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Despite the heartbreak and devastation the Boston Red Sox rewarded their fans with from 1918-2004, the love and loyalty to the squad never seemed to die. Ever since the Sox broke through and finally won it all in 2004, the team has seen nothing but success, compiling a combined 813-645.
Last season’s dismal 69-93 record was one that even the dearest of die hard Red Sox fans had difficulty watching. Imagining such a solid and consistent team like the Red Sox having back-to-back, or even multiple consecutive poor seasons is tough to imagine, but the Red Sox near future is in serious question.
My words of advice to General Manager Ben Cherington would be to acquire new acquisitions and key pieces to a roster that as of right now, does not compare to any of the teams playing in the American League East. The Yankees and Rays have been a mainstay at the top of the division for the past several seasons, but even now the usual cellar dwellers the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles are making their presence in the league known.
With a lineup that already features premier home-run hitters in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays added former all-stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Beurhle, bolstering their roster into a championship contender almost overnight.
The Orioles are filled with bright young stars Matt Wieters, JJ Hardy, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, as well as solid pitchers including arguably the best closer in the game in Jim Johnson.
The Rays rely on a collective team effort from quality players, and manager Joe Maddon can win just about any managerial match up in the big leagues.
And well, what is there to say about the Yankees? The team with a payroll of just under $200 million is filled with baseball legends and new bright stars. New York boasts a lethal lineup top-to-bottom with 2012 all-stars Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and pitching ace CC Sabathia.
If the Red Sox hope to contend next year and in the near future, something has to change. Playing for the Boston Red Sox is an honor that most players would love to have, but in order to attract them to Boston, Cherington is going to have to make major moves, some of which may take mighty risk. The signings of Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli are a great start, but more is certainly needed.
An impact and franchise-changing player is what the Sox need. I cannot this emphasize enough to Ben Cherington: make moves now, or this could get quite ugly. One more brutal season from a team with such high expectations is going to have you on the first flight out of Boston in September. Do not ruin the next several seasons for the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox nation.