Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The 2010 Parade of Carnage

I wasn't happy after last night's joke of a game. However, neither did I feel the overpowering urge to scream and storm and throw things that a late-season loss to a divisional rival usually brings. When the last out was made, all I felt was a bitter sort of resignation - for all intents and purposes, this team was down and out long ago, and somehow they clung to hope far longer than they had any right to under the circumstances.

The Boston Red Sox are currently nine games behind the Yankees for the AL East title, and 7.5 behind the Rays in the Wild Card race. There are just 23 games left in the 2010 season, and 11 of those are against legitimate playoff contenders... Once, the Red Sox would have counted themselves among such fighters, but no longer. The 2010 Parade of Carnage dashed our collective playoff hopes long before we were ready to admit defeat. (And to be honest, I won't be ready to throw in the towel until the math says I have no choice.)

I could go through and list all of the injuries, player by player, but it's been done. Instead, I will SHOW how the injuries piled up, through screengrabs from some reputable Red Sox websites:

(via; click to enlarge)

On July 11th, the Sox had a whopping eleven players on the disabled list (plus Junichi Tazawa, who was hurt in Spring Training). Since then, one has been traded (MDC, to the Rockies), one released (Jeremy Hermida), two are gone for the season (Pedroia and Ellsbury), six are back on the roster and producing some semblance of good baseball, and one (Josh Beckett) is stinking up the joint, despite his apparent "health."

(via's Extra Bases blog; click to enlarge)

On August 5th, we recieved word that Boston's most consistant hitter would be out for the season after a freak accident in the batter's box that would require him to undergo thumb surgery. At the time, few realized what a crushing blow this was, as several players were supposed to be on their way back, but Youk's absence has hurt us both on the scoreboard and in the field.

(via's Extra Bases blog; click to enlarge)

Within twenty minutes on August 18th, we were informed that two-thirds of our starting outfield would be AWOL until next Spring. Cameron's loss was somewhat glossed over because his stats left a lot to be desired this season, but keep in mind he was battling a severe sports hernia for much of the campaign, and never really got into a groove. Ellsbury, of course, is the type of dynamic player who really might have made a difference in some of this season's close games.

(via's Extra Bases blog; click to enlarge)

Then the most crushing blow of all: despite having returned for two games, Dustin Pedroia's foot was not healing, and so he would be lost for 2010. Besides being an excellent player, Pedey is the heart and soul of that clubhouse - the Sox couldn't be out of it until he SAID they were out of it... and Pedey doesn't admit defeat.

And so by today, the Sox DL looks like this:

(via; click to enlarge)

Fewer players on the list, but none of them are walking through that door. Of the Opening Day Starters, four of nine are on that list. We've lost three Gold Glovers and the reigning stolen base champ; three All-Stars, and three former World Series winners. The worth of these four players absolutely cannot be overestimated.

If you look over the total missing players for the year, things get even more bleak: of the nine players on the field for the first pitch of 2010, six have spent at least 15 days on the disabled list. Shockingly, the only outfielder to stay healthy was JD Drew. Yes, JD Drew was the Boston outfield's version of Iron Man.

The ridiculous spate of injuries made writing the lineup card a daily adventure for Terry Francona...

(via; click to enlarge)

This is ridiculous. The Sox couldn't even be healthy enough to have seven games with the same lineup. SEVEN!

This team put up a hell of a fight - guys most of us had never heard of this time last year made real contributions, but in the end it doesn't seem to be enough. And for those of you ripping Theo for not getting reinforcements before the trade deadline, where was he supposed to get players of such pedigree? And most of them were supposed to come back; if they had in fact been healthy, where do you put the new additions?

No, you can't blame Theo, or Tito, or even the players. You can blame sheer dumb luck, and playing in a division with two of the best teams in baseball (and indisputably the one richest). Some of you are too young to remember that the Sox were not always perennial contenders (I'm on the cusp of that one), so let me remind you of the time-tested phrase of fanbases past: "Wait til next year."

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