The second-place Yankees are coming to town to face the first-place Red Sox for four games over three days at Fenway this weekend. The Sox could put their cleats on the throats of the struggling New Yorkers and send them away for good . . . or . . . the Yankees could vault into first with a four-game sweep. Some thoughts:
■ These could be the final days, indeed the final hours of the Pablo Sandoval debacle in Boston. That’s right, folks, the Red Sox could release the Kung Fu Panda any minute, certainly by Monday when they have to make a decision on Sandoval’s status as his rehab assignment officially ends. Outright release feels like an option. If it happens, the Sox will have gotten exactly 161 games of virtually nothing (.239, 14 homers, 59 RBIs) in exchange for $95 million. The Sox are 69-81 when Sandoval starts. And according to one metric, his glove costs them 34 runs per season. Dumping Sandoval is an ownership call more than a Dave Dombrowski call. Panda is Ben Cherington’s signing, so Dombro has no pride of authorship here. When Panda is finally released, debate can commence on the worst Sox free agent signing ever. Carl Crawford ($142 million), Rusney Castillo ($72.5 million as an international free agent), and Panda can jostle for the top spot on the medal platform, but let’s never forget worthy contenders such as Jose Offerman, Jack Clark, Matt Young, Matt Clement, Edgar Renteria, and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Shank writes his 276th column about a Red Sox / Yankees series.