For as much consternation as there was about Bobby Dalbec starting at shortstop on Wednesday, this will probably be the type of thing we’ve nearly forgotten about by July . . . right? Well, hopefully. Maybe. We’ll see. . .
Every year, the baseball season follows a similar pattern. In April everything is magnified. Every slump is a sign that a player’s career is over, every streak a sign that he’s going to the Hall Of Fame. Players and teams are under microscopes that will be left at the lab in August, and individual games are given meaning that they probably don’t really merit.
But sometimes, April games really do tell us something important. Even if they don’t actually make or break a given season, they can come to symbolize one.
So, in which category will The Bobby Dalbec Shortstop Game fall?
The fact is that defense alignments featuring players being asked to field positions they aren’t use to or comfortable with is becoming a pattern of Chaim Bloom’s Red Sox. In at least one case — Kyle Schwarber playing first in order to get his bat in the lineup for a playoff run — the move appeared to be inspired. But far more often — Franchy Cordero at first, Christian Arroyo in the outfield, etc. — the results have been embarrassing and have cost the Red Sox wins.
If, in September, we barely remember Wednesday’s game and, when we do, we do so with a chuckle — hey remember that time Bobby Dalbec played short? That was wild, huh? — then that will likely mean that the season went pretty well. But the other possibility is that 2023 becomes, essentially, the year that Bobby Dalbec played short. It’s possible that a poorly constructed roster and mismanaged depth becomes the thing we remember this season for above all else. Needless to say, that would not be ideal!
On this episode of the Monsters of Sox Podcast, Bryan and I talk a lot about this Rays series and what it means for the 2023 Red Sox. Have the Rays taken a leap to the next level? Is Chris Sale done? What’s the deal with the assassination of Talaat Pasha and the birth of modern Turkey?
We cover all that and more. As always, thanks for listening.