Seriously. The idea that the Sox would get along with the likes of Martín Pérez, Richards, Nick Pivetta, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nate Eovaldi was ridiculous. As a group, they excelled in the first three months and Eovaldi is the only one who has played at a high level.
In his last nine starts, Richards has a 7.36 ERA. Perez is at 7.13 in his last 11 and Pivetta at 5.43 in his last 13.
The Sox starters went in the first 19 games after the All-Star break with 4-8 with 5.50 ERA. This includes 11 games in which the starter did not survive five innings.
To make matters worse, the ownership / management was not strengthened at the close of trading and the players then appeared like a group demoralized by the leadership.
As usual, the Sox wanted fans to think they were going to be aggressive (someone at Jersey Street Tower was giving the wrong idea that the club was interested in acquiring Max Scherzer and Anthony Rizzo), but the team had no intention of pursuing the big name talents. The Sox would not exceed the luxury tax limit and were beaten on time by rivals Tampa Bay (Nelson Cruz), New York (Joey Gallo, Rizzo) and Toronto (José Berríos).
Jim McIsaac / Getty
After the staggering Red Sox went 8-1 from the (53-58) Tigers on Thursday afternoon – their sixth defeat in seven games – Alex Cora said, fed up: “It wasn’t a good performance today … It looks like we’re a step slower at the moment. “
No Sox position player agreed to an interview after the sad series finale in Detroit.
The return of Chris Sale should help. Hopefully, Richards and / or Pérez will bounce off the rotation soon. Kyle Schwarber will arrive sometime before the end of August and try to fill the gap in first base, even though he’s never played there before.
The Sox’s half-finished idea of transferring the 28-year-old veteran first reminds me of the scene in “Moneyball” when Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) and A-trainer Ron Washington visited Scott Hatteberg’s house in order to convince Hatteberg , he can easily switch to the first base. Beane says to Hatteberg, “It’s not that hard, Scott,” then turns to Washington and says, “Tell him, Wash.” And Washington says, “It’s incredibly difficult.”
The Red Sox 2021 are a pretty ordinary team that played over the head for three electric months. They were a year or two ahead of schedule. When the owners / management sent the deadline message that the first-placed Sox were not worth an “all-in” approach, Cora’s players reacted with a rollover against the Rays and Tigers. They scored 18 runs in seven games before heading to Toronto. JD Martinez was down to .284 and Rafael Devers stopped playing to his ground outs.
Time to break away from it. The next few weeks are critical.
▪ What about the leadership? Reporter to Bill Belichick Wednesday: “Are you ready to say if you have been vaccinated?” Belichick: “Yes, we won’t go into that.”
Why not, coach? Afraid to say something in defense of public health?
Sorry, but it’s hard to root for. It’s cute when Belichick turns down questions and goes “off to Cincinnati,” but that’s just plain stupid. Cora, Brad Stevens, and Bruce Cassidy had no problem campaigning for vaccines. Cora was a virtual spokesperson for the vaccine, and Cassidy said Thursday, “I’m fully vaccinated and as healthy as a horse.”
Belichick is vaccinated (the NFL requires this for head coaches). Let me be disappointed that a local guide with his seriousness will not take a stand on this important issue.
▪ Quiz: Nine great league players hit 600 homers. Name the only one of the nine who was never named MVP (answer below).
▪ Simone Biles loses me telling NBC’s Mike Tirico, “It’s harder being an athlete because everyone is praying for their downfall and wants you to screw up everything and all that stuff.”
Sorry? What planet did the great gymnast live on? Does anyone seriously believe that the people prayed for the downfall of Biles that leads to these Olympics? NBC spent hundreds of millions promoting Biles as America’s favorite, the face of the Tokyo Games.
Seriously. “Everyone prays for your downfall”? Is she still saying that after global love and sensitivity overwhelmed her after her Tokyo experience?
▪ Note to Simone: I spoke out against the American swimmer and outspoken anti-Vaxxer Michael Andrew. Andrew had a disappointing game and failed to win medals in all of his specialties. He will come home with a single medal won in a season.
▪ I admit that I am a little happy about the demise of the US women’s soccer team. It’s about karma and sportsmanship. Led by fame pig Megan Rapinoe, our team scored happy points and routinely verbally abused opponents while winning the last World Cup. Seventeen members of that team played in the US 1-0 gold medal elimination defeat against Canada on Monday. The USA took bronze home on Thursday.
▪ Evan Fournier, we hardly knew you. Fournier has come and gone and the only thing we remember is that he was on the French Olympic team that beat the US at the start of the Olympics.
Gregory Shamus / Getty
▪ Adrian Gonzalez is still the cooler. His Mexican Olympic baseball team was sent home after losing to Israel last weekend. Not a word on whether Gonzalez said the loss was “God’s will”. Colleague Peter Abraham says that maybe nobody told the cooler that the flight to Tokyo is quite long.
▪ Bridge Year Blues: Stevens brings Al Horford and Enes Kanter back to the Celtics, and talked about, Jeff Green (Danny Ainge’s Kendrick Perkins-Green swap blew up the 2010/11 Celtic season) and even Isaiah Recapture Thomas. Why not Alaa Abdelnaby? It’s hard to get excited about what the Celtics do this off-season.
▪ Now that he’s with the Knicks, Kemba Walker can wear his Yankee hat at Zoomers after the game without fear of fan setbacks.
▪ According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Duncan Robinson’s $ 90 million deal with The Heat is the biggest deal ever awarded to an undocumented player.
▪ A Globe press officer reported this story about the late Nick Cafardo: “My son was in fourth grade and very ill and the doctors didn’t know what to do to treat him. My son loved Jason Varitek, so I reached out to the Red Sox to see if they could get something from Jason for my son, but they couldn’t help him.
“When I contacted Nick, he immediately got in touch with me and said he would see what he can do. Shortly after spring training started, a package arrived with a note from Jason and a signed baseball message for my son to be there. Nick didn’t know me at all. My son is fine today and I still choke a little when I think about it. “
▪ Jim Palmer’s late father-in-law, Dr. Jim Earle, was a Texas A&M Professor Emeritus, a Golden Gloves boxer, and a gun collector. His gun, which killed Billy the Kid, will be auctioned by Bonhams on August 27 in Los Angeles. On October 5, Bonhams is auctioning Dr. Earle, including the Hickok Award belts from Rocky Marciano and Carmen Basilio and a tanned Babe Ruth shoe from the days of Bambino as a pitcher for the Red Sox.
▪ Quiz answer: Jim Thome. The eight 600 homer guys who were MVPs are Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez. (It was the League Award when Ruth won in 1923.)
Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.