Alex Reimer has been hosting the critically acclaimed, “Without a Curse,” since July of 2005. Alex has been profiled in The Boston Globe, as well as been a guest on both “The Today Show” and “The Tonight Show” for his work on the podcast. Alex has very strong opinions, and is not afraid to shar…
With the second half of the season now fully underway, it seems as if the Red Sox have their team for the stretch run: Drew Pomeranz will likely be their biggest acquisition and John Farrell will almost certainly remain as manager. Are they good enough? The Pomeranz trade is exactly the kind of deal Dave Dombrowski was brought here to make. But after giving up Anderson Espnioza, he better be right. Dombrowski can't afford a whiff. With the rash of injuries to the bullpen –– Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara are both on the disabled list –– Farrell's in-game management will be a key for the rest of the season as well. Red Sox fans should have little confidence in his ability to manage the pen. Hopefully this pulverizing offense continues to bail the team out.
Alex recaps the first half of the season, which ended on a high note. The Red Sox won seven of nine games on their most recent home stand, positioning themselves to make a strong playoff push in the second half. Given where this team was over the last two seasons, a first half in which they finished nine games above .500 has to be considered a major success. But in order for the Red Sox to make a legitimate run this summer, presidential of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is going to have to pull off a major trade for a starting pitcher –– which is what he did several times in Detroit. In many ways, Dombrowski's action in the front office will be just as impactful for the rest of the season as how the players perform on the field. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
At the start of this month, the Red Sox had the best record in the American League and a two-game lead in the division. But thanks to a 9-15 June, they've dropped six and a half games in the standings since then and are holding on to an evaporating half-game lead in the wild card. Alex attempts to diagnose the Red Sox's problems inside this edition of Without a Curse, which start with this rotten starting rotation. As it stands today, Boston only has three major league caliber starters. Too bad you need five. The starting pitching isn't the only reason for the Red Sox's prolonged slump, though. The bench is abysmally thin and questions persist whether John Farrell should remain the manager. It's shaping up to be a painful summer. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox are 7-10 to start the month of June, but Alex says it isn't time to panic –– yet. The Sox built themselves a cushion in May and can afford to fall off a little bit. Barring a September 2011-esque collapse, Boston will be in the division race until the very end. But given the struggles of Eduardo Rodriguez, it's abundantly clear that the Red Sox are two starting pitchers short. They need to make a bold upgrade to the rotation, and the rumors about their interest in Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole indicate they could do exactly that. In addition, Alex talks about Steven Wright's case to start the All-Star Game, and Hanley Ramirez's offensive failure. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox have firmly implanted themselves in the thick of the AL East for the rest of the season. Now the question is whether they'll be able to finish the job. Up until this point, the Red Sox have largely beat up on weaker competition. But the rest of June, which includes series against the Orioles, Mariners and Rangers, will tell us a lot more about whether the Red Sox are legitimate contenders. Also in this episode, Alex shares his thoughts on the Orlando Massacre. Above all else, this was an attack on the LGBT community Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox aren't just in a position to contend for the playoffs; they may be the best team in the American League. That's more of a commentary on the overall weakness of the AL than the strength of the Red Sox, but there's little doubt they have the best offense in the league. With an elite lineup and potentially dominant back end of the bullpen, the Red Sox could have enough to overcome their mediocre starting rotation. That's not to say they shouldn't try to acquire another starter, but recent history suggests you can win with an average rotation if you're well above average in other areas –– which the Red Sox are. David Ortiz also continues to put his historic season. Right now, the only other hitters who can touch him are Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in their primes. Seriously. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex looks at the AL East standings and also discusses why it would be self-destructive for baseball to raise the strike zone. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
It's impossible to ignore the numbers: if the Red Sox only play .500 baseball the rest of the season, they'd finish with 86 wins, which was enough to qualify for the playoffs last year. This scorching hot stretch –– in which the Red Sox have won 17 of their last 23 games against the dregs of the league –– has been enough to catapult them into surefire playoff contention. The offense carried the Red Sox to their 6-1 home stand, as the starting staff posted a 4.57 ERA. Given how prolific this offense is, the Red Sox may not need their starters to do much more the rest of the season. But if this team is serious about making a deep playoff run, the rotation remains a question. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex looks at the AL East standings and also talks about why the Texas Rangers should be ashamed of their conduct over the weekend. He also explains why the Stephen Strasburg extension is a win for both sides. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
