By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
At this stage, let’s be blunt. When you get right down to it, the entire 2019 Red Sox season has been a colossal waste of talent, money and – worst of all – time.
Mathematically, of course, the Red Sox have not been eliminated yet – and the reality is that they probably won’t be for weeks still. But we all know the truth. The Sox started out 6-13 and never fully recovered, not really, much to the dismay of those who dismissed their wretched start. It’s a long season, they reasoned, and it turns out they were right.
Too long, as it has turned out.
Yep, 2019 has been one endless loop of frustrating mediocrity, continuing with a 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins last night in which the Red Sox fell behind, 6-0, rallied to make it close and ultimately were left counting their missed opportunities.
Over and over and over again.
If you’re not numb by now, you should be.
"I can map it out and give you a lot of reasons we could do this,” manager Alex Cora told reporters (again) prior to the game. “But obviously over the course of this season I’ve been trying to give you guys reasons to believe in us, and it hasn’t happened on the field.”
Know what Cora became this year? One of those toy dolls that says the same thing over and over again. It’s not his fault. The Red Sox manager talked us (and his players) blue in the face, but nothing ever changed. The Red Sox finally lost consciousness with that eight-game losing streak right after the trade deadline and they’ve never really gotten back in it.
Before we get into the offseason and the all of the moving parts – the Red Sox seemingly have lots of needs and not a lot of flexibility, but we’ll eventually get to that – let’s drill home this point: THEY WASTED THEIR TALENT. And THEY WASTED THE OWNER’S MONEY. And THEY WASTED EVERYONE’S TIME.
The Red Sox have been the worst of all things – underachieving, overpaid and astonishingly mediocre – and they have played absurdly long games. The average Red Sox game this season has taken 3 hours, 24 minutes, which would be nearly an hour too long for a good product, let alone one that has been downright hollow.
Here’s the problem: I still care. On the nights I don’t stay until the end, I wake up the next day and immediately grab my phone, check the score, hope something changed. (It didn’t.) And I’ll do the same thing pretty much everyday until the math equation that is the major league standings tells me not to.
That said, the Red Sox need to understand something here. This season did damage. Between the Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup Final and the start of another Patriots quest, there was a relatively small window for them. They never even opened it. Many people disconnected before they ever had a chance to connect, and that means they wiped the Sox from their deep consciousness for basically a year.
Now, I know what you’re thinking again. It’s not like they finished in last place. You’re spoiled. There’s a difference between a bad year and a mediocre one.
So the Red Sox this year didn’t have a horrible year.
They had something worse.
An irrelevant one.