On October 4th at roughly 3 o’clock PM in the wonderful city of Cleveland, the 2015 Red Sox season officially came to a close. This has been one of the most difficult seasons to categorize in recent memory. There was the disaster of the 2012 Bobby V season. There was success of the 2013 Fear the Beard Championship season. There was the disaster of the 2014 Fire Sale! season. But how will 2015 be remembered? I will remember it in three ways.
Orsillo’s Last Season
Firstly, as a student of journalism and sports broadcasting, I will remember it as the year that NESN royally screwed up in letting go of Don Orsillo.
Since 2001 Orsillo had been the play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox. Hideo Nomo and Troy O’Leary were on that 2001 team and I was in second grade. That should put things into perspective. We will have to wait and see how Dave O’Brien turns out in the TV booth, but as of right now I’m saying NESN made the wrong choice.
Sandoval and Hanley
These guys were a circus act since the first days of spring training. Hanley is a great clubhouse guy and a good best buddy for David Ortiz, but his competitiveness is supremely lacking. His struggles in left field were laughable and his injuries toward the end of the season were questionable.
For Pablo it seemed like his season can be defined by liking that one Instagram post. Qudos to Bartsool’s Jared Carrabis for breaking that story. Pablo looked like another guy that was obsessed with stats, money, and being a superstar. Red Sox Nation typically doesn’t welcome those kinds of players with open arms (unless your name is David Ortiz).
Younger Players, Lovullo, and the Front Office
Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr, Brock Holt, Travis Shaw, Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens (kind of), and the rest of the under 25 years of age crew really made this season worth while and provided a glimmer of hope into the future.
It reminded me of the days when we watched the youthful tandem of Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis getting their reps with the big league club. It’ll be interesting to see who goes and who stays under the new Dombrowski, Hazen, Wren machine.
Perfect segway, because I’ve never seen a bigger shake up in the front office than what happened mid-August with the Red Sox. Larry Lucchino and Ben Cherington out and Dave Dombrowski and Frank Wren in. My thinking is that the Red Sox are going after big free agents (surprise!) like David Price (another surprise!) and these front office guys have the experience in hunting real free agent talent.
I know this is a bit of a sunshine hot take and one that Red Sox fans honestly say year in and year out, but I like our chances next year. If the young guys can continue to develop under GM Mike Hazen and these new front office guys can pull some good free agents (not just big names) to Boston, I really do like our chances.