BOSTON — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington knows he’s laying in a bed he helped make.
The 2015 Red Sox have been defined by miscalculations, overzealous expectations and subpar play. Cherington didn’t run from that fact Friday while explaining Boston’s inactivity at the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline.
“It’s safe to say, at the end of July, that we were wrong at the beginning of the season as to what this team could do,” Cherington said. “And so we’ve got to figure out, and we’re in the process of trying to figure out, why that is, and we’ve got to fix it and we’ve got to play better baseball.”
The Red Sox entered Friday sitting 13 games under .500 (45-58) and 13 games back in the American League East. It’s disappointing for a team that had playoff aspirations back in April, though even then there were warning signs Boston simply didn’t address.
The pitching, for one, looked like a potential pain point, in large because the Red Sox lacked a legitimate No. 1 starter. Now, it’s the club’s biggest weakness and an area where Boston needs to upgrade before Opening Day 2016.
There also was a time earlier this season when the offense was anemic. And the defense — so often an underappreciated aspect of the game — hasn’t been anything to write home about, either.
The Red Sox’s front office clearly has its work cut out for it before the beginning of next season. Just don’t expect a total rebuild.
“I think we can envision a good team here quickly. It is fixable, but not easy,” Cherington said. “It’s not one action or one piece or one move. It’s going to have to be a number of things, both in terms of potentially personnel this offseason and also just finding ways to get more out of the guys that we have here.
“Our play has not been nearly good enough, there’s just no other way to say it. When you perform the way we have, you have to look under every rock and at every possibility — that’s what we’re going to have to do.”
The Red Sox stood pat the trade deadline, with the exception of acquiring right-handed pitcher Ryan Cook from the Oakland Athletics. Boston didn’t find anything compelling enough to pull the trigger on, according to Cherington, though it wasn’t for lack of trying.
With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to wonder what the Red Sox could have done differently over the offseason to prevent another disastrous campaign. It’s certainly fair to question the team’s recent decision-making. The Red Sox aren’t where they want (or expected) to be. Things need to change.
“Look, obviously the results are the results, so that means that the team we built is not as good as what we thought it could be,” Cherington said. “We’re responsible. I’m more responsible than anyone for that, but we’re all responsible — the players are responsible, the staff’s responsible, I’m responsible, I’m more responsible than any of the guys on the field.
“That said, I still look out on the field and see a bunch of guys who are going to be a part of a really good team in the near future. I don’t see this as a situation where we have to go in reverse in any way.”
It’s hard to go in reverse when your backs already are against the wall. But at least Cherington and the Red Sox realize the severity of the situation and that much of the mess is self-made.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@JMastrodonato