2014 might have been the worst year for Red Sox fans in recent history. For starters, the team came out after the world series and was disappointing to say the least. To make it even worse the Red Sox traded away a fan favorite in Jon Lester, and later would lose to the Cubs in trying to re-sign him as a free agent. Later in 2015, the man responsible for not losing Lester, Ben Cherington, was relieved of his duties, and the Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowksi.
After reading that quick summary you may ask, “we know this why look back on the past?”. The reason for looking back on this is after watching Jon Lester pitch another fantastic post-season game, Red Sox twitter blew up with negative comments. They general flow of the comments were along the lines of “Can’t believe we let Lester go” “Dombrowski is an idiot” “we are stuck with David Price”. After seeing all of these comments over, and over,I had reached a breaking point. I understand that Jon Lester is pitching amazing, and believe me I miss him as much as the next person, but this is in no way shape or form David Dombrowski’s or David Price’s fault.
If you are looking for a person to blame for all this, look no further than Ben Cherington. Ben was able to lead the team to a 2013 World Series which we will all be forever grateful of, but he is also the reason Jon Lester is now a Chicago Cub. The offseason following the 2014 season Lester signed a 6 year 155 million dollar contract with the Cubs. For whatever the reason, Ben Cherington did not match or go above that contract. It was reported the highest he went was 6 years 135 million dollars. If you are going to be mad, THIS is why you should be. The front office at the time tried to cheap out on pitching and lost out on the person we are all missing.
Cherington was fired during the 2015 season and the Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowski. Dave’s impact on the team was felt immediately during the offseason. Dombrowski noted that the Red Sox had three holes that he felt needed to be filled: the bullpen, a fourth outfielder, and starting pitching. So what did he do? He went and traded for Craig Kimbrel, signed Chris Young, and signed the best option on the starting pitching market. His moves payed off as the Red Sox went on to win the AL East for the first time since 2013. Obviously the Sox did not go as far as we had hoped, but none of that is Dombrowski’s fault.
The final thing that probably enraged me the most were the David Price comments. For the life of me, I can’t believe people are saying we are “stuck” with Price. I understand, he has problems in the post-season. You know who else had post season problems until recently? The best pitcher in the game, Clayton Kershaw. Now nobody gives him a hard time because he has finally settled in. I have faith in Price settling in during the post season at some point.
Before you can even think about post season baseball however, you have to get there first. This is where I do not understand why fans are mad. It has been a common theme for players who sign with the Red Sox to need a year to settle in at Fenway. So even during his first year as a Red Sox player, Price had an ERA under 4, and 17 wins. Without Price this year, the Red Sox don’t make the post season, its that simple. He was without a doubt the best pitcher in last year’s FA class, and is going to prove that.
So please use some logic if you are going to get mad. Get mad at Cherington for trading away, then not signing Lester. DO NOT get mad at the fact Dave Dombrowski came into a mess and went and signed the best player in the situation he was in. The fact that Jon Lester is a Cub is not Dombrowski’s fault in any way, and without David Price the Red Sox are not playoff bound.