As the NFL season prepares to kickoff, many Boston fans are relieved to have another outlet for their sports fanaticism. The year started out with the Celtics tanking, and the summer saw the Red Sox never really in contention.
For those still paying attention, August saw a lot of new faces, but the results were still the same. The Red Sox were a sub-.500 team yet again, going 12-16 for the month.
Here's my August report card, complete with grades from previous months for those few that have survived the whole season:
Christian Vazquez: C+. He is the Jackie Bradley, Jr. of catchers. Great glove, no bat. (July: B)
Mike Napoli: C-. Nap sleepwalked through the month, hitting .175 while striking out 29 times in 80 at-bats. (A-, C-, A, C-)
Dustin Pedroia: A-. Great month capped off with concussion symptoms at the end. Typical. (B, B, B-, B)
Xander Bogaerts: D. He continues the beeline downward trend of his entire season. It can't get any worse, can it? (B-, A-, C-, C-)
Will Middlebrooks: D. It's just not happening for Will in Boston. A change of scenery is in the offing. (April: Incomplete, May: F)
Allen Craig: F. So far, not so good for the prime target in the John Lackey deal.
Jackie Bradley, Jr.: C-. Demoted to Pawtucket, and no room for him in Boston in the foreseeable future. (B+, B-, C+, B+)
Daniel Nava: B. Nava has been solid since a disastrous first two months. Solid is the best Nava will ever be. (N/A, N/A, B, A-, A-)
Yoenis Cespedes: B+. Cespedes led the team in RBI (22) in August.
Brock Holt: B-. It couldn't last forever, unfortunately. (N/A, A, A+, B+)
David Ortiz: B+. Ortiz found his way to 30 home runs this year and is on the cusp of 100 RBI. I think it's about time he asks for another contract extension. (C+, B, B-, B)
Clay Buchholz: C. Here's your new ace. Everybody drink! He did end the month with a three-hit shutout of Tampa. (C-, F, D+, C)
Joe Kelly: B-. Turns out he was the best catch in the Lackey deal.
Rubby De La Rosa: C. Are we grading on the curve? (June: A-, July: C-)
Brandon Workman: F. It was a tough month for Workman. (June: A-, July: D)
Allen Webster: F. A typical AAAA pitcher, and four A's does not have the same positive meaning in baseball as it does in school.
Junichi Tazawa: B. Performing the same slow fade as last year. (A-, A-, A-, C)
Craig Breslow: C-. Why is he still here? (F, C, C, D)
Tommy Layne: A. He is what Breslow is supposed to be. He has been a revelation so far.
Edward Mujica: B+. Now that the games are meaningless, Mujica is pitching much better. (F, C, B, C)
Burke Badenhop: A-. He has sunken back into anonymity. (C, A, A, D)
Koji Uehara: C+. What happened? His splitter has been getting splattered. Sox should have traded him when his value was its highest. (A+, A+, A, A-)