Monday, July 24, 2017

Chicken And Beer II: Are Sox Set Up For '11-Like Fail?

First of all, the Red Sox are in first place with a week left to go in July. By any objective standard that is a good place to be. Having said that, many observers (like the sometimes insufferable, but mostly interesting Bill Simmons) are raising the spectre of another epic collapse. According to Simmons, The Carmine Hose—Post-Papi—have no "alpha-dog" bat. He sees Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon all slumping badly. Then, there's the problem at third base, the over-used bullpen and the One Stopper Syndrome (Chris Sale). While Simmons may be over-stating things a bit, his fundamental premise is sound. We all remember how the "Best Team Ever" tanked in 2011 amidst chicken, beer and ineptitude. On July 24th, the 2011 team was up by three games in the division—eerily similar to their position six years to the day later. As late as September 1st, they were still in first place (albeit by only 1/2 game). You have to think that this team is enough different—packed with athletic young stars—to avoid a similar collapse. But the cheering of David Price's 'diss' of Dennis Eckersley on the team plane is a disturbing sign that "Chicken And Beer" may be replaced by "Mock Eck And Cheer".