Should Boston Fans Worry About Sale, Red Sox?

David Samson explained when it's time to worry about Chris Sale and the Red Sox – and the answers are not the same

Reiter Than You
April 17, 2019 - 8:58 pm
Chris Sale Boston Red Sox

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Last year, the Boston Red Sox won 108 games, not to mention the World Series. This year, they are tied with Kansas City (6-12) for the worst record in the American League.

When should fans start worrying about the Red Sox – or any team?

“It has to have a J on the month,” former MLB executive David P. Samson said on Reiter Than You. “That was our rule. No decisions on the season are done until there’s a J. It starts in June – and in June, you start looking about where you are, and you make sure that you’re not drinking your own Kool-Aid. And the Kool-Aid that I’m talking about is that you thought you had a good team and you’re underperforming and you expect your team to just turn it on the next day. And when it doesn’t happen, you expect it the next day. That’s what I’m watching the Red Sox for this year. This may not be their year, and they’re going to have to make that judgment – but not until there’s a J.”

While it’s probably too early to worry about the Red Sox, it’s not too early to worry about Chris Sale, who is 0-4 with a 8.50 ERA.

“It’s not too soon for me,” Samson said. “Velocity isn’t that important, in my mind, because Chris Sale is built on command and he is built on winning – and I don’t just mean games. He is a winning pitcher. Pitchers have a certain number of bullets in their arm, and he’s thrown a lot of pitches. They’ve tried to save him for a few years, even when he was back with the White Sox.”

Nevertheless, Sale, who signed a five-year $145-million extension in March, has struggled mightily.

“What worries me about that extension is – like the (Jacob) deGrom extension – it was really done for PR purposes more than anything else,” Samson said. “They felt they had to do it, and they will regret it because he will not be good for the five years of his contract. He’s not an 8.00-ERA pitcher, but I think he probably is not a 2.00-ERA pitcher anymore.”

Click below to listen to Samson’s interview in its entirety.