General Red Sox


As this 2011 season implodes on our beloved Red Sox, it seemed like a fine time to explain our sentiments on what has been transpiring, what might transpire, and our connection (or lack thereof) to this real-time athletic cataclysm. In the absence of a brilliant historical piece from Paul, we’ll air some thoughts on the current plight of the Olde Towne Team.

In no particular order:

1. About a month and a half ago, prior to the clusterf*ck of a September, work got INSANE. Hence we have (despite the occasional rant-ish comment here and there) been mostly detached from what has happened. Thank goodness for that. The total innings of Red Sox action we have seen over the past 45 days may be below 20. So we never had to pick the wrong time to stop sniffing glue, so to say, since we never started.

2. Despite not paying attention or posting here much, there’s certainly some pain in seeing the scores every night, reading game threads (at SoSH, especially), and trying to comprehend the horrible end to this season.

3. Despite that pain, being an adult has never come in more handy. Emotional maturity is an asset, and though we came in possession of it late we are grateful we came in possession of it at all.

4. 2004 and 2007 might have made a wee contribution to the acquisition of said emotional maturity, we aren’t naive. Those titles may have been 4 and 7 years ago, but I am still in the “house money” phase of my life with regards to Boston sports. I can’t imagine engaging in anything like self-pity because the Sox blew a lead this year. Those who want to make a big, personal deal out of this are short on memory and long on arrogance. We have had it good, still have it good.

5. While one may subjectively bandy about the term “choke”, the Sox most certainly are collapsing. But they are collapsing for a whole host of rational reasons: bad signings, bad performances, bad injuries, combined with bad luck. Such is sports, frankly. So it goes. Were the Sox healthy and failing this would be exponentially harder to take.

6. Moving forward, assuming this season goes no further than Wednesday (a safe assumption, we think), there will be changes. The Sox will HAVE to make changes. That doesn’t mean they should fire the manager or the GM. But they should change something. Conditioning coach, bench coach, pitching coach, players (Ortiz and Paps are free to choose their future to an extent), who knows. One cannot pin failure on a single reason, or blame injuries alone. Something will change. Many things may change. We advocate a new third base coach. Beyond that we hope stability and reason reign, combined with a LOT of re-assessment of organizational strategy – any good business would assess why failure happened without blinders. We hope this September isn’t chalked up solely to bad luck, though we do hope the front office is able to recognize that rash, reactionary moves aren’t the right thing either and that there is some accountability, even if it only means something non-personnel-based like a change in talent assessment methodology.

7. There’s always next year.

20 replies on “Confessional”

I’m gonna blaspheme.
I do not want the Red Sox to make the playoffs. I can’t take another game of this. Get it over with. Go 0-2. Please. Girardi, don’t even THINK about playing Cano or Granderson. Put me out of my misery. Next up, the christening of Jet Blue Stadium.
Bring on Bergeron, Thomas, Chara and the Black & Gold. I long for Dave Gosher’s voice.
Then, get rid of Lackey and Sweet Caroline, figure out what to do with Crawford, rebuild the pen. And if you have to fire someone, consider Theo over Tito.

Bogar should go, even if that is a fringe-ish move. He’s a terrible 3rd base coach even in the best of times. And the jury is out on Curt Young. We’ve seen Bard struggle and Lackey famously suck, Miller hasn’t gotten any better. On the other hand, Aceves has been pretty good, Papelbon has done fine. Lester and Beckett have both done well, Lester’s September notwithstanding. So it is hard to say if Curt Young should stay or go. I lean “go”.
As for Theo/Tito, I think jettisoning either would be idiotic. John Henry mandating that they do an organizational review of their successes and failings and looking at serious ways to correct the failings, well that should be standard business. Who would be a better fit for the Sox? Ozzie Guillen? Really – if you propose sacking the GM who has been better than most then who replaces him? Honest question.

You know, the Bruins are a good, rational comparison for why fans (and front offices) shouldn’t go off the deep end, and are proof that there’s nothing such as “fate” or a “curse”. They blew a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 seventh game lead, were written off as fatally damaged, then won the Stanley Cup the next year, with some changes but nothing monumentally different.
The Sox should be as rational in approaching their failure as the Bruins were, and then hope that conditioning and luck go their way. Make smart, thoughtful moves, get the players in shape, and go from there.
Failure isn’t fated, nor is success.

The Bruins are finished.
Ag will back me up on that!!!
You guys had your ridiculous run of Boston success and all good, or bad for the rest of us, things must come to and end.

I had a chat with Nick last night (or is it morning? never sure when talking to him) but we agreed that there is no way we want Boston in the playoffs. It’s just too terrifying to contemplate meeting losing to the Sox.
It basically can be encapsulated by this joke:
Me: Knock knock.
Nick: Who’s there?
Me: Fuck Boston.
Yes, I am still VERY bitter about 04.
We also agreed that we love Ozzie as a manager as long as it is for somebody else’ team.

So your fate rests in the hands of Bedard and Lester, certainly could be a lot worse, no?
I’ve said it a million times as of late, I want the Sox out but primarily because they still scare me. Granted they are far less scary with Aviles and Lowrie playing 3B and John Lackey pitching, but with that offense and Lester and Beckett I vote for keeping them out of the dance.

Just went back and looked at our predictions…Holy Cow! Well at least I was right about the Brewers, Braves and Phillies. I have an outside chance with MOY in the NL and Cy in the NL and NL ROY…everything else was way off base. Hanley and A-Rod MVP’s, LOL. Ozzie Guillen MOY in the AL. White Sox winning the Central. Oakland winning the west…I really thought Cahill, Anderson and Gio were enough to get out of the West? Really?

I can’t figure out why anyone thinks the Sox are going to make the playoffs. I don’t gamble, but I wouldn’t even lay money on them if I was getting 10-1 odds. Not a chance.

Like John, I don’t discount the possibility that Lester and Bedard can come up big against the mighty Orioles.
Nor that the Yankees can win one or even two from the Rays. And let’s not forget that the Rays haven’t exactly lit it up in September either. But yeah, who would I bet on now – the Rays no doubt.
Buck Showalter was mocked here quite a bit this season. I didn’t share the negative views about him at that time and still don’t. And I think because of how he goes about motivating his players, he’s got his them presenting about as formidable an obstacle to the Sox as any team would right now despite the fact that they are the 3rd worst in the entire league.

These Rays scare me much more than these Sox. The Rays’ pitching is that much better. Add in Matt Moore and they’re a very scary team for the next few years. Just think that if Manny weren’t so dumb, or if they had promoted Jennings earlier, the Rays would already be in the playoffs.
I welcome the Sox in this current state. Lester and Beckett are not scary one bit. Even if the Sox pull this off, I can’t see them getting past the first round. For once I agree with SF. They are putrid, just embarrassingly bad.
The best part of this collapse? Eckersley whining like a little bitch. Since when is he Mr. Sox any ways? WEEI comes in second place. It’s replaced NPR on my morning commute. Better to laugh at the misfortune of others than cry.

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