Fenway Park

How low can Red Sox go?

These words are not written casually, mostly because it makes the writer feel like an old man.

Well, this codger simply can’t think of another way of prefacing this.

In more than five decades of watching big-league baseball, I don’t remember seeing a baserunner score from first base on a single to right field with no error charged.

Under normal conditions, the right fielder would have to toss the baseball into the upper deck, or perhaps chomping on the ball before throwing it.

Well, in yet another example of how the 2022 Boston Red Sox are creating their lasting impact on the great game of baseball, on Wednesday night they managed to let Tampa Bay’s Brandon Lowe complete his trip around the bases completed unimpeded.

Taylor Walls spanked a single to right. Red Sox right fielder Rob Refsnyder picked up the ball, counted the stitches, pondered why the stitches are red, made sure it was stamped with Rob Manfred’s signature, and lobbed it in the general direction of the infield.

Lowe, off with the pitch, steamed into third base, prepared to be patted on the butt by third base coach Rodney Linares and reminded that there was one out.

But Refsnyder’s lob bounced by shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Detecting no sense of urgency, or competence, on the Red Sox’ part, Linares waved Lowe around to keep going.

Lowe’s head-first dive across the plate was for show. Had he wished to keep his uniform clean he could have run the last 90 feet backwards.

Alex Cora doesn’t seem the sort of manager who is going to rip his ballclub publicly. Wednesday he couldn’t hide the fire in his eyes.

We need to start playing better baseball if we want to be the team that we envisioned in spring training,” he snarled.

It’s tough to envision this team being anything beyond a one-and-done playoff visitor if this level of buffoonery continues.

Yes, they have lot of injuries. As Cora pointed out, so do the Rays.

Halfway through the season, most clubs have injuries that are going to have an impact on their performance.

Blaming the Red Sox’ continued bouts of mind-bending ineptitude is letting lots of players off the hook.

With the American League wallowing in mediocrity, making the playoffs is no great feat.

No team will make a playoff run playing baseball the way the Red Sox are playing.

Nor should they.

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