and losers, so if you are saying you are entitled to have a consistently winning team, then you're denying someone else's "right". Why? Because they are lesser beings, or they didn't suffer through the 1978 playoff? Or we think their teams are run by cheapskate idiot owners whose cousin is the GM and son-in-law the manager? Sadly, that's no longer true. The luxury tax levels the playing field some, and the explosion of TV money took that further. The explosion of talent and the spread of sophisticated training and evaluation science means there are no longer 18 teams who only exist for the elite ones to pad their stats against.

So in the modern-ultra-competitive environment, here is what we Sox fans are entitled to: winning seasons every other year. A farm system ranked 15th, give or take, with 3.3 of the top 100 prospects. A world title once every 30 years. That's it. The Sox have outperformed this dramatically because they got smart 20 years ago instead of just in the last 10, but it gets harder every year to keep doing that.
So we can't be expected to roll a better 2B, SS and CF out there in '23 than Arroyo, Kike and Durran, because other teams are trying too?
 

Skiponzo

Member
SoSH Member
I think our difference is in the "if everything goes right" criteria. I think that's fine if we're using 2013 as a gold standard. Everything went right and we won a title. The difference is that it is exceedingly rare for everything to go right, and I don't believe that when it happens we should be finishing in last place. Right now we can see a half-dozen glaring positions of need on this team, and many of them aren't going to be ducky in a year because there's a kid at AAA waiting to move into the role. I can say with bravado that if we roll Arroyo, Kike and Durran out as our starters then not everything will go right. And that's a failure of the front office who has the means to address it right now.

And look, maybe they will, I'm not freaking out. But if they don't I don't want to hear "well who could have guessed they'd all have 75 OPS seasons".
I think that difference is a good call. "If everything goes right" to me means that they contend for the playoffs "IEGR"...not necessarily be a WS contender. At this point in my life and with so much success over the past 20 years I'm content with a competitive team that has their ducks in a row to be competitive for the long haul. Where we do agree wholeheartedly is that if they are planning on Duran/Arroyo to be major contributors to a competitive team...we're not gonna be competitive.

BTW. I don't think you're freaking out at all.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
So we can't be expected to roll a better 2B, SS and CF out there in '23 than Arroyo, Kike and Durran, because other teams are trying too?
You can't expect other teams to just hand the Sox solutions without paying a price. Sure, if some team has a surplus for one reason or another (i.e. LT concerns), then you can expect to get their guy in exchange for someone of equal value. If Chaim does better than that, great! You also can't expect whoever the Sox offer to be someone they like better than their own prospects, unless it's Bello, Bleis or Mayer, which we absolutely should not be talking about.
 

jbupstate

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2022
133
New York, USA
So we can't be expected to roll a better 2B, SS and CF out there in '23 than Arroyo, Kike and Durran, because other teams are trying too?
Cross posting
The estimated payroll is $214m. There is only one way to have make the team better year over year over year. Draft and develop players to supplement the prices require to retain and acquire excellent players. The only way to get those players now if to buy them or mortgage the future by depleting the system.

The Mets and Phillies are spending and making huge bets on winning a WS soon. But one of those teams (probably both) are going to come up short this year and not get the banner. They also lose another prime year on their investments. Add a key injury (Verlander or Reamulto) and they are screwed.

Add…. Story is an excellent 2B, Mayer is projecting to be an excellent SS in 2 years and Ceddanne Rafaela is a potential CF in a year. Sorry but we can’t alway have what we want right now. We also can’t expect a $300m payroll
 
Last edited:

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
I think that difference is a good call. "If everything goes right" to me means that they contend for the playoffs "IEGR"...not necessarily be a WS contender. At this point in my life and with so much success over the past 20 years I'm content with a competitive team that has their ducks in a row to be competitive for the long haul. Where we do agree wholeheartedly is that if they are planning on Duran/Arroyo to be major contributors to a competitive team...we're not gonna be competitive.

BTW. I don't think you're freaking out at all.
Yep, I think we're mostly in agreement. I probably want more out of 2023 than some, but I certainly don't expect a title, or even a deep playoff run. I just want to be in contention in September, perhaps sneak into a wild card.

Some of my consternation is that I don't see a bevy of prospects as near-term solutions that perhaps some others do. Back in 2014 I could see how we were right on the precipice of having a team with Xander, Mookie, JBJ, Middlebrooks (oops) and Vazquez/Swihart to fit in alongside Papi, Pedroia and Ellsbury. You didn't have to squint too hard to see a potentially bright future that was only a year away. Maybe I'm just missing the near-term, starter-quality potential we have aside from Cassas. And we don't have as many existing core piece on the major league club either, aside from Devers.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
22,483
Well I'm not "okay" with the Sox being terrible. I'd rather they be good all the time. But I can live with the boom/bust cycle when the boom is a World Series trophy. But I do get that rebuilding sometimes comes with down periods. The Astros didn't get great without a stretch of HORRIFIC play for years. The Rays have been bad. The Giants have been terrible. It happens to ALMOST everyone.
Right, but you're completely missing my point. That boom or bust cycle doesn't always equal a World Series. It's like when people (not you necessarily) say "we just need to suck for a few years and then we'll be awesome." This is not a given. The Red Sox don't have to spend 40 years in the desert to reach paradise. This is not a "if you suffer, you will be rewarded" type of deal. When have the Giants been "terrible" in the last 15 years? They have not finished last once in the NL West--I'm going on memory here, so I may be wrong, but they didn't finish last five times.

