Monday, July 30, 2012

What Do the Red Sox Need to Do?

The Red Sox need to play baseball.  They need to play the type of baseball that a team who started the year with a $171 million payroll needs to play.

If you've been following the blog, you'll notice that a few of my Red Sox posts could not have been more off the mark.  I assumed Franklin Morales would fold as a starter, then he went into Chicago and only gave up two runs while striking out nine through five innings.  When the Red Sox recently crushed the White Sox 10-1, then won with a Cody Ross walk-off (his third three-run home run in two days), I posted saying this could be the turning point for the team.

They were swept by the Toronto Blue Jays the next three games, and losing six of the next seven.

But this weekend in New York, the Red Sox stole two games from New York in a huge series.  What they need to start doing is winning at home.  This huge 100 Year Anniversary celebration has been marred by poor play and rumors about the Red Sox ownership trying to make this year a spectacle rather than focusing on the team itself.  With a 25-28 record at home, its 'do or die' time inside Fenway Park Monday night as the Sox open up a three game series with the Detroit Tigers.

The other issue swirling around has been what the Red Sox intend to do at the trade deadline.  In need of starting pitching, the Red Sox have already seen Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez change teams, and Roy Oswalt come back into the league -- with no offers made to any of them.  Josh Johnson's name has been thrown around the rumor mill as well, but with his lingering shoulder problems, his value is decreasing.  But if I ruled the world, a Johnson for Josh Beckett deal would be pretty enticing...

Another name floating around has been Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs.  Given the Red Sox familiarity with the Cubs, thanks to former GM Theo Epstein, could we see another Boston-Chicago deal?  Would we necessarily want another former Rays star who continued to kill the Red Sox even after they put on the red and white?

When you look at the Red Sox, you can't help but ignore those worry areas.  Where has Adrian Gonzalez's power gone?  Why has Jon Lester's season been an absolute roller coaster?  What is really wrong with Carl Crawford?  The team just needs to keep their heads down and play strong, focused baseball.  They have the offense to blow teams out, and they have the resolve to play small ball and steal a low-scoring game in extra innings.

August will be a big month for Boston, playing the Twins, Royals and Indians, all of whom are under .500, as well as big games against the Orioles and Yankees.

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