Boston Red Sox Trade Deadline Deals – MLB BaseballTuesday, August 5, 2014 22:04
Boston Red Sox management made a bold statement at the trading deadline.
Wait ‘Til Next Year
“Wait ’til next year.”
That quote echoing through Fenway Park used to be the death knell of the Boston Red Sox every season, when the die hardest of the die hards finally gave up hope. That, of course, all changed in 2004, when next year actually was that year, and the Sox finally walked off the field with that World Series title that had eluded them for 86 years.
And then again in 2007.
And then a third time in 2013.
Of course, once a franchise starts winning, that team and its fans expect to continue winning. “Wait ’til next year,” takes on a whole other meaning. And that new attitude extends beyond that franchise.
The 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons have been a roller coaster ride for Red Sox fans. Worst to first to (a probable) worst. 2012 could be written off to the nightmare that was Bobby Valentine, an absolutely terrible fit that was destined to fail before the ink had dried on Valentine’s contract.
2013 was magic, one of those special squads for whom everything clicked at all the right times, perfect chemistry, winning the close games.
2014? Largely the same team. Chemistry and mood coming off 2013, good. But not quite clicking. Instead of winning the close games, losing them. And yet, despite several losing streaks, the Sox never felt quite out of things during the first half of the season, as if on any night things would start falling into place and Boston would make a run.
And during the first four games after the All-Star Break, it did appear as if the 2013 magic had returned. Only it hadn’t, and soon the 2014 woes would start again.
Red Sox management made a bold stand at the trading deadline. Instead of trying to hang on, making a deal or two to save the season, the Boston brain trust went wholesale fire sale. Not just the dumping of a high-priced soon-to-be free agent, but the jettisoning of a significant percentage of the important players on the squad.
Unlike other years in the past decade, the Red Sox made a quick, decisive stroke to build for the future, and are set up with the finances, farm system and draft picks to do so.
Such an extreme statement is indeed bold for a team now accustomed not just to competing, but succeeding. But it also shows confidence in what is to come. A decade ago, Sox fans would have groaned at writing off the current season and losing so much talent. Now, they are willing to accept it.
After all, sandwiching a World Series championship between two miserable years is worth the suffering for that season of triumph. Better that one year of victory than three playoff visits with nothing to show for it.
As they used to say in Boston, “Wait ’til next year.” Only now that means something different.
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