By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Ten games into the fire drill that is the 2020 Major League Baseball season, the Red Sox have officially announced their candidacy for the title of Worst Team in Baseball. In a 60-game schedule, they are on pace to finish 18-42. At the moment, only the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates have a lower winning percentage.
But before you erase the Red Sox from your consciousness, know this: we are still going to learn plenty about who they are.
These are extreme circumstances, after all, and at a time like this you should subscribe to one of the great truths in life: you learn more about people in failure than in success. Keep this in mind as the Red Sox spiral into oblivion, as they move toward a high draft selection that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom must be secretly lusting for.
Andrew Benintendi? He’s 2-for-24 with 10 strikeouts, which should have you wondering whether he’s venturing into the territory of Colossal Bust. J.D. Martinez has a .650 OPS and hasn’t hit a home run yet – and seemingly had little desire to pinch-hit against the Yankees on Sunday night. Rafael Devers had a two-hit game and a home run on Sunday, but he has looked sluggish at the plate and in the field, and he looks out of shape, too.
Meanwhile, Xander Bogaerts is starting to get his act together. Jackie Bradley and Christian Vazquez have shown up. Nathan Eovaldi seems to air it out on every pitch.
Before we go too much farther, let’s make this clear, too: it isn’t all about the numbers. Bradley’s OPS is just .708, after all, but watch how he plays, especially on defense. Ditto for Alex Verdugo. And before you get on the manager, Ron Roenicke has been dealt the worst hand in baseball history, a 63-year-old fill-in asked to replace a manager fired for his involvement in a cheating scandal, in the midst of a pandemic, with a pitching staff comprised of misfits, nobodies and castoffs.
Roenicke, in fact, is the only one who would be justified to simply quit.
As for the rest of them, well, it looks like some already have.
You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.