It's time to wave the white flag.
A season that started with so much hope after a World Series championship is over. Sure, there are still 72 games left in the season, but given the team's slim chances of making the playoffs (Baseball Prospectus says there is still a 2.4 percent chance) there is little hope that the Red Sox can climb out of the basement of the American League East and make a run for the division title to defend their World Series championship.
The 39-51 Red Sox are 10 1/2 games out of first place in the division with no signs of turning around, having gone 1-7 on their current homestand. For a while, the offense was the only part of the Red Sox that was struggling. Following the team's 5-3 loss to the hands of the hapless 44-47 Chicago White Sox, everything is going wrong for the Red Sox. The rotation has not been good in the month of June, the offense continues to struggle to generate any resemblance of offense and the bullpen has not been as strong as it was at the beginning of the season.
Even Bobby Valentine had the Red Sox at 46-44 at this point in the season in 2012 (Coincidentally, the team was also facing the White Sox).
At this point, even the Red Sox appear to have given up on the playoffs this year.
Said catcher David Ross: "This team hasn't achieved anything."
"When we started the homestand we felt like this 10-game stretch was going to be pivotal to some internal decisions that are going to be made," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We fully recognize where we are. That doesn’t mean we’re not committed to this year, we’re always going to remain optimistic, that’s the competitor in all of us. At the same time this homestand was not what we expected coming off the road trip."
Players are beginning to pack their bags. Jake Peavy has seemingly accepted the fact that he will be shipped out of Boston, indicating that general manager Ben Cherington is ready to sell off pieces of the team that will garner any resemblance of a return.
"I have spoke to Ben [Cherington], just getting a pulse on things," he said after last night’s loss to the White Sox. "I think when you get to this point, it’s a mutual respect thing of, hey, this is where I stand and this is where we stand. It’s nice to not be blindsided by anything, to kind of have some feel."
If Peavy is the start of a major sell off, it's time to ship out Jonny Gomes, A.J. Pierzynski, Jonathan Herrera, Stephen Drew and Koji Uehara. Whether or not Jon Lester will be traded completely depends on the progress on a contract extension.
Bring up Christian Vazquez, Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, Garin Cecchini, Will Middlebrooks. Give anyone with a potential major league future the opportunity to establish their value at the major league level. Major league experience is extremely valuable and will give Cherington and the front office the opportunity to prove whether or not they are worth keeping around or to use as trade chips for a big piece.
It's time for the Red Sox to cash in for a high draft pick and plan their plan of attack for 2015.
The season is over.