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Waiting for Godot, Guffman, Mayer, Anthony, and Teel

Less than two weeks until pitchers and catchers, and still not much has happened. If it ever will.

2024 Boston Red Sox Rookie Development Workout Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

It’s been a quiet state of affairs in Red Sox Nation. There’s (still) not much going on this offseason. At first we were waiting for the hot stove to heat up. For Ohtani to sign. Then Yamamoto. Those moves happened, but we still waited.

We were given some crumbs (a Sale trade here, a Giolito signing there) that seemed to promise more to come. Then there were rumors that the Sox were holding off on moves while they tried to clear more salary. Whether that seemed misguided or not, it was exciting for a minute because it signaled that there were plans afoot, at least. Maybe even something “full-throttle.”

Then it was back to waiting. In the meantime, the “full-throttle” promises were ripped out from under us like a rug…er, “more artfully” walked back.

Now we’re waiting for pitchers and catchers to report, which they’ll do on February 14.

While we waited:

  • Justin Turner officially left for our AL East rival, the Blue Jays
  • A whole team has been sold

At least now we know for sure that we’re waiting for the young core of three Double-A players, Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, and Kyle Teel. Much has been written about this gamble: that they might not ever arrive in the big leagues. That even if they do, they might not become superstars as we want and need them to be, in order for FSG’s plan to work. So we’re waiting for…what? Godot?

Do you know that play? Two guys, Estragon and Vladimir, are waiting around for a third person named Godot. They fill the time with the sort of inconsequential talk you might engage in while you’re kind of checking your watch. They’re tired of waiting, and not entirely sure they’re in the right place or have the right time, but they’re afraid to leave, because if they do, they’ll never meet up with Godot.

The punchline is, Godot is someone who never arrives.

I revisited this while I’ve been sitting around twiddling my thumbs and I’m convinced that playwright Samuel Beckett has predicted and immortalized the current torture of Red Sox Nation.

Check out these choice bits of dialogue and tell me if this doesn’t detail our collective experience this off-season:

Vladimir: “‘Hope deferred maketh the something sick’—who said that?”

Note to FSG ownership: it’s from the Bible, and the quote is:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. — Proverbs 13:12

Something to think about, John Henry. When a voice comes down from the heavens and speaks directly to you, I hope that you listen.

Vladimir: “This is getting alarming.”

Red Sox Nation, collectively: Ya damn right.

Estragon: “Charming spot, inspiring prospects.”

I mean, it’s almost too on-the-nose, isn’t it? One thing that actually happened this off-season was Tom Werner defending the price of Red Sox tickets (they’re third-highest in the league) by saying that they’re selling “the Fenway experience.” You know, because it’s such a charming spot and all, and the hot dogs are good. We already know the prospects, of course; they’re Mayer, Anthony, and Teel.

Estragon suggests leaving but Vladimir insists that they need to wait for Godot. More torturous waiting, then:

Vladimir: “What do we do now?”

Estragon: “Wait.”

Vladimir: “Yes, but while waiting.”

Estragon: “How about hanging ourselves?”

Beckett understands that there have been some dark days. Now listen to this and tell me you don’t think John Henry could be Godot:

Vladimir: “I’m curious to hear what he has to offer, then we can take it or leave it.”

Estragon asks Vladimir to remind him what they’d asked Godot for.

Vladimir: “Oh, nothing very definite.”

Red Sox Nation: Only a team we can be proud of!

Estragon: “A kind of prayer.”

Vladimir: “Precisely.”

They agree on this and Estragon asks what the reply was to this prayer.

Vladimir: “That he’d see.”

Estragon: “That he couldn’t promise anything.”

Vladimir: “That he’d have to think it over.”

Estragon: “In the quiet of his home.”

Vladimir: “Consult his family.”

Estragon: “His friends.”

Vladimir: “His agents.”

They list a couple of additional things, then the kicker:

His bank accounts. — Estragon


How did Beckett channel Henry in 1948, a full year before Henry was even born? This man is a magician. Or has traveled the time-space continuum, writing down everything we say, tweet, and think.

And did this overlord with the bank accounts show up to Winter Weekend? To any press conferences since February 2020? He did not.

Same scene, with more desperation:

Estragon: “Where do we come in?”

Red Sox Nation: A fair question!

Vladimir: “Come in? ... Come in? On our hands and knees!”

Estragon: “As bad as that?”

Vladimir: “Your Worship wishes to assert his prerogatives?”

Estragon: “We’ve no rights anymore.” [Scoffs]

And this is just Act I! Honestly, my soul is laid bare.

You wait for someone, but they never come. But are we even expecting Henry to show up for us anymore? I don’t think we are. This off-season has been an eye-opener in that regard. But I have something worse in mind. John Henry as Godot, I can live with. That’s almost old news, right?

But what if Godot is our young core?

What happens if our young core never comes?