We have all seen the Wizard of Oz, right? It’s one of those movies that everyone watches when they are a kid, and you still watch it as an adult when it’s on television, although you probably wouldn’t tell your friends. Well, much like the Scarecrow, Tin man, and Cowardly Lion, the Red Sox also need to get some brains, heart, and courage. With those three things, The Red Sox can fix some areas they have been lacking in all season, and get ready for October baseball. So, without further ado, here are the three keys for the Red Sox to finish out the season and to perform well when October rolls around.
Brains for John Farrell, Brian Butterfield, and Red Sox Baserunners: Do we really need to go through all of John Farrell’s mistakes? The guy is not a good manager, a fact that is well established by this point. He had us all fooled into thinking he was a tough guy who would keep the team in line, which in the wake of the Eckersley-Price-Pedroia affair has been proven false. Despite his subpar skills, he has still won a World Series so he has the experience of managing in big spots. He should use his experience to avoid over managing and making bad pitching and lineup changes.
Let’s move on to third base coach, Brian Butterfield. How many times are guys going to get thrown out at home plate? (That number is 20, by the way) And how many have been thrown out on the bases? 54. Now, that is not all his fault, but as the third base coach he shoulders quite a bit of responsibility. I mean, who in their right mind waves around a lumbering oaf like Sandy Leon? But let’s not forget that a lot of the responsibility also lies with the players as well, who have routinely made fools of themselves on the base paths this season from their own decision making. If they can stop being so empty-headed on the base paths, and the coaches make better decisions, then you are steering the ship in the right direction.
Heart for Hanley Ramirez: Hanley has been a dog since the days when he was with the Marlins. He just does not care about baseball, which is nauseating when you consider he is getting paid 88-million dollars to play it. His first season started out with a bang, but the rest of the season was marred by injuries and bad performances. Last year, he was phenomenal playing alongside his friend David Ortiz, and he wanted to send him out on a high note. This season, he has underperformed and has missed games every time after he plays at 1B. He is back to his old ways, but if someone could just light a fire under him for the last two months before the postseason, the Red Sox could finally get some run production that they have missed dearly all season. It is also worth noting that when he gets to October, Hanley’s career OPS is .959.
And speaking of performing in October, how about a hefty dose of courage for David Price, Boston’s resident Cowardly Lion. Has anyone done less than David Price to try and endear himself to fans? Is there a bigger and more expensive baby in all of sports? This guy is not my kind of guy to say the least. And I could put up with the attitude if he would just pitch well in the postseason. Hell, he hasn’t even been that great in the regular season for the Sox the last two years. 31-million dollars a year for an underperforming coward who barely has enough intestinal fortitude in April, let alone October when the lights shine brightest. Let’s hope he finds some courage while he is on the DL, and uses it to turnaround his postseason woes.
If the Red Sox can get those areas in order, there is no reason why they can’t make some noise in October.