posted at 8/11/2014 12:29 AM EDT
In response to dgalehouse's comment:
Too much spin here. When a World Series champion falls this far in one year, there has to be a reason, there has to be some accountability. Something was done wrong. Some mistakes were made. You can't just chalk it up to " randomness " or " variance " . This is basically a game of skill, not chance. A 162 game schedule. I am pretty sure that Sox management realizes that , even though some posters are still in denial.
Stabbed by Foulke.
It's not "denial" with me, it's more of a difference in how I view life. I am not always seeking someone or something to blame for everything that goes wrong in any area of life, including sports. There are 30 teams in MLB, and only one team can win a championship each year. I refuse to look at this fact as 29 teams being total failures.
I can't praise Ben for seeing the virtues in Napoli, Victorino and Uehara one year (2013), and then tear him apart for not foreseeing they'd do worse in 2014 and replacing them last winter.
I'm not saying nobody is at fault or to blame. An argument could be made that just about everyone is to blame, except for maybe Holt, Lackey and Lester.
I get that GMs are mostly graded in hindsight, fair or not. It's the nature of their business. You can take a simple nondescript move as our trade of Bowden for Marlon Byrd. Hard to call it good or bad. Then we released him the next winter and he went on to have 3 of his best 5 seasons of his career. Was Sox management genius in seeing something in Byrd and stealing him from the Cubs, or were they idiots for letting him go just before greatness struck at age 35. I guess it might depend on your perspective or prejudices.
It's hard to blame Ben for not signing Nelson Cruz or Scott Kazmir, but if you want to believe any good GM would be able to foresee their success, I guess that's your right. To me, no GM can foresee when players will or will not hit when it counts, but that is such an important part of winning or losing. No player in MLB history has consistently been clutch. It's not something you can trade for or sign and be sure it continues. Even Papi, one of the greatest clutch hitters of all time, had about a 3 year stretch of very few timely hits. Was that the GMs fault? Should we have dumped Papi after those 3 years? many posters wanted us to, but look what happened the last 3 years.
On paper, losing Ellsbury, Salty and Drew should not have meant going from 1st to last in offense. I don't blame the FO for that much of a drop. I expected us to drop to 5th or 6th but not 30th. The players have to take most of the blame for that, but I even hesitate bashing our players for all having a bad long stretch at the same time. Baseball is often cyclical. Look at the Blue Jays. Many felt they might win it all in 2013. They played poorly and the GM took a lot of flack for wasting so much money. He was an idiot last year. Now, with basically the same team, the same GM looks like a genius. I choose to not assign harsh labels based on one season- good or bad.
I'm not giving Ben a free pass. I think the team, in a way, became his with the Dodger trade, although some won't give him credit for that trade. He's won one ring and had a couple bad finishes. I think this winter will be his defining moment. There are countless choices and varying combinations of choices that can be made this winter. He's on the hot seat this winter. If his signings and trades do not work out this winter, you may see me being very critical, but for right now, I think he deserves some space and time to show what he can do.