For the past three months, I have been watching the Boston Red Sox and asking myself why I don’t like them. Why I can’t like them? I’ve loved this team forever.
After months of soul searching, it seems the answer is clear.
Since September of 2011, we have all become privy to A LOT of information regarding the Local 9 and everyone who has ever worked for the team. Things became painfully obvious that these players were not role models, they are not to be revered as the Kings of Boston, and no matter what the Fenway centerfield sign says the number of attendees to the game is, fans are proving this to the team daily.
The Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox, used to be a team. Period. Nothing more to that sentence.
When there was a slump, it was a team effort. The team wasn’t hitting, the pitchers were missing their marks, etc. No one assigned blame to specific names for the most part.
Since “The Collapse”, this team has become a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of “he did it” or “who did it?”.
When the team fell apart, it was Josh Beckett, John Lackey, and Jon Lester eating chicken and swigging beers in the clubhouse. It was Tito Francona popping pills in a hotel room before coming to work.
This year there is no unity on the Red Sox. It is painfully clear everyone is playing in the historic jersey for the paycheck coming in each week. Players don’t seem to enjoy each other for the most part, the players don’t like the manager, the manager is treading lightly so as not to open himself up for a mutiny, the suits don’t care about any of them.
There has been a ton of talk about why exactly Bobby Valentine was ever brought to Boston. It seems the thought was that he would provide some flair and take the heat off of the players a bit, which he hasn’t, and I don’t blame him.
Adrian Gonzalez is starting to be picked apart for not doing a damn thing when a leader is needed on or off of the field. This isn’t San Diego amigo and for the paycheck you are getting, you better start to figure out how things work in Boston.
Josh Beckett continues to do simply stupid things. “My thumb hurts, I am going to my own doctors” ended up being nothing but a simple complaint with no merit. Now his lat (“the whole lat”) is the problem but he is out playing golf two days before he skips his start due to that injury. But hey, his 2-3 record with a 4.45 ERA should hold his spot in the lineup, right?
Will Middlebrooks was called up while Kevin Youkilis hit the DL and in six games the kid has batted .346 with three homers and 9 RBI. Youkilis, in the 18 games he played has hit .219 with two homers and 9 RBI. Yet, Middlebrooks is already being told that when Youk returns, he gets his spot back automatically.
If you look at the Red Sox stats so far for the season, only four players are hitting better than .300, David Ortiz, Ryan Sweeney, Middlebrooks, and Dustin Pedroia.
Is it a case of players getting fat and happy with their long, overpaid contracts? Most likely. Papi usually seems to be exponentially better in a contract season and this continues to ring true in 2012 with his team leading seven homers and 23 RBI.
It is time the Red Sox cut ties with the dead weight on this team. Changing things up and finally admitting that this is what they are doing is exactly what this team needs to do. If they simply trade players like they did with Marco Scutaro in the offseason and call it a salary dump, fans won’t get it. If you trade away the cancerous parts of your organization, which will undoubtedly cost them a lot of money and continue the trend of Boston paying for players to play against them, and call it that, real baseball fans will understand.
This 2012 Red Sox team issue goes much deeper than the sport and the city. This team is absolutely UNLIKABLE and the fact that they are 12-18 with only four wins at home out of 14 tries only pushes for closure.
Ben Cherington needs to put the ax blade to the grinder and get to work and tell the fans and media what he is doing. Put some fear in the hearts of the team, if they even care.
It’s time to cut off the fat and gut the gutless.
It’s time for a new era in Boston baseball.