Will the real Red Sox please stand up? I repeat, will the real Red Sox please stand up?

Yo La Tengo

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As I squirm through these final games, I find it impossible not to look back at the schedule and consider where the Sox would be had they managed a few more Ws.

We debate lineups (which I'm finally accepting probably doesn't matter over the course of a season) and bullpen usage (in which performance is so variable). And we obsess over decisions at the trade deadline but, short of acquiring Scherzer, those moves are a largely a crapshoot. Just look at the Dalbec rebirth, which might never have happened if Schwarber came back from his injury a week sooner. (Same for the Yankees, who might have won more games playing Voit at 1B instead of Rizzo for the month of August.)

One of the few things the front office could have controlled is the COVID protocols enforced by the team. They can't force a player to get immunized but they absolutely can enforce health measures in the clubhouse and during travel. From August 29th through September 13th, the Sox went 6-9. Brad Peacock and Zach Plesac were starting games. I think it is fair to say that the Sox would have won 1 or 2 or 3 more games in that stretch if they had avoided the outbreak. And I think the bullpen still hasn't recovered from being overtaxed during that stretch. That is the biggest failure by the front office this season.

EDIT: Too much baseball stress and not enough coffee.
 
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Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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As I squirm through these final games, I find it impossible not to look back at the schedule and consider where the Sox would be had they managed a few more Ws.

We debate lineups (which I'm finally accepting probably doesn't matter over the course of a season) and bullpen usage (in which performance is so variable). And we obsess over decisions at the trade deadline but, short of acquiring Scherzer, those moves are a largely a crapshoot. Just look at the Dalbec rebirth, which might never have happened if Schwarber came back from his injury a week sooner. (Same for the Yankees, who might have won more games playing Voit at 1B instead of Rizzo for the month of August.)

One of the few things the front office could have controlled is the COVID protocols enforced by the team. They can't force a player to get immunized but they absolutely can enforce health measures in the clubhouse and during travel. From August 29th through September 13th, the Sox went 6-9. Brad Peacock and Zach Plesac were starting games. I think it is fair to say that the Sox would have won 1 or 2 or 3 more games in that stretch if they had avoided the outbreak. And I think the bullpen still hasn't recovered from being overtaxed during that stretch. That is the biggest failure by the front office this season.
I agree with your overall point, but given the fact that a large part of the bullpen had a COVID break, I'm not sure that they were overtaxed during that stretch. I simply think that the bullpen walks too many people, and haven't gotten away with it in the second half the way they did in the first. And Barnes, not unpredictably, regressed to being Barnes.
FWIW, Zach Plesac did not walk through that door.
 

Wallball Tingle

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I can't get over how great those last few games of baseball were. Scrounging for every win to just squeak out NYY for the right to host the WC (10-9 H2H). Sending Toronto packing by a game. Back 2 games for WC1 at the start of the final regular season series after getting their asses handed to them by the Orioles...and they just put their heads down and won the four most important games of the year.

Tension drenched last two regular season games against WSH with the Sox going ahead for good (finally!) in the 9th both days, a nice comeback in G162 included.

And then they stomped on the Yankees' nuts for good measure. This is already so sweet!
 
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scottyno

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They're standing up as one of the last 4 teams in baseball.

Hopefully everyone that quit on them in August is having fun doing whatever they've been doing with all their free time.
 

uncannymanny

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Maybe next year we can get into the Yanks and Rays class. Unfortunately, they both have a head start on us planning the offseason.
 

scottyno

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Maybe next year we can get into the Yanks and Rays class. Unfortunately, they both have a head start on us planning the offseason.
Well Boone did say they closed the gap between the Yankees and the rest of the AL this year.
 

JimD

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Wonder if we can still re-hire Chaim Bloom - he did get fired in early August for blowing the trade deadline, right?
 

jmcc5400

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Wouldn't that be poetic justice if the Sox are in the ALCS while the Dodgers get eliminated in the DS? They're on the brink...
Living in LA you have no idea how many “how could you have traded Mookie?” comments I’ve endured. I’ve been sprinkling in a few “How could the Dodgers let Verdugo/Kique go?” Into my conversations lately. So yeah it would be extremely sweet.
 