The Red Sox as a MLB franchise should strive for consistency. Not only should they strive for consistency, but they have the money to achieve it. Like I said, things happen and bad seasons happen. But five last place finishes since 2012 is not acceptable. I'm sorry, but it isn't. I don't think that's unreasonable and I'm not the only person who thinks this. There have been dozens of local and national baseball writers who are wondering what's going on at Fenway. They don't buy the bullshit that Sam Kennedy and the FO (when they decide to speak) are saying.

This and many other posts here are phrased in a vacuum, but to me that's what is so off the mark and "entitled" about a lot of Sox fans. Literally every game and season has winners and losers, so if you are saying you are entitled to have a consistently winning team, then you're denying someone else's "right". Why? Because they are lesser beings, or they didn't suffer through the 1978 playoff? Or we think their teams are run by cheapskate idiot owners whose cousin is the GM and son-in-law the manager? Sadly, that's no longer true. The luxury tax levels the playing field some, and the explosion of TV money took that further. The explosion of talent and the spread of sophisticated training and evaluation science means there are no longer 18 teams who only exist for the elite ones to pad their stats against.
YES! This is the fucking entire point of professional sports! There are winners and losers. For every team that wins a World Series, there's a team that loses. That's how it goes. You are so close to getting this.

I have no idea WTF you're talking about with the 78 team and everything else.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,878
Right, but you're completely missing my point. That boom or bust cycle doesn't always equal a World Series. It's like when people (not you necessarily) say "we just need to suck for a few years and then we'll be awesome." This is not a given. The Red Sox don't have to spend 40 years in the desert to reach paradise. This is not a "if you suffer, you will be rewarded" type of deal. When have the Giants been "terrible" in the last 15 years? They have not finished last once in the NL West--I'm going on memory here, so I may be wrong, but they didn't finish last five times.
When have the Giants been terrible in the last 15 years? I already talked about this. From an earlier post:

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 Red Sox as a MLB franchise should strive for consistency. Not only should they strive for consistency, but they have the money to achieve it. Like I said, things happen and bad seasons happen. But five last place finishes since 2012 is not acceptable. I'm sorry, but it isn't. I don't think that's unreasonable and I'm not the only person who thinks this. There have been dozens of local and national baseball writers who are wondering what's going on at Fenway. They don't buy the bullshit that Sam Kennedy and the FO (when they decide to speak) are saying.
Sure, ideally they'd be consistently good every year. I think once they get their farm system up to speed we will see that basically happen.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Right, but you're completely missing my point. That boom or bust cycle doesn't always equal a World Series. It's like when people (not you necessarily) say "we just need to suck for a few years and then we'll be awesome." This is not a given. The Red Sox don't have to spend 40 years in the desert to reach paradise. This is not a "if you suffer, you will be rewarded" type of deal. When have the Giants been "terrible" in the last 15 years? They have not finished last once in the NL West--I'm going on memory here, so I may be wrong, but they didn't finish last five times.

The Red Sox as a MLB franchise should strive for consistency. Not only should they strive for consistency, but they have the money to achieve it. Like I said, things happen and bad seasons happen. But five last place finishes since 2012 is not acceptable. I'm sorry, but it isn't. I don't think that's unreasonable and I'm not the only person who thinks this. There have been dozens of local and national baseball writers who are wondering what's going on at Fenway. They don't buy the bullshit that Sam Kennedy and the FO (when they decide to speak) are saying.



YES! This is the fucking entire point of professional sports! There are winners and losers. For every team that wins a World Series, there's a team that loses. That's how it goes. You are so close to getting this.

I have no idea WTF you're talking about with the 78 team and everything else.
Thanks for the snotty response. The subject is what people are entitled to, not what they are rooting for. If you can't tell the difference between those things, well, I guess entitlement doesn't come with self-awareness.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
2,258
Some of my consternation is that I don't see a bevy of prospects as near-term solutions that perhaps some others do. Back in 2014 I could see how we were right on the precipice of having a team with Xander, Mookie, JBJ, Middlebrooks (oops) and Vazquez/Swihart to fit in alongside Papi, Pedroia and Ellsbury. You didn't have to squint too hard to see a potentially bright future that was only a year away. Maybe I'm just missing the near-term, starter-quality potential we have aside from Cassas. And we don't have as many existing core piece on the major league club either, aside from Devers.
Going into 2014 Ellsbury was in NY, X and JBJ and already debuted, Middlebrooks had been around for 2 seasons and Vazquez/Mookie were about to arrive. This situation was largely due to an unprecedented (and unrepeatable) draft class in 2011 where we had four first round picks, plus Mookie. I'm not sure that should be a realistic bar to clear.
 

