It is pretty safe to say that we will not have a defending World Series Champion in 2019.
Barring a major turnaround, the Boston Red Sox will not repeat its 2018 title. As I write this, the Red Sox have 55 losses, one more than they had in their remarkable 2018 season, with 48 games left to play.
Boston got off to a terrible start. The Bo-Sox won just six of their first 19 games and found themselves nine games behind the Tampa Bay Ray. Much was made about how they babied their starting pitchers during spring training. Their thinking was that they would ease them into the regular season and have them strong for playoff baseball.
This “new age” way of thinking backfired. The Red Sox starting pitching, once the team’s strength, has been awful.
Rick Porcello, a former Cy Young winner, has an ERA closer to 6.00 than it is to 5.00. Chris Sale has a 5-11 record with a 4.68 ERA. Eleven losses with an offense as good as anyone in baseball. Sale had not won a home game all season until last week. And he is the team’s ace.
Throw in the fact that Boston has one of baseball’s worst bullpens and you have a recipe for disaster.
But all may not be lost. Even though the Red Sox are seven games out of the playoffs at this point, they do have the top payroll in baseball. A turnaround could take place. But they have to do something about their pitching.
I had to share this revelation that made the news last week.
Baseball cards made the news. Yes, kids and adults alike are still collecting baseball cards. And Topps is still the brand leader. But they made quite the mistake this season with Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians.
Shane Bieber is one of the top young pitchers in the major. But multiple employees associate the name “Bieber” with Justin. There is the person who wrote the bio information on the back of the baseball card and there was at least one editor who did not catch the miscue.
The error was on the last sentence of his bio. Topps noted that ‘Justin was particularly comfortable on the road where he went a team record 7-0 and was undefeated in 11 starts.’
I read where Justin plays basketball and hockey recreationally but is not known for having any baseball talent.
I also saw that Shane had fun with the situation and was seen last week wearing a jersey that sported ‘Not Justin’ on the back.’