Obviously, there’s a lot to address here, particularly as the Red Sox look to shed payroll under a first-time general manager who must think he just bought a ticket on the Hindenburg. David Price is chronically unhappy. Mookie Betts probably wants out. Your $80 million starting rotation remains an unknown and your manager is in the eye of a historic cheating scandal.
Let’s make something clear here: organizational penalties are great and all, but they’re impersonal. The penalties always mean a little more when someone specific is paying the price. This brings us to Hinch and, more specifically, Cora, who is now starting to look downright devious.
That said, the Red Sox need to understand something here. This season did damage. Between the Bruins run to the Stanley Cup finals and the start of another Patriots quest, there was a relatively small window for them. They never even opened it.
Before you suggest it's “good news” that Chris Sale doesn't need surgery, let’s make this clear: Sale does not need surgery NOW, and the Red Sox have a depreciating asset despite limiting him over the last two years.
Sale has a maybe a dozen starts left to validate a baby-Sale plan that certainly seemed to have blown up in the Red Sox’ faces in the earliest stages of this season, when the Red Sox opened by going 6-13 and Sale went 1-7.
Let’s say this part clearly, too: the Red Sox don’t want to win as much as they did a year ago. That doesn’t mean they stink. It just means that the edge they played with a year ago is completely gone – at least for now – and we have no choice to believe that the issues relate directly to last year’s World Series victory, which the Red Sox seem to be holding onto as if they never need to let it go.