Editorial: The grief of Red Sox Nation

  • Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell argues with home plate umpire Mark Wegner during the second inning of Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros in Boston. AP

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The season is over for the Red Sox. There will be no Duck Boat parade through Boston, no Andrew Benintendi singing karaoke on Jimmy Kimmel, no controversy over how many players on the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox refused an invitation to the Trump White House. Fans have no choice but to navigate the three phases of offseason grief: anger, bargaining and hope.

If you step inside the collective mind of Red Sox Nation (via social media), it’s clear that Phase One is well underway:

Every sentient being on the planet except the Red Sox coaching staff knew that Chris Sale had run out of gas.

Shortstop-of-the-future Xander Bogaerts stinks.

Thirteen-million-dollar-a-year closer Craig Kimbrel stunk when it mattered.

Pitchers who get paid as much as David Price should have thicker skin (and show Dennis Eckersley a little respect).

Why can’t we get guys like “Mayor of Ding Dong City” Travis Shaw?

Dustin Pedroia is too old, too hobbled, too short and too cocky. And for all of his laser-show yapping, he hasn’t had a decent postseason in nearly a decade.

The 2017 Red Sox were a boring, unlikeable team with terrible chemistry. Good riddance.

Phase Two – bargaining – is also already in high gear, and will remain so for months. For a little help with the to-do list, we again turn to social media. Apparently the Sox should:

Fire Manager John Farrell.

Fire Dave Dombrowski, the club president, before he trades the team’s top 10 prospects for a long reliever.

Trade anyone (everyone?) for Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Sign free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer (sort of a Deputy Mayor of Ding Dong City).

Stop using nerd stats like WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) when assessing players; start using cool stats like MUD (Maximum Uniform Dirtiness) and ERF (Eck Respect Factor).

Trade 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello for a low-level prospect, a fourth-string catcher or a soda machine.

Fire Manager John Farrell again (just to make sure).

Red Sox fans’ grief will continue as the postseason unfolds – and possibly reach new depths if the Yankees keep winning – but four-plus months from now something magical will happen. In the middle of February, when winter seems to have established a permanent grip on New England, Red Sox Nation will hear seven of the most beautiful words in the English language: “Pitchers and catchers report to spring training.”

And just like that, Phase Three.