Oct
13

The Red Sox Chaos From Afar

By

(Elise Amendola/AP)

You’ve surely seen it by now, but The Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler published this exposé on the Red Sox and their clubhouse issues on Wednesday, shedding light on some very real problems. I recommended reading the whole thing, but if you don’t have time, Craig Calcaterra has a nice little recap. The stuff about starting pitchers drinking in the clubhouse during games, Jacoby Ellsbury‘s isolation, and the general lack of leadership are genuine problems, but there’s also some personal stuff about Terry Francona that I don’t think was relevant or anyone’s business. The Francona stuff is a classic Red Sox smear job, a tactic they’ve employed after every major break-up during the John Henry era.

While all that was going on, long-time GM Theo Epstein was busy finalizing a deal to go to the Cubs, eschewing the final year of his Red Sox contract so he could try to end another curse*. Joel Sherman says Epstein had already made it clear he was leaving after his contract expired for personal and professional reasons, so ownership let him go now. Ben Cherington, one of the best GM prospects in the game, figures to take over after serving as Epstein’s top lieutenant for basically forever.

Reportedly, Epstein’s new deal with the Cubs will pay him $15M over five years, which almost assuredly makes him the highest paid GM in the game. The Yankees are in the middle of supposedly peaceful talks with Brian Cashman about a new contract, and despite what Ken Rosenthal says, I have to think Epstein’s deal will have a trickle down affect. Cashman’s tenure with New York has been more successful than Epstein’s with the Sox, especially if you want to look at the short-term, the last four or five years. Point to the payroll if you want, but I’m pretty sure those guys in Boston have done a bang-up job of proving that spending money on free agents isn’t as easy as it looks.

The last six weeks or so have been a full blown collapse for the Sox, and not just in the standings. Epstein’s gone, Francona’s gone (and ownership is bringing up personal info to throw him under the bus), revelations about a fractured clubhouse are coming to light … it makes you appreciate the Yankees, doesn’t it? Cashman’s contract talks are going smoothly, just like Joe Girardi‘s did last year, there are no issues (we know of) in the clubhouse, there’s no chaos at all. The Red Sox franchise has to be embarrassed by what’s happened over the last few weeks, but it’s nice and quiet for the Yankees. Yeah, they lost in the ALDS, but as our neighbors to the north are showing, there are much worse fates than that.

* Can you imagine that? Ending the Red Sox curse then ending the Cubs curse? That would be some legacy.

Categories : Musings
  • Manimal

    “The Francona stuff is a classic Red Sox smear job, a tactic they’ve employed after every major break-up during the John Henry era.”

    ~My favorite part. so f*cking true

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      I have to say, so is the suggestion that players were distracted by “petty personal problems.”

      I – nor anyone else – knows what’s going on in these players day-to-day lives away from the ballpark, no more than we know what’s going on in any of our coworkers’ lives day-to-day away from the office. Work is work, and life is life for a lot of people, and I’d wager that’s true whether your work involves sitting at a desk or performing physical and mental feats few of us could dream of performing.

      That doesn’t excuse poor performance on the field; I would say that, yes, you should be professional and try and keep your personal problems out of your professional life. But people who can’t successfully do that aren’t being petty, they’re being human.

      Anyway, had to quibble, because that’s probably my least favorite narrative to read from the MSM.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      “The Francona stuff is a classic Red Sox smear job, a tactic they’ve employed after every major break-up during the John Henry era.”

      I cut this out too when I read it. Why would anybody want to go there if they could go elsewhere and get similar money and a similar shot at winning? And the media there is in on the whole thing. They all refuse to cover all the issues with the person they eventually throw under the bus. I thought Francona was a weak manager from his days with the Phils to his days with the Sox, but if he was good enough to be your manager and be there when you won two titles why throw the guy under the bus? Thank him for his time and move on.

    • Brian in NH

      This isn’t just a John Henry era thing. Nomar was on The World Wide Leader yesterday saying how its a long history going back to Ted Williams of trashing guys on their way out the door.

  • http://twitter.com/rebeccapbp Asha Greyjoy

    I have a hard time believing that 25 players + coaches + staff can get along without their being some issues, but at least the Yankees are classy enough not to air their dirty laundry in public.

    • mbonzo

      When public issues are publicized with the Yankees, players get canned.

