Time Out: Red Sox disaster

On sports and more.

Scene of the disaster: Fenway Park. – Photo courtesy Aido2002 via Wikimedia Commons

Alex Palmer is a regular Times contributor who will be blogging weekly about sports, and more.

The 2015 Boston Red Sox are a certified disaster. Forget the Titanic, forget the Hindenburg, forget the three other Red Sox disasters that are still unpleasantly fresh in our memory. You know, the ones in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Incredibly, the team won the World Series somewhere in there, meaning they sandwiched four Unmitigated Disasters around one Thrilling Triumph. That’s a thick sandwich.

Here’s what’s so bad about this year: It is not a daring-and-provocative-managerial-choice kind of year, as was the disastrous campaign of 2012 when someone (CEO Larry Lucchino supposedly) brought in the once-fiery but by-then-washed-up Bobby Valentine to lead the club. That was a disaster from day one.

It’s even worse than 2011, when the team was cruising along in first place, living up to Sports Illustrated’s pre-season hype of Best Team Ever before spinning out of control in spectacular, and disastrous, fashion in September, missing the playoffs altogether.  That appeared to be an epic disaster, but we were told later that the team had become a bunch of spoiled fat cats along the way and had lost interest in little things like trying hard and taking their manager seriously. In short, things were bad way before we knew it.

Moving right along, even last year’s disastrous last place finish was made somewhat palatable by the play of super-sub Brock Holt, a one-man highlight reel who hit well and sparkled at seven different positions. He was the one reason to turn the game on.

Which, unfortunately, brings us back to the galloping disaster that is the 2015 Boston Red Sox. Here’s what I saw the last two nights: I watched starter Wade Miley throw a tantrum in the dugout when manager John Farrell had the nerve to pull him from the game after Miley was shelled for 5 runs, 9 hits and 3 homers in four innings. The next night the Red Sox led 8-1 and lost 13-10.

I don’t pretend to know what’s going on behind the scenes with this team. I offer no analysis or solutions. I have no information to share. But I’m in a finger-pointing mood and I point the finger at GM Ben Cherington. Red Sox fans cringed when Cherington signed career malcontent Hanley Ramirez to a four-year $88 million contract, and then settled for a dubious starting rotation that featured no top-line pitcher. Not only have our worst fears been realized,  it’s been a complete . . well, you know what it’s been.

So what are self-respecting, baseball-loving Red Sox fans supposed to do? One option is to hang in there and hope the team pulls a miraculous turn-around.  Or, to quote my son, you can go to the dark side of fandom and find twisted fun in the team’s failings. Not a bad idea. After all, people are drawn to disasters.

Whatever path you choose, be assured there’s a silver lining: Federal Relief funds are on their way and will be divided evenly among Red Sox fans from Bangor to Block Island.