For the so-called “first day” of the Red Sox’s season, Monday sure felt like the day before yesterday.

And the day before that yesterday and so on, dating all the way back to Oct. 9 of last year.

In fact, the calendar that shows the departure of the Red Sox’s equipment truck for Fort Myers, pitchers and catchers reporting next Tuesday and the regular season beginning late next month feels totally screwed up right now.

There has been no Red Sox offseason.

The Sox are still stuck in the aftermath – not the afterglow – of their 2017 postseason, which ended with another one-and-done Division Series defeat to a vastly superior Astros team.

Since then, the Red Sox have spent nearly four full months in a slow-motion quest to sign a power hitter.


To date, they are empty-handed, which means they are no better on paper or in reality than they were four months ago.

That’s what made Monday’s annual Truck Day feel so surreal.

Yes, the 53-foot truck parked on Van Ness Street was loaded to capacity with its 1,100 slender bats and 20,400 baseballs, 20 cases of bubble gum and 60 cases of sunflower seeds by mid-day before pulling out of town for its three-day trip to JetBlue Park.

But this truck was carrying the baggage of the 2017 team.

The Red Sox will field a 2018 squad, sure, and it will be a good team.

But if the Red Sox seriously believe that they can claim to have improved the team without adding another bat, then they really can’t be taken seriously when they say they are committed to winning a championship.


Spring training is a week away, the regular season less than two months away.

If the Red Sox find their big bat before Opening Day, then most of these tedious and fallow four months will be mostly forgotten.

If they can’t, then don’t believe the calendar or the Red Sox, because the 2018 Red Sox will be like the 2017 Red Sox: good, not great.

And for this franchise in this market, being good’s not good enough.

“It’s the Boston Red Sox – what could go wrong?” Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy said with a laugh before driver Al Hartz climbed into the cabin of the 18-wheeler for the 21st consecutive year. “Look, it’s been an unusual offseason in that it’s been slow from a free agency perspective. I would anticipate over the next couple of weeks things start to move. (Red Sox president of baseball operations) Dave Dombrowski and his team are looking to improve at every opportunity for us – obviously we have a need on the offensive side of the ball. We’re coming off a 93-win season, we feel pretty good about the team we have but thanks to (team chairman) Tom (Werner) and (principal owner) John (Henry) and their partners, we’ve had the resources to invest each and every year in Boston.”

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner echoed Kennedy.


“Like Sam said, it’s slow but wait until Opening Day,” said Werner.

This offseason has been so slow and so strange, Werner’s entirely justified to ask for more patience before announcing the Red Sox as deceased on arrival.

Whether or not the Red Sox and 29 other teams have entered a new normal when it comes to team-building and whether or not something more sinister or paradigm-shifting is involved when it comes to relations between the players and owners, asking for a little more time does not exonerate the Red Sox and their inaction from analysis or criticism.

Other teams – the Astros, the Yankees, the Angels, the Brewers, to name a few – have acted boldly.

The Red Sox have opted for more of a rope-a-dope strategy with their primary target, free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez, although it’s entirely unclear whose back is against the ropes at any given moment.

The same wiseguys who established the Patriots as the favorites over the Eagles in the Super Bowl will tell you that Martinez has no other team besides the Red Sox serious about signing him and also that the Red Sox have nobody in their sights besides Martinez.


The same analysts who point to the deterioration of output from sluggers in their mid to late 30s as a good reason not to lock up a 30-year-old like Martinez for anything beyond five years will go silent when asked to point to a viable Plan B for the Red Sox.

They also can’t say why, with reports of record revenues and windfalls from the government and Disney, the Red Sox can’t overwhelm Martinez with a too-rich-to-refuse offer, one that will likely look wise next offseason.

Actually, we’ve been pointing out these points for nearly four months now and nothing’s changed yet, which is why one truck barreling south along the Eastern seaboard doesn’t mark the start of anything.

It’s just another day, and it’s just another truck.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.