      Without that sort of leverage, there is no way to control these highly paid players on big contracts. What it looks like from my eyes, is Henry provided no leverage for Francona, and then unleashed the smear machine when the team failed, I can’t blame anyone in that front office for wanting to leave under that sort of ownership.

    • Bean Tooth

      I think part of it is expectations. There isn’t a belief that the Yanks are some plucky band of brothers who live and die together. They’re a collection of professionals, so whether they’re all buddies or sometimes have a sad doesn’t fit the narrative. But the Sox are expected to be the major league version of the Bad News Bears, pulling together to overcome the horrible Evil Empire. Neither the media nor the fan base has made the transition to following what has essentially become a slightly smaller version of the Yankees.

      • ed whitson car chase

        well put, beantooth. i think you are right.

  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

    I’m pretty happy to be a Yankee fan, gotta say. They’ve had their share of awful guys in the clubhouse and drama, I’m sure, but so little of that got out. Even The Yankee Years didn’t really have anything super scandalous, and it’s not like the a-holes in the clubhouse had questionable motivation or were slacking off (that we know of.).

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Also the criticism of Adrian Gonzalez is insanely overblown. Blaming the schedule for the collapse was lame; him not being a leader is something completely irrelevant. Not all people are gonna have great leadership qualities. Guy played hurt and had an awesome year.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I got into it on Twitter a few weeks ago with a baseball writer who claimed the Padres’ collapse last year and Boston’s failure this year reflects poorly on Gonzalez. I then told him Gonzalez had a .455 OBP in September when most of his other teammates were struggling. His response was something to the extent of, “Spare me the SABR garbage.”

        You’ve gotta love the geniuses in the mainstream baseball media.

        • MannyGeee

          Narrative>>>>Facts!

          Gonzalez is a loser because the Pads limped out due to a sub-par roster, and Sox Rotation was eating KFC and drinking Bud Light instead of winning games. SABR be damned, he’s a curse!

      • BK2ATL

        Thing was, they gave him all that money to come over and be a leader??? That’s something he’s NEVER been. They had to have known that.

        He’s certainly a great hitter, and a great defensive 1B, but I’d never read anything where he’s been a clubhouse leader. He did what he’s always done, quietly put up great numbers.

        As a Yankees’ fan, I love this airing-out of the Boston dirty laundry. And let’s get ready for more by the weekend when Theo leaves. No one knows how to give a classy send-off like Boston.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      I think there’s just an overall difference in attitude between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Just in general, Red Sox players always seem to be making negative comments that I could never see Yankee players make, e.g. when Pedroia complained about the grounds crew in ’09 or when Ortiz interrupted the press conference to complain about his RBI. Like you said, the Yankees have had awful guys, but they never seem to speak out like that, at least when they’re on the Yankees. I think it starts from the top. Boston ownership badmouths its players and personnel and is in general just a PR mess, so they probably don’t make it a point to emphasize good PR with their players. I obviously don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but it would seem the Yankees have strict PR training and a “no tolerance policy” type thing in place. I can’t even remember notorious asshole Gary Sheffield saying anything awful while he was on the Yankees.

      I mean if this is all just my selective memory, please call me out on it. Cause the only incident I can think of really is the Randy Johnson camera incident.

      • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

        The only time I can remember in the past few years where the Yankees made super “wow, cry moar” comments were like… I wanna say Tex complained about the Trop in early 2010. And everyone complains about the Trop. Joe Maddon complained about the Trop.

        I think it might be my selective memory too, but it’s like… after the 2004 ALCS, there were dumb comments made here and there and stuff (I remember Reggie Jackson said something about true Yankees) but the org didn’t blow up in this ugly, ugly way.

      • RJ

        The Yanks have “clubhouse rules” which quash alot of that, they also have everyone down to batboys signed to confidentiality agreements (the new batboy book was by the last one not to sign) so any BS stays in house.

        Also since Sheffield left, there haven’t been any jerks signed. Swish is a flake, but not a jerk, sure AJ has tats and an overactive curve but is the first guy to volunteer to pinch run if needed..Gonzales is soft, heartless, he also made some gee… aint are year comments, more damning that bitching about the schedule.

        I dont blame Theo or Tito for running, I would guess that Lackey in particular was a John Henry / Larry Luccino signing more than Theo … (see Cashman & Soriano). There is talk that Youkilis is being shopped around, Papi talking about it being nice to play in the Bronx, there big issues. PEDroia is claiming he doesnt know anything likely becuase he’s such a tool he isn’t allowed to play in any reindeer games.

