When I think about truly terrible Red Sox seasons I always think back to 2012 and Bobby Valentine. That season the Red Sox finished with a record of 69-93, bad enough to be the third worst team in the American League. By the end of the season they had the fourth most runs scored against them in baseball, but they were also tied for eighth best in runs scored. That team was better than this team has been in nearly every way.
As I write this the Red Sox are 6-16, they’ve lost seven straight games and they have a team ERA of 6.03, by far the worst in baseball. That 2012 Red Sox team had a 4.72 ERA on the year. Offensively there is a little bit more hope, this current team has a 94 wRC+ as a unit, which ranks 22nd in baseball. That 2012 team that scored a fair amount of runs ranked 17th with a 95 wRC+. All this is to say, yes the product is worse than 2012, but it’s mainly the pitching that needs to go.
Ron Roenicke is not nearly as divisive a character as Valentine, although his on the field managerial skills leave much to be desired. This current Red Sox team is lead by Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. The 2012 was led by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. On the mound we can think of Jon Lester and John Lackey, the later was recovering from injury in 2012, as Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez. Lester was coming off a terrible season posting a 4.82 going just 9-14. It isn’t all that hard to picture a bounce back year in 2021 that feels a whole lot better than what we have here.
When you start to look at it position by position a return to relevancy seems more possible, for now though we wait and we suffer. This team is not going anywhere and the best we can hope for are solid auditions for 2021 and health of our important star players.
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