Who's up next in the End of Season Post-Mortem series? Boston Red Sox, come on down!
If you're new here (which about 90% of our reader base is in comparison to last year), here's a brief explanation: after a team is eliminated from the playoffs, we're going to put their season under a microscope and look at just what the hell went wrong, what went right, and so on and so forth. The goal is to post these the day after a team is eliminated. Also, for the first ten teams eliminated, we're going to post a series called "Hope for the Hopeless", which is going to be an expanded version of the "What Went Right" portion of the Post-Mortem series pieces.
Anyway, here we are...the Boston Red Sox. Your not going to believe this, but it was a controversy-filled season in Boston as they once again failed to live up to expectation, which is saying something considering their pre-season expectations were far lesser than they were in 2011. While the Sox spent most of the season getting beat up in the media, it wasn't a total loss as the Dodgers may very well have given their future a major boost thanks to one of the biggest and most controversial trades in league history.
What Went Right: The controversy embroiled season in Boston wasn't without its positives, especially the strong but injury-shortened rookie season of Will Middlebrooks. But the biggest positive of all for the Sox is that the Dodgers decided to throw Boston a life preserver by so kindly taking over a quarter of a billion dollars in long-term contract commitments off their hands in the form of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and (wait for it)... Nick Punto! For good measure, the Dodgers tossed in prospects Jerry Sands, Rubby de la Rosa, Ivan DeJesus and Allen Webster (and first baseman James Loney too, but c'mon, really). That trade essentially granted the team a blank slate to work from as they look to right the ship in a big hurry, which they can now that they have so much financial flexibility.