        I live in CT work in MA.. reading this is better than a soap opera

        • Melanie

          Any way I can convince you to get a job in that joke of a stay considered part of New England that you live in?

  • CP

    I wonder what will come out about Theo now that he’s on the way out.

    • BK2ATL

      You know it’s coming. All of the bad contracts left behind? The lack of any real prospects in the farm system.

      Gonzalez and Crawford will eventually pan out.

      Lackey? No chance in hell. He’s their version of AJ Burnett, maybe worse.

      The Dice-K contract?

      Bobby Jenks? Whatever happened to him? There were several of these types of signings that didn’t pan out. Matt Albers/Dan Wheeler….

      Ellsbury will be a goner after next year, esp. now that we’ve learned that he doesn’t trust anyone in that clubhouse. And….Tito’s gone.

      We learned that Lester is as much of a dog as Lackey and Beckett.

      Wakefield thinks he should come back…..delusional.

      Ortiz???

      The talent is certainly there, but the fire (Pedro, Manny and even Schilling) is long gone. And sometimes once you lose it, there’s no getting it back. I hope that doesn’t happen to us (Yankees) when Posada, Jeter, and Mariano finally retire.

      Their only true marketable pieces are Ellsbury, Youklis, Lowrie, Buchholz, and maybe Iglesias. Their delusional fans are already thinking 1 or 2 of those pieces would be enough to make a run at King Felix. Tough, tough job for a new GM and manager to step into.

      • AndrewYF

        “Iglesias”

        Never has a hitter with a career minor league .624 OPS gotten so much undue press.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Rey Ordonez 2.0, aka nothing to write home about.

        • BK2ATL

          What about the great Casey Kelly??? Been very quiet since leaving RSN.

          The curtain’s been drawn back on Theo and the RSN, led by ESPN.

      • Eezzy

        don’t forget about Gagne, total fail coming out of their bullpen

      • YankeeGrunt

        Ellsbury had a breakout near-MVP year. They’re not going to trade him because he’s shy in the clubhouse.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Just read the Boston Globe piece in its entirety. An absolute must read if you have the time. It’s well worth your time if you read it.

    • Eduardo (My Left Nunez)

      Oh, totally. I started reading it, saw that it was five pages long, went to the kitchen, made some popcorn, came back and read and savored every word. Great entertainment.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    To me, the thing with the $300 and the yacht party is what told me pretty much the whole story. The owners had to essentially bribe their players to do what they were getting paid millions of dollars to do, after they complained about the scheduling of a doubleheader THAT THEY SWEPT. I remember Girardi complained just a little about that (the Flanny Incident) and the media was all over him. Yet we heard nothing about the yacht party, or the Red Sox’s other displeasures. I think the media was too interested in covering up their clubhouse problems then they were in accurately portraying the team. The MSM is usually all over that team, but this year, I remember an abnormally high level of Red Sox love, from the NESN article by Eric Ortiz to them getting compared to the 2000 Yankees until the final day. And then to top it off, they fire Francona who handled this team for 2 years without anybody knowing about it, while at the same time he was battling serious personal problems. Really, Francona leaving is what opened all this up. I mean, what choice did they have? You gotta think it would eventually leak out and they would be seen as keeping it a secret and lose all of their credibility. I think if they held on an made the playoffs, and then were swept from the ALDS, we would not hear about this, because they would most likely keep Francona and Epstein. This whole thing has really just begun, and I am really interested to see how their off season shapes out.

    • Bean Tooth

      That sort of thing is pretty much par for the course. When the Sox do well, or are projected to do well, the media and fans act like not only is the team the greatest thing since sliced bed, the players are paragons of morality and awesomeness. If they do poorly, it’s suddenly a result of poor character as much as actual playing badly. We didn’t hear about the boat trip and headphones because at the time the team was cruising and it didn’t fit the narrative. If somehow the Sox squeaked into the playoffs and won a round or two, we never would’ve heard about any of this, or it would’ve been cast in the light of how the team pulled together and found their inner saintliness.

  • mbonzo

    If I’m the new Red Sox GM:

    1. Trade Josh Beckett for prospects. You’re selling high, he’s trouble in the club house, and he’s replaceable on the free agent market.

