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During the Red Sox epic World Series drought, one common theory was that the Red Sox didn't do the "little things." At no point during that period could the Sox be described as athletic. With few exceptions, the Red Sox didn't steal bases, they didn't hit and run, and they seldom bunted. While former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan notably had Spike Owen pinch hit for Jim Rice for the sole purpose of laying down a sacrifice bunt, he largely had his club play the Red Sox have played since the advent of the live ball. When asked why his team didn't run more, Walpole Joe's response was, "Because sir, we cannot."

That is the lesson John Farrell needs to learn. Other than Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino this team is pretty damn slow. If you want to give Dustin Pedroia and his lifetime 74.5% success rate on the bases a green light I can live with that. I trust his baseball IQ enough to pick his spots. Nobody else on this team should run pretty much ever. I don't care if they take the extra base or "put pressure on the opposition." The only "pressure" this nine will put on anybody is with their bats.

Farrell gives small-ball a big thumbs up.
Last night in the 3rd inning, when the team should be playing for a big inning and not worrying about little-ball nonsense, the team ran into two outs. After an RBI single, Pedroia was on first with one out when he was caught stealing second. Mike Napoli then went on to hit a double that minimally would have lead to men on second and third. Napoli was then gunned out at the plate trying to score on a single. Two outs on the base-paths in an extra inning loss.


It seems like every game there is at least one of these nauseating, self-defeating base-running blunders. This team might not hit 200 homeruns, but they are just as much of a softball team as they have always been. The fact that they may not be as prolific a softball team as the clubs of the 40s, 70s, 80s, or 00s, doesn't mean Farrell should placate his small-ball fetish. I have no idea where this comes from. Could Farrell not hold runners when he was a pitcher? Does he still have flashbacks of Carl Crawford terrorizing Jason Varitek when he was with the Rays? Whatever it is it needs to stop. Perhaps its time he talks to a certain elderly former manager who still lives in Walpole.

Jason Chalifour 4/22/2013 06:03:00 PM Edit
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