Seels

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
4,477
NH
as casual as it sounds, and I don't really give a shit about flack for this, I deserve to have players I root for, that I've watched grow since being drafted, that I can reasonably assume will be on the team in a year or two. I prefer Jon Lester to David Price and Anthony Rizzo to Adrian Gonzalez / Pablo Sandoval almost 100% of the time. Having a team that has maybe 1 person who might be on the team the next time they contend isn't interesting in any capacity. This team right now looks like the 2013-2015 Celtics.

Also - to know that a team is generally trying to be competitive within their means, and not just signing dudes to avoid having an empty park.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
Going into 2014 Ellsbury was in NY, X and JBJ and already debuted, Middlebrooks had been around for 2 seasons and Vazquez/Mookie were about to arrive. This situation was largely due to an unprecedented (and unrepeatable) draft class in 2011 where we had four first round picks, plus Mookie. I'm not sure that should be a realistic bar to clear.
Oh man, my bad on including Ellsbury, not sure how I let that slip!

And that's all fair about the unique circumstances of that time. I was just noting that it was easier to see the path then. I'm concerned that people are banking on a lot of guys in AA right now, when our major league core is far from patched over.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
This team right now looks like the 2013-2015 Celtics.
If only! That team was loaded with draft capital and made the conference finals two years later... But yes, the roster was IT, Sullinger and a lot of dreck. Basketball's timelines are lightning-fast compared to baseball. As an organization, the Sox' future probably doesn't look as bright as that Cs team's was, or at least not in a comparable timeframe.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,589
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.
The Story injury notwithstanding, it doesn’t seem fair to ding them for not having the roster completely set on January 12. There are strategic reasons to wait this long. One is that it’s easier to pass back-end guys through waivers, like they may be able to do with Seabold.

A lot of these fringe-40 guys have recoverable value, moreso than previous years. The pandemic brought a player development hiccup, as I think Bloom and other smart GMs realize. Many of our own have lost development time or otherwise have had nonlinear trajectories. We want to keep as many as possible in our system.

Trading late in the offseason would allow you to have a better sense of whether another team offers anything for Ort, Kelly, Dalbec, Duran or Seabold. If they don't, then there's a good chance they won't DFA someone for them when you try to pass them through waivers.

Anyway, I think that's what they're doing. A lot of other teams have situations where they'll clearly have to squeeze someone off the roster, either by trade (likely) or waivers, and we'll be better positioned for a better player than if we had gone out and signed Andrus at the like, 2/$24 or whatever that he's asking for.
 

Farty Barrett

lurker
Nov 4, 2012
34
Entitlements vs expectations

I feel entitled to 9 innings of the highest level of competitive play with proper enforcement of the rules on a regulation field

I expect to be disappointed
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
The Story injury notwithstanding, it doesn’t seem fair to ding them for not having the roster completely set on January 12. There are strategic reasons to wait this long. One is that it’s easier to pass back-end guys through waivers, like they may be able to do with Seabold.

A lot of these fringe-40 guys have recoverable value, moreso than previous years. The pandemic brought a player development hiccup, as I think Bloom and other smart GMs realize. Many of our own have lost development time or otherwise have had nonlinear trajectories. We want to keep as many as possible in our system.

Trading late in the offseason would allow you to have a better sense of whether another team offers anything for Ort, Kelly, Dalbec, Duran or Seabold. If they don't, then there's a good chance they won't DFA someone for them when you try to pass them through waivers.

Anyway, I think that's what they're doing. A lot of other teams have situations where they'll clearly have to squeeze someone off the roster, either by trade (likely) or waivers, and we'll be better positioned for a better player than if we had gone out and signed Andrus at the like, 2/$24 or whatever that he's asking for.
That's fair, and precisely why I caveated my post with "Acknowledging that it's 1/13 and we have several more weeks before Spring Training begins".

I'm just nervous because I had the same patience last off-season, and then we ended up with JBJ, Outfield Starter. I really hope that's not how things go this offseason.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
20,221
Rogers Park
Arroyo, Kike and Durran
These are pretty different dudes, wouldn't you agree? Hernández is one year removed from a 5 WAR season, but his 2022 was derailed by a weird health thing unlikely to repeat. Arroyo is former first round pick who has been worth 2.5 WAR in ~550 PA in Boston; the performance has been starter quality, but the durability questions are apparent. Both are legitimate up-the-middle defenders. Duran, meanwhile, is a tools-y player who rejiggered his swing to get more pop and crushed AAA, but he seems to get exploited by pitchers who can command heat to the top of the zone and he's at least a semi-liability in the field.

Duran is a huge question mark, although I haven't given up on him: AAA is real baseball. The other two are established big league players who should be good if healthy.

Yep, I think we're mostly in agreement. I probably want more out of 2023 than some, but I certainly don't expect a title, or even a deep playoff run. I just want to be in contention in September, perhaps sneak into a wild card.

