“Bruce Springsteen, Madonna … Way before Nirvana, there was U2 and Blondie and music still on MTV. Her two kids in high school, they tell her that she’s uncool … ’Cause she’s still preoccupied with 19, 19, 1985.”
It appears that Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, like most of the rest of America, is not a fan of Bowling for Soup’s not-quite-a-cult hit song, “1985.” Nor is he preoccupied with those born in that particular year.
On Boston’s roster, only poor lefty Andrew Miller represents the 8-5.
Cherington seemingly loves those born in Ronald Reagan’s first term, as 17 member of Boston’s current 25-man roster were born before Jan. 1, 1985. He also has a thing for players that are 26-years-old and younger as Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brandon Workman make up Boston’s youthful foundation. It’s a land of extremes on Yawkey Way, it seems, as Cherington has constructed a team which is stocked with players 30 and older, all while supplementing it will a handful of promising young-ins.
“When we have been really good we have found the right veteran players,’’ Cherington told the Boston Globe in 2012. “Guys who have fit Boston and fit what we are trying to do at the major league level, and we have been able to integrate the right young players in with them to create a team, and played together as a team.”
The Sox are only one of four teams in MLB this year with a player 21-years-old or younger on their active roster (Xander Bogaerts) and one of only 13 teams with a player 38-year-old or over (David Ortiz).
With those 17 elder statesmen, the Red Sox have a median age of 30.4 – which is the second oldest mark in the Majors behind the Yankees at 31.2.
It makes sense that the Red Sox are steering clear of players in their late 20s and early 30s. They were burned by signing a 29-year-old Carl Crawford in 2010 and, to a lesser extent, a 31-year-old John Lackey in 2010. Generally, players in the 28-to-30-year old range are seeking the biggest paydays of their careers and Boston is now avoiding players of that age like the plague.
So, if you’re considered “middle aged” in baseball circles, you’re likely not calling Boston home anytime soon.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS