The Boston Red Sox have had a relatively successful history in T.H.R.O.W.
Originally known as the Boston Tough Guys, lead by former owner Geoff Van Toen, the team made the World Series in 1997 and again in 2000, losing to Manj Saggu’s Tigers and then Mike Wilner’s Athletics.
Midway, during the 2008 season, Van Toen, due to unknown circumstances, had to leave the franchise. Fortunately, for Boston, Timothy Loat took the reigns.
In the first inning of the first game that Loat was boss, something happened which would set back the organization for a full season. Prior to Loat taking over the team, Van Toen traded his first and second round picks for Eric Bedard. In Boston’s first pitch under Loat, Bedard’s season came to a crushing halt as he grabbed his shoulder and would be injured for the rest of the season. The Tough Guys changed their name to the Red Sox at the end of the season.
Without any picks in the first or second round of the draft, the 2010 season would be a tough one for the newly named Red Sox. A few good moves in season would be the starting point to turning the franchise around. In free agency, the Sox picked up Kyle Lohse and R.A. Dickey was acquired off waivers – this would be the backbone of their pitching staff moving forward. The Sox did not contend.
In the 2010 draft, they picked up Sam LeCure – the heart of their BP since coming to Boston, and Dillon Gee. Unfortunately, at the end of this season, the Red Sox dumped Josh Donaldson, not knowing that he’d turn into one of the best players in the league as they drafted him in the 6th round of the draft. Boston would finish with 31 wins, last in their division.
2011 – The Turnaround
In the offseason, the Red Sox made some huge moves to instantly contend. They picked up Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols, Dan Murphy, Edwin Encarnacion, Ryan Braun and closer J.J Putz. The Red Sox shot up the standings and finished the season tied for the division lead. At the trade deadline, the Sox traded Dan Murphy for Todd Helton which would be a very important move for them.
In the playoffs, the combination of Helton, Braun and Napoli would be too much for the other teams to handle as Boston managed to make it to the World series, again seeing Mike Wilner’s Oakland Athletics.
The series went 7 games. In the 7th, J. Cueto, starting for the Sox, pitched well but gave up three runs in the 6th inning. Boston was unable to score a run heading into the 9th inning. Facing Sergio Romo, Todd Helton started the inning getting hit by a pitch. Napoli followed with a single to CF. Tying run at the plate with no out. Farnsworth into the game for the A’s. He hit Jake Fox – bases loaded, no out, winning run at the dish. Tony Gwynn struck out, one down. Mr. Clutch, Derek Jeter, grounded into a fielder’s choice – RBI, 3-1, 1st and 3rd. Nelson Cruz up to bat and he flies out (The roll came 903, only 3 numbers away from a double (all-score)). The A’s take the series.
2012 – Heartbreak
In that offseason, Boston added more firepower and came back stronger than before. On paper, their entire pitching staff had an ERA less than 3 and every hitter was an on-base and power stud with good defence. Unfortunately, GM Loat made a critical mistake by trading Mike Napoli to Ohio and acquiring John Jaso to catch – trading their first round draft pick.
Although Jaso was unbelievable at the plate, he wasn’t behind it – he let almost every runner steal second base who tried. Boston lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual World Series champs Seattle Rainiers.
2013 – Rebuilding
The Sox came into 2013 with low expectations but with a little luck, and a light schedule, they were able to pull off a 38-34 record and squeaked into the playoffs. Eric Young Jr. and Jean Segura were major contributors to the Red Sox success. Adding Nate McLouth, they were able to steal 103 bases in the regular season while only getting caught 26 times. The Sox were also great at stopping the running game, first with Russell Martin, then with Ryan Hanigan behind the plate. They only gave up 12 stolen bases all year.
Unfortunately, the Sox ran up against Seattle, and Yadier Molina in the playoffs again and were only able to manage three SB’s while being caught twice. It was too much and, again, Boston was swept away by Seattle for the second year in a row.
2014 – Rock Bottom
Boston tried to maneuver their offseason by signing a few has-beens to cheap, long-term deals including, Josh Hamilton, Prince Fielder, Omar Infante, Matt Latos and CJ Wilson.
They struggled throughout the season sharing last place with LA for the majority of the year until they finally edged LA by one game to not finish in last place in their division.
The Sox would look ahead to the next season to try to get back into the playoff mix.
2014 – Sell the farm!
After the rebuild, Boston was able to add quality players to their team at the start of the season. Rookies Jung Ho Kang and Arodys Vizcaino and Free Agents, Max Scherzer, David Robertson and Carlos Gonzalez would enable the Sox to stay in contention for the first half before the front office gave the team the extra push it needed to compete for the title. The team added Zack Greinke, Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey, Jose Bautista and Dexter Fowler to the mix to shoot up the standings and finish the season at the top of the conference.
After a terrific 3-1 down comeback against Homestead in the Conference Semi-Finals, the Sox’s bats and arms went cold, as they lost 4-1 against a strong Toronto Blue Jays squad.