My summation of the Red Sox season. A disaster, wrapped in a enema surrounded by an enigma…
Last year the Boston Red Sox were knocked out of the playoffs on the last day of the season by the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles finished the 2011 season with a record of 69 wins and 93 losses. The stunned Orioles who led the division at the beginning of September failed in an epic collapse losing 5 of 7 games to the Orioles in the last 10 games of the season. The failure cost Tony Francona his job and let to a bloodletting of veteran players, many who had helped lead the BoSox to two World Series titles.
There was much blame cast around the Red Sox organization. GM Theo Epstein left to join the Cubs and it was revealed that players were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games during the collapse. The organization did not recover.
Searching for a remedy the Red Sox opted to hire Bobby Valentine who had last managed the Mets’ before going to Japan where he became a legend in the Japanese Major Leagues. Valentine was known as a strict disciplinarian and with a two year deal in hand he wasted no time in laying down the rules to the rambunctious Red Sox clubhouse. In doing so he alienated himself from key players. The Red Sox lost players in the off season and suffered injuries. By mid-season it became apparent that the Red Sox were a lost cause.
Tonight after having lost 9 of their last 10 and the previous six games the Sox were swept by the Yankees losing by a score of 14-2. The Sox finished the season in last place in the AL East with a record of 69-92. Only the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins had worse records in the American League. It was the first time since 1965 that the Sox lost over 90 games in a season.
It was a humiliating sequel to the worst collapse in league history. The word is that Valentine is done in Boston and if he is fired nobody will be surprised. Valentine had been openly feuding with clubhouse leaders like Justin Pedrioa and had sent fan favorite Kevin Youkilis packing after accusing Youkilis of not giving his all. Valentine told Boston radio station WEEI Wednesday that “some of his coaches were not loyal to him and had undermined him.
To me it seemed that the Red Sox management hired the wrong man for the club.It was a bad fit from the beginning made worse by Valentine’s refusal to listen to people that were familiar with the Red Sox clubhouse. In firing the popular Francona who had a bad two week stretch in September 2011 the Red Sox opened a Pandora’s Box of . It was an overreaction that ended up in disaster and the organization has payed for it. It is in complete disarray and I expect that it will take a lot for the Red Sox to get back to anything close to what they were during the Francona years.
Valentine may be gone as early as today according to CBS Sports. Rumors swirl about ownership wanted to sell at least part of the team. Players are disgruntled and unless something remarkable happens they could lose even more of their leaders to free agency.
There are a few months before the winter meetings and Spring Training but no matter who the Sox hire as manager the job to rebuild this team will be monumental. It can be done but my guess is that the Sox have another year or tow of humiliation in them before all the bloodletting is done.
Tonight’s entry since it is already today will be Padre Steve’s Playoff Predictions for 2012. I’ve done pretty well the past couple of years so we’ll see what happens this year.