Some of my consternation is that I don't see a bevy of prospects as near-term solutions that perhaps some others do. Back in 2014 I could see how we were right on the precipice of having a team with Xander, Mookie, JBJ, Middlebrooks (oops) and Vazquez/Swihart to fit in alongside Papi, Pedroia and Ellsbury. You didn't have to squint too hard to see a potentially bright future that was only a year away. Maybe I'm just missing the near-term, starter-quality potential we have aside from Cassas. And we don't have as many existing core piece on the major league club either, aside from Devers.
A few things about this:

I mostly agree in the big picture, but I actually think our current scenario is not that far removed from the 2014 situation.

I don't mean this snarkily, but I would remind you that Ellsbury was on the Yankees in 2014, having signed a stupid deal that few here thought we should match that turned out ultimately to be a disaster. There's a parallel there to our present situation. And that's just one sign that you really might be blurring a couple seasons together in your mind, which is perfectly understandable. And I think because the 2013 team won the freaking title instead of just reaching the playoffs and winning a bit like the 2021 team, you were understandably more inclined to be charitable in your view of the farm, although it was also better, frankly.

Here's how I see that history:

The 2014 major league team was a goddamned disaster, much worse than the 2022 edition, and with many fewer players on it who appeared to have any future in Boston. I would say the 7 win difference doesn't even begin to describe it; the 2022 team was derailed by injuries and underperformance, but they were in the mix at the trade deadline, which was perhaps unfortunate; the 2014 team was simply never competitive at any point — zero months above .500.

Pedroia was signed longterm, but had just had a pretty mediocre year by his standards: 99 OPS+ and only 135 games played. Ortiz was 38; how long could he keep this up? Bogaerts was scuffling hard; Bradley was scuffling harder. We gave meaningful playing time to guys like A.J. Pierzynski, Grady Sizemore, Will Middlebrooks, Allen Craig, Mike Carp, Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, and Jonathan Herrera, none of whom provided any positive value on either side of the ball. There are some good players on that list, but all of them were clear has-beens by 2014.

The positive signs were present, though, by the end of the year, in Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo — wait, what?!? Okay, we'll leave Castillo aside.

Betts had come out of nowhere. He was never a top-50 prospect, because he had a good year in A ball in 2013, made the back half of the pre-2014 top 100 lists, and then rocketed through AA and AAA and had enough PA in MLB to lose his prospect eligibility by the time the next lists were made. He was 21. The Ceddanne Rafaela comps make sense, not that Rafaela is a Betts-caliber player, but that he stepped up his performance massively at a similar age and level and rocketed up the prospect rankings. (We're going to know pretty quickly, I think, by looking at Rafaela's plate discipline numbers in Portland or Worcester, whether he's going to be a starting CF or SS in MLB or just a glove-first bench/utility guy.)

If you squinted and trusted in minor league performance, you would have seen green shoots in Bradley and Bogaerts, but there were still people, including on this board, who regretted the trade of Iglesias because Bogaerts wasn't hitting. To be clear, I was a believer that both of those guys would hit, but crucially, neither had shown that at the big league level. They wouldn't establish themselves as two-way players until 2015. Any faith we had in them was mostly based on their minor league performance. Neither Benintendi nor Moncada was in the organization yet. Devers had just come stateside as a teenager, and was tearing up the Gulf Coast league — not unlike Miguel Bleis today.

But the bigger issue was on the pitching side: we had just traded Lester, Lackey and Peavy, Buchholz had had a terrible year, and while there was clearly a position player core coming from the minors, the only pitching in that group was Rodriguez, whom we got for Miller mid-season. Felix Doubront had imploded, along with Webster and De La Rosa. Anderson Espinoza wasn't stateside yet — Luis Perales (look him up if you don't know), already is — and Michael Kopech wasn't in the organization yet.

2015 was the Spring Training of the "He's the Ace" t-shirts. Forget Bello, forget Whitlock, forget Houck, we would have killed for a Kutter Crawford. Henry Owens was the future, if there was a future.

At the time, Theo Epstein was saying in Chicago that he was going to win a title by collecting a core of position player prospects, because pitching prospects were too risky, and then signing FA starting pitchers. It worked — the only starter who had debuted with the Cubs on the 2016 team was Kyle Hendricks — but it wasn't sustainable. Under Dombrowski, Boston did the same thing, more or less, to win a title in 2018: bringing in Price, Sale, and Eovaldi to complement our homegrown core of position players. But again, it wasn't sustainable! Those pitchers got expensive deals, still had health risks (they're pitchers, after all), and then we couldn't afford to retain our position player core! So both teams had very similar issues.

I guess I'm just saying that if you're correct that you could see what the plan was in 2014, it required a some faith, just as it does now. But while that farm was deeper, this one actually has some pitching.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
2,258
That's fair, and precisely why I caveated my post with "Acknowledging that it's 1/13 and we have several more weeks before Spring Training begins".

