I have no idea what happened between 1991 and 1992. The offense struggled quite a bit, and that was probably most of it. Maybe it was the new manager as Butch Hobson took over for the popular Joe Morgan. Boston finished in last place in 1992.
FIVE FAVORITE PLAYERS:
Boggs had the worst season of his career in 1992, finishing with a career low .259/.353/.358 slash line. He was still voted onto the All Star team, but his numbers across the board were down. It may have been the stress of having his contract up after the season. He left Boston after the season to join the hated Yankees.
Brunansky had his best season as a member of the Red Sox in 1992, even though it was still a far cry from his earlier work with the Twins and Cardinals. He did have the only above-average season by a starting Red Sox position player as he hit .266/.354/.445 and lead the Red Sox in home runs (15), doubles (31), and RBIs (74).
Burks was plagued by injuries in 1992, but generally played well when he was in the lineup. Burks hit .255/.327/.417 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs and five stolen bases in just 66 games. When he was out of the lineup, Boston had to scramble to find a replacement.
Clemens is one of the few players that really had a good year in 1992. Clemens finished third in the Cy Young race that year and 14th in the MVP race. He also was named an All Star. He finished the season at 18-11 with a league-leading 2.41 ERA and 208 strikeouts. He also lead the league in shutouts and WHIP.
Vaughn started to reach his potential in 1992 after a difficult rookie season in 1991. He was not quite the hitter he was expected to be yet, but he did finish second on the team in home runs (13) and RBIs (57). He put together a slash line of .234/.326/.400, not great numbers, but he was starting to show some improvement.
Hatcher was acquired by the Red Sox from the Reds in July for Tom Bolton. He immediately brought an infusion of speed to the Red Sox and even pulled off a steal of home in 1992. He hit .238/.282/.311 in 75 games for the Red Sox.
Reardon broke the career saves record in 1992, one of the first big individual accomplishments I remember as a fan of the Red Sox. Reardon did not have a great season in 1992, but he did save 27 games. He was traded to the Braves at the August trading deadline.
Reed was another hitter who declined in 1992, but he still lead the team in a number of categories, such as hits (136), runs (64), and stolen bases (7), while continuing to play steady defense. Reed hit .247/.321/.316 in 1992, with only 27 doubles after three straight seasons of more than 40.
Viola came to the Red Sox as a free agent in 1992 from the Mets. He was a 20 game winner in 1990 but his numbers dipped a bit in 1991. Left-handers have not historically done well in Fenway, but Viola managed to go 13-12 with a 3.44 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 238 innings to make an effective number two starter to Roger Clemens.
Cooper had been a highly-touted infielder for awhile and he made it to the big leagues full-time in 1993. He split his time between first base and third base and hit .276/.346/.383 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. He also showed a very strong throwing arm. He would make a lot of errors but that had more to do with Vaughn's erratic defense than Cooper's.