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Silver Linings for the Boston Red Sox During a Season of Drama

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 24: Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 24, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Tom FitzContributor IIIAugust 17, 2012

You know things are bad when you have to throw around phrases like “silver linings” to describe a season.

But at this point that is all the Boston Red Sox have left. Even the Twitter community took to finding some silver linings for the Red Sox, and for a brief time yesterday #RedSoxSilverLinings was a trending topic on Twitter.

Red Sox Nation put a lighthearted spin on the season.

Here’s a sample from yesterday:

From @GoGetMyCoffee

Dustin Pedroia will win Equestrian gold in 2016. He’ll be riding John Lackey. #RedSoxSilverLinings

— H(@GoGetMyCoffee) August 16, 2012

And

They didn’t wait until September to collapse. #RedSoxSilverLinings

— H(@GoGetMyCoffee) August 16, 2012

 From @sprotster

Dustin Pedroia's hairline appears to be in roughly the same place it was last year? #RedSoxSilverLinings

— sprot (@sprotster) August 16, 2012

 From @AndyInSunnyDB

Scotty Pods magical run at .400 and another season in the sun... #RedSoxSilverLinings

— Andy (@AndyInSunnyDB) August 17, 2012

From @AccordionManEEI

There won't be national attention in October on Tom Menino, who would've called Middlebrooks "Bill Fiddlesticks." #RedSoxSilverLinings

— Accordion Man (@AccordionManEEI) August 16, 2012

And

At the #RedSox World Series rolling rally, Mayor Menino would have butchered Jarrod Saltalamacchia's name so, so badly. #RedSoxSilverLinings

— Accordion Man (@AccordionManEEI) August 16, 2012

Sometimes when things get so bad, humor is the only thing we have left to fall back on—and Red Sox fans need a lot of that right now.

Currently the Sox sit at 58-61, 12.5 games behind New York, and only have a 6.7 percent chance at the playoffs. (h/t ESPN)  

If that weren’t bad enough, Red Sox fans have had to endure the endless drama that seems to have never lost its grip on this team since last September.

Yesterday Red Sox fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations. While we can joke about just how bad this team has been, it’s important to recognize three players who actually were silver linings this season.

 

Clay Buchholz

If we want to throw around the word “ace” when referring to the Red Sox rotation, it starts with Buchholz.

He’s 11-3, with a 4.19 ERA in 139.2 innings pitched this season.

His last six starts have been particularly impressive. Over those starts he has gone 5-1, with a 1.53 ERA. Opponents are only hitting .195 against him since July 19. Buchholz’s season has somewhat gone under the radar with all of the drama surrounding this team.

Buchholz has been automatic over the past two months for the Red Sox.

Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald noted, “It has come to this: Clay Buchholz is the Red Sox’ only sure thing.” 

It’s something Red Sox fans can take some small comfort in—at least one of the pitchers is actually doing his job.

 

Franklin Morales

The 26-year-old reliever/starter has given himself an unexpected shot at a middle of the rotation spot next season. At times, as a starter, he seemed unhittable. 

As a starter he went 3-2, with a 3.35 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched. He held opponents to a .199 batting average. But his most impressive stat was his strikeout rate. He averaged 9.8 strikeouts over nine innings as a starter.

Any rotation would benefit from a young lefty with the ability to strike out hitters at a high rate. Unfortunately, the Red Sox were such a black hole of negativity and mediocrity we never got to see what Morales could have been on a contending team.

But Morales has set himself up to be a strong candidate for a starting role next season.

 

Cody Ross

Ross was really supposed to be in a platoon situation this season with Ryan Sweeney. But injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford changed all of that. Ross was suddenly thrust into a full-time role and he did not disappoint.

Ross has hit .279, with 18 home runs and 60 RBI. He has far exceeded what most Red Sox fans ever thought they would get out of him.

Ross also looks like one of the few players left on the Red Sox who actually seems to still have fun playing. Whether it is his signature bat toss after a home run, his batman-like eye black or simply a guy smiling in the dugout—Ross is a guy Sox fans can root for.

Cherington should think long and hard about resigning Ross. Perhaps we can add Ross to Scott Lauber’s list as a “sure thing” for the Red Sox. If the Red Sox do clean house when the season is over, they’d be wise keep Ross in a Red Sox uniform.

Red Sox fans have turned the corner into delirium on this team and all we have left are a handful of likeable players and jokes.

I’ll leave you with one more:

Getting to see BobbyV on his bike, in spandex.#RedSoxSilverLinings

— PissedOffRedSoxFan (@PissedOffRedSox) August 16, 2012

Have at it, what are some of your silver linings for the 2012 Red Sox?

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