David Price is in the midst of the worst stretch of his career, but Dustin Pedroia may have found the solution. Pedroia says he was watching videotape of Price from three years ago and noticed a flaw in his current delivery. That's all well and good, but it's a bit concerning that Price, or the supposed pitching guru John Farrell, didn't spot this issue. Though Price's peripheral numbers remain strong –– he leads the league in strikeouts –– his lack of velocity is concerning. It's still too early to panic, but it's time to be worried. Thankfully for the Red Sox, Steven Wright has stepped up and temporarily taken Price's spot at the top of the rotation. The knuckleballer now has a dazzling 1.52 ERA on the season in six starts. David Ortiz also continues to mash, belting two home runs Sunday night to move up to second on the Red Sox's all-time list. He's hitting for more power at 40 years old than any other baseball player in history. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex goes over the AL East standings and also entertains the prospect of the Angels trading Mike Trout. It's not as unrealistic as you may think. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Entering Sunday night's game against the Yankees, the Red Sox had won seven of nine games and catapulted themselves to second place in the division. Alex discusses whether this run is indicative of who the Red Sox really are, or if it's just the result of playing weak competition (Astros, Braves and Yankees are 20-49 this season). The biggest key to the Red Sox's recent winning streak has been their starting pitching. Red Sox starters have gone at least six innings in eight of the last nine contests, which makes John Farrell's job a whole lot easier. In addition, the offense continues to lead the American League in runs scored, largely thanks to David Ortiz's heroics. Are we sure he's retiring this year? In the "Around the League" segment, Alex takes a look at the AL East standings and explains why so many players have been suspended for PED use so far this season. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
After dealing solely with extremes over the last four years, the Red Sox have been the definition of mediocre through the first two weeks of the 2015 season. The team is in the midst of another stretch of inconsistent play, highlighted by more incomprehensible decisions from John Farrell and horrific starting pitching from the most expensive pitcher in baseball history, David Price. Though it's far too early to worry about Price –– especially since his peripherals are excellent –– Farrell's incompetence continues to be distressing. He may look the part of a job, but he's been an utter failure in every aspect imaginable over the last three years. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex takes a look at the AL East standings and also discusses Curt Schilling, who was fired from ESPN because of his crassness, not his politics. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox won their second consecutive series against the Blue Jays over the weekend, but the troubling signs with the team still outweigh the wins on the field. Pablo Sandoval's mysterious shoulder injury seems to be legitimate –– why else would he visit Dr. James Andrews? –– but it's sad when the Red Sox are probably relieved that their $95 million third baseman may be out of action for a while. The Sox have no plan with Sandoval and this injury bites them time. With the number of stories coming out over the last couple of weeks about Sandoval's apparent lifelong battle with an eating disorder, it also seems as if the Red Sox didn't do any homework before they signed him. Either that, or they ignored the facts. It's difficult to tell which reality is worse. It's also tough to feel good about the Red Sox's decision to demote Blake Swihart and have him try out at left field. Christian Vazquez is a terrific defensive catcher and might be the best guy for the job. But it's much too early to give up on Swihart, which is what this move appears to be. And lastly, can someone please explain John Farrell's fascination with Chris Young? That might be the most bizarre development of the season, which says a lot. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1. (Towards the end of the show, Alex shares his thoughts on 700 episodes of Without a Curse.)
Red Sox fans have a lot to be pleased about through the first week of the season, but Alex says it's wise to proceed with caution. Outside of David Price and Steven Wright –– yes, Steven Wright –– the starting pitching has been abysmal. Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly and Rick Porcello have a combined ERA north of 14.00 in their first three starts. The offense has been terrific so far, largely thanks to Hanley Ramirez's performance. But it's important to keep in mind that Ramirez performed last April, too. The question is whether he can can keep it up through the full 162-game slate. The same questions persist about Brock Holt and Travis Shaw. They've been phenomenal filling in through the first week, but can the Red Sox count on them to keep producing? In the "Around the League" segment, Alex takes a look at the AL East standings and also explains the story behind Bomani Jones' "Caucasians" shirt. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
For the second straight year, the Red Sox have spent a franchise-record amount of money on payroll. And once again, it will blow up in their face. Alex previews the 2016 Red Sox season inside this edition of Without a Curse, and he isn't optimistic. Despite all of the money the team shelled out this offseason, the roster remains incredibly thin behind David Price, Craig Kimbrel and a blossoming group of young stars. Benching Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo may provide fleeting gratification for Red Sox fans, but it's symbolic of an organization that's completely lost its way. Championship teams don't start utility players at third base and left field. The Red Sox are desperate before they've even played a game. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex previews the rest of baseball and also gives his World Series pick. The Cubs are too easy, but sometimes if a team looks like a juggernaut, it is a juggernaut. Cubs over Indians in the Fall Classic this season. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The most interesting battle to watch as Red Sox Spring Training winds down will be what happens at third base between Pablo Sandoval and Travis Shaw. Under usual circumstances, it wouldn't be a competition, given Sandoval's massive contract (not girth)! But it's imperative the Red Sox get off to a fast start this year, which could push Farrell to go with Shaw. In addition to what happens at third base, Alex talks about how the Red Sox will try to make up for the loss of Carson Smith in the bullpen and whether they need to make a trade for a starting pitcher before Opening Day. And oh –– Monday is David Ortiz's Spring Training retirement ceremony. You can feel the excitement. ... In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about how New York City's smokeless tobacco ban in sporting arenas may affect the Yankees and Mets and also touches on Alex Rodriguez's fitting (non)-retirement announcement. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex talks about the apparent gag order in regards to the John Farell and Jess Moran affair. The latest example is a fawning Farrell profile from the Herald's Ron Borges, who didn't bring up the incident in the piece at all. If this were Bill Belichick instead of Farrell, don't you think Borges would've not just brought it up, but led with it? Of course. But for whatever reason, Farrell and Moran seems to be off limits. It speaks to the disconnect between what people are talking about and what the print media actually writes about. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about why the Adam LaRoche saga could carry serious long-term ramifications for the White Sox––seriously–––and commends the Pittsburgh Pirates for continuing to be rational. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The biggest Red Sox story of the week broke Friday night, when the Boston Globe reported Comcast SportsNet New England Red Sox reporter Jess Moran has resigned from her position due to her personal relationship with manager John Farrell. Once again, a female Red Sox reporter got inappropriately involved with a member of the organization. Lots of questions have also been asked about the Globe's motivates for reporting the story, because John Henry owns the paper. Unfortunately, this is the reality the Globe faces now whenever it writes about a controversial issue surrounding the team. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex praises commissioner Rob Manfred for his handling of the Aroldis Chapman suspension and supports Jacob deGrom's decision to not sign the Mets' lowball contract offer for the upcoming season. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
John Henry, one of the leaders of baseball's analytical revolution, now says the Red Sox are stepping away from the numbers. But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, says the Sox have actually expanded their analytics department. It's another contradiction from an organization that no longer seems to have a philosophy or a plan. It's very disconcerting. In addition to Henry's comments, Alex talks about the Pablo Sandoval fallout and why lambasting him for his weight isn't "fat shaming." In the "Around the League" segment, Alex explores why the Dexter Fowler situation is unavoidable in today's media climate and also condemns the decision to make the neighborhood play reviewable. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Pablo Sandoval's first day at Red Sox camp couldn't have gone worse. For the second consecutive year, he arrived out of shape –– and had a defiant attitude this time around as well. Sandoval told the media he has "nothing to prove" this season, and then went on deny reports that the Red Sox told him to lose weight this winter. That seems to be a lie, considering Torey Lovullo, Dave Dombrowski and John Farrell all made various comments throughout the offseason about Sandoval shedding a few pounds. Oh, and a picture of Sandoval's massive girth made the rounds on social media as well. Hanley Ramirez showed up to camp in better shape than last year, but his early efforts to play first base are leaving a lot to be desired. Ramirez jetted off to Miami for the weekend and reportedly only spends 15-20 extra minutes per day learning the position. Ramirez says he wants to win a gold glove, but he's probably going to have try a lot harder than that. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about MLB's new domestic violence policy and why Rob Manfred is finding out saying the right thing is easier than doing the right thing. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
It's been an offseason of change for the Red Sox: Signing David Price, trading for Craig Kimbrel, naming Dave Dombrowski president of baseball operations. But at the Winter Weekend festivities last week, the two busts from last season, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, dominated the conversation. Ramirez says the transition to first base will be "easy" and Sandoval has supposedly lost 20 pounds. Alex explains why doesn't believe either account. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex discusses why the National League should adopt the DH, the rise of the opt-out clause in baseball and whether re-signing Chris Davis catapults the Orioles back to playoff contention. