Terry Francona is the Coach of the Year

Now that the Boston Red Sox have officially been eliminated from the playoff push of 2010 it is time to reflect on the season that was, and the manager that made it…

We all had major expectations from this team. While all the hype was surrounding the defending champion Yankees and the youth in pitching and hitting with the Rays, the Boston Red Sox were just going about their business preparing for the season. All the experts were making their picks, almost every one of them picking the Yankees and Rays to finish 1 and 2 in either order with the Red Sox on the outside looking in. Here is the humorous part of stating this fact: 1) these predictions are always made on the assumption that teams will stay primarily healthy for the 162 game schedule, and 2) out of the 3 teams mentioned here the Boston Red Sox kept stepping on injury land mines throughout the entire course of the season. Now your first thought should be that every single team has to deal with injuries throughout a full season. You’re right about that, but looking at the extent to which the Sox had to deal compared with their two respective rivals it is obvious that they deserve to at least receive some new honorable mention award, which would start with the manager.
Look at it this way…the manager is the key handler in regulating the roster with the most scrutiny placed on how he handled his pitching staff. Coming into 2010 the consensus was the same all the way from the experts to the common fan – the Red Sox pitching was going to save them, they would just have problems scoring runs. Well looks like we should start treating these experts like regular fans because last I checked the Red Sox on this day with 5 games left in the regular season rank in the entire major leagues 6th in batting average and 2nd in RBI’s, homeruns, and runs. Those are remarkable ranks when you spend the summer and end of summer without your all-stars and two best players in Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia, and your entire season without your leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury (insert jokes here, but that was felt head on because with him there Marco Scutaro, who has done a nice job filling in, is your 9 hitter…think about that.) The makeshift lineup that Tido put out there on a day-to-day basis had its struggles, which if you watched every game as I did it felt like they struggled at the exact wrong time sometimes, but overall they produced which is shown by the numbers.
Here are some points about the pitching staff:
1) John Lackey is not worth $18 million…he just isn’t. There is nothing you could say that would make me think otherwise. Thinking that alone makes you an idiot.

2) Josh Beckett needs to stop having this “every other year” type of deal. Consistency is what draws the line between great and good. Beckett, aside from his most recent run, has been a great postseason pitcher, but only a good regular season pitcher. They will not be renaming him “Cy” anytime soon if he keeps that up. (Sorry Scottie.)

3) Dice-K was never and will never be worth the money. That’s it…because when you make us think “wow” with an 8 inning, 1 ER performance against a top line team you have no problem throwing a 3.1 inning, 6 ER gem against a Royals or Orioles team. You were supposed to be the pitching version of Ichiro…that’s a funny joke, hope someone translates that for him.

4) Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester will win a Cy Young before Josh Beckett. Those two are just a winners.

5) When you have the supposed ace of your staff (Beckett) miss 2 months, your supposed no. 4 pitcher (Dice-K) miss significant time, either your no. 2 or 3 (Lackey) not live up to the billing, and your SUPPOSED TO BE no. 5 (Buchholz…yea think about it) missing a few key starts in the middle of the playoff stretch, it is a testament to you as a manager that you still had a chance to make the playoffs with a week left.

So the 2010 Boston Red Sox are not going to make the playoffs. As of today they have posted a record of 87-70. Lets us look at that for a minute. 87 wins, 70 losses. Did you know that if they were in the AL West they would be tied with the Rangers, in the NL Central they would be a game behind the Reds, and in the NL West 2 games behind the Giants…and oh yea, the Rangers and Reds have already clinched their divisions. This here is a reason I hated turning my television on the other day to see talk about expanded the playoffs in the MLB because if that were the case this year then my team would have a chance.
As I have heard many around me say, the Red Sox have played with one of their “farm” teams throughout the season. Always having a significant injury being their setback. I guess for the most part I have agreed with this outlook, but here is one point that I just recently have refused to agree. I’ve heard to many people say that they wish these injuries would not have happened so that other fans (mainly Yankee fans) would see how much better we would have been than they are, but I disagree. I agree wholeheartedly with the concept that we would have taken the division, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. If this had not happened to us this year, out of any other year, then we would not have been able to see just how valuable the manager we have is to this team. Even with 2 World Series victories Tido has at times been taken for granted, it took a season like this one, facing all the adversity, and keeping this team in the playoff picture through the last week of the season that makes Terry Francona the Coach of the Year.


2 Responses

  1. Interesting fact, he has never recieved a vote for manager of the year in his career.

    I find it fascinating that what ultimately killed the Sox was a weak bullpen. Had they been stronger and Papelbon pitched like a mere semblance of his former self then this team would have a) won the division, and b) went down as one of the most resilient teams of all time.

    That is amazing considering they lost their 1-4 hitters for most of the season (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Victor, and Youk.) Sure Lackey, Beckett, and Dice-K could have been better but many times Papelbon etc blew many of the chances for wins for these 3.

    Shocklingly this was one of the more fun Red Sox teams to follow in recent memory and it upsets me that many dismissed them back in June. I once had the mindset that any year a Boston team didn’t win a championship that the season would be a waste. That is a gross mindset to have and because of this Red Sox team and the 2009-2010 Celtics, I know very much appreciate the efforts they put together.

    It will be an interesting post season but I commend Francona and the Sox for a great season.

  2. I did forget to mention Victor’s absence, but Scottie I believe the bullpen was mostly taxed because so many times our starters could not even make it to the 7th or 6th inning. . .do not get me wrong, Papelbon’s blown saves are ALL on him. . .especially Colorado, but the bullpen you remember started off strong and started waning with the starting pitching.

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