The Boston Red Sox are 28-34 thanks to some heroics by David Ortiz, but should it come down to Ortiz needing to carry this team offensively? The answer is no. Cherington and the rest of this staff dropped the ball this offseason by not making a play for another power bat and it’s directly led to them being 9 games back in the division.
Before you freak out Ortiz fans, I am all for Ortiz making money and I was a fan of getting a deal done ultimately, but re-upping a 38-year old to be clean-up is one giant mistake in my opinion. Ortiz is the best DH in the history of the MLB, but it’s been a long career to get that recognition. The same long career means one thing, he’s going down the hill, not up.
Ortiz has a .259 batting average, which isn’t great, but he leads the team with 14 home runs. People talk about Ortiz leading the team in home runs like it’s a good thing, but truthfully it isn’t. Napoli spent some time on the DL this season and there went all the power in the lineup besides Ortiz. Problem? I think so. Napoli is second in home runs with six.
If you want to focus on the outfield then be my guest, but i’m choosing to focus on the building of this team in the offseason. Did it have a shot offensively? The best hitter on the team is 38 and there’s no one to protect him in the lineup, especially when Napoli got injured. They let big names go to the division rival Yankees and they lost Ellsbury in the process, which killed you offensively.
Ortiz made comments in the offseason when there were talks of his contract saying he shouldn’t be the only guy and he’s damn right. The Red Sox are way too reliant on Ortiz and it’s why they are going to miss the playoffs.
“I’m going to have even more [responsibility] than what I normally have, which is not fair because I’m not getting any younger,” Ortiz said. “I’m always going to need help. I’m 38 years old and I’m still the center of attention in the lineup. It shouldn’t be like that. It shouldn’t be like that. We should have a couple of studs in their 20s doing more than what I do.”
Last year this team, with Jacoby Ellsbury and a red hot start from Buchholz, got off to a start that set them apart from the very beginning. This year, it’s Buchholz on the DL and Grady Sizemore in place of Ellsbury. Like most fans I feel, I’m fine with them grooming the young players like Bogaerts and seeing what they have in Jackie Bradley, but stick to it and don’t sign Drew or Sizemore.
Truthfully, the Red Sox front office has been all over the place; win now or develop. I know they didn’t want to throw a year away so they made the move for Drew, but commit to a cause. Defensive short-stop wasn’t the big issue. The issue is power in the lineup besides Ortiz and Napoli. Driving in the runs that are getting on base is the issue. Even Ortiz knew it was going to be an issue all the way back in March, so why didn’t Cherington?