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex talks about the bullpen arms that's occurring across the American League East. The Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays have all dramatically upgraded their pens this offseason, which signals a new point of emphasis for Major League teams. Alex also discusses the Hall of Fame voting results and some of the questions that stem from this year's results, such as whether Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are actually experiencing increased support. Besides Hall of Fame voting, the other big piece of news in baseball last week was former Cardinals pro scouting director Chris Correa pleading guilty to charges stemming from his decision to hack into the Astros' computer software. Now the question is, will baseball pursue this case further? Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex recaps the Winter Meetings and talks about the Wade Miley trade, which he feels is Dave Dombrowski's most impressive move to date. Sure, signing David Price and trading for Craig Kimbrel is flashy, but neither of those acquisitions took much imagination. But turning Miley, a middle of the rotation starter, into Carson Smith, one of the most dominant relievers, is something to marvel at. There's a lot to like about this Red Sox offseason, but there is one player who could torpedo the club in 2016: Hanley Ramirez. He's still on the team and doesn't appear to be going away. If Ramirez's transition to first base resembles his transition to left field, the Red Sox are in big trouble. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex analyzes the Jason Heyward and Johnny Cueto signings and also shares his boredom with the Pete Rose story. In addition, Alex discusses the Aroldis Chapman domestic violence incident and why it will serve as another test for Major League Baseball's new domestic abuse policy. Happy holidays, listeners! The next edition of Without a Curse will be published on Monday, January 4. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox haven't signed a free agent as good as David Price since they inked Manny Ramirez to a seven-year contract in 2001, which is precisely why Alex thinks it will work out. There's no denying the risk attached to a free agent contract as massive as Price's seven-year, $217 million deal. But it's also rare to sign a free agent as talented as Price. If you're going to count on anybody to defy the odds, Price is a pretty good bet. In addition, this isn't really a seven-year deal, because Price can opt-out after three years. If, and more likely, when he does, the question is whether the Red Sox will have the financial discipline to walk away. Though Dave Dombrowski has already filled the bulk of the Red Sox's holes, he still promises to be busy as the Winter Meetings begin this week. Alex previews what other moves could be on the horizon for the Red Sox, including adding a couple of more arms to the bullpen and sorting out the rest of the rotation. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about why the Zack Greinke contract is destined to fail for the Diamondbacks and discusses the slew of pitching signings that have been made around the Major Leagues over the last week. Email Alex, email@example.com and follow him on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex covers all angles of David Ortiz's surprise retirement announcement: the curious timing, how the Red Sox should move forward and how Ortiz will be remembered. Life without Ortiz would be a whole lot easier if, say, a pitcher like Jose Fernandez were on the Red Sox. That idea may not have be far-fetched, either, as the Marlins are reportedly shopping the 23-year-old phenom hurler. Alex explains why Fernandez should be the Red Sox's No. 1 target this winter, and that they should stop at nothing to acquire him. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex lambasts the Marlins for even considering a Fernandez trade and also talks about why the Cubs are in better shape than any other team in baseball. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1. Happy Thanksgiving!
The Red Sox overpaid for Craig Kimbrel, but it was a trade they had to make. Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex breaks down the deal and says this offseason will largely be a makeup call for the mistakes the Red Sox made last winter. If they had re-signed Andrew Miller, for example, the Kimbrel trade would've been necessary. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said over the weekend he expects the club's remaining big acquisitions to be from free agency instead of the trade market. Though trading top prospects may be "painful" to some, Alex explains why handing out nine-figure contracts to free agent starting pitchers are truly the personnel moves that hurt teams––and it seems as if the Red Sox will be going in that direction. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about why the Jose Reyes case will be a test to see if MLB is serious about domestic violence and also explains why it's futile to compare free agent contracts that will be signed this offseason to deals that were inked in previous years. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex compares the Red Sox with the World Series champion Kansas City Royals, and comes to the realization that the two clubs aren't actually all that far apart. In fact, the Red Sox scored more runs than the Royals this season, and their rotation only gave up 22 more runs. The big difference between the two clubs is the bullpen, as the Royals' pen had an ERA that was nearly two runs lower than Boston's. But as we've seen through the years, bullpen performance can be volatile. It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Red Sox could overhaul their's this winter. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about how the Royals won the World Series and also how the Mets lost it. Plus, he explores why there is a dearth of black managers and executives in Major League Baseball. Email Alex, firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex takes a look at how the Red Sox can improve their bullpen for the upcoming season. Unlike the starting rotation, the bullpen's poor performance last season shouldn't have surprised anybody. There weren't enough quality arms back there to constitute an effective unit. Alex says the Red Sox's first order of business should be to acquire power arms, even if that means spending money and/or trading away some prospects. Given the relative affordability of relief pitching, the bullpen is one area where the Sox should be able to flex their financial muscles. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about how the bat flip can save baseball and also whether the Dodgers should retain manager Don Mattingly after another postseason flop. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex takes a look at what the Red Sox have to do to return the postseason, starting with filling in the gaping hole at the top of their starting rotation. Alex runs down the top free agent pitchers and hurlers who could be available on the trade market. The smart way to go is to try to acquire the next ace via trade, and the Red Sox have the minor league talent to get a deal like that done. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex spends a lot of time talking about Chase Utley's controversial takeout slide from Saturday night. Yes, it was dirty, but it doesn't mean it was against the rules. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The narrative holds: the Red Sox finished in last-place for the third time in four seasons after losing their final four games of the year. It's fitting, because though this club impressed down the stretch, this season was a failure. The most expensive Red Sox team in history should've finished a lot better than six games below .500. With that said, there's a lot to like about the Sox entering the offseason. Dave Dombrowski has the money and trade chips to make a big move. The one glaring hole on the team –– outside of Hanley Ramirez's and Pablo Sandoval's albatross contracts –– is at the top of the rotation. Dombrowski has the ammunition to rectify that. In addition to previewing the offseason, Alex talks about the decision to bring John Farrell back next year barring health. They're potentially setting themselves up for an odd dynamic, as Torey Lovullo will be back on the bench, and is reportedly barred from taking interviews this winter. It seems as if the Red Sox are committing to Farrell without actually doing it. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about CC Sabathia's decision to enter rehab one day before the playoffs and previews the postseason. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Everything is awesome with the Red Sox, who have been on a 92-win pace since Aug. 1. That is, of course, if you ignore the continued tactless treatment of Don Orsillo on the way out and the pathetic ends to Hanley Ramirez's and Pablo Sandoval's pathetic seasons. Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex talks about NESN's decision to not air the Orsillo tribute video that played at Fenway Park Sunday, and how the network continues to diss him on the way out. He also lambasts Ramirez and Sandoval, who have seemingly quit on the team without anybody noticing. But outside of that, there is a lot to like –– especially the sensational performances from many of the club's young stars. The future continues to look bright, and Dave Dombrowski will have a lot of options at disposal this offseason. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex runs down the AL East standings and gives his take on the Bryce Harper/Jonathan Papelbon brawl. Hint, hint: Pap was in the wrong. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
It's time to put the narrative about the Red Sox finishing in last-place for the third time in four seasons to bed. With two weeks remaining in the season, only one game separates the Red Sox from third-place. It's a booby prize, but at least it's something. Alex says Red Sox fans should feel pretty good about how their team is finishing the season, as every position besides first base is accounted for. The big hole is at the top of the starting rotation, but the Sox have the pieces to make a splash. The one dark cloud that looms over the Red Sox is Hanley Ramirez, who remains on the disabled list despite supposedly being in good health. If the Sox were even a little bit relevant, this would be a scandal instead of a footnote. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex previews this week's series between the Blue Jays and Yankees and also says why Matt Harvey's innings limit may end up helping the Mets Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1
Without a Curse is back after a one-month hiatus, and there is a lot of Red Sox news to discuss. Alex discusses the state of the club, which looks a whole lot better than now it did several weeks ago. The two biggest challenges facing new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski this offseason will be how to acquire the ace to stick at the top of the rotation, and which young players to move in a potential deal of that ilk. You have to give up talent to get talent. Alex also talks about why Don Orsillo's unceremonious ousting from NESN has struck a nerve with so many Red Sox fans, and says why David Ortiz will forever be the superstar with the asterisk next to his name. Read Alex on Boston Magazine's website, Forbes SportsMoney and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox are once again thankful for deflated footballs, as the release of Tom Brady's appeal transcript overshadowed what was another uninspiring week in Red Sox Nation. The Sox did take two out of three games from the Yankees and Tigers, but the bullpen's blowups Tuesday and Saturday are tough to get over. This bullpen has been atrocious this year and the worst part is, it hasn't been ravaged by injuries or underperformance. This bullpen was fatally flawed entering the season, and that hasn't changed. But even though there will likely be plenty to scoff at as the Red Sox play out the string, there are some bright spots, too. Watching some of the club's young outfielders and starting pitchers perform over the final two months of the season should give fans more hope than they had at the end of 2014 and 2012. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about the red-hot Blue Jays' postseason prospects. He also discusses the emergences of the Mets and Cubs, and their long-term sustainability. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
