Yankees fans and baseball, in general, have noticed how eerily quiet it’s been in Boston. When will the other shoe drop and how significant will its imprint be?
The Red Sox, despite holding off the charging New York Yankees last season to win the AL East, have not been the same team since David Ortiz retired. The threat Ortiz posed in their lineup, especially as a Yankee killer in head-to-head contests, tipped the balance to the Red Sox whenever the two teams clashed.
The Yankees quite easily disposed of the Red Sox in 2017, winning 11 of the 19 games played between the rivals. With the addition of Giancarlo Stanton to the already powerful Yankees lineup, coupled with another year of maturity and development of the Baby Bombers, 2018 shapes up as a season when the Yankees can further the divide between the two teams.
It might be possible that the Red Sox are flying under the radar during the offseason, silently conceding the division, and reversing roles with the Yankees going for a Wild Card. But does that fit into the makeup of the Red Sox we have come to know and despise? Hardly, and so it is with that in mind that we attempt to explore what’s going on in Beantown.
The Boston Globe newspaper registers the pulse of Red Sox Nation as well as anyone. Their take on the Sox offseason is asking the same question we are – what’s up? Nick Cafardo, writing for the Globe, asked Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski the pointed question. Dombrowski, uncharacteristically (remember the aggressiveness of the Sox in signing Chris Sale?), replied:
“For sure, I’d rather be done right now. I’d like to be making a couple of announcements. You know you don’t unilaterally control that, but I’d much rather get things done quicker.”
Enter the real Evil Empire – Scott Boras
Nevertheless, the player who the Red Sox seem to have their hearts set on is J.D. Martinez. To be fair, part of the problem facing Dombrowski, as well as all teams in the free agent market, is that super-agent Scott Boras controls not only Martinez and another player the Red Sox are interested in, third baseman Mike Moustakas, but first baseman Eric Hosmer, starter Jake Arrieta, and reliever Greg Holland as well.
Boras likes to build up the market by biding his time, waiting until the season looms ever closer and teams—supposedly—can’t stop themselves from falling into the graces of God in Boras Heaven.
With fewer holes to fill on this go-around, Brian Cashman embarked on a quick, ‘do it while you can’ route, avoiding the Boras quagmire. The results of his efforts are overwhelming if you are sitting in Boston and looking up at the Yankees instead of down at them, in contrast to last year when you were the envy of baseball by winning the Chris Sale sweepstakes.
Meanwhile, though, the Red Sox fanbase doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with Dombrowski’s problems. And, as we see is a story, again from the Globe‘s Hayden Bird, in which he finds himself defending his failure to land Giancarlo Stanton despite a Herculean second effort to make it happen, explaining, “when we called at the end, we were not on his list.”
Indicative of Dombrowski’s recent inaction, we find this satirical video set to the background of “Are you sleeping, are you sleeping…”.
This is not what fans of the Red Sox are used to hearing. And much like Yankees fans, their voice will be heard loudly if the Red Sox do not make some noise at the Winter Meetings before everyone goes home, or shortly after that.
Meanwhile, here’s what you have to love as a fan of the Yankees. Put your head on the pillow tonight and dream of a night in June when Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and Greg Bird are scheduled to bat in the top of the eighth inning in a tie game at Fenway Park.
Conversely, if you are Dave Dombrowski and still trying to figure out how you can combat this scenario, enjoy the nightmare.