Boston Red Sox owner John Henry met with the media Tuesday and said his team’s play has been “terrible,” and that it’s been “painful” to watch on TV.
He might want to make sure not to let Hanley Ramirez plant himself in a comfy chair in front of the big screen any time soon. If it’s that painful, given Hanley’s tolerance for such, he’s likely to wind up on the 60-day DL.
“Did this whole team become a collection of poor hitters?” Henry said. “I don’t think so. The production has been poor and there are adjustments needed to be made. I hate to keep talking adjustments, but that’s baseball. We haven’t done the best job of that. I think we will.”
Thusly inspired, the Red Sox went out and scored one run Tuesday night.
Henry’s critique came a day after White Sox executive Kenny Williams called his team’s start “embarrassing.”
“To say we haven’t clicked on all cylinders would be an understatement,” Williams told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s been sloppy. At times it’s been embarrassing.”
Thusly inspired, the White Sox went out Tuesday and lost 15-2. No immediate comment from Williams on where that ranked on the embarrassment scale.
We’re a third of the way through the 2015 season, which is about time to hear the first cases of buyer’s remorse, which is what the plaintive cries from Henry and Williams are.
The Red Sox spent $183 million on Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, and they’re 25th in runs scored. The White Sox spent $128 million on David Robertson, Adam LaRoche, Melky Cabrera and Zack Duke, and they’re 29th in runs scored and 26th in team ERA.
Of course, imagine how much worse they’d be if they had kept their money.
Henry said the Red Sox are “terrible television,” although if he watched more reality TV, he’d know it frequently is. And Henry said: “I feel pretty good where we are right now with the pitching. … But I understand there’s hardly anyone in New England that feels good about it. From the inside looking out, I feel probably better than our fans do. No doubt about it.”
You have to wonder how Henry feels good about his team’s pitching, given that its 27th in MLB in team ERA. It’s enough to make you wonder if the “terrible television,” includes going on the fritz every fifth day, or every time Joe Kelly starts.
Williams has just as much faith in his team, saying, “We have a lineup that no matter who the pitcher is should compete and battle one through nine and do some damage. We have a little speed at the top and the bottom, a little power in the middle and some good average hitters and base runners. We just haven’t put it all together yet.”
It’s hard to argue with Williams, but let’s try. Williams says the White Sox have “a little speed,” “a little power,” and “some good average hitters.” He’s overrating his team by Frank Thomas-like lengths.
Williams is right. The White Sox do have a little speed and a little power. Very little. They’re 28th in stolen bases with 16, just two more than the number of times they’ve been caught trying to steal. And they have a little power, but like their speed, very little. They’re 28th in home runs as well, with just 33.
And as for the hitters, the White Sox started six Tuesday with averages of .236 or less. If Williams thinks that’s “good,” there’s a lot of students who want him grading their final exams this week.
It’s one thing to be optimistic and maintain faith, and Henry and Williams are certainly entitled to. They may even be right. Henry’s Red Sox have the advantage of being in the AL East, where a 23-29 record has them just four-and-a-half games out of first place entering play Wednesday.
But it’s another thing to be unrealistic. The Red Sox spent all that money, but couldn’t give it to whom they wanted — Father Time — and it shows in David Ortiz, who at 39, is slugging like an infielder and not a DH. The White Sox spent all that money and still start Tyler Flowers at catcher, power-deprived Conor Gillaspie at third and John Danks every fifth day.
Don’t feign surprise when your team’s performance doesn’t match its spending.