There is little doubt that Larry Lucchino's exit from his role as Red Sox president and CEO will dramatically change the power structure of the organization, but it is up for debate whether it will be for the better. Lucchino has been a whipping boy around these parts for some time – and that's fine, as he seems to relish wearing the black hat. But keep in mind, Lucchino presided over the most successful period in Red Sox history. He is a Hall of Fame-caliber baseball executive, and his presence will probably be missed. Sam Kennedy will take over for Lucchino as president of the Red Sox, but reportedly won't have a say in baseball operations decisions. There is currently no CEO as well. That may create an opportunity for Tom Werner to assume more power, and you would be hard-pressed to find anybody who thinks that's a good thing. Lucchino's role in the organization has reportedly waned over the last couple of years. It seems as if this announcement was years in the making, and not the result of what will likely be three last-place finishes in four years. John Henry used to often say Lucchino "ran the Red Sox." Now he runs the Red Sox. And if this year's results are a look into what that looks like, then tumultuous days may be ahead on Yawkey Way. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about the winners and losers at the trade deadline and talks about how the Dodgers are dramatically changing the way big market teams acquire talent. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Pedro Martinez uplifted Red Sox fans many times throughout his illustrious seven-year stint in Boston. He did it one more time Sunday with his Hall of Fame induction speech. Pedro's weekend in Cooperstown served as a welcome distraction from the putrid Red Sox of 2015, who recently just finished the franchise's first winless road trip in 64 years. There is nothing for fans to look forward to in the present, so it should come as little surprise that Pedro was seemingly at the top of everyone's minds over the last week. But now that the Hall of Fame induction ceremony has concluded, attention will turn back to the cellar dwelling Red Sox, who appear poised to sell off some pieces by the trade deadline Friday. But unlike last year, they don't seem to have much to sell. That is a problem. It is also a problem that Ben Cherington, the same man who blew the Jon Lester and John Lackey deals last year, is still the man in charge. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex tells you why teams that trade for an ace before the deadline rarely find postseason success. He also lauds John Smoltz for using his Hall of Fame speech as a platform to spread a message he believes in. Smoltz's eloquent speech was the antithesis of Colin Cowherd's comments about the intelligence of Dominican baseball players. Many forces railed against Cowherd – though some, like ESPN, may have had other motives at play – but few spoke more articulately about the subject than ... Pedro. No surprise there. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Don't worry, folks, the Red Sox didn't lose a beat after the four-day All-Star Break. They are as lifeless and moribund as they were for most of the first half of the season. Alex recaps the last two games against the Angels, and tries to put the Red Sox's offensive ineptness into words (it's a difficult endeavor, to say the least). Given that the Sox are now eight games out of first place, it is more apparent than ever than the team should sell at the trade deadline. But the problem is, now that Clay Buchholz is out, the Red Sox may not have many players to sell. And even if they are able to make a couple of significant moves, is Ben Cherington the right guy to make them? His returns last year for Jon Lester and John Lackey would say he isn't. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about arguably the biggest hurdle baseball has to overcome in order to restore some of its lost national popularity. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox's dreams of contention fared just as well this weekend as Clay Buchholz's elbow. The best starting pitcher on team left Friday's game with a flexor strain, and left the Red Sox with a gaping role in its rotation that it probably won't be able to fill. The Sox now stand at 6.5 back in the division, and don't appear to have the horses to sustain a long winning streak. The Buchholz injury is especially crippling because in addition to being the Red Sox's best starter, he was probably their most valuable trade chip. The Red Sox likely can't contend without Buchholz, and they may not be able to sell without him, either. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex takes a look at the AL East standings and talks about the one similarity that the four best teams in baseball have. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex talks about the importance of planning for 2016 and beyond. It is apparent that the Red Sox are not going to make a playoff run this season. In order to get to 90 wins, they would have to win 56 of their remaining 85 games. That is not going to happen. Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino can talk about how the organization still think it can win this season all he wants, but the club's actions should say otherwise. Every move the Red Sox make should be about planning for the future, which means playing the young players, cutting chords with underperforming veterans at the end of their deals and exploring an aggressive fire sale at the trade deadline. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about the not-so surprising revelations that Pete Rose bet as a player and the rule changes to the Home Run Derby. There won't be a show next week, as Alex will be on vacation. The next edition of Without a Curse will be published Monday, July 13th. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox have won four of their last six games. but they are nine games below .500 and remain in last place in the AL East. It's still far-fetched to think they'll make a run this year, so it's best to focus the conversation on 2016 and beyond. Mookie Betts' and Xander Bogaerts' play in June has been a huge positive, but it's difficult to get past this mess of a rester, with more than $250 tied up in Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello and Rusney Castillo. The Red Sox have squandered all of their financial flexibility. Alex says he thinks most of the blame for that falls on the man at the top, John Henry. It seems as if he is operating without any checks and balances. This is his vision, and the end result is a collection of players rather than a team. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about the apathy surrounding Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit, Max Scherzer losing his perfect game in one of the cheapest ways possible and the seriousness of the Cardinals hacking scandal. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
This pitiful Red Sox season just gets sadder and sadder. The Sox can't pitch, can't field and now can't catch. John Farrell said after Sunday's debacle his team is "not in a good place." That is an understatement. The Red Sox aren't just bad. They are hopeless. Ben Cherington deserves blame for constructing a fatally flawed, expensive roster. Farrell deserves plenty of criticism, too. But most of the blame should fall on the players who can't catch a pop-up when it's sunny out. And unlike Farrell and Cherington, they won't be easy to get rid of. This gang will probably be around for a while. This is the beginning, not the end. Yikes. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
We may have witnessed a turning point in the Red Sox season over the weekend, as the Sox rebounded from its worst loss of the season to sweep the A's. There are limits to how excited you should get about the Red Sox sweeping the worst team in the league. But after the calamity of errors that the Red Sox experienced Thursday afternoon against the Twins, the season appeared to be on the brink. Instead of further torpedoing, they stayed afloat. The three-game sweep will mean nothing if the Red Sox don't play well against the Orioles and Blue Jays this week. But at least they now have a foundation to build on, which is more than what we have been able to say about them for quite a while. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
There are too many problems with the Red Sox to put the blame on a singular individual. But in these situations, you have to start with the problems that are easiest to cure. John Farrell should no longer be the manager of this baseball team, and Ben Cherington should no longer be its general manager. The chances of both moves happening are slim – the Red Sox just extended Farrell through 2017 in Spring Training. But this team and its veterans are dramatically underachieving. Nothing Farrell has done has worked, including calling a close-door meeting prior to Sunday's game. Cherington's roster is fatally flawed, and he's left the team with limited flexibility. All of the room to maneuver the Red Sox had after the Dodgers trade in late 2012 is now gone. The AL East remains bad enough for the Red Sox to hang in there. But they're in last place – the chances of them leapfrogging four teams are slim to none. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The mediocrity of the AL East should allow the Red Sox to hang around the playoff race for the bulk of the summer. But whether the Red Sox will be able to make a postseason run looks doubtful. Though the starting pitching has been better in May, Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly showed over Memorial Day Weekend that the rotation still can't be counted on to deliver competitive starts on a nightly basis. The offense has been dreadful for the last several weeks, and the room for optimism is decreasing with each runner who's left stranded in scoring position. We think the Red Sox should hit better, but how much better remains up for debate– given David Ortiz's age, Dustin Pedroia's declining power numbers and Hanley Ramirez's ailing shoulder. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex lambasts Jeffrey Loria for naming his former general manager Dan Jennings his new manager. Other owners may receive the benefit of the doubt, but not Loria. Alex also talks about baseball's need to approve a substance pitchers can use to get a better grip on the baseball, and basks in the struggles of Angels left fielders since the club traded Josh Hamilton to the Rangers for nothing.
Inside this edition of Without a Curse, Alex talks about what has been a dreadful stretch for the Red Sox. The starting pitching continues to be horrendous, and the situational hitting has been just as bad. That's a recipe to lose a lot of ball games. Arguably the biggest problem with the Red Sox lineup is that it's only been five hitters deep. Mike Napoli has an OPS below .600, and the bottom three hitters have been automatic hits. Red Sox right fielders are slugging below .200 this season as well. There have been a few scapegoats, as Juan Nieves, Edward Mujica and Allen Craig are no longer with the big league club. If Justin Masterson and Daniel Nava don't pick up their performances, Alex says they could be next. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about the AL East standings, and the red-hot Yankees. Michael Pineda has been dominant this season, as has Andrew Miller closing out games. Speaking of dominance, that's just one of many words that can describe the run Bryce Harper is on. Would the people who have called him a bust like to take their words back? Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1. No show next week, as Alex will be graduating college. Without a Curse returns on Monday, May 25.
