Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oh Red Sox... Where has the Magic Gone?

I think it's safe to say that for a Red Sox fan, the 2013 season was just plain magical. It was a season where things just fell perfectly together — like you just knew at some point late last summer that this team was destined to win it all. Every game was fun. Every game was an adventure. And every game felt winnable.

Maybe it was that fateful event that occurred on April 15th that sparked this group of men to give their all for every inning of every game for the rest of that season. They did have that Boston Strong rally cry to live up to, after all. What kind of team would they have been if they couldn't boost the spirits of this city with win after dramatic win? They really had no choice but to excel. They were a team fueled by hometown spirit and pride.

It was just magical. I know that sounds corny, but for me, it's true. And I'm going to venture a guess that I'm not the only sappy fan out there that feels that way.

Was it the facial hair that carried that winning mojo? Or was it a particular player? Maybe it was David Ortiz's heartfelt speech on April 20th that sparked something that can never again be had. I have no idea what special force caused this ragtag group of guys to succeed when no one gave them a chance, but I do know this... that magic has left the effing building, my friends.

In April of 2013, the Red Sox were third in Major League Baseball in batting with a .271 team average. They had hit 26 home runs collectively, had an on-base percentage of .347 and slugged .446. In April of this season, their team batting average was .246 — good for 19th overall. Well that sucks. Orioles' left fielder, Nelson Cruz, has more home runs this season (21) than the Red Sox hit as a team in May (20). Seriously?

So needless to say, I'm annoyed. Sure there have been multiple injuries to key players like Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks. And the starting rotation has had some hiccups... like Clay Buchholz who went 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA last April... and this year, he was 1-2 with a 6.66 ERA. I'm not even going to tell you what the difference is year-to-year between opponents batting average because it will make you want to throw up.

What I do know about this team is that Stephen Drew is NOT the answer. He wasn't the answer in the off-season at $14 million a year, and he's sure as hell not the answer for $10 million after sitting out the first two months of the season. He hit a whopping .111 in the entire 2013 postseason, and is batting a big fat ZERO since he's returned to the lineup. (Ok, so it's only been a couple games but I don't care!)

Something needs to happen and it needs to happen tout de suite. If you don't know, that's French for RIGHT THE EFF NOW! This season is slowly slipping to the point of no return. SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!!

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