Great thread. Thanks to all for the intelligent comments
Allow me one what-if. Leave everything the same - ownership, attendance issues, Ozzie/Robin, KW and Rick Hahn, cynical fans, etc, etc. Exact same philosophy throughout the organization. Exact same results and exact same same seeding in the amateur draft.
Change only one decision: Draft Mike Trout instead of Jared Mitchell.
Imagine the excitement last season had Trout been called up for May. Imagine the second half. Do they collapse in September?
Imagine the buzz leading into this season after the rookie season he had. The fans would be flocking into USCF. Well, relatively speaking for Sox fans.
Of course, there are 23 other GMs who made the same mistake. (Rizzo gets a pass- he drafted Strasberg) It's also possible he does not develop in the Sox system.