I'm just nervous because I had the same patience last off-season, and then we ended up with JBJ, Outfield Starter. I really hope that's not how things go this offseason.
I try not to read anything into how last offseason went, with the lockout making the status of baseball in 2022 very much unknown. I think the Paxton deal was a hedge against losing a significant chunk of the season, for instance.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
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.
Just playing devil's advocate... Put on your BoSox CBO hat for a sec and address those needs while keeping the team under the luxury tax and waiting for the farm to pay off.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
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.
You are aware that this wasn't the plan.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
Just playing devil's advocate... Put on your BoSox CBO hat for a sec and address those needs while keeping the team under the luxury tax and waiting for the farm to pay off.
That's fair, and I admittedly don't spend a second playing amatuer GM, looking up contract values and conjuring up deals. I just find it odd that we had X and JD roll off the books, but we still can't add more than Yoshida and Turner of consequence.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
27,550
Well I'm not "okay" with the Sox being terrible. I'd rather they be good all the time. But I can live with the boom/bust cycle when the boom is a World Series trophy. But I do get that rebuilding sometimes comes with down periods. The Astros didn't get great without a stretch of HORRIFIC play for years. The Rays have been bad. The Giants have been terrible. It happens to ALMOST everyone.
See I'm different - particularly now that the Sox have won 4 times in 20 years. If they aren't going to win it all, I'd rather them be terrible as that's the best way to stock talent these days.

Consistent 88-90 win seasons without really having a championship-level team is the worse way to go as a fan I think.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
These are pretty different dudes, wouldn't you agree? Hernández is one year removed from a 5 WAR season, but his 2022 was derailed by a weird health thing unlikely to repeat. Arroyo is former first round pick who has been worth 2.5 WAR in ~550 PA in Boston; the performance has been starter quality, but the durability questions are apparent. Both are legitimate up-the-middle defenders. Duran, meanwhile, is a tools-y player who rejiggered his swing to get more pop and crushed AAA, but he seems to get exploited by pitchers who can command heat to the top of the zone and he's at least a semi-liability in the field.

Duran is a huge question mark, although I haven't given up on him: AAA is real baseball. The other two are established big league players who should be good if healthy.



A few things about this:

I mostly agree in the big picture, but I actually think our current scenario is not that far removed from the 2014 situation.

I don't mean this snarkily, but I would remind you that Ellsbury was on the Yankees in 2014, having signed a stupid deal that few here thought we should match that turned out ultimately to be a disaster. There's a parallel there to our present situation. And that's just one sign that you really might be blurring a couple seasons together in your mind, which is perfectly understandable. And I think because the 2013 team won the freaking title instead of just reaching the playoffs and winning a bit like the 2021 team, you were understandably more inclined to be charitable in your view of the farm, although it was also better, frankly.

Here's how I see that history:

The 2014 major league team was a goddamned disaster, much worse than the 2022 edition, and with many fewer players on it who appeared to have any future in Boston. I would say the 7 win difference doesn't even begin to describe it; the 2022 team was derailed by injuries and underperformance, but they were in the mix at the trade deadline, which was perhaps unfortunate; the 2014 team was simply never competitive at any point — zero months above .500.

Pedroia was signed longterm, but had just had a pretty mediocre year by his standards: 99 OPS+ and only 135 games played. Ortiz was 38; how long could he keep this up? Bogaerts was scuffling hard; Bradley was scuffling harder. We gave meaningful playing time to guys like A.J. Pierzynski, Grady Sizemore, Will Middlebrooks, Allen Craig, Mike Carp, Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, and Jonathan Herrera, none of whom provided any positive value on either side of the ball. There are some good players on that list, but all of them were clear has-beens by 2014.

The positive signs were present, though, by the end of the year, in Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo — wait, what?!? Okay, we'll leave Castillo aside.

Betts had come out of nowhere. He was never a top-50 prospect, because he had a good year in A ball in 2013, made the back half of the pre-2014 top 100 lists, and then rocketed through AA and AAA and had enough PA in MLB to lose his prospect eligibility by the time the next lists were made. He was 21. The Ceddanne Rafaela comps make sense, not that Rafaela is a Betts-caliber player, but that he stepped up his performance massively at a similar age and level and rocketed up the prospect rankings. (We're going to know pretty quickly, I think, by looking at Rafaela's plate discipline numbers in Portland or Worcester, whether he's going to be a starting CF or SS in MLB or just a glove-first bench/utility guy.)

If you squinted and trusted in minor league performance, you would have seen green shoots in Bradley and Bogaerts, but there were still people, including on this board, who regretted the trade of Iglesias because Bogaerts wasn't hitting. To be clear, I was a believer that both of those guys would hit, but crucially, neither had shown that at the big league level. They wouldn't establish themselves as two-way players until 2015. Any faith we had in them was mostly based on their minor league performance. Neither Benintendi nor Moncada was in the organization yet. Devers had just come stateside as a teenager, and was tearing up the Gulf Coast league — not unlike Miguel Bleis today.

But the bigger issue was on the pitching side: we had just traded Lester, Lackey and Peavy, Buchholz had had a terrible year, and while there was clearly a position player core coming from the minors, the only pitching in that group was Rodriguez, whom we got for Miller mid-season. Felix Doubront had imploded, along with Webster and De La Rosa. Anderson Espinoza wasn't stateside yet — Luis Perales (look him up if you don't know), already is — and Michael Kopech wasn't in the organization yet.

