Red Sox: First to Worst

Neil Fitzgerald

After winning the World Series the year prior, the 2014 Boston Red Sox were poised to repeat as World Champions. Unfortunately the season did not go as manager John Farrell and the team had planned. Boston finished last place in the American League East division with a record of 71-91 and many are left wondering why the Red Sox had such a poor showing in the 2014 season.

The Red Sox went into the season without a key player they were able to rely on for seven years, and that player is Jacoby Ellsbury. In the offseason he was signed to the New York Yankees on a 7 year 153 million dollar deal. They had also gone into the season without catcher from the year prior; Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and shortstop Stephen Drew.

On opening day the Red Sox dropped a game to the Baltimore Orioles losing 2-1. Looking back on it now, it was a fitting way to start this season because the Red Sox were never able to gain any ground in the AL East, and the Orioles have been the best team in the division this year with a playoff berth clinched.

Having not been able to gain any ground upon the leaders in the division by July, the Red Sox front office decided it was time to make some changes. The Red Sox parted ways with their ace Jon Lester when they traded him to the Oakland Athletics. In return, the Red Sox received talented outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

A huge addition was made for the future in the 2014 season. The Red Sox were able to acquire Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo for the next seven years in which he will make 72.5 million dollars. Castillo is primarily an outfielder, but can also play the infield; with his tremendous hitting ability, he has the potential to become a future all-star in this league.

Another important thing the Red Sox front office was able to accomplish was signing team leader Dustin Pedroia to a major extension. At the age of 29, the Red Sox signed their all-star second baseman through the year 2021 on a deal that will guarantee him 110 million dollars.

Although the year was a bad one overall for the Red Sox, there definitely were some positives. Brock Holt emerged as an unexpected everyday player for the team. He hit at the top of the lineup, and was able to ease the loss of Ellsbury with his consistent bat. The remarkable thing about Holt is that at least one point this season he played every single position except pitcher and catcher. Boston will definitely be looking for him to continue his solid play as they look to bounce back next year.

The team leaders for this team were not all that surprising. Pedroia lead the team in batting average at .278 David Ortiz in home runs, RBI’s, and on base percentage with 35, 104, and .355. Pedroia also lead the team in hits with 153.

The Red Sox are definitely looking to put this season behind them. Next year with a new mindset, and some new guys in the clubhouse, they should be able to improve greatly. Just two seasons ago the Red Sox finished in last place in their division. The next year they won the World Series. The 2015 Boston Red Sox will be looking for a similar result.