There’s failure, then there’s what’s been going on in Fenway Park for the last 500 or so days. Not even two full years after their stunning spending spree on the biggest names on the market in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the club is getting a face lift that even Harvey Dent would cringe looking at. The malfunction of the entire system around the Boston Red Sox makes this next statement resoundingly true.
It’s official now: The Boston Red Sox’s winter of 2010 is the biggest failure in big-money free-agency history.
Let that set in, and then realize the truth in it. We’ve seen huge buy-ins that got busted before. Think about everybody the mid-2000’s Yankees dumped money into, emptying out hulls of Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson. How about the Marlins multi-buy-ins and -outs? Don’t forget about the Cubs and those huge checks they handed Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and the walking disaster Milton Bradley. So we’ve seen this before, but never, ever quite this big of a fall-off.
What makes the destruction of the Sox the biggest disaster of them all? It all starts in where it happened. Anything that happens in Boston baseball is on as grand of a stage as there is. Even the failures are historic, and the escapes from them. They traded the entire upper level of their minor leagues for Gonzalez, just a few days before handing Crawford the richest deal of the 2010 winter. In the process, they changed the entire face of the franchise, and on paper, they looked to be the favorites for the American League, at the very least.
But instead of a third World Series in a decade’s time, they ended up being the greatest paper champs ever, because those signings were the highlights of the year in Bean Town. After rarely ever putting their full squad on the field, hosting pitchers that drank more beers than winning games and blowing the biggest lead in one month in baseball history, somebody had to burn. Manager Terry Francona took the burden of the burning ship last year and was made to walk the plank for the club’s failures. GM Theo Epstein may have been the smartest of the whole group, and he jumped off the Titanic on its way down. Anytime the Chicago Cubs, his new club of design, is seen as a safe haven, that’s the realest sign ever that everything’s gone to hell….
For the rest of this peace, including why it’s impossible for the Sox to really rebuild, head on over to The Sports Fan Journal’s CHEAT SEATS here: http://www.thesportsfanjournal.com/sports/baseball/everything-must-go-the-tragic-red-sox-yard-sale/
For more on baseball’s break into the final month, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan