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The Red Sox are drowning due to bad decisions. Can GM Ben Cherington plug the leaks?

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Tensions are finally boiling over in Boston, but the worst thing they can do is panic.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Last night, I was putting my kids to bed when I heard the sound of running water coming from my basement. That's funny, I thought, the washer is done and the clothes are in the dryer. What could that be? It was, of course, a steady spout of water jetting out from the wall in my basement.

When I saw it, at first, there was a moment of panic. Of course my kids need to get to bed, but I also needed to get the boxes containing my kids' precious memorabilia up and out of the way, and to move the filing cabinet that held my baseball cards. After that, I contained the water using some towels and used a bucket until the leak calmed down. Some problems you can see coming from a mile away, and sometimes your basement springs a leak out of the blue at 8:30, when you're desperate to get your three year old to bed.

That must be what it feels like to be Ben Cherington at the moment, as he looks at his Red Sox, now 27-34, seven full games behind the Yankees, and mired at the bottom of the AL East for the third time in four seasons. His house has sprung a leak again, and he's left wondering how best to contain the mess.

Multiple small leaks can cause a flood

His recent trades have been a disaster. While John Lackey dominates for the Cardinals, Allen Craig has been hurt and awful and Joe Kelly has a 5.40 ERA. Rick Porcello has a 5.26 ERA while Yoenis Cespedes has hit .302/.339/.511 and has been worth more wins above replacement than all of Boston's outfielders combined. Wade Miley got into a fight with John Farrell in the dugout last night. Heck, they even traded Eduard Mujica and cash to the A's, and he has thrown 5 consecutive scoreless innings since.

Of their young players, only Xander Bogaerts (.296/.341/.398) and Eduardo Rodriguez (1 run allowed in 21 innings over three starts) have begun contributing yet in a real way. Christian Vazquez was supposed to start the season at catcher, but required Tommy John surgery. His replacement, 23 year old Blake Swihart, has struggled. Mookie Betts is hitting just .234/.294/.364. Neither Rusney Castillo or Jackie Bradley have hit at all.

Injuries and age have also conspired to destroy the productivity of David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Craig, Ryan Hanigan, and Shane Victorino. Ortiz, once one of the best hitters in baseball, has been benched versus left-handed pitchers. Even free agent addition Pablo Sandoval has been a huge disappointment and watching Hanley Ramirez play defense in left field is my new favorite sitcom. Cherington has committed $278 million to those two and Porcello through 2019. The Sox have the worst run prevention in baseball and one of the worst offenses in the American League.

First step: Don't let the leak ruin the stuff you want to keep.

So what can be done? You can't fix the leak while water is still pouring out of the wall, so Cherington needs to do what I did last night and contain the damage as much as possible. He can't panic like his job is on the line and try to make a big splash that would get the rest of the basement wet.

Let the current squad play out the season without massive changes. Maybe try to deal Koji Uehara and Napoli. Explore what the return might be for Clay Buchholz, even if you don't intend to deal him right now. Let Hanigan come off the DL and become the regular catcher again, and send Swihart back to Pawtucket to develop more. Slowly introduce Brian Johnson and Henry Owens.

He can make slow, responsible changes and trust that the Sox ownership will understand that this leaky basement isn't totally his fault, and will give him a chance to fix it correctly after the storm has passed.