Nothing is going right for the Red Sox, and Alex talks about their struggles inside this edition of "Without a Curse." Ironically, starting pitching hasn't been the club's biggest problem through this four-game losing streak. The offense has struggled to gain traction, and potentially suffered a big blow Monday when Hanley Ramirez exited the game in the first inning with a shoulder strain. If Ramirez misses significant time, the other right-handed bats on this team have to step up. Mike Napoli in particular has been a big disappointment so far this season. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex gives a check on the AL East standings and the red-hot Astros. He also talks about how the biggest punishment for Alex Rodriguez has nothing to do with a denied home run bonus. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox just completed a disappointing road trip with a couple of wretched losses, but there's no reason to panic yet. The American League East appears to be just as mediocre as advertised, so the Red Sox are still in the thick of the race. It will probably take a lot for this team to bury itself – that's for sure. But there are causes for concern – especially the bullpen. Though the starting rotation has the highest ERA in the league, Alex says all five starters should be able to keep the Red Sox competitive. The same can't be said for the bullpen. With Koji Uehara's struggles, the only reliable reliever is Junichi Tazawa, There just seems to be a lack of arms there. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about the likely final chapter in the embarrassing Josh Hamilton saga, why the DH should be installed in the National League and Chris Rock's poignant commentary on baseball's declining popularity among African-Americans and young people. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
The Red Sox's starting pitching has arguably been even worse than expected. Fortunately for the Sox, the AL East is, too. Despite a week of atrocious starting pitching, the Red Sox remain in possession of first place. But this type of play isn't sustainable, as evidenced by the Sox dropping two of three games to the Orioles over the weekend. You can slug your way to victory in the regular season, but your pitching has to be at least passable. In addition to the Red Sox's pitching woes, Alex also talks about the antagonist in the next Boston baseball culture war: Hanley Ramirez. Get your hot takes ready. ... In the "Around the League" segment, Alex discusses Alex Rodriguez's pursuit of Willie Mays' career home run mark, Jon Lester's apparent case of the Yips and the latest in the Josh Hamilton saga. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Alex recaps the Red Sox's first week, which included series wins over the Phillies and Yankees. The MVP of the week goes to Joe Kelly, whose dominating seven-inning effort Saturday was exactly what the Red Sox needed following a nearly seven-hour, 19-inning affair Friday night. Overall – Buchholz's disastrous outing against the Yankees Sunday night aside – the starting pitching was more than good enough to win in the first six games of the season. Maybe the staff is better than expected, or maybe the Phillies and Yankees just can't hit. But overall, it's been an encouraging start. Alex also talks about some of the standout offensive performers from the first week, including Hanley Ramirez. He is one of the keys to the Red Sox's season, and seems to be in a comfortable place so far. Rick Porcello's contract extension, and what it says about the Red Sox's strategy in free agency is discussed as well. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about Royals' and Tiger's perfect starts as well as the continuation of the Josh Hamilton saga. Somehow, the Angels keep looking worse. Follow Alex on Twitter throughout the season, @AlexReimer1.
Alex previews this 2015 MLB season, and gives his winners for each division. He says the Red Sox will capture the AL East behind its elite offense, which looks better on paper than the 2013 unit that led all of baseball in runs scored. The Red Sox also possess enough assets to make a major splash at the trade deadline to upgrade the rotation if need be (spoiler: they'll probably have to). One of the central themes of this offseason was how many teams attempted to replicate the Royals' and Giants' model of making a deep playoff run with less than 90 times. In the two wild card era, almost every teams feel as if it's in contention. The White Sox and Padres were arguably two of the most aggressive clubs this winter, and Alex says it will pay off for one of them. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1. A new edition of "Without a Curse" will be published every Monday throughout the baseball season. Play ball!
Inside this edition of “Without a Curse,” Alex takes a look at the plethora of injuries Red Sox players have suffered so far in camp, and attempts to discern which ones are cause for legitimate concern. He also sifts through Tom Verducci’s column defending the Red Sox’s rotation, which generated quite a stir last week. Though some of Verducci’s individual arguments are cherry-picked, Alex says his greater point about the declining importance of an ace in baseball is a good one. On the ace topic, Alex shares his theory on the Red Sox’s rotation. Hint: it involves the word “bridge.” In the “Around the League” segment, Alex talks about the feasibility of an international draft for amateur players. Though it may be difficult to coordinate in theory, Alex says it may become a necessity given the difference in signing bonuses that international players receive from American-born prospects. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Alex breaks down the latest news in Red Sox Spring Training, including whether the time is right for the team to swing a deal with the Phillies for Cole Hamels. Though the Red Sox's rotation could use the upgrade, it might be best to wait the market out. It doesn't appear as if any other team is going to run away with the division title. The significance of Pablo Sandoval's feud with the Giants, Rusney Castillo's status for Opening Day and Yoan Moncada's mysterious journey to the United States are touched upon as well. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex explains why he thinks Will Farrell's Cactus League stunt could be what saves baseball (yes, he's serious). Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.
Alex breaks down the Red Sox's first week in Grapefruit League play, and attempts to determine how much stock he should take from players' performances. Alex talks about the expectations for the starting rotation, and why it's important to remember how unproven this Red Sox staff is. Spring Training may bring about hope, but it shouldn't bring naivete. Rusney Castillo and Shane Victorino have both missed time over the last week. Alec says their injuries are nothing to be concerned about, but serve as a reminder that the outfield logjam may work itself out. In the "Around the League" segment, Alex talks about why MLB shouldn't suspend Josh Hamilton for allegedly relapsing over the offseason, and Curt Schilling's efforts to police the Internet. Follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexReimer1.