Written By: Andres Colmenares (@AndresLFCTR)
Due to COVID, Liverpool fans have a lot more free time on their hands which has exhausted the conversation about football. You can only discuss possible lineups so many times, so the Liverpool fans of the internet searched for new conversation topics to fill their days until the next match day. One topic has come up quite consistently over the past few months is one that might seem peculiar: baseball. Why are Liverpool fans so interested in baseball all of a sudden? Well, it has all to do with Fenway Sports Group’s team, the Boston Red Sox, and not in a good way. In reality, Liverpool fans are not interested in the actual game, but are worried as they watch their owner’s baseball team have one of their worst seasons ever. So, how bad are the Boston Red Sox, why are Liverpool fans scared, and is this a sign of doom for Liverpool’s future?Embed from Getty Images
Are the Red Sox really that bad? If you were on twitter during the baseball season, you probably saw many Liverpool fans tweeting about the constant losses by the Red Sox. Some claimed that this run of bad form was blown out of proportion by fellow fans who have an agenda against FSG, which is a fair assumption, but incorrect. As a lifelong baseball fan who grew up watching the sport and going to games, I would say I’m quite fit to analyze the current state of the Red Sox, and to be completely honest, this is the worst Red Sox team I have seen in a long time. The Red Sox finished as the 4th worst team in the league, something that sounds impossible being that they won the World Series just a few years ago back in 2018. The Red Sox were frightening going into 2019, solid defense and an explosive offense, and while they did not make the playoffs, it was expected that a promising team would be ready for 2020. Instead, it was the shell of a championship winning team lacking any heart. Injuries played a role in the weaker squad, but even then they were expected to be in contention for a playoff spot. Instead, they got slapped around by every team and where the laughing stock of the league. And what made it even more painful for Red Sox fans was the jab that started off their horrendous 2020 season: the infamous trade of Mookie Betts.Embed from Getty Images
Mookie Betts is a top three baseball player in the world, a real “franchise player”. A franchise player is someone that organization decides to build the entire team around because they are just that good, and Betts was exactly that for the Red Sox. Betts was a local kid made through the Red Sox system, who as a kid dreamed of playing for the Red Sox only to become a champion and MVP with them. Everything was lined up for him to be a lifelong Red Sox and receive a mega contract that he was worthy of, until the Red Sox had the brilliant idea of trading him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Why would they ever consider trading one of best players in the whole league? Simply put, they did it to save some cash. In baseball, there is something called the “luxury tax”, which forces teams above a certain payroll to pay a sizable fee. The plan was simple, Betts’s contract would end the following year causing him to go into free agency and then the Red Sox would sign him back like nothing ever happened. However, karma decided to kick into full gear as only a few weeks after being traded, Mookie Betts signed a lucrative deal with the Dodgers. The blunder was ruthlessly mocked by baseball fans of every team and to make it even worse, the Dodgers just won the World Series for the first time in 32 years with Betts. To put this in the context of Liverpool, that is like us willingly giving away Steven Gerrard to Real Madrid just to watch him win the Champions League a year later, and here lies the fear of Liverpool fans.Embed from Getty Images
A sudden drop off after becoming champions, getting rid of top players to save some money, falling into the depths of irrelevancy. Yeah, it makes complete sense why the current state of the Boston Red Sox scares Liverpool fans. But are the Red Sox really predicting Liverpool’s future? Well, not exactly. In baseball, it is almost impossible to build a dynasty, let alone a team that can defend the title the following year. The last team to win consecutive World Series were the New York Yankees back in 1998-2000, and there has not been a team that has done it since. In that same span, it has happened four times in the Premier League done by three different teams. While the Red Sox may be in a rough spot for another year or two, they always have a knack for returning with a championship team. Ever since FSG acquired them, the Red Sox will win a World Series, go a few years without winning anything, then come right back to win again, something that should reassure some Liverpool fans.
The Mookie Betts trade cannot be defended and is definitely regretted by Red Sox management, which is why I do not see anything like it happening at Liverpool. Also, the fear of not investing in Liverpool’s future was put to bed mostly this summer with the acquisitions of Tsimikas, Thiago, and the new fan favorite Jota. And it does not look like it’s stopping there as there will likely be a transfer for a new centerhalf to help alleviate the pressure on the defense this winter. It has actually come to the point where Red Sox fans are worried that Liverpool are the favorite child of FSG. I genuinely believe that FSG have all the intentions of building a dynasty with Liverpool, and accompany that with the potential acquisition by RedBall, the multi billion dollar company run by Billy Beane, the mind behind Moneyball and a lifelong football fan, the future of Liverpool football club is exciting and not something fans should worry about.