It’s been painful to watch the disjointed Boston Red Sox play in 2012 and one of the team’s leaders and best players Dustin Pedroia said as much in his frustration – and profanity – laced rant after Friday’s 10-3 loss to the New York Yankees. Sure, the team responded well with a pair of back-to-back wins to take the series, but as the trade deadline approaches this week, what are the Red Sox planning to do with this enigma of a team?
On one hand, the talent is clearly there. The talent is there, so is the experience and the team is relatively healthy. They’re only four games out of a Wild Card spot and everyone knows that if you just get into the playoffs, from there’s a coin toss.
But on the other hand, the Red Sox haven’t done better than a two-game winning streak since June 16-19, they’re dead last in the American League East and the team was an even .500 heading into their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
In truth, they could be a starting pitcher away from a postseason berth. At the same time, rumors are circulating that the team has made Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford available, which implies that the team is heading in the other direction.
This has been a tough to predict anything about the Red Sox and the trade deadline is just one more avenue. Pundits, experts and professional picksters who dole out free MLB picks have no clue what to expect from this team day-to-day; who is to say what will happen at the non-waiver deadline on Tuesday and the second deadline later?
For now, Boston shifts their focus on the Detroit Tigers for three games and their performance on Monday might dictate which way the team goes. A win would make it three in a row and management may decide to see how much momentum the team can gain. A loss might spur the negative thoughts and the mood for some drastic change – something that has been in the air all season long.
The Tigers are struggling in their own right with losses in three of their last four games. They’re also just 26-27 on the road this season and will be finishing up a nine-game road trip in Boston that’s taken them through three cities in nine days. Fatigue could be a factor.
There won’t be many more chances for the Red Sox to keep momentum on their side and make a run but if they can feel the urgency right now, maybe this is their chance to share the optimistic view that manager Bobby Valentine has for this team over the final two months of the season.