Deweys New Stance

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Living in LA you have no idea how many “how could you have traded Mookie?” comments I’ve endured. I’ve been sprinkling in a few “How could the Dodgers let Verdugo/Kique go?” Into my conversations lately. So yeah it would be extremely sweet.
Molly Knight, who I generally like, has been trolling with this line on Twitter for well over a year now. I'm guessing after last night she won't be trotting it out again. And this was her Sox/Rays prediction last week:

It was cute how the Red Sox beat the Yankees and celebrated like they had any shot against the Rays. We’re at the point now where Tampa has built a year-in, year-out AL East juggernaut yet Yankee and Red Sox fans still act like everyone should be fired when they don’t win the division. Researching this piece to figure out how the Rays are this good again was an adventure in itself. Brandon Lowe hit 39 home runs? Sure! Wander Franco reaching base 43 straight games to tie Frank Robinson’s record for those 20 and younger? Absolutely!

The Rays lost in the World Series last year, which bodes well for them winning it all this year. The Dodgers had to lose twice to get to the promised land. And in retrospect all that playoff experience is why they were able to come back from 2-0 and 3-1 series’ deficits against the Braves to win the NL pennant in 2020. The Rays are going to break through one of these years, and they’re my AL pick to make the Fall Classic again this season. They should have no trouble with the Red Sox.

Prediction: Rays in 4.
Yeah, the Rays were clearly heavy favorites, but mocking the Sox for celebrating the WC win is just asinine. I would have been rooting for the Giants in the NLDS anyway, but it'll even more special if the Sox are playing next week and the Dodgers are done. And I remain a big Mookie fan.
 

Deweys New Stance

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A Yaz playing in a WS at Fenway would be very baseball cool.
Yes, I think so too. And it's a matchup we've never seen during the Giants' SF era, and only happened once 109 years ago. I'd love to see it.

But it would certainly create a big conflict for Captain Carl. I suspect he'd be rooting for his grandson to get a ring, and I couldn't blame him.
 

joe dokes

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Yes, I think so too. And it's a matchup we've never seen during the Giants' SF era, and only happened once 109 years ago. I'd love to see it.

But it would certainly create a big conflict for Captain Carl. I suspect he'd be rooting for his grandson to get a ring, and I couldn't blame him.
One thing he *won't* do is show up at Fenway with a half Giant-half Sox hat or shirt.
 

jmcc5400

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jmcc5400

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Yes, I think so too. And it's a matchup we've never seen during the Giants' SF era, and only happened once 109 years ago. I'd love to see it.

But it would certainly create a big conflict for Captain Carl. I suspect he'd be rooting for his grandson to get a ring, and I couldn't blame him.
Just got chills thinking about Yaz throwing out the opening pitch in Game 3 of a series against the Giants.
 

TFisNEXT

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"We're still here"

Hmm rings a bell
I love that line by Cora last night. It seems like he has the whole team playing with a chip on their shoulder. "Us vs the world" mentality. I often think "Team chemistry" is way overrated, but it isn't a zero. Cora has these guys playing their asses off for him and that counts for something. When everybody buys in, they seem to feed off eachother giving 100% effort.

It's funny how the Rays last night looked like the team that didn't pay attention to detail with errors/sloppy fielding late in the game while the Red Sox were executing bunts and sac flys.
 

JimD

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Molly Knight, who I generally like, has been trolling with this line on Twitter for well over a year now. I'm guessing after last night she won't be trotting it out again. And this was her Sox/Rays prediction last week:



Yeah, the Rays were clearly heavy favorites, but mocking the Sox for celebrating the WC win is just asinine. I would have been rooting for the Giants in the NLDS anyway, but it'll even more special if the Sox are playing next week and the Dodgers are done. And I remain a big Mookie fan.
I understand that the popular perception is that Bloom tore the Boston roster down after he arrived, but the Red Sox have a sizeable contingent of players with experience running the playoff gauntlet and winning the World Series - both their own 2018 veterans like X, Devers, Vasquez, Sale, ERod, Eovaldi, Barnes and Brasier, as well as imports like Kike and Schwarber.
 

Deweys New Stance

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Would the Sox invite, and would the other interested parties agree to, young Yaz to catch it?
I think they might, and I think the Giants would be okay with Mike catching it. Yes, the stakes are much higher than when they did this a couple years ago in the regular season, but it still would be a great way to celebrate the game itself on MLB's biggest stage. I would think both teams and the MLB offices would recognize that.
 

BroodsSexton

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It's funny how the Rays last night looked like the team that didn't pay attention to detail with errors/sloppy fielding late in the game while the Red Sox were executing bunts and sac flys.
let’s not go overboard. I hope Renfroe is fined by the Players Court for that throw.
 

grimshaw

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I don't know where else to put this.

The Sox and Yanks have now each won 60 post season games since John Henry took over the Red Sox - the most of any teams. The difference? The Sox are 60-38 and the Yankees are 60-58. A .600+ winning percentage in that many games is pretty crazy.

Random factoid - the Royals have the best winning percentage in the playoffs since then (21-9)