By Jamie Rieger
While I have not been able to watch very many Red Sox games this season so far, what I have seen has made me cringe.
With the season now half over, my beloved Red Sox continue to be the bottom-dwellers of the American League East and don’t seem to have much ambition to claw their way up a few notches.
The Toronto Blue Jays, on the other hand, have been having a stellar year and while I like the Blue Jays, my heart is with the boys from Beantown.
I did happen to watch a Sox/Jays game last Wednesday evening and it started out all right with the Sox actually being able to connect the ball to the wood and drive in a few runs. The three-run homer by David Ortiz helped a lot.
The game took an ugly turn the other way, however, and soon the Jays were leading and the Sox heavy-hitters (Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Mike Napoli) couldn’t get a hit off Aaron Sanchez, the rookie making his MLB debut. Kudos to Sanchez who must have been a bag of pent-up adrenaline when he took to the mound, but looked as cool as a cucumber. His pitching was right on target with three up, three down for two innings.
No tipping of the hat for any of the Red Sox in that game; they certainly were not playing with any passion for winning ball games. Whatever happened to ‘Fear the Beard’ from last year? The camaraderie was there and the whole team poured it out on the field. Granted, the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year probably fueled their desire to win.
That ambition from last year has not carried over to this season and it must be frustrating for fans who have faithfully been watching as many games as they can. I know I would be fuming if I had been able to watch more games.
All players will individually have bad days, slumps that carry over a series of games and the fans understand that; but, there is absolutely no excuse for any major league squad to collapse game after game, week in and week out.
The Red Sox can play better than what they have been producing thus far. They need to clean out the gremlins from their heads that have been stopping them from playing well both defensively and at the plate.
It almost seems like there is something going on again internally, as was the case late in 2011 season when the team seemed to implode. The 2012 season under Bobby Valentine was not any better. (No more words needed there!)
I am not sure what is happening with the Red Sox this year, but it might not be a bad idea for somebody to go check the clubhouse for chicken bones and empty beer cans.