Is this déjà vu all over again for the Red Sox?
Bill Foley (@Foles74)
Big Papi says we need to relax about the Red Sox 3-4 start to the season, and maybe he’s right.
After all, it is extremely early in the season, and even the 1927 Yankees probably went 3-4 over one seven-game stretch.
“No. Why should I be? We have 150-some more games left,” David Ortiz said when asked if he was nervous about the slow start after Tuesday’s meltdown at Fenway. “Things are going to change. It’s early. Don’t panic.”
When it comes to the Red Sox legend who looks a lot closer to 30 than 40 so far this season, I have my Jared Carrabis not-worried face on 24/7. Ortiz is going to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 RBIs in his final season. He probably could do that until he’s 50.
It is only April 13, and Papi is locked in like it is July.
When it comes to the Red Sox, though, I’m shaking in my boots. I hit the panic button the sometime around the time Chris Davis’ Adderall shot landed in the batter’s eye on Monday afternoon. (Settle down, that’s just a joke. About Davis, not the panic button. I would never joke about something like that.)
Now, the only thing standing in the way of a four-game losing streak and a Fenway sweep at the hands of the Orioles is Joe Kelly, who needed 80 pitches to get nine outs against the Murderers’ Row that is the Cleveland Indians.
This season seems like déjà vu all over again. And again. The starting pitching is downright scary, and John Farrell doesn’t seem capable of making a move that is going to work.
This isn’t about the puzzling Chris Young pinch hits. It isn’t about not pitching David Price on his regular rest. This isn’t about Farrell challenging when he shouldn’t challenge and not challenging when he clearly should.
This is about everything.
Since the beginning of 2014, Farrell’s Red Sox don’t just lose games on a regular bases, they go down in flames. How many times has the team been down 6-0 before you even had the chance to get comfortable in your recliner?
The answer is 86 times. I counted. And it is maddening.
Farrell’s Red Sox send fans searching for the remote control faster than Dick Vitale.
It isn’t fair to blame it all on Farrell. Ben Cherington apparently took a bump on the head and lost all of his baseball knowledge after the 2013 World Series.
Two and a half years after the last Duck Boat parade, this has gone well beyond the stage of being a coincidence or a slump. This is a pattern that is carrying into the third year under a manager who has two last-place finishes in three seasons already.
Granted, he was the skipper of the World Series champions in 2013, so that should buy Farrell some time. But that time is running out.
As every writer covering in the Red Sox has written at least three times in 2016, Farrell is on a short leash. Dave Dombrowski is paying bench coach Torey Lovullo like a first-year manager for reason.
The Red Sox went 28-21 with Lovullo as interim manager last year. They played their best ball with him managing. Moreover, they were actually fun for the first time since October 2013 under Lovullo’s watch.
Nobody was scrambling for the remote.
How some team didn’t snatch him up is hard to fathom. Lovullo deserves a shot at a managerial job, and the bet here is he will get it with the Red Sox by the end of June because this year feels exactly like the last two.
This is not a call for Farrell to be fired. I’d much rather see him turn things around, and quickly. It would be a great story if Farrell went from cancer patient to a Manager of the Year candidate, and I really like to see that happen.
Everybody with even a speck of humanity would like to see it.
However, I reserve the right to change my mind if he pinch hits Young for Travis Shaw in the sixth inning again tonight.