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Wednesday, 01 September 2021 11:57

Red Sox Report Card – August 2021

Hey everybody! Remember when the Red Sox were in first place and it looked like they’d coast into the postseason without much of a problem?

As it turns out, there’s a reason they play ALL the games.

August wasn’t a great month for the boys from Beantown. They finished with a sub-.500 record for the month and ceded even more ground to the increasingly dominant Rays while ALSO allowing the dreaded New York Yankees to pass them as well. At this rate, Boston might not even make an appearance in the Wild Card Game; if they’re going to make it, they’re going to need a big turnaround in September.

Specifically, the pitching let them down in a big way last month. The offense was actually pretty solid overall, but the team’s mound work – particularly out of the bullpen – left a lot to be desired. It’s not over yet, but without some kind of drastic improvement, the fat lady will be singing for this Red Sox season soon enough.

On to the Report Card.

(All stats current as of the completion of the Aug. 30 game.)

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 03 August 2021 11:31

Red Sox Report Card - July 2021

Well … it was fun while it lasted.

I know, I know – it’s unfair to be defeatist, even after a month whose final day saw the Red Sox cede first place in the division to the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s not like July was outright terrible – Boston still managed to finish the month with a record above .500, albeit just barely (13-12).

Still, this isn’t the same team that looked so strong over the early part of the season. It’s a squad that has clearly come back down to Earth; whether they’ll be able to right the ship and regain their advantage in the A.L. East going forward remains to be seen. But there’s no denying that as a team, they simply haven’t performed up to the same level that we saw in the season’s first half.

All that being said, there’s a lot of season left. And July, while far from perfect, did have its bright spots to go with its downturns. Let’s break it down, shall we?

On to the Report Card.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 11:50

Meet the new guys: Boston’s 2021 draft

I’ll be honest – I don’t generally spend a lot of time thinking about the MLB Draft.

It’s the nature of the sport, really – whereas top NFL and NBA picks become immediate contributors to the team that selects them, baseball players often spend years in the minor leagues before reaching the point where they can make an impact.

However, by moving the draft to the All-Star break, it gives those of us who might not otherwise engage a chance to take a closer look at the moves being made by our favorite team or teams.

And so, I thought I’d take a few minutes to introduce you – and myself – to the top 10 picks of the Boston Red Sox in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 01 June 2021 10:06

Red Sox Report Card - May 2021

Well … we all knew that this was probably coming.

While it was a pretty big surprise to have the Red Sox come out of the gate as the leaders in the A.L. West in the month of April, it’s less of a surprise to see that lead disappear in May. That’s not to say that Boston was bad in May – 15-12 is far from terrible – but it definitely opened the door for teams like Tampa (the current division leader) to make up that early deficit.

Still, being 10 games over .500 two months into the season is better than all but the most optimistic among us expected. And there’s still a lot to like about this team, with an offense that has largely maintained its early production pace. The pitching? Well, that’s another story.

So yes, the season’s second month didn’t live up to its first, at least as far as the Red Sox are concerned. And we’ve seen some unfortunate slumps to go with strong performances. But as always, there’s more to come – two months down, four to go.

On to the Report Card.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 05 May 2021 10:44

Red Sox Report Card – April 2021

It’s a well-known fact that despite my insistence on doing it every year, my predictions with regard to professional sports outcomes are pretty hit or miss. Sometimes I do well, sometimes I miss horribly.

This year, as far as the Boston Red Sox are concerned, it has very much been the latter.

I genuinely thought that I was resisting the tug of my little homer heart when I downplayed Boston’s chances in the 2021 season. As always, I hope for the best from this squad, but my eyes told me that this was not going to be a great year for this team. The numbers said much the same.

And yet, here we are. The Red Sox led the American League in wins in the month of April, going 17-10 and sitting atop the American League East, a division in which I didn’t think they would even contend. And yes, there’s plenty of time for them to come back down to Earth, but for at least the first month, they are one of the teams to beat. It’s never great to be wrong, but this time certainly stings less than most.

On to the Report Card.

Published in Sports

Dustin Pedroia has been a part of our lives for a long time. But I think we all knew that the inevitable was coming. On Monday, he confirmed that his retirement from the Boston Red Sox, bringing to an end a stellar career, albeit one that ended far too soon due to unfortunate injury.

His comeback effort spanned years, and even a year ago, he was still pushing toward that goal. But the inevitable reality of his injury led him to finally – officially – say goodbye.

Published in Sports

Despite the fact that the Major League Baseball season has yet to begin due to the circumstances of the pandemic (and a fair amount of contentiousness between the players’ union and the owners, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish), the MLB draft took place this week.

Granted, it’s a drastically different draft than any we’ve ever seen, lasting just five rounds and featuring any number of caveats and alterations. It is an historic event – and not in a good way.

Still … even with no games, the game marches on.

Let’s take a look at Boston’s 2020 draft, a collection even more truncated than most thanks to the loss of their second-round pick as part of the organization’s punishment for sign-stealing. Instead of two dozen or more new additions, we’re looking at just four. And yet, even with that low number of selections, the Red Sox and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom managed a few surprises.

Published in Sports

It might be tough to fathom, considering we’re still in the deep freeze of winter, but baseball season is just around the corner. Spring training begins in just a matter of weeks; before you know it, there will be meaningful action on the diamond once again.

But maybe you’re looking for something to tide you over, to remind you of just why we love the game as much as we do. If that sounds like you – and you’re a Red Sox fan – I might have something for you.

Martin Gitlin’s “The Ultimate Boston Red Sox Time Machine Book” (Lyons Press, $18.95) is a lovely quick-hit journey through Red Sox history, from those early days of success at the dawning of the World Series era to the incredible success of recent days, as well as the long, long, LONG stretch of championship futility that dogged the team through most of the 20th century.

This book offers a condensed timeline of the team’s illustrious history, featuring a number of classic photos to go along with the tales of tribulation and triumph. And while many of these stories will ring familiar to longtime followers of the team, there’s something here for every level of fandom, from the neophytes to the diehards.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 15 October 2019 21:01

A Boston Red Sox All-Decade Team

The 2010s have been a bit of a roller coaster for the Boston Red Sox.

There were two World Series titles – one in 2013 and another in 2018. But there were also a few last-place finishes (2012, 2014, 2015). In 2016 and 2017, the Sox won the AL East, only to fall in the ALDS both seasons; to Cleveland in the former (swept in three) and Houston in the latter (in four games). Oh, and they began the decade with a pair of third-place division finishes in 2010 and 2011.

Good, bad and ugly – that was Boston’s decade. To celebrate the end of this ten-year period, we’re taking a look back and picking out a team made up of those who made the biggest mark over the course of that stretch. Some of the picks are no-brainers, while others require a little more thought.

Enjoy our Red Sox All-Decade Team.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 16:20

Red Sox Report Card - September 2019

Not exactly the way you want to close out the season, eh?

The Red Sox were eliminated from playoff contention a while ago, but you still have to play out the games. They ended the season at 84-78, a distant third in the division. They won just 11 of their 26 September contests – hardly an inspiring finish, though considering that there was nothing to really play for, it could have been worse.

The team was mediocre or worse in pretty much every aspect of the game in September, though there were a few bright spots – there always are. It was hardly the way the team expected to finish out a season in which they were the defending World Series champions, but that’s the joy and curse of this game – you never know how it’s going to play out.

It was a less-than-stellar final month, to be sure. A month that brought to a conclusion a disappointing season for the Red Sox. We’ll do a more in-depth post-mortem next week, after we’ve all had some time to process. But for now, let’s look at this kind of sad September.

On to the Report Card.

Published in Sports
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