On May 13 of last year, the 2014 Boston Red Sox, a team that would go on to become the worst Red Sox team of my lifetime and cause desperate fans to turn to booze, drugs and the humor of Jeff Dunham, were 19-19. On the same date in 2012, the Valentine Version was 15-19. Our 2015 boys are 15-18, but does anyone really think this team is any better than those previous incarnations?
Last year, at least, we had Lester and Lackey, so that on any given day that either of those guys were starting there was a ghost of a chance we’d steal a win. Today, there’s no one on the staff that gives me confidence. Porcello is moderately reliable–a number three or four on any other team but pretty much the default ace on ours. On the other hand Kelly, Miley, Buchholz and last night’s goat, Masterson? You could stand a hatrack up on the mound every game and get essentially the same results.
This isn’t just a bad pitching staff, folks, it is the worst in the American League. If it wasn’t for the Colorado Rockies, they’d be the worst in all of baseball. There may also be some AAA and beer league softball teams they are worse than, too. I just don’t have the time to look it up.
Unfortunately, none of this should be surprising to us. We knew coming into this year what we were getting. Masterson has a lifetime losing record. Miley is barely scratching .500 over his 5 years in the bigs. Same with Joe Kelly. And Clay? He now has a pseudo-mohawk, which tells you everything you need to know about how his 2015 is going.
But this wasn’t a team built to win Cy Youngs. It was a team built to mash. We threw big money at Sandoval and Han Ram and our only relief from being buried under snow this winter was warm thoughts of those two — along with Nap, Ortiz and Mookie — sending opposing pitchers to therapy. Now here we are in mid-May and none of our regulars are hitting above .300. Only the Elf, Sandoval, Hanley and X are north of .250 — the latter two by a hair. Nap is sub-Mendoza and Mookie has had stretches of incredible mediocrity. Worse, there have been more games than not that the team looks like they could be no-hit — lifeless and flailing with runners in scoring position. Only three teams in the AL have a worse average and OPS, and after watching the line-up get shut down by the 1-3, 5.12 ERA-sporting Drew Pomeranz last night, I can’t imagine things are getting better any time soon.
What’s the answer? If I ran the zoo, I’d cut ties with Masterson, Miley and Kelly and bring up Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens and Brian Johnson. “But it’s too soon,” you say. “They need time to develop!” Well, I’ve seen what seasoned, developed pitchers can do for us and I wasn’t impressed. Christ, I think I gave myself a second booze-related ulcer just watching them non-perform. “Remember last year’s youth movement,” you counter. “See where that got us?” Alright, I’l give you that. But what the hell else do we do? Trade away the farm for Cole Hamels? Or Johnny Cueto? Will his or any other single starter’s presence be a game changer? It’s time to go scorched earth. Trade Victorino and set Rusney loose on the American League. Sit Nap and let Brock Holt work the corner. Anything to shake it up.
I recall back in the early 80s when our third baseman, Carney Lansford, got injured and the team called up a young shaver named Wade Boggs. Yes, it was a case of replacing a big asshole with a somewhat lesser asshole, but that lesser asshole became one of the greatest hitters of our time, so it’s perfectly fine.
Point is, you never know what’s behind door number two until you open it. After one and half months of door number one, I think I’ve seen enough.
Also, can we all agree that the highlight of the season so far is Guerin Austin? Thank you, TV Gods.