Red Sox Midseason Grades! (SPOILER: Everyone Gets an F, Especially Me)


– Shane Carley –

Sorry for the massive layoff, but I’ve been dealing with a lot of work. And sickness. Did I mention I was sick? Never get shingles.

Anyway, it appears that our season has reached the All-Star break, and the Sox are floating along at .500. Are you thrilled and elated? No? Angry and sad? Yes? Well, today I’m going to take a look at the state of the team. BUT FIRST! Let’s go back and check on my Fearless Predictions from before the season started and see how they’re shaking out:

1. Jon Lester Will Win the AL Cy Young Award. Hmm. Jon is currently sitting at an ERA of 4.49 and spent a few minutes after his last start cursing at reporters. I’m going to give myself a very firm ruling of PROBABLY WRONG.

2. The Red Sox Will Win 98 Games. Well, the Sox are currently 43-43, half of the team is on the DL, and they have to do is go 55-21 for the rest of the season! Totally feasible! I’ll give myself a rating of SUPER VERY WRONG.

3. Adrian Gonzalez Will Hit 40 Home Runs. I’m going to give myself a pass on this one, because I didn’t have all the necessary information. Namely, that A-Gon blows.

4. The Red Sox Will Trade Josh Beckett Midseason. There’s still time! Plenty of time until the trade deadline! The extra-sad thing is that I was going to predict that both Beckett and Youkilis would be traded, but decided not to push it. Verdict: NOT WRONG YET.

5. Kevin Youkilis Will Play in 140 Games for the First Time Since 2008. Oh man. This one is just…I don’t know. In retrospect, instead of making predictions I should have just hit myself with a bat. I’ll give myself a ruling of PLEASE HIT ME WITH A BAT.

Wow! Look at that! Now that I’ve FIRMLY established my credibility, I’m sure you’ll want to hear the rest of what I have to say.

The All-Star break is typically used as an opportune time to go through the lineup and assess player performance thus far. A lot of players have a history of playing very differently in each half of the season, and, man, the Red Sox better hope that they have a lot of guys like that. I have no idea what constitutes a “starting lineup” for the Red Sox anymore, so I’m just going to give grades to pretty much everyone.

PITCHERS

Jon Lester: I’ve loved Lester for years. Hell, I have a bootleg DVD of his no-hitter. But the guy who used to average 9+ K/9 isn’t even leading the team in strikeouts. And his ERA is Lackey-esque. GRADE: F

Josh Beckett: Josh seems to either pitch a gem or give up 18 runs every time he takes the mound. Oh, and he’s a malcontent dick. GRADE: Fat Asshole

Clay Buchholz: Hi Clay, I really enjoyed you dominating the preseason before utterly collapsing the second the games actually counted. Your pitching is basically the equivalent of having a great speech in your head, and then mumbling jibberish as soon as you stand up to deliver it. GRADE: F–king Disappointing

Felix Doubront: Felix Doubront is currently leading the team in every meaningful pitching category. Think about that for a minute. That sound you hear? It’s your brain crying. GRADE: B(?)

Daniel Bard: Wild Thing / You make my heart sing / You walk everything. GRADE: AAA

Dice-K: Holy shit, Dice-K is still on the team? GRADE: Huh

Alfredo Aceves: It’s almost like I said Aceves was a ridiculous choice as closer. The Red Sox only have 43 wins, but Aceves has managed to blow four saves and total six losses. GRADE: D

John Lackey: Overall I would classify him as the least disappointing Red Sox pitcher this year. GRADE: A+

stop smiling please oh god that is terrifying

POSITION PLAYERS

Adrian Gonzalez: A-Gon is currently 6th on the team in home runs, trailing a shortstop and a guy who wasn’t called up until several weeks into the season. He left last night’s game against the Yankees with an “illness.” GRADE: WTF

Dustin Pedroia: It’s tough to say much against Pedroia, but it’s tough to say much FOR him this season either. He’s tried to play through injury, but it’s showed in his hitting. Probably the emotional leader of the team, but when the team is playing like garbage and the players all seem to hate each other, is that even a positive? GRADE: C

Mike Aviles: Actually a pretty pleasant surprise. Good defense and solid productivity on offense. Nothing special, but certainly not a step down from Scutaro. GRADE: B

Will Middlebrooks: The great young hope. Has been a beast since being called up. Out with an injury at the moment, so he should fill the recently vacated position of Constantly Injured Third Baseman quite nicely. GRADE: B

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: It’s pretty much a joke that Salty isn’t in the All-Star game. The guy has definitely put it together this season. GRADE: A

Jacoby Ellsbury: So…is this just going to be an every-other year thing? GRADE: DL

Carl Crawford: So…is this just going to be an every year thing? GRADE: Get off my team please just get off my team

Cody Ross: I always liked Cody Ross and he has not disappointed this year. Decent average with some pop. GRADE: B

David Ortiz: Hardest player to grade, frankly. He’s played like a man on fire and earned a well-deserved trip to the All-Star Game. On the other hand, he’s been a bigger malcontent that Beckett this season and has whined to the media about something every other week. GRADE: Shut up

Ryan Sweeney: He’s a beast! The hero Boston needs! The people cry out for more Sweeney! GRADE: A+

MANAGER

Bobby Valentine: Why? GRADE: Seriously, why?

There you have it. With a team full of such dedicated heroes, the Red Sox will surely tear up the competition in the second half of the season, en route to their inevitable World Series victory. Don’t worry–if you’re feeling pessimistic right now, just remember: I’m sure Carl Crawford will be much better after the Tommy John surgery he now says he needs!

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