Boston Red Sox: Are the collapsing 2011 ‘Chicken and Beer’ Sox back?

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 07: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout during Game Two of the doubleheader MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on August 7, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 07: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout during Game Two of the doubleheader MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on August 7, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

It’s beginning to look like the collapsing version of the Boston Red Sox, the so-called chicken and beer version from 2011, may be back in action in 2021.

That group was ahead in first place with nine games in September, imploded, and lost the AL East crown. They finished seven games out in third place.

Hate to say it, but the 2021 balloon is deflating almost as fast.

Having initially predicted the 2021 version of Boston Red Sox would be a mirror-image of the hapless 2020 version, i.e. last place, this writer subsequently had to eat a huge humble crow pie when they subsequently shocked us all and vaulted into first place by a solid margin.

Now things have changed, and not for the better. They were swept in three by the previously hapless New York Yankees (what a great sound that WAS) at Yankee Stadium. Darn Yankees!

Now the Bronx Bombers are actually ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the standings by a game. What?

Yup, it’s true. They have overcome the 10.5 game lead the Sox held over them just six weeks ago to lay claim to second place in the AL East, while also bumping Boston out of a playoff spot for the time being.

The 2021 collapse of the Boston Red Sox

Now, actually, the shenanigans of that 2011 team (beer and chicken during games in the clubhouse) are not likely going on at all with Alex Cora at the helm. But the free fall, as in 2011, is ongoing and it’s not a pretty sight.

Now keep in mind, during those euphoric weeks of false triumph, the Red Sox had amassed that 10 and a half-game lead over the Yankees by July 6th.

Didn’t you have even a slight feeling that the lead over the Bronx Bombers was a bit fake? It did all seem a bit unreal.

The Yankees seemed loaded with too much talent, and the Red Sox, well, had too little. But who’s to argue with success, even if it is unanticipated and frankly, unwarranted.

So, we enjoyed the ride, while it lasted. Yet, here we are on August 19th and the Yanks are ahead of the Sox and threatening to blow them out of any playoff chances. Oh, woe is us!

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That big lead was merely one month and 13 or so days ago. So in six weeks, Alex Cora and company have completely fallen apart.

That type of collapse is even hard for Red Sox fans to comprehend, and we’ve had lots of experience over the years.

After a glimmer of hope in that sweep of the truly hapless Baltimore Orioles, the Dread Sox are back on track to unwillingly tank this season.

One positive to keep in mind, the O’s are 35 games (OUUUCH!) behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay (don’t like that city’s teams, don’t know why) Rays in the standings.

Not much sustenance to take from that sweep, but at least it’s unlikely that the Boston Red Sox will finish in last place again.

The 2021 Boston Red Sox were patched together with duct tape and glue

Although it’s been seen before, what is it about success that causes Boston Red Sox teams to fall flat on their faces and get bludgeoned? No idea here. This truth really is stranger than fiction.

The only fact that makes any sense is that this team was patched together initially with duct tape and glue by the Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom, whose budget was severely limited.

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It was thought that Alex Cora was the bond that got this team rolling when, in fact, they had no right to do so. Yet, the overall talent on the team just wasn’t up to snuff and still isn’t.

The Boston Red Sox ownership had alligator-armed the unfortunate Bloom and hung him out to dry.

Bloom had come to this big-market club that ostensibly would spend big to win. What he actually got was a newly instituted penny-pinching plan, and he had to scrape up whatever he could.

The player additions came from cast-offs, waiver wire types, and one poor trade to try to field a representative team. No top-quality was added.

The trade, of course, was of a former 7th overall pick in the entire MLB draft, which ended up sending Andrew Benintendi to the Royals for Franchy Cordero and an array of minor league prospects. Cordero is hitting .189 for Boston, while the other prospects haven’t made any sort of mark at the major league level. Not too nice of a return.

The Royals must have been laughing all the way to the baseball bank. All this writer needed to hear was that Cordero reminded someone of Wily Mo Pena, another Sox acquisition years ago.

Pena was a poor hitter and cost Bronson Arroyo, a pretty darn good pitcher in the trade to Cincinnati to boot. Cordero may be an even worse hitter.

So, we shouldn’t expect too much the rest of the way, barring a miraculous reversal of fortune. It was hoped against hope that the return of Chris Sale and the acquisition of Kyle Schwarber would help revitalize this languid squad.

Next. Suddenly, the Red Sox are out of a playoff spot. dark

Those additions were too little too late. The lack of real movement at the trade deadline totally took the air out of this team and doomed it to rank mediocrity and worse.

Now, all Boston Red Sox Nation can do is watch to see how bad it gets, and revert to that age-old saying, “Wait ’til next year”. Nothing more to cheer about is likely to happen in 2021.