Four years after we were told Chaim Bloom was imported to Boston to be some kind of unholy uniting force between the methods of the shrewd Tampa Bay Rays and the big-budget Red Sox (otherwise known as the "Dodgers"), Boston's insiders have finally realized it was all a sham.
Red Sox ownership, now distracted by flights of fancy in Liverpool and Pittsburgh and satisfied with their four World Series -- which, to be fair, should've satisfied more people! -- brought Bloom in to adhere to their strict budget, pick up talent at the margins, and burn and churn randos. When the Rays do that, it nets them 98 wins annually. When Bloom did it in Boston? Eh, not so much. It doesn't work when the man pulling the strings isn't blessed with a supernatural player development system below him. It also doesn't work when said head honcho doesn't have the stones to take risks, even when potential budget relief falls into his lap.
While Boston radio host Tony Massarotti doesn't necessarily think new Red Sox leader Craig Breslow will change everything, he did commend him on Tuesday's episode of Foul Territory for trading Chris Sale when he had the chance to, instead of continuing to sit on a deteriorating asset.
Unfortunately for Bostonians -- and fortunately for Yankees fans -- Massarotti still doesn't have much hope that Breslow will ever be able to defy ownership. Much like Bloom, he'll just have to do the best job he can at coloring in between the lines. After all, why else would 10 different people of varying levels of experience turn down the chance to run the Red Sox this offseason?
Yankees had better hope Red Sox keep spinning wheels to become Rays under Craig Breslow
Hopefully, for Massarotti and Co., this past weekend's trade won't be the top Google result for "Red Sox Sale" for much longer.
When the Yankees try to be the Rays, it typically involves embracing different tenets of Tampa Bay's philosophy. Boston, in recent years, tries to slash payroll every time they add it and shirks long-term commitments. They opt not to add rotation pieces, instead relying on nine different bad starter/reliever hybrids to soak up innings; it doesn't work.
The Yankees? They build mondo bullpens and covet every reliever with a filthy sinker -- which is good! Unfortunately, they also attempt to be the Smartest Dudes in the Room and experiment on the field, occasionally midway through crucial playoff games against the Rays. That's bad.
The Rays exist to experiment in the realm of devaluing players so they can always compete with big-budgeted teams like the Yankees and Red Sox at a lowered cost. If the Red Sox want to adopt that thrifty identity, they'll change the Rays' identity in the process, too. The jury's still out on whether Breslow is innovative or gutless, as well as whether anything matters under this ownership group's current guiding light. The latest reports that no more free agents can be added without a corresponding budget slice, though, seem to indicate more of the same moving forward.
At best, that's a semi-throttle.