Baseball

2021 Red Sox: Tough Times

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The 2021 season for the Boston Red Sox has been full of high points, some low points, and, well, Major League Baseball’s worst COVID-19 outbreak. A major high was the Red Sox sending Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Matt Barnes, and Nate Eovaldi to the All-Star Game in Colorado. Five All-Stars, more than any other team. At that moment in time, the sky seemed the limit for the 2021 Red Sox.

The simple truth is that the 2021 Red Sox are a good team, but they are not a great team. Boston could very well snag a wild card, and if they win out the remaining five games on the schedule, they would end the season with 93 wins. A team projected to barely win 80 games at the beginning of the season, and to finish a distant fourth in the American League East, the fact that 93 wins are doable, is well, an achievement. The 2021 Red Sox are in the midst of a rebuild. The team is not in a championship window. Chaim Bloom went out and spent wisely in an offseason that did not have the star power of future offseasons.

Psst, Kiké’s WAR is up to 4.4 now, the same as Mookie Betts.

Good teams, even great teams will experience a period during the season where nothing seemingly goes right, and the team hits a bit of a skid. The Red Sox went 13-12 in July, had a losing record of 12-16 in August, and are currently 13-10 in September. The recent weekend sweep at the hands of their rivals, the New York Yankees, thrust the Bronx Bombers ahead of Boston for control over the first wild card position. The Red Sox now possess a half-game lead for the second wild card over the Seattle Mariners. The fact of the matter is that the 2021 Red Sox control their fate. No one else, just the players and coaches in the dugout. The final five games of the 2021 season will determine if the Red Sox are about to play a one-game playoff in the hopes of advancing to the American League Division Series.

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A good deal of fans will ultimately blame Bloom if the Red Sox do not make the playoffs. Imagine being in a position where you field a competitive team, a team that could finish with 93 wins, and a majority of your fanbase screams for you to be fired. Honestly, Chaim Bloom might have the worst job in baseball. This offseason, Bloom added Hunter Renfroe (.264/.320/.504/117 wRC+), Enrique Hernández (.251/.337/.446/110 wRC+), and Garrett Whitlock (1.99 ERA/3.03 xERA/2.88 FIP). The Red Sox would be truly lost without those additions to the team. Oh, and the cost for an outfield of Alex Verdugo, Renfroe, and Hernández in 2021 is $9,749,500 and combine for an rWAR value of 9.2. The 2018 Red Sox outfield, the one fans still constantly covet, combine for an rWAR of 6.3 in 2021, and the cost, $30,100,000. Chaim Bloom is amazing at his job, and fans must trust the process.

The 2021 Red Sox season has been inconsistent. The team is streaky. After the team took a seven-game winning to last weekend’s three-game set with the Yankees, the Red Sox are now on a four-game losing streak, after losing last night to the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have already lost 106 games this season. If the Red Sox want to make the playoffs they cannot afford to lose to the Orioles.

Look on the bright side Red Sox fans…

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Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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