    2. Challenge Lackey’s contract saying he voided it for health reasons or something else, they’ll fail in voiding it, but at least you get huge media coverage on how the new front office won’t put up with this bullshit.

    3. Replace Beckett’s spot by going all in for Sabathia, if that fails, go for CJ Wilson.

    4. Send Lester to winter ball to train with prospects, punishing him for his actions, creating leadership mentality by helping the managers with the prospects, and hoping some of Lester’s talent rubs off on the kids.

    5. Make public that Aceves, Matsuzaka, Miller and others are battling for the 5th starting spot.

    6. Resign Papelbon, or even better, sign one of the other hundreds of closers on the market to compete with Bard for the closing job.

    7. Make a move on Reyes, Sizemore, or Beltran.

    8. Promotre Lavarnway and Anderson, let them compete for jobs DHing and playing on the field.

    Boom, theres your greater than 1927 Yankees team and we’re looking at the same payroll as 2011.

    • Dale Mohorcic

      So. Much. Nothing.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      I actually saw something on NESN.com the other day saying that they could work out a deal with the Padres in sending John Lackey to San Diego. Of course Boston may not get much at all in return, but for them that would be a bunch of dead weight they’d be unloading for sure.

      • mbonzo

        Sounds like something NESN Red Sox fans could only dream about. Lackey’s annual value is more than a third of 2011’s salary. The Red Sox would have to take on possibly more than 50% of his contract and wouldn’t see much come back besides not having to deal with him for the next few years. As much as the Red Sox would send over, Lackey would still make the most money on the team and could easily be replaced by a guy making league minimum.

        • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

          Ken Tremendous was advocating for it and really seemed to think it would happen. Like, really really. Like the Padres would be thrilled to do this. I like him, and he’s normally a smart guy, but… c’mon.

          • AndrewYF

            SOSH does strange things to a man.

    • Maris61

      Yea. Easy as pie. Keep dreaming.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      No team other than the Yankees will match or want to match the insane demands that CC will ask.

    • MannyGeee

      I Disagree with the tactics and the steps in particular, but I agree with the premise. That team needs to be blown up. In a MAJOR way.

      cut ties with as many of those guys as you can and start fresh. Living in Red Sox Nation, I would have to say that Red Sox fans would much rather enjoy a season where they start fresh with a team of young scrappy guys (led by the Scrappy Brothers themselves, Pedrioa and Ellsbury) than watch this team pay a shit ton of money for another bunch of suck-sticks in 2012…

      Oooooor they can go balls deep in the K Rod Sweepstakes and hope that his positive influence will bring this clubhous up.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        The main concern is pitching. I like the Beckett trade tactic since he won’t have this good of a season again. They had the best lineup in baseball so there isn’t much to change. And they did that with a Crawford who won’t be nearly as bad. That lineup needs to stay.

      • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “That team needs to be blown up. In a MAJOR way.”

        I’ve been too busy to focus on this stuff lately so forgive me if I’m missing something big, but my gut reaction is that saying they have to ‘blow up’ that team in a “MAJOR” way is an overreaction and a bit of Yankee fan wishful thinking, no? I mean, that team went through what might have been the worst regular season collapse ever, and still won 90 games.

        • Hardy

          And their stats made them look like a 99 win team.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          a bit of Yankee fan wishful thinking

          Probably right, but it is the offseason and these issue make them a target of opportunity.

  • Ivan

    The more you think about it, the more it was quite obvious that something wrong was with that team. Hey remember those games in Fenway when Ortiz was basically jogging to 1st base rather than running hard and we were all like how the hell is Ortiz getting away with it.

    I guess we know now.

  • Supernova

    You’ll never see any of this with the Yankees and you’ll never see the Yankees do anything ridiculous like the Rangers antler claw or the Brewers beast mode. Why? Because the Yankees are a professional organization. If stuff like this was going on in the locker room Jeter or Rivera would do something.

    You only heard about some stuff in our locker room because one sell out rat decided to tell all to Tom Verducci to make a buck. Torre was also upset about getting fired so he decided to get revenge and collect some dough at the same time. Now this scum is 2nd in command at MLB.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      David Wells. That is all.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      That is why I would not trust Torre with anything. Bowa like Buck Showalter both liked to give some of their players nicknames that were degrading. I would never like to see any of them again. Also, I do not see what made Joe Torre such a great manager since he never won anything before or after leaving the Yankees. I could have managed those great teams and won.

