Woof. That was not great. First, Mookie gets traded, then Sale sits out, then everything goes sideways. The 2020 Boston Red Sox just barely cleared the .400 mark, avoiding falling into .300 territory for the first time since 1965. That’s right, this season was so bad for the Sox, that you have to go all the way back to 1965 to find one that is comparatively worse.
Like I said before, “WOOF.”
2020: Record: 24 – 36
2020 Finish: 5th in the AL East, 13th in the American League
Surprises in 2020
Let’s start with the silver linings from last season, okay? The main trade piece coming to Boston in the deal that sent a generational outfielder into the welcoming arms of a dynasty in the making, was Alex Verdugo. The former Dodgers outfielder had garnered high praise as a prospect but was never truly able to showcase his full skill set in Los Angeles.
That’s not to say he wasn’t good for the Dodgers, but more to illuminate how crowded the Dodgers outfield had become. To be clear Alex Verdugo was great when he was a Dodger, but he was better as a member of the Sox in 2020.
Hitting over .300 for the first time in his career, Verdugo kept pace with fellow Sox stars Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers in most offensive categories. When it came to the most base-hits, Verdugo sits alone atop the leaderboard with 62 on the season. And not for nothing, Verdugo finished 12th in MVP voting last season.
But really, at the end of the day, it should be a reminder that Verdugo could have been awful in 2020. He wasn’t, but there was always the chance. If that were the case, with Mookie living his best life in LA and Benintendi sputtering to get going and eventually getting shutdown, it would have been nuclear at Fenway.
Disappointments in 2020
I mean, where to begin? This was not only one of the most disappointing seasons in Red Sox history, but it was also one of the most embarrassing.
After Alex Cora was suspended and the Red Sox were put through the wringer of an offseason scandal, one would hope that they’d at the very least show up and play some good baseball when the time came. The Astros managed to make the playoffs, albeit in a weaker division, but the Red Sox bore the brunt of the schadenfreude last season.
The 2020 Boston Red Sox were unwatchable. That is a scientific fact. And unless things turn around for the organization soon, they’re going to stay that way for a while.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Well, Alex Cora is back so that’s something. Jackie Bradley, Jr. is more than likely on his way in Free Agency and the Red Sox are going to be set adrift for a little bit. That’s okay. Every team goes through a rebuilding phase, but only a few teams have to go through a Dombrowski rebuilding phase.
The Boston Red Sox might resemble the Detroit Tigers for the next few seasons. They have to replenish the farm system and start all over. It’s okay, Boston. Everybody else is doing it.
Projected 2021 Finish: 73-89, 5th in the AL East
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