Red Sox: Expect spring training to be nondescript in 2017
The Boston Red Sox will embark on spring training soon and it will be simply dull. Expect no upheavals, dramatic trades, or internal strife.
Where is the competition? This spring training will be one in which the Boston Red Sox roster is fairly settled, but a few positions may offer some competitive excitement. I will anxiously await the latest spring training decisions that will decide the professional fate of those in battle lust for a specific slot.
The fifth rotation slot is open – at least for public consumption – to a battle royal between Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez. Sometimes Steven Wright is mentioned occasionally in that mix, but when you have his record from 2016 he is locked into the rotation.
The ever-valuable utility or reserve infielder is mentioned. From what I have been able to glean from the depth chart this is between Josh Rutledge and Marco Hernandez. I will not spend one sleepless night concerned about that outcome nor who will catch. All have their assorted positives and negatives.
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The same applies to the restructured bullpen that may or may not have any serious competition in spring training. Maybe a choice between which lefty? Maybe an arm has a tweak that shuffles the deck. Really nothing much to see here folks, move along.
The excitement often centers on the next young talent that surfaces before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. That, however, is now elsewhere since our promising talent is exactly that – elsewhere. Maybe some attention to Rafael Devers? Maybe someone else?
This is a boring spring training on tap and I know, boring – just read some of my articles. Just stay in one piece. Stay healthy. No DUI’s. Look at vanilla story lines from vanilla players, but, really, there is nothing wrong with that. Stability is a good thing even if the fun, bizarre and tad crazy element has disappeared. I miss that.
Are there any outrageous characters to be found? Maybe a bit of instability? A fight in the clubhouse? An insulting exchange skirmish with the media? I’ll certainly settle for a Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich type swap. Will another team step in and amp up ire? Tampa Bay and Boston have had some noted tussles and verbal exchanges. Always a possibility, but with the CBA all settled it is one big group hug.
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There is always the possibility of an attention-getting trade, but with the team structure, the deal would undoubtedly be a minor transaction – hardly worthy of internet ink or the slaughter of a newsprint forest. The blockbuster has already happened and that is that.
The detailed examination of the aforementioned deal – Chris Sale – will gather a certain amount of inquiry such as his tailoring skills with his previous employer. Sale has been around the baseball block and will say and do the right things so that a nice deflection will be in place. The same with the rest of the gang who will speak with respect, clichés, and Bill Belichick type statements.
Losing means little in spring training so even a slump of epic proportions either with the team or an individual is dismissed. A long ledger of spring training failures can be presented who suddenly blossomed once the real action commenced – so forget that angle.
I am resigned to wait until the baseball bell is rung and the standings are real. With the pace of baseball, a good fifty games will be needed to see just what type of team the 2017 Red Sox will be? I expect this to be a most rewarding season with 100 wins – give or take a few – as the final tally.