  • DSFC

    Seriously, the Sahx put the hatchet to everyone when they leave. Nomahhhh, Pedro, Manny, now Tito, the manager who guided them to their only two titles since WWI.Why would anyone play for those dicks?

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7
  • Will (the other one)

    I hate the Red Sox with every bone in my body, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Terry Francona. He seems like a genuinely good guy, and I’ve got a lot of respect for what he was able to accomplish during his time in Boston, as much as it pains me to recognize it. So to see some coward hiding behind the cloak of “unnamed team source” come out and throw Tito under the bus by citing (a) his private marital struggles and (b) some sort of alleged problem with painkillers (the man’s had something like 20 knee surgeries–of course he’s taking medication!) really incensed me. Man up and face it: your team, saddled with laughable expectations by its own personnel and media alike, performed excellently for most of the season but ended by completing a historic (and statistically near-impossible) collapse which kept you out of the playoffs. That’s the fault of an entire organization, and everyone bears at least some of the blame; to try and offload it onto an easy target is not only ridiculous, it’s downright shameful. And to hide behind anonymity while you do it is, to me, even worse.

    That entire organization deserves whatever it gets–and quite frankly, after this, I’m hoping for something just short of the earth opening up underneath Fenway and swallowing everyone up.

    • David Ortiz’s Dealer

      I met Tito during his stint as Philly manager, great guy, I hated his uniform for 8 years. He should get more credit for taking that bag of rejects and winning as much as he did there.

      Reading Boston media this offseason will be fun….

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Does anyone here actually think that this Francona stuff is true? I call serious bullshit on this, this is lower than they typically go. Normally I like seeing guys take the high road, but this has to be addressed, if they’re going to spread outrageous rumors that have no footing in the truth then Francona has to respond.

    • BK2ATL

      Unfortunately, I think the marital stuff and even the painkillers are true. Just goes to show how really low class that organization really is, for that kind of stuff to make it out of the organization at all. I’m loving that ESPN isn’t covering this story with the same fervor as the A-Rod “illegal” private poker party, that turned out to be fake.

      The main problem that I see with it all was, if I were a very qualified manager with a proven winning track record and looking for a job, why in the hell would I consider Boston? One only needs to look at how they treated the ONLY manager in approx. 100 years of the team’s history to bring 2 World Series titles home. And Francona is a good guy. We’re seeing in the ALCS how knowledgeable he really is. So, he wasn’t the cause, yet he’s thrown under the bus for not outing a bunch of assholes.

      We need to get our SP (Wilson/Darvish, I really don’t care now) in order, and come back and take advantage of Boston’s dysfunction, Tampa’s transition, and prior to Toronto’s re-emergence as a real threat.

      • MannyGeee

        The main problem that I see with it all was, if I were a very qualified manager with a proven winning track record and looking for a job, why in the hell would I consider Boston? One only needs to look at how they treated the ONLY manager in approx. 100 years of the team’s history to bring 2 World Series titles home.
        ~~~~~

        The answer is in the question dude. There are like 7 ‘very qualified managers’ in the world, and I bet you 3 of them are managing in Japan and another is in Honduras awaiting a travel Visa or something…

        That Boston will get is a scapegoat manager who completely sucks but yells alot and gives Shaunessey and Gommons something to cream over.

        Wait, I have Buck Showalter on the other line, I will have to call you back

  • stuart a

    olbermann on his show tonight had something on the red sux hatchet job on epstein and francona. the red swux make randy levine seem classy and that is hard to do. it was his last 7 or so minutes, man the red sux owenrship are vengeful dudes……

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/.....rk-yankees

    Even David Ortiz is supposedly sick of what’s going on. I just can’t see him signing with another team…so is there a chance he just retires??

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      No. I say he still re-signs with Boston, time heals all wounds.

      • mbonzo

        The chances are insanely slim, the last thing the Yankees need is another DH, but how amazing would it be to have David Ortiz sign with the Yankees and crush some homeruns in right field. That signing would be worth it in revenue alone, then you just have to hope he isn’t beyond his years.

      • Mike

        I just can’t see Ortiz signing back with the Sox. seems by his comments yesterday either

        1- He’s trying to drive up the Price by mentioning the Yanks

        or

        2- He’s truly donew with the Sox BS.

        time will tell.