2015 was the Spring Training of the "He's the Ace" t-shirts. Forget Bello, forget Whitlock, forget Houck, we would have killed for a Kutter Crawford. Henry Owens was the future, if there was a future.

At the time, Theo Epstein was saying in Chicago that he was going to win a title by collecting a core of position player prospects, because pitching prospects were too risky, and then signing FA starting pitchers. It worked — the only starter who had debuted with the Cubs on the 2016 team was Kyle Hendricks — but it wasn't sustainable. Under Dombrowski, Boston did the same thing, more or less, to win a title in 2018: bringing in Price, Sale, and Eovaldi to complement our homegrown core of position players. But again, it wasn't sustainable! Those pitchers got expensive deals, still had health risks (they're pitchers, after all), and then we couldn't afford to retain our position player core! So both teams had very similar issues.

I guess I'm just saying that if you're correct that you could see what the plan was in 2014, it required a some faith, just as it does now. But while that farm was deeper, this one actually has some pitching.
I appreciate the thoughtful reply.

Re: Arroyo and Kike... If we get 135+ games from them as the starting 2B/SS combo that could be fine. I'd expect league average-ish offense and plus defense from them. The issue is that we're going from X/Story to them, and we don't have an OF that can hit for enough power to complement them. It might be our only option, but unless Yoshida really hits the ground running (and Cassas as well), I'm concerned about our ability to generate runs.

As for the future, I am admittedly not someone who watches the minors like a hawk. So I will always defer to those who have more insight on that front. I do hope we have a slew of talent on the way.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
That's fair, and I admittedly don't spend a second playing amatuer GM, looking up contract values and conjuring up deals. I just find it odd that we had X and JD roll off the books, but we still can't add more than Yoshida and Turner of consequence.
I don't spend a lot of time searching out the financials, but if I'm going to comment on them I try to see if I'm in the ball park with things when I post. X (20) and JD (19.3) cost 39.3 M last season. Yoshida (15.6) and Turner (8.3) come in at 23.9M. Add to that 16M for Jansen and it's basically a wash. Eovaldi and Wacha's departure saved another 24M. Now factor in Devers' 8M abitration bump Kluber at 10M and Martin at 6M and that savings has also been spent.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
I don't spend a lot of time searching out the financials, but if I'm going to comment on them I try to see if I'm in the ball park with things when I post. X (20) and JD (19.3) cost 39.3 M last season. Yoshida (15.6) and Turner (8.3) come in at 23.9M. Add to that 16M for Jansen and it's basically a wash. Eovaldi and Wacha's departure saved another 24M. Now factor in Devers' 8M abitration bump Kluber at 10M and Martin at 6M and that savings has also been spent.
We are still under the threshold right? Did I see someone post that we have ~$16M to spend? Could we use that to bring in another bat or two? I don't get the sense from anyone here that we are utterly tapped out for 2023 as of this moment.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Yes, but it is the reality now. I mean, the plan was for Story to be playing, but that still means we needed a 2B/SS at worst, right? So it could have been Kike, Story, Arroyo?
It 100% is the reality now. Acknowledging that it's 1/13 and we have several more weeks before Spring Training begins. I think we can agree that the plan never included Duran and it's entirely possible that Arroyo also wasn't a presumed starter. So Kike, Story and a player TBD, yes? Is it fair to think that player TBA is still a decent possibility?
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
We are still under the threshold right? Did I see someone post that we have ~$16M to spend? Could we use that to bring in another bat or two? I don't get the sense from anyone here that we are utterly tapped out for 2023 as of this moment.
Yes of course and that has been the point of folks pointing out that it's only January. The post that you responded to addresses the fact that you "just find it odd that we had X and JD roll off the books, but we still can't add more than Yoshida and Turner of consequence.", an attempt to temper the idea that there's all this extra cash laying around. That money has been used to bring in players as has the money rolling of the books after the departures of Eovaldi and Wacha.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
6,531
Boston, MA
We are still under the threshold right? Did I see someone post that we have ~$16M to spend? Could we use that to bring in another bat or two? I don't get the sense from anyone here that we are utterly tapped out for 2023 as of this moment.
Maybe one. $16 million doesn't go as far as it used to.
 

jbupstate

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2022
133
New York, USA
It 100% is the reality now. Acknowledging that it's 1/13 and we have several more weeks before Spring Training begins. I think we can agree that the plan never included Duran and it's entirely possible that Arroyo also wasn't a presumed starter. So Kike, Story and a player TBD, yes? Is it fair to think that player TBA is still a decent possibility?
I know it’s not up the middle position player but…. can we make a small argument the team has added Chris Sale and maybe Paxton?

injury risk for sure but healthy that’s a big upgrade. Sucks to depend on injury luck but until Sale is off the books he counts. Yoshida is a risk but is his providing quality production any more of a guarantee than Chris Sale? We know when healthy Sale is better than good MLB pitcher.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,878
Well IF they are both able to pitch a good number of innings, then yes, the 2023 team has effectively added both Sale and Paxton to the staff. But that's a big IF.
 

