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Red Sox Blather
Published on October 12, 2011 by Sara Foss

So the Boston Globe came out with a grisly post-mortem of the Red Sox collapse today.

We learn many things about this team, such as: Starting pitchers John Lackey, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester drank beer, ate fried chicken and played video games in the clubhouse on days they weren't pitching, and gained a lot of weight during the season. Which isn't really what you want from your starting pitchers, you know?

We also learn that Terry Francona was dealing with problems in his personal life throughout the season, and that questions were raised about his use of painkillers, and whether it was interfering with his ability to manage.

We also learn that Sox veterans such as Jason Varitek and David Ortiz failed miserably as leaders, and that Sox players whined so much about a scheduling change that they were invited to party on John Henry's yacht.

The article is filled with dirt, and it seems pretty clear that numerous people with axes to grind and blame to shift spoke with reporter Bob Hohler. Nevertheless, the article confirms what pretty much every Sox fan suspected was true as the season progressed: This Sox team was an unlikable, entitled mess, a far cry from the beloved idiots who won the World Series in 2004, or the resilient and talented bunch that won it all in 2007.

After reading the article, I decided it was time for Josh Beckett to come down from the Wall of Awesomeness. He's been there since 2007, but that was four years ago, and his photograph no longer deserves to occupy the same space as Prince, George Clooney, Bill Belichik and Indiana Jones. JLet's face it: Josh Beckett just isn't awesome anymore, and he hasn't been awesome for a long time. My colleagues seemed a little taken aback when I tossed his picture in the trash, but whatever. I've had enough.

The one person I'll defend is Terry Francona. I'm not saying he's a perfect guy, and that he didn't make mistakes. But the information in the article seems like part of a larger smear campaign, an attempt to discredit Francona after he suggested management didn't always have his back. Some have argued that the article represents ownership's attempt to blame the players for the collapse, and divert blame from the front office, but why shouldn't we blame the players? There's plenty of blame to go around, but I'm perfectly fine with blaming the players for at least 70 percent of the collapse, if not more.

Now we learn that Theo is going to the Cubs. I'm not particularly sad about this. I like Theo, but maybe the organization could use a change. I'm not of the mindset that there's only one person on earth with the talent and smarts to serve as general manager of the Boston Red Sox, and I'm fairly confident that the Red Sox will hire well. Right now, the leading candidate for the job appears to be fellow Lebanon High School alum Ben Cherington, which makes me proud. And I wish him luck cleaning up the mess Theo's leaving behind, because he's going to need to need it.

 

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