      • Pants Lendelton

        Don’t you mean MONEY heals all wounds?

      • the Other Steve S.

        Also, time wounds all heels.

      • MannyGeee

        No. I say he still re-signs with Boston, MONEY heals all wounds.
        ~~~

        FIXED

    • David N

      I can easily see him signing with some other team. I don’t think the Yankees have a place for him, but if someone else (Texas?) wants him, I would not be surprised to see him go.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    I hate the Red Sox as much as any Yankee fan, but this upsets me. A lot of it is bullshit, mainly the Francona stuff, along with Ellsbury and A-Gon not being “leaders” despite being the two best players on the team, but hearing that players just don’t give a shit about the outcomes of their own games is upsetting as a baseball fan. The fact that Lackey had an historically bad season and couldn’t be bothered to try to make himself better. As much as a lot of Red Sox fans are assholes, there are real, genuine fans too, and this is such an awful thing for them. Your team losing is one thing, even when it’s in historic fashion, but to hear that the players don’t care is another. Imagine if it were CC, AJ and Nova sitting in the clubhouse drinking during every game. These guys we admire, watch and cheer on all year, we live and die with every pitch they throw, and they can’t be bothered to watch their own damn game. I don’t know, part of me loves seeing the Red Sox organization in shambles and the other part hates how this reflects poorly on all of baseball.

    /end rant

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Call me a bitch, but I’m enjoying every second of it. You don’t hear too many things like this associated with this team too often, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      The only person I feel sorry for is Francona. Why should he be fired after his players essentially quit on him and the team?

      • Barney Stinson

        Couldn’t agree with you more, the Red Sox organization is nothing more than scum. Tito deserved better than what they did to him.

        • MannyGeee

          someone had to fall on the sword, since EVERYONE in the league knows that John Henry et al have provided their organization with all the resources and opportunities in the world to field a winning team.

      • the Oberamtmann

        Actually, firing him I understand in this case. His job is to control the players. Much like Torre at the end, once you get to comfortable as manager, it might be time to go. Doesn’t mean he’s not a good manager, just that you need a change.

    • dkidd

      i feel the same as kiersten

      reading this stuff is like watching “big brother” or eating at mcdonald’s. starts out as a guilty pleasure, ends with nausea and self-loathing

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Not sure if everyone saw this, but I thought it was pretty funny:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-yo.....the-lackey

    • Eduardo (My Left Nunez)

      +714

  • Eduardo (My Left Nunez)

    Is Aceves a free agent now, or is under team control? I’d love to bring him back to the Bronx.

    • MannyGeee

      I think he’s got a couple of years of team ontrol left.

  • Dino Velvet

    Lucchino & Co. painting Francona as a strung-out-junky was hilarious.

    It was so over the top, Yankee fan Keith Olbermann spent 10 minutes tonight denouncing the Red Sox front office.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Olbermann does have an awful funny way of showing his Yankee fandom. But I agree, the stuff on Francona just seemed so… unnecessarily personal. It wasn’t even that he was abusing the painkillers, it was like someone out there thought he might be abusing the painkillers…?

  • the Oberamtmann

    I have to say, even with the attempted hatchet job, Francona came out looking good. The whole thing thing with the painkillers? He wasn’t doing anything wrong, his son freaked, and Francona double-checked with the doctor just to be sure. That’s a GOOD way to look at it. I know a lot of angry people will jump to the conclusion that he’s a drug addict, but that’s not what it says in the article.

    The whole thing with the marriage, though, the way Francona spun it, it seems the marital troubles had him working harder (to get his mind clear), not distracted.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    So much hype for this team in Spring Training…I just remember all of the interviews with players before the season saying “How much fun” they were going to have playing with all of these superstars chasing down the ’27 Yankees.

    What a disaster. The Sox could trade some of these malconents but all of them have huge contracts so they would likely eat most of the salary. I think they also lose some of their key players like Papelbon and Ortiz and others like Ellsbury as soon as they get the chance to walk.

    The Sox are getting what they deserve for the endless smear campaigns , avoidance of steroid use on their team, the constant crying about the Yanks payroll when theirs is so close and the endless lovefest with the MSM.

    Free agents will still go to the Sox b/c of the big money, but they now know the hornet’s nest they are walking in to..

    The farm is very thin and now a complete overhaul in the front office/manager/coaching…

    at least they got their sellout streak.