We’re now two months into the season and the Red Sox appear to be hitting their first significant rough patch of 2016.
After taking the first two games from the Orioles to take a three game lead in the AL East, the Sox got their teeth punched down their throat in the next two games in Baltimore and then the next game against Toronto as well, erasing the Red Sox’ lead in the division entirely. We always knew this season wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but these past three games have been a serious cause for concern.But more than anything, it’s made me question just exactly how much credit Dave Dombrowski deserves right now.
Dave Dombrowski has received an absurd amount of credit for the early success of this season. But even more ridiculous is how little criticism he’s gotten for his moves, by everyone, including myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very quick to give Dombrowski all the credit in the world. He supplanted the plagues that were Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino, so f*ck me if I loved him immediately and without thought. The problem now, is that when you actually do think about it, that knight in shining armor turns back into a pumpkin (that’s how the story goes right? Whatever I’m not an English major).
The point is, we’ve all said that Dombrowski has saved the Red Sox, but when you take a closer look, you realize he really hasn’t done that much. And more than that, I’d argue his moves have actually hurt this team.
Look we all know Craig Kimbrel is a good closer, but the Sox gave up a blue chip prospect in Manuel Margot for a guy who’s currently posting the worst ERA of his career at a position which is prone to dramatic fluctuation and unpredictable downfalls. And even with the high risk of this trade, it was still by far the best thing Dombrowski did all winter.
The other trade Dombrowski orchestrated this offseason was the acquisition of relievers Carson Smith and Roenis Elias from Seattle for starter Wade Miley. Carson Smith proceeded to snap his rubberband arm and will miss the entire season, whereas Elias failed to pitch his way out of a paper bag in March, and failed to make the Major League roster. And while Miley hasn’t been great this year, He would still be preferable to either Joe Kelly or Clay Buchholz who were both abysmal as starters this season.
So his trades have been a mixed bag, but what about free agency and signings? Chris Young has done diddly sh!t, and David Price has yet to live up to his contract. He chose to let Rich Hill walk to Oakland for $6-million, where he’s currently out-pitching everyone on the Sox staff by a fairly wide margin. He also picked up Buchholz’s option year (internally screaming) AND retained John Farrell as manager (screaming intensifies).
Look I’m not calling for Dombrowski’s head here. He’s a seasoned executive and a true professional, something that was sorely lacking in the Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner, and John Henry Three Stooges operation of the last few years (For those of you wondering, Henry is Moe, Werner is Larry, and oddly enough Lucchino is Curly not Larry, don’t ask me why). I’m not saying Dave Dombrowski isn’t good for this team, but if he doesn’t make a move to improve this team this summer, this season will end in failure.