The State Of The Boston Red Sox

It's the All Star Break in Major League Baseball, the Red Sox are 43-43, and I find myself writing about the Sox for the first time since joining Chat Sports. They currently sit 2.5 games out of the wild card and have not been able to put together a consistent streak of wins.

You think that's OK? New flash, it isn't.

Every team in the American League is 2.5 games out of the wild card with the exception of Kansas City (7.5 games back), Minnesota (9 games back), and Seattle (10 games back), the three worst teams in the league. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself.

This team is going nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. It isn't hard to figure out unless you're a fan girl, pink hat, or turning a blind eye to the truth.

After a disastrous  season that ended in one of the most epic collapses in MLB history (7-20 in the month of September), change seemed bound to come. There was uncertainty surrounding GM Theo Esptein, manager Terry Francona, and the players. There was the leak that came out about the meeting Francona held with the players after a big win in Toronto where they all brushed him off and went about their business losing. Then there was the fried chicken and beer fiasco, and what a mess that was. Pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey had been leaving the dugout to go eat Popeye's fried chicken and drink beer in the middle of games. Come September, the three were out of shape and overweight. There was a giant cloud of turmoil hanging over the organization's head, and it seemed a given that a major shakeup was going to come.

It didn't.

Fast forward to present day. The players have the same selfish attitudes, the manager and the players don't get along, the GM and the manager never see eye to eye, and the owners are more concerned with the TV show than they are with winning ball games.

Let's start with Josh Beckett. Beckett, also known as "The Texas Tough Guy" (nickname courtesy of CSN's Mike Felger), has pitched an extremely mediocre season. He's 4-7 with a 4.43 ERA and is making $17M. He's been on the DL twice this year, once due to a strained lat and once due to shoulder inflammation. It seems like he's always hurt in some way, shape or form. Oh, and did I mention that while he was on the DL with a strained lat, he went golfing? He has a horrible attitude, and usually needs his own personal catcher when he's pitching or else he'll throw a fit. Hey Josh, I have a message for you. Get your head out of your ass, stop pissing and moaning, and throw the damn ball. That's what your paid to do. You aren't getting paid to sit around, take time off because you're a little sore, or go golfing when you're supposedly injured.

Carl Crawford, what is going on with this guy? He's getting paid $20.35M to be hurt. After an extremely disappointing 2011 season, Crawford was looking to come back and prove his worth. Oh wait, never mind! He has a partially torn ligament in his elbow, so he's currently in the midst of his rehab assignment. Oh, that's right! I forgot! He strained his groin playing in Portland so he's back on the DL. Seriously?!

Adrian Gonzalez, the human mannequin. Does he ever show any emotion at all? He's supposed to be the hitter in the Sox lineup that strikes fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. For 86 games last season, he was. He hasn't been anything above average since the 2011 All Star Break. Remember that long, double digit inning game the Sox played where Darnell McDonald had to pitch? Gonzalez was 0 for 8 in that game, including a strikeout to the designated hitter who was pitching. How the hell do you manage that? Gonzalez is probably the least clutch player on the team, and it shows in his inability to drive in runs when the team needs him to. Oh and don't forget, he's making $21M annually. Ouch.

Jon Lester, I love the guy, but he needs to shape up fast. He's 5-6 with a 4.49 ERA. That is inexcusable for a guy who has the ability to be a number one pitcher. He has a good attitude, but his play is just killing the team.

David Ortiz, as productive as he's been, is a head case. He's always making excuses, whining about the media, whining about his salary, etc. It seems that all he ever does is complain. When things are going well, he whines and cries and says he isn't sure he wants to come back. Then everyone in the media will come out and tell him how great he is and how loved and adored he is by the fans. That's just reinforcing his cockiness. Message for you Papi. Shut your damn mouth and play the game.

Daniel Bard, oh my Lord you are a mess. You spent all winter throwing a fit and crying like a baby because you wanted to be a starter and not a reliever. Manager Bobby Valentine tries to put you in the bullpen, but apparently all your whining got GM Ben Cherington on your side, 'cause Cherington stepped in and ordered Valentine to put you in the starting rotation. Come June, you're back in Pawtucket because you sucked so badly. After failing to find your stuff in AAA, you call up Cherington and tell him you want to be a reliever again, and you still haven't gotten your sh*t together. My message to you? Go see a psychiatrist.

The rest of the team is just as bad. You have guys getting injured, guys not trying, and guys making excuses left and right. Hell, you've even got the back up catcher pissing and moaning about his playing time. Seriously?

Apparently the owners don't care though. After the departure of Theo Epstein, they implemented his protege Ben Cherington into the GM role. OK, fair enough, there aren't any good GMs out there. Then they fire manager Terry Francona (trust me, no matter how they try to spin it, he was fired) and hire Bobby Valentine of all people. Valentine was brought in to change the culture of the clubhouse, get rid of all the BS and whip the players into shape. But, when he tries to take on Kevin Youkilis, ownership comes down and cuts his balls off. Bobby V hasn't been able to manage the way he wants to manage. While he's an easy target for "fans" to point the finger at and put the blame on, he isn't the problem. Look at the bullpen. He takes Alfredo Aceves, Scott Atchison, Aaron Cook, Justin Germano, Andrew Miller, Matt Albers, Franklin Morales, and Vincente Padilla and puts them into the proper roles for the to succeed and low and behold, they have a pretty solid bullpen. But yet, the team is still just .500. Did the owners really think they could get rid of what the viewed as the problem, the pill popping manager, and toss in a self promoter like Valentine and everything would be all hunky dory? No, of course not! They went over Cherington's head and hired Valentine so they could sell to all the pink hats that they have a contending team. Unbelievable.

Which brings me to my final point. The fans. This is where it gets ugly. The owners care more about keeping the phantom sell out streak alive, selling hot dogs and beer, and selling tickets to people who go just to sing "Sweet Caroline" in the 8th inning. Sunday night, the Red Sox are down by three runs in the 5th inning. What do the "fans" do? They do the wave!

Wave on 3! One, two, three, wooooo!!!! Wait, we're losing by 3? Oh...Wave on 3!

The owners don't give two craps about baseball anymore, just the business. They cater to all of the pink hats and tourists who come to the amusement park that is Fenway, get drunk out of their minds, do the wave, and sing Sweet Caroline, and then leave while all the die hards stay to watch their team lose yet again, holding on to what little faith they have left in this club. Should they be selling at the trade deadline? Absolutely. Will they sell at the trade deadline? Hell no. Why? Because they don't have the balls to do it. Selling would be admitting that they aren't competitive, and God forbid they lose the pink hats who will stop coming if the sexy names aren't out there. They'd rather spin the season to them as being competitive because they're only 2.5 games out of the wild card when any real fan knows that they have to get past Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland, and Toronto just to make the second wild card spot, and there is no way this team, with this makeup, and this attitude is going anywhere.

So go ahead, continue feeding the monster that is the Boston Red Sox. Go to games, get hammered, do the wave, do the 7th inning stretch, sing Sweet Caroline, make it a social event, turn it into the Phoenix Coyotes! Just know that as long as you do that, this team will be mediocre and these owners will continue to not care.

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