“Real life” best- and worst-case scenarios for Red Sox
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Sometimes in life, we’re presented with two scenarios based on our decisions: the best case and the worst case. When the bartender offers you one more drink when you’re already on the edge, the worst-case scenario is you end up on a velvet couch in a silk robe with a middle-aged man feeding you baby food (please don’t ask where that example came from). The best-case scenario is … well, everything is the best-case scenario when compared to that velvety nightmare.
The Boston Red Sox find themselves in the most questionable position they’ve been in for years. Today, we break down the best-case and worst-case scenarios for Bobby Valentine, Andrew Bailey and Daniel Bard. They are the three key ingredients who need to be mixed just right for the Sox to have a successful season. Only time will tell if they end up on that couch eating baby food. The numbers have been crunched, fantasy drafts have been completed, so here are some “real life” possibilities.
Best case: The players respond to the man who invented the wrap, and his energetic style doesn’t wear on Boston’s veteran players. Terry Francona looked at spring training as something to just to get through with no major injuries. Valentine has players running from station to station, practicing bunts, holding runners on and practicing fundamentals. All of this hard work will lead Boston to another title, and Red Sox Nation and players will fully embrace this savior, this genius, this baseball whisperer.
Worst case: Reality. Valentine will manage the Red Sox to a third-place finish in the AL East. All of the hyperbole will disintegrate when the Red Sox fail to make the postseason yet again. People will actually look at Valentine the manager and not Valentine the man. A manager who has a posted a 1,117-1,072 win-loss record in 15 years managing in the majors — a man who won exactly two pennants during that time. Valentine and the Red Sox front office never see eye to eye on key issues. The struggle to make final decisions about the team’s roster will crack his psyche. By year’s end, Valentine will have claimed to have invented the wave, the Fenway Frank and Ted Williams. Fans and players alike will grow tired of Valentine throwing players under the bus. The streets of Boston will be filled with angry mobs searching for this Frankenstein, this man of the media’s creation.
Best case: Fans will witness Bailey perform an Irish Jig Jonathan Papelbon could only dream of dancing. A dance full of pure joy after he successfully closes game seven of the World Series. The Dropkick Murphys dedicate their next album to Bailey. Nine months from October, a sudden influx of babies named ‘Andrew’ or ‘Bailey’ flood hospitals across New England. He drinks a Guinness during a duck-boat parade on an unusually warm October morning. He’s the toast of the town. We all become Bailey boys and forget there was once a guy here named Jonathan.
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