NewDawn

lurker
Dec 18, 2022
3
I followed this team for 40 years before they won a WS. Mostly a .500 +/- team across that span with an occasional burst of good years and a couple of great ones. Not sure I believe anyone is entitled to anything beyond the team that they put out there hustles, plays hard and tries to win. If you don't think they are worth spending your money on then spend it somewhere else. Complain, criticize, scream, pray. That's your right. But don't feel entitled, it's not good for your health. Shoot, for all we know, they might be taking about the Curse of Mookie a hundred years from now as they try to get their next Championship.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I know it’s not up the middle position player but…. can we make a small argument the team has added Chris Sale and maybe Paxton?

injury risk for sure but healthy that’s a big upgrade. Sucks to depend on injury luck but until Sale is off the books he counts. Yoshida is a risk but is his providing quality production any more of a guarantee than Chris Sale? We know when healthy Sale is better than good MLB pitcher.
Not sure where it fits in with the post you quoted as it was a completely different conversation about the 2B/SS/CF conundrum, but sure have at it.
 

shepard50

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 18, 2006
8,139
Sydney, Australia
The subject is what people are entitled to, not what they are rooting for. If you can't tell the difference between those things, well, I guess entitlement doesn't come with self-awareness.

Entitlements vs expectations

I feel entitled to 9 innings of the highest level of competitive play with proper enforcement of the rules on a regulation field

I expect to be disappointed
There is a lot of interesting and good points in the thread but I don't think we are at all talking about entitlement. Entitlement is what you have a right to, in this case as a Red Sox fan. So, basically, nothing. Or maybe you are entitled to get what you pay for and anything else is expectation. If you buy a ticket to a game, you are entitled to a cramped seat that often is oriented at an awkward angle to sit and to watch a full game of baseball.

The fact that this will happen in a charming ballpark and the team will often be competitive, and will win more championships in the century than anyone else, and that the narrative around all that will be interesting and epic in proportion and well written about both in media and on SoSH and all of that is good gravy and great experience and has become expectation, but none of that is entitled to you, to us.

The endless years of almost winning in that Lucy with the football way, and the Yankees being the perfect foil, and all the Pesky held the ball, impossible dreams, Dent, Buckner, Boone and Grady heart tumbling, and then finally breaking through, Winning it For... and giving our generation sweet relief and actually oh so much more than that because we suffered and cared and were disappointed so many times that Faith Rewarded became like a religion, like an invisible but oh so real contract that had been finally fulfilled, those years and that journey created the highest expectations.

And I hope you all will forgive this rant and know that I know that you, you feel it too in each your own poetic and tragic and heroic way. That, at least, is one of the ties that bind us here in this place after all this time, that shared and intense from the inside out experience of what it has meant and does mean to be Red Sox fans.

And that experience has been so very special but I am not sure that is an entitlement. I think it has born expectation about what we will experience as fans. And others have described that expectation much better than i can and I don't disagree with those descriptions. We know we must lose as JMOH said, we know that is part of the game and it cannot always be your year but I think we expect not to flail without purpose, without some plan, as Marciano laid out at the start of this thread.

I think with this loyal fan base in this city with these owners and our history together we should at least be awarded Hope at the start of each season. Even if we know in our hearts that Hope will not always be fulfilled. That hope to be given as a complement to our faith, that is a reasonable expectation.

Because after all, baseball is designed to break your heart...
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
It 100% is the reality now. Acknowledging that it's 1/13 and we have several more weeks before Spring Training begins. I think we can agree that the plan never included Duran and it's entirely possible that Arroyo also wasn't a presumed starter. So Kike, Story and a player TBD, yes? Is it fair to think that player TBA is still a decent possibility?
Yes, I keep saying I’m angry and there’s lot of time to make more moves.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
20,550
Unreal America
Yes of course and that has been the point of folks pointing out that it's only January. The post that you responded to addresses the fact that you "just find it odd that we had X and JD roll off the books, but we still can't add more than Yoshida and Turner of consequence.", an attempt to temper the idea that there's all this extra cash laying around. That money has been used to bring in players as has the money rolling of the books after the departures of Eovaldi and Wacha.
Yes and we still have more moves to make.
 

jbupstate

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2022
133
New York, USA
Not sure where it fits in with the post you quoted as it was a completely different conversation about the 2B/SS/CF conundrum, but sure have at it.
Didn’t mean anything by it. Just the date and several weeks to spring training made me think about what the could reasonably add still. Almost everything left available has risk or concerns.
 

Trlicek's Whip

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2009
5,245
New York City
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.
However, this is 100% SoSH metatext, isn't it? Since the OP doesn't discuss Bloom or a starting point for the "have" and "have not" analysis in this thread, this comes off as pure projection and cherry picking.

