Welcome back to Read Sox. This week, we’ll talk about Don Orsillo’s situation with NESN, Dave Dombrowski’s impact on the 2016 roster and Hanley Ramirez moving back to the infield.
This season hasn’t been kind to either the Red Sox or their fans. There have been many things that just flat-out suck: Hanley’s fielding, most of the pitching and Pedroia getting injured. None of that compares to the bombshell that dropped Tuesday morning: Don Orsillo will not return as the Red Sox’s play-by-play commentator in 2016. At first it looked mutual, with Orsillo’s contract ending and national broadcasts having interest in the commentator ever since his stint with TBS ended in 2011. Then the facts started to trickle down, as Chad Finn writes. Joseph Maar, VP of programming at NESN, was never a fan of Orsillo, and in 2014, Maar began a policy that had broadcasters – in this case, mainly Orsillo and Jerry Remy – take in-season breaks. While that sounds nice, the issue is that the broadcasters have to make up the week of work out of season, which seems strange considering the tough six-month schedule they endure on a yearly basis. Want to reach out to Maar and tell him that this is wrong? Too bad – he made his Twitter account private early this morning. It’s going to be a tough September, as the time we have with Orsillo as the voice we all know and love for Red Sox baseball slowly runs out.
August has brought a whirlwind of changes for the Sox, ranging from the delightful (JBJ hitting!) to the terrible (Orsillo’s departure) and even touching upon shocking, which was the case when the Red Sox stunned the baseball world by hiring Dave Dombrowski. With Ben Cherington soon to be out of the picture, the state of the 2016 Red Sox becomes murkier. Dombrowski will evaluate and consider players differently than Cherington. Very few things are bolted to the floor – David Ortiz as the perennial DH being one of them. Dombrowski did mention several players as the core of the future of the Red Sox, with Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Rodriguez being part of it. However, knowing DD’s history in trades, it’s hard to think he wouldn’t make a trade if the right deal comes along. Scott Lauber and Ygritte say it best: you know nothing.
If you say it enough, the team will actually do it. Hence Hanley Ramirez taking reps at first base before the game in Chicago on Tuesday night. He’s not unaware of his terrible fielding in left, despite what we all might say. As John Tomase writes, he seemed very supportive of the move, as he was quoted saying that it would make the team better. Good on ya, Han Ram.
Eduardo Rodriguez is a special talent, and the Red Sox want to keep it that way – so they’re going to skip his next start for rest. He’s already logged 140.2 innings combined at the Triple-A and MLB levels, and the Sox are looking to manage his workload. Jen McCaffrey also adds that Henry Owens is slowly approaching his limit as well, but Owens’ previous career-high in innings pitched is 159 innings, so there’s a bit more leeway there.
The Red Sox bullpen being a perpetual tire fire isn’t news, but the decisions surrounding how to use those burning tires are. Sean McAdam calls for Tazawa to be removed from the closer role entirely, handing it to Jean Machi in the short-term. After Sunday’s debacle, Tazawa simply looks unfit to close, but the Red Sox have few options beyond him. Jean Machi’s already there, sure, but why not try out Pat Light? With the postseason far out of reach, he’s worth a shot when rosters expand.
After this season, it might not amaze you that the relationship between spending and winning is weak. The thing is that it’s been that way for a long while, as Craig Edwards notes. The correlation between team spending and team wins has gradually gotten weaker as time has gone on. Success cannot be bought, and despite the massive differences in Opening Day payrolls, parity still exists in MLB.
Three Good Game Stories
Junichi Tazawa is now the most visible sign of a terrible bullpen, as his 9th inning implosion in Sunday’s game showed, writes Jason Mastrodonato.
A strong showing from a seemingly revamped Joe Kelly helped push the Red Sox past the White Sox on Monday, and Rob Bradford looks to find out what sparked the turnaround. It was probably his great stuff.
There’s a reason why Hanley needs to get out of left field, and Tuesday’s game was a prime example, said Brian MacPherson.
Photo by Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports Images