Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Happened to the Red Sox?

From first to worst; a transition that no team wants to make. But with their loss today, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from any chance of winning the American League East, and currently sit in the basement of the division. A team fueled by the spirit of "Boston Strong" in 2013, had all the charisma and talent needed to inspire the city and bring a championship to Beantown. But the 2014 team is nothing like the team of yesteryear, and has made a lot of Red Sox fans call into question if last year was a fluke.

Beards were abundant on the 2013 Red Sox team, and so was established talent. Jacoby Ellsbury was the Red Sox center fielder for seven years, and was one of the most identifiable Red Sox during that period. But come the free agency season of 2013 heading into 2014, Ellsbury was offered a mega contract by the New York Yankees, and happily put on pinstripes. The Red Sox, instead of going out and signing a big name veteran, gave the job to top prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley posses one of the best gloves in all of the majors, but did not have the same ability behind his bat, struggling to break a .250 average all season, and even saw himself demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. The Sox also chose to give Xander Bogaerts (pictured below) the starting shortstop job, over veteran Stephen Drew, who was a key part of the World Series team.

When talking about the 2014 Red Sox, the pitching staff is the go-to concern. A rotation that started the season spearheaded by ace Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, who had a phenomenal 2013, but it was injury shortened after the first half. Jake Peavy came over in a deadline trade with the White Sox and Tigers in 2013, and pitched great down the stretch. But after a 1-8 start to 2014, Peavy was shipped off to San Francisco in July. John Lackey had finally started to show his promise for the team in the later parts of his contract, and he was sent to St. Louis. And now with a rotation featuring rookies Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, and Brandon Workman, there is no leadership to guide these young guns. Along with the recent collapse of closer Koji Uehara, the rotation has gone stagnant.

Luckily, the future is not bleak. The Sox acquired All-Star slugger Yoenis Cespedes from the Athletics for Jon Lester, and have him under club control for next season. Converted rookie outfielder Mookie Betts has swung a hot bat of late, and will be competing for a spot in the outfield next year. Also vying for a spot in the outfield is Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who the Sox just signed to a seven year deal. Lester is slated to hit free agency after this season, along with James Shields, so it would not be a surprise for the Red Sox to make a run at one, if not both, of those aces. 

Seeing the Boston Red Sox in last place is a strange sight, especially following the 2013 championship season. But they are working on the rebuild and the 2015 season, and under the command of general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell, the sky is the limit for the Red Sox.


Bennett Schiff is a sophomore in the Drexel Sport Management program, and one of the few members of the major from the powerful state of Rhode Island. He has volunteered for the U.S. Open of Squash held at Drexel as well as becoming a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. He has worked hard as member of the SMTSU, and is currently their secretary. 

No comments:

Post a Comment