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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Red Sox won’t change their course this year with trades

Alan Greenwood

Even now, in our allegedly enlightened age of statistical analysis as the only real measure of a ballplayer’s worth, there is one decision that big-league general managers should make using their eyes, ears and guts:

Is your team a contender or a pretender? ...

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Even now, in our allegedly enlightened age of statistical analysis as the only real measure of a ballplayer’s worth, there is one decision that big-league general managers should make using their eyes, ears and guts:

Is your team a contender or a pretender?

There remain a good many weeks to mull this over The trade deadline is July 31, and even that deadline is mushy, as players can be dealt beyond then if they clear waivers.

Still, New Englanders have already begun brooding over what path the Red Sox should take as that fork in the road approaches. There are reports that general manager Ben Cherington has begun sending out feelers. It also seems common knowledge that Cherington is close to deciding whether he is making deals for a playoff run this year or for playoff runs in 2015 and beyond.

It says here he dismiss notions that this season can be salvaged. That humble opinion is based on three numbers – 10, seven and five.

In the 22 games preceding Sunday night’s win at Detroit, the Red Sox lost 10 straight, won seven straight and lost five straight. One man’s conclusion, founded on nothing but those numbers and a lifetime of watching big-league baseball, is that the 2014 Red Sox are going nowhere.

In short, such streaky teams are typically very flawed.

The Red Sox’ most glaring weakness is exposed on the lineup card John Farrell scribbles down every day. Lots of the bearded wonders who enjoyed that magical mystery tour last fall have turned back into pumpkins. The prospects now sprinkled up and down the roster need more seasoning. There is no one deal, or even two or three, that will rescue this season for the Red Sox.

Clear center stage for the Patriots, folks.

PILING ON: For those of us who do not have the stomach for the slobbering that will be afforded the Miami man-child who has no business wearing Bill Russell’s number, the next week promises to be fairly brutal. The San Antonio Spurs snatched defeat from the jaws of victory Sunday night, despite His Highness’ 35-point effort.

The outcome became obvious when San Antonio went 0 for 4 from the line when it had a shot at putting the game away in the final two minutes. Maybe the Spurs can still spoil Miami’s summer, but a win Sunday would have made that dream a lot more realistic.

As for the leg cramp known ‘round the world, let us join everyone else who enjoyed speculating as to His Highness’ ability to play four games in the old Boston Garden as spring becomes summer.

TIME TRAVEL: One June 12, 1954, the Nashua High School baseball team fell behind Bishop Bradley 7-0 and couldn’t complete a late comeback, dropping the state baseball championship game, 10-5. The Purple Panthers managed just five hits.

Note that high school games were nine innings then. Further note that Bishop Bradley was one of three Catholic high schools in Manchester, which merged into Trinity High School in 1970.

Elsewhere on the sports page that day, the Red Sox were finishing up a homestand and would hit the road in last place in the American League at 19-32.

It is doubtful that general manager Joe Cronin was looking for a trade-deadline miracle.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-6427 or agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Greenwood on Twitter (@Telegraph_AlanG).