(Photo credit: masslive)
By Ted Gay – TedG63
Have you ever had a crush on a beautiful girl who was perfect in every way imaginable? Did you finally work up the nerve to ask her out and were thrilled when she said yes? When you took her out, did you realize that she as a dullard, and a drunk, who ran up an extravagant bar tab, treated you like a fool, left with the waiter and stuck you with the check? That girl is Joe Kelly.
Have you ever seen the perfect car? A sleek, black Ford Mustang that sparkled in the sun? On a test drive, the engine purred, and it handled like a dream? Then, after you purchased it, the car couldn’t exceed 50 mph, the brakes failed, and the wheels fell off? That car is Joe Kelly.
Have you ever seen a pitcher with a golden arm? He could throw in the high 90’s? His ball had movement? His control pinpoint? The GM whispered in your ear that he was a can’t miss set up man? Then you put him in the eighth inning on opening day, and he walks the first guy and proceeds to blow the game? That pitcher is Joe Kelly.
You can’t blame the guy who dated the girl, or bought the car or tabbed the pitcher to shut down the Rays with a four-run lead. The girl, truck, and pitcher were too tantalizing to ignore. When they inevitably failed you learned your lesson and moved on.
Alex Cora should not be criticized for selecting Joe Kelly to pitch the eighth. He has one of the best arms in baseball. He should be a top pitcher. All the tools are there. But when he gets in the game, for some inexplicable reason, he fails. Mike Matheny learned the hard way, John Farrell learned the hard way, and now Alex Cora has learned the hard way.
Unfortunately, there are millions of girls and cars in the world, and Cora only has seven pitchers to choose from to pitch the eighth inning. None of them are as talented as Kelly.
In a perfect world, a chagrined Cora would never pitch Kelly in the eighth inning again. In the imperfect world of the Red Sox bullpen as currently constituted he may not have a choice, and suddenly all of us who were confident in the 2018 Red Sox are now worried that we overestimated their bullpen, especially the alluring Kelly.
Where have you gone, Addison Reed? Red Sox Nation turns its desperate eyes to you.
ICYMI: EPISODE 32 OF THE AVIDBOSTON PODCAST!! We discuss Red Sox/Rays, Prospects, AL East, Manny Machado and More!!!
Also available on iTunes!!!