Boston Red Sox: Disaster on Yawkey Way
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 03:05
One would figure that on the centennial anniversary of historic Fenway Park - America's most beloved ballpark - the Red Sox would be poised to have a great season in which their fans could be proud of.
Just about a month into the season all it has been for the Sox is a disaster. An absolute mess. And it all started last year in what was the most disappointing season in recent history - and I stress recent history - for the Red Sox. Let's take a look at it.
September 28, 2011 - At the beginning of the month Boston was ahead of Tampa Bay in the standings by nine games, which should have been a comfortable enough lead heading into the playoffs. *insert Jim Mora's playoff rant here* But no, this Red Sox team couldn’t even put together consecutive wins in September, finishing the month with a 7-20 record. And rightfully so, it came down to the last day of the season, literally. All they had to do was beat the Orioles and they were on their way to what probably would have been a disastrous postseason. But no, in comes Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th inning to allow two runs and give Baltimore the 4-3 victory. Shocked would probably be the best word to describe the thoughts of many after watching the Sox lose that game.
But what happened just moments after that in St. Petersburg, Florida, would be just the beginning of what was yet to come. Evan Longoria hit a solo-homerun in the 12th inning to give the Rays an 8-7 victory over the Yankees in a game which Tampa once trailed 7-0. Most importantly, that win sent the Rays to the playoffs and sent the Red Sox fishing. Disbelief would probably be the best word to describe the thoughts of many as they went to bed that night. And to add to it, the Red Sox decided not to exercise Terry Francona’s 2012 option, parting ways with the skipper who brought two World Series Championships to Boston in his seven years with the team.
October 12, 2011 - After the season ended for the Red Sox all it took was two weeks to rekindle the flame in Red Sox Nation. An article in the Boston Globe exposed the Red Sox in every aspect and started the negative reputation that has followed this team up to the very moment that you are reading this sentence. The article reported Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey drinking beer, eating fried chicken and playing video games in the clubhouse during games instead of being in the dugout supporting their teammates. The Globe article also included anonymous sources that acknowledged that Francona had lost his influence and was distracted throughout the season. It even went as far as suggesting that Red Sox players were concerned that Francona’s performance may have been affected by his use of pain medication.
Don’t worry, there is more.
Also according to the article there was a dispute between management and the players over a stretch in which the Sox played 14 of 17 games on the road. The owners saw that their team was playing like crap and decided to buy everyone $300 headphones and invite them to an exclusive players-only night on owner John W. Henry’s yacht. Not sure how that was supposed to motivate the team but it sure didn’t work.. At least they got some headphones out of it, right?
October 12, 2011 - Go figure that on the same day that controversial article was printed, reports surfaced of Red Sox GM Theo Epstein agreeing to a five-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Epstein was certainly not a fan favorite in Boston although he had been GM of the Sox for nine years. Most notably, Epstein was a crucial supporter/reason why Boston acquired Lackey and Carl Crawford -- two players who have yet to show their value to the organization.
October 26, 2011 - The Red Sox announced that starting pitcher John Lackey would undergo tommy john surgery which would make him miss the upcoming season. At the time, that was great news for Red Sox fans who continuously booed Lackey for his terrible performances throughout the season. However, call me crazy, but having a healthy Lackey on this Sox roster now would probably be more of a benefit to the team and their disgusting pitching thus far.
December 2, 2011 - “I'm honored, I'm humbled, and I'm pretty damn excited," Bobby Valentine said when introduced as Francona’s successor as manager of the Red Sox. Given Valentine’s attitude and reputation, he was supposed to be the change this team needed in the clubhouse to get things back to normal after their epic collapse. Frankly, Valentine was supposed to be a witty, hard-ass and stern manager to keep the players in line. We have yet to see that from Valentine, and it seems like not much has changed from September to now.
March 27, 2012 - Before a spring training game against the Rays, Sox manager Bobby Valentine indicated that Carl Crawford would likely start the season on the disabled list as he was recovering from offseason wrist surgery. Crawford was one of the biggest disappointments last season as he failed to use his talents which once made him an all-star in Tampa. Crawford has been rehabbing all season but he still remains on the disabled list. Add him to the list of players that the Red Sox could desperately use right about now.
April 14, 2012 - Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the disabled list because of a partially dislocated right shoulder. The initial report was that Ellsbury would miss at least six weeks but there has been no current update on a return for the outfielder. With both Crawford and Ellsbury out not only are the Sox losing two outfielders, they are also losing their fastest baserunners. Worst part about Ellsbury’s injury is that he was coming off a great season and was one of the few Sox players who remained level-headed throughout the chicken-and-beer debacle. Obviously now there are concerns about Ellsbury’s health when he returns, but as aforementioned, also add him to the list of players that the Red Sox could desperately use right now.