In Uncategorized on August 7, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Last night’s 13-6 blowout loss to the New York Yankees confirmed one painful fact beyond a shadow of a doubt:

The 2009 Red Sox ship is sinking.

Nothing went right last night. The John Smoltz Experiment screeched to a halt after just three and a third, and the Billy Traber Era met its inglorious end (let’s hope) just three innings later. In the meantime, Jorge Posada, Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon, and Mark Teixeira (not exactly the ’27 Yankees) all homered while the Red Sox bats became windmills with runners in scoring position. Then, to add insult to injury, Jed “Mendoza” Lowrie departed with an “irritated left forearm” after fouling off a pitch in the fourth – an injury which, unfortunately, cannot be blamed for his miserable range at shortstop. Oh, and then his replacement Nick Green committed another throwing error.

So, that takes care of defense, hitting, and pitching – anything else going wrong for the Sox? Managerial lapses perhaps? A general manager’s unflinching loyalty to prospects, reclamation projects and aging former All-Stars? A glaring lack of anything that could be pointed to as a cohesive team personality?

Suffice it, then, to say that the Sox are falling apart, one exploited weakness at a time.

What’s the solution, you ask? I have no idea. Is this the 2006 implosion all over again? Sure feels like it. I hate to be all apocalyptic here, but can anyone out there realistically disagree with this assessment? I mean, I’ve been trying to ignore the elephant in the room for weeks at this point, but after last night the Big Pachyderm suddenly came storming out of the corner, waving his trunk and demanding attention:

This Sox team as currently constructed just might not be good enough, after all.

Is that really so hard to believe? I mean, we’re talking about a team built around cross-your-fingers starters like Brad Penny, Dice-K, and Smoltz, anchored by an injury-prone defense, and backed by a lineup of, well…quite a few .250 hitters. I’m not making this stuff up. This is your 2009 Boston Red Sox, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s not pretty.

Here's your Game 3 starter in a playoff series

Sox fans, take a good look at your Game 3 starter in a playoff series

I’m not happy about this. I don’t want the Sox to struggle. I’m not one of these doom-and-gloom fans, twirling my mustache and delighting in the Red Sox latest collapse. But I can’t ignore it any longer. Between the injuries and the failed production, I’m very, very worried about the hometown team. And with a surging Rays squad nipping at our heels and a surprisingly good Rangers ballclub lurking in wild card territory, I would even argue that making the playoffs is a legitimate concern right now. To quote Rick Pitino, “It sucks, and it stinks, and it sucks.”

What can be done? You tell me, because I’m all out of ideas. Quick fixes are what the trade deadline is for but unfortunately, that opportunity already passed with the Sox addressing only one of their glaring – and rapidly multiplying – needs. I just don’t know what the Sox can do at this point, except hope for health and pray for rain.

Frankly, I’ve had my eye on the panic button for a few games now but as soon as I saw Billy Traber come running into the game, with his salt-and-pepper hair and goofy delivery, I hammered that damn button so hard the thing broke.

What about you?


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