The Boston Red Sox are a woeful defensive team, and if you’re looking to point a finger, Chaim Bloom says to direct it at him.
Boston have been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball, with their 43 errors trailing only the Giants, who have 45. Kiké Hernández (13), Rafael Devers (six) and Enmanuel Valdez (six) alone have racked up enough errors to outpace five teams in the metric.
Defense was an issue last season too, and something that the team admitted needed to be improved over the offseason. That hasn’t panned out, and Bloom said Thursday on The Greg Hill Show that it’s on him.
“I don’t think of it in terms of blame. Look, ultimately I’m responsible for the whole thing, so if you want to play the blame game, put it on me, that’s how the business works," Bloom said. "But that’s not going to be productive, it's not going to solve anything, we all have jobs to do, everybody in and out of uniform, to make this better.
“Like you said, right now we’re just not playing winning defense. We have not been our best selves for a little over a couple weeks, and there’s winnable games that we’ve let slip away because we haven’t nailed down routine plays like we need to. Everybody knows that, it’s not a secret, but it is a fact, and it is just a case we have to improve if we want to accomplish something."
Similarly to last season, it’s been tough to gauge what exactly Boston’s goal is for the campaign. The team has said they’re trying to compete now – let’s not forget the declaration Bloom made to Hernández when he resigned – but they don’t always operate like that.
Valdez’ bat is showing it can play in the majors, but his glove is a mess. Triston Casas has struggled to get anything going offensively. They continue to trot Tanner Houck out at a starter in hopes that something will click. Letting them fight through challenges isn’t the worst thing, but the let the kids figure it out in the big leagues approach is not something serious contenders often do.
Bloom insists that they are trying to win this season.
“I don’t look at it that way at all,” Bloom said when asked to respond to those who think he’s punting on this season for the future. “Yeah, we’re obviously building back up towards something and we’re trying to do it the right way. There are no shortcuts in this business, right? You try to take shortcuts, you usually end up getting burned, you end up paying a price at some point for it, so we’re trying to do this the right way.
“We’re trying to win now and down the line, and the fact of the matter is right now in baseball, you look around and the best way to accomplish both and the best way to win right now is with good, young players. So the attention paid to the pipeline and restocking that pipeline, it’s not a hobby, it’s not like these guys are collector’s items, they’re players you win with. And when we have played well this year, it has been because of those players.”