EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 3, 2014

Hey Sox: Play the young guys and have a fire sale!

BOSTON — The Red Sox lost 10 straight games in May, won their next seven straight and then lost five in a row. They followed that by going 7-4 over their next 11 games before a 2-6 stretch over the next eight contests.

The streakiness is quite deceiving. Just when the Sox put together a nice run to slide back in the AL East playoff picture, they start losing again.

I admittedly was deceived again by the latest stretch of streaky play:

Boston played awful in Oakland and Seattle, got routed in its first of three games in New York, then won two well played games at Yankee Stadium to salvage a 4-6 record on the road trip and pull within six games of first in the division.

But then they returned home to Fenway Park and were swept by the hapless Cubs who have a roster of no-names besides Jeff Samardzija and Anthony Rizzo — and Samardzija didn’t even pitch in the series.

The Cubs beat the Red Sox 16-9 here at Fenway Park last night to complete the sweep.

The Cubs? Yes, the Cubbies, who are in last place in the NL Central again this year, clobbered Boston.

I had been shortsighted yet again Sunday night. I wrote in Monday’s paper, “As for the Red Sox, their 4-6 road trip through Oakland, Seattle and New York wasn’t too bad considering they started it 1-5. If they can beat up on Theo Epstein’s Cubs over the next three days at Fenway Park, maybe that fire sale talk will disappear.”

I sit here writing — just three days later — and refuse to believe any longer that this team has a chance to make the postseason.

It’s time to play the rookies and bring on that fire sale.

The non-waiver deadline is just 28 days away. It’s time to be realistic, and if you haven’t realized it already, 2014 already has sort of become a bridge year.

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