BOSTON - When the Boston Red Sox experienced their 2011 late season collapse, it led to the departure of manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein. Epstein wanted to try life with the Chicago Cubs, and the Sox ownership group treated Francona as the fall guy (unfortunately), but they still did not survive the 2011 off-season nonetheless.
Now, the 2019 Red Sox season is nowhere near as bad as that run from late 2011 through to the entirety of 2012, but the month of August has still been lackluster enough that rumors and whispering has begun again that there may be a fall guy for the 2019 collapse. I'm in agreement with The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy there. Only this time, it is a lot more sensible.
General manager Dave Dombrowski was a major factor in the Red Sox winning last year's World Series and we will always be thankful for that championship. Without Dombrowski's decisions like trading for Chris Sale and signing J.D. Martinez, Boston would not have won the championship in 2018. But since that title, his actions have been extremely bizarre.
It is unclear whether he truly believed in the bullpen or if there were just no pitchers on the market that interested Dombrowski. Whatever the case may be, Dombrowski refused to acknowledge the glaring hole that was the bullpen throughout the entirety of the 2018 off-season. As a result, he tried to find a closer on the fly during the 2019 season and it obviously never panned out. After standing pat at the trade deadline, saying that the team needed to play better instead of acquiring outside talent, the team entered a major downturn. Since taking three out of four against the Yankees two weeks ago, the Red Sox are 1-9, including an eight game losing streak against the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays that plummeted them out of the division race and the wild card race.
It was frankly befuddling why Dombrowski never even once tried to fix the bullpen, especially when you don't have Joe Kelly to do it for you. Twenty blown saves cannot be allowed, especially when Dombrowski claims the bullpen is performing admirably. Everyone can see that they have been the team's Achilles heel. It is an incomprehensible decision from Dombrowski and, per the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy (who has been wrong about things before, so take this with a grain of salt), Dombrowski has isolated himself from the rest of the Boston front office.
That's about all we know about the potential that Dombrowski could be canned by the end of the year, but it definitely makes for an interesting story to keep tabs on.
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