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Bob Lobel: Why Can’t the Red Sox Put a Quality Team on the Field?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 

The seat I was sitting in Sunday night at Fenway Park gave me a perfect view of what was on the field during game four of the latest Red Sox-Yankees series.

The seats belong to Dennis Drinkwater of Giant Glass, who is there just about every game. I make it out there once or twice a season. What we collectively saw on the field against New York was perhaps the most challenged lineup (politically correct way to say it sucked) the local nine has put out there the past three decades. It was probably spring training B-Squad or AAA quality. Maybe even AA.

If David Ortiz was embarrassed to be getting around $12 million for only one season, then the highest paying ticket buyers must also be humiliated by this pathetic demonstration. Yes, there have been injuries, and yes, plenty of players will come back after the All-Star break, but they are about to face a murderous schedule that begins with a totally rested Tampa Bay pitching staff.

While they are only a few games back in the Wild Card race, you get a feeling this team won't be able to beat out the large number of other squads vying for that one playoff spot. With the trade deadline coming up at the end of the month, this three-week period has to be considered the most challenging three weeks of Ben Cherington's young career.

This is where he has to start rebuilding the team to satisfy the fans who, from what I saw Saturday night, are far from pleased with Red Sox ownership and management. So, what did I see on the field Saturday night?

I saw the body of work of Theo Epstein, manifested in a team with so much money tied up in contracts that can't be moved and a clubhouse atmosphere that does resemble a spring training B Squad. All this while watching from a seat that I'm sure costs a lot more than those Green Monster seats that go for around $165.

Dennis and I tried to estimate the actual value of our seats based on the product on the field, and we came up with about $40. It is also disturbing when the secondary market for tickets (scalpers) seems remarkably flat this season. Will people keep paying for this inferior product?

Maybe some will out of fear of losing their seats and maybe some won't care how bad the team is, but I have to think at some point people will stop buying. It is beginning to look like the perfect storm we all thought the Red Sox were immune to when we started believing in Theo. Despite all this, I still had a great time.

It was Fenway Park. Fenway is the star, and it doesn't hurt that I didn't pay for my ticket. I was taken aback that fans at Fenway still do the wave. Such an oxymoron Fenway is: Best fans anywhere, but some of the worst habits. Out of sheer boredom and frustration came a "Yankees Suck" chant when Boston's AAA Sox trailed 7-3. It was enough to make me worry about this team.

Worry about the ownership, worry about the prices and everything else I can't control. I'm a fan and it is frustrating to go from watching two World Champions to where Boston is now. But hey, sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're bug. Right now, the Red Sox are living a bug's life.

Check me out at boblobel.com, and let me know your favorite sports moments.  

 

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