Remember last week when I wrote an article about Hanley’s shocking departure from the team? Yeah, that was only a week ago.
I said the Sox chose Pedroia over him. They’ve never played the same position, but the facts remain true: the Red Sox chose their veteran player (plus a bunch of useless players) over one of the inconsistent but few power-hitters on their team.
And so far, it has been nothing short of a disaster. Mookie Betts ended up on the DL with an abdominal strain just in time for the Sox to face the Astros. Benintendi might be hotter than the Texan sun lately, but he’s not the leadoff man we need. Even Chris Sale is faltering; the Sox are 6-7 when he starts.
Dustin Pedroia made his “triumphant” return to the lineup after starting the season on the DL after his fall 2017 knee surgery. And his return lasted less than one week, in which he appeared in 3 games and went 1-for-11 with 2 walks and a run scored. He’s rejoined Mookie on the DL with more knee inflammation.
Hanley wasn’t hitting the way we wanted him to, but honestly, when has he ever? He was batting .254 with 6 homers, but he was healthy, which is more than Mookie and Pedey can say. Getting rid of him completely was a mistake, no way around it. With Mookie and Pedey out, Sam Travis and pitcher Bobby Poyner will make their return from the Minors, while Hanley will be cashing million-dollar checks for months.
Meanwhile, the Sox’s lead has dwindled, and the Yankees are only half a game back. Their lineup is no joke, and getting rid of Hanley, who hit unbelievably well against them this season, seems even more foolish. In six games over two series against them, he batted .354 with 3 homers and 9 RBIs. With plenty of time left before he’d hit the required plate appearances for that nasty vesting option in his contract, the Red Sox were unbelievably hasty in their decision to get rid of him completely, and it’s come back to bite them even sooner than I anticipated.
My question is how long Pedroia will continue with this charade. He’s been beset with the same knee injury for multiple seasons now, and the surgeries required to fix it are only getting more invasive. I won’t even get into his locker room antics last year. He’s no longer a player we can’t win without; on the contrary, he’s a liability, his return causing a cataclysmic ripple effect. He should retire while he still has a little dignity and can still walk. There’s nothing sadder than a player who doesn’t know when or how to walk away.