So bringing up the pre-Bloom track record seems fair to do in *this* particular thread, and someone can post about the philosophy of the org since Dombrowski's firing in yet another thread. (Or, as is more commonly happening on the boards, lacing this in as subtext in *every* Sox thread like a pinned Festivus grievance). :)
 
Last edited:

Benj4ever

lurker
Nov 21, 2022
65
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.
Exactly, Sandy. While the concept of entitlement is nothing new, it has risen remarkably over the last few decades. One sees it in commercials all the time: You deserve (fill in the blank). Go get (fill in the blank), because you're worth it. And people listen and they believe it's true.
 

EricFeczko

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 26, 2014
4,564
I appreciate the thoughtful reply.

Re: Arroyo and Kike... If we get 135+ games from them as the starting 2B/SS combo that could be fine. I'd expect league average-ish offense and plus defense from them. The issue is that we're going from X/Story to them, and we don't have an OF that can hit for enough power to complement them. It might be our only option, but unless Yoshida really hits the ground running (and Cassas as well), I'm concerned about our ability to generate runs.

As for the future, I am admittedly not someone who watches the minors like a hawk. So I will always defer to those who have more insight on that front. I do hope we have a slew of talent on the way.
As to the bolded -- if assuming the expectation of average-ish offense (wRC+ ~ 95-105), then even an avereage-ish Casas would mostly make up for the deficit.

While Xander was great (wRC+ 130) and Story average (wRC+ 100) last year, our 1B was one of the worst positions in the league. For a league where the median 1B play is around wRC+ 110, the Red Sox 1B collectively hit around 85.

Of course, if you're frustrated that the Red Sox are treading water instead of swapping one offensive hole for another, then this makes sense. Offensively, the red sox look like they will tread water next season, as opposed to improve. Frankly, I think the infield is fine, what's more concerning is the lack of depth in the outfield; our starting three are Yoshida (LF), Duran? (CF), and Verdugo (RF), which is also fine, I guess ( red sox LF/RF were league average last year, CF was below average). After that, we have Refsneyder on the bench, followed by a bunch of potential scrubs in Allen, Crook, and and Granberg. Abreu, Rafaela, and Dearden would need significant improvement to be ready this year -- best case they are up by June, more likely its a septemeber call up, and far more likely they don't play until 2024.

That being said, we have a slew of position prospects that will be ready to take shape by 2025; there's a chance the starting spots would look something like this, with players promoted from the farm in bold, and this assumes a bunch won't pan out too:

C: McGuire/Hernandez
1B: Casas
2B: Yorke
3B: Devers
SS: Mayer
LF: Yoshida
CF: Rafaela
RF: ???
DH: Story (Yorke may get traded, in which case Story would end up remaining at 2B, Yoshida may slide to DH)

So the offense looks ok, and has lots of ground to improve in the future.

Frankly, I'm surprised by how much ink is spent with entitlement over the offense -- which has both done well recently (5th most in Runs from 2019-2022, top 10 in wRC+ -- basically the same when you look from 2020-2022, post Betts) and has lots of players to look forward too. By contrast, the pitching has been mediocre to terrible depending on the peripherals (15/16th in FIP) or performance (bottom 10 in ERA , allowing the 6th most runs ) over the same span ( also pretty similar when you look from 2020-2022 post Price ).

Unlike with position players, there's not a lot of optimism on the horizon for SPs/RPs on the farm -- as stocked as we are with position players, we are alot thinner on SPs/RPs; Bello, Mata, Houck, and Whitlock are the best of the bunch and after that a bunch of miracles and retreads. I can't project a possible 2025 starting rotation with the current roster like I can with the starting 9.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
2,258
I don't
Unlike with position players, there's not a lot of optimism on the horizon for SPs/RPs on the farm -- as stocked as we are with position players, we are alot thinner on SPs/RPs; Bello, Mata, Houck, and Whitlock are the best of the bunch and after that a bunch of miracles and retreads. I can't project a possible 2025 starting rotation with the current roster like I can with the starting 9.
I thought Crawford showed potential last year, and Walter seems well regarded.
 

EricFeczko

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 26, 2014
4,564
I don't

I thought Crawford showed potential last year, and Walter seems well regarded.
I think of Crawford and Walter as high-risk to pan out. More like Jarren Duran as opposed to a player I feel confident about contributing. Both are definitely a step below all of the position players above (save for maybe Yorke).

I think this speaks to the wildly disparate expectations for position vs. pitching players by a lot of fans on this board. The wildly disparate productivity between the Red Sox posiiton and pitching farm developments help shape such divergent expectations. Crawford was 26 last year and stunk -- especially towards the end of the year (7.58 ERA, 5.34 FIP in August, opponents had an OPS over .900 off him, %10 walk rate ) expectations for him should be low (his ceiling is a 5th starter his floor is AAA); by 2025 he'll be 29, its unlikely he's part of the future for this team. Walter is 26 this year and has started eleven games past single A, including two games in AAA, both of which he stunk. By 2025 he'll be 28. There's no way these players should be regarded in the same way as 21-23 year old position players entering AA/AAA.

We should be viewing Crawford and Walter more like Duran as opposed to Rafaela or Mayer.
 
Last edited: