Archive for Ben Feeney

2014 American League East Preview: Boston Red Sox

Posted in Offseason with tags , , on March 30, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

We’re now less than a week away from opening day of the 2014 baseball season (while that whole thing in Australia was fun, I’m not considering it the “real” opening day).  As we count down the remaining days of spring training this week, Orioles Proving Ground will be asking some of our friends to answer somewhat important questions about the Orioles American League East foes.

Today, Ben Feeney takes some time to answer some questions about the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, which somehow includes a Wizard of Oz comparison.  Below are links to the teams we’ve already looked at.

Tampa Bay Rays | New York Yankees | Toronto Blue Jays | Boston Red Sox

Orioles Proving Ground: The Red Sox went from worst (in 2012) to first (2013), winning the World Series last year, and no one saw it coming.  In fact, I remember a comment you made on my very first blog post in March of 2013 that stated that the Red Sox will be “non-existent” in 2013.  What do you think was the biggest reason for their turn-around?

Ben Feeney: So you want to know how a team such as the Red Sox goes from worst (2012) to first (2013) right??   Well, maybe I have the answer written down in a small envelope concealed in a safe, hidden in the deep dark cavern beneath my house.  And you would have to assume it is being guarded by the Sloth character from the Goonies!   Listen Friend, if I had the answer to that riddle I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this response.  I’d be rich and important…both of which I am currently lacking.  The way I see it there were several factors that contributed to their success and I will give each factor a percentage based on it’s respective influence.

TEAM CHEMISTRY- 50% – This team reminded me of the 2004 squad.  Each player had his own personality and identity.  If you can be allowed to be the raw version of yourself while working…win/win.   JOHN FARRELL-25% – Finally they brought in a manager with similar mannerisms to Terry Francona.  Valentine’s strong-arm tactics and feuds with players backfired, end of story. Farrell trusted this group and rarely changed the line up during post-season play, most notably when hitting slumps were felt by more than a few.   All of the players contributed to filling in the “gaps” when fellow teammates struggled. 2012 OFF SEASON CHANGES TO PERSONEL & LUCK 15% & 10% – Honestly, I questioned some of the salary dumps in the off-season.  I will not question upper management further (until next season of course). They are good at what they do, period.  Still, even those Add-Wizards could not have predicted this outcome and luck plays a part and takes her cut.   THE BEARDS-100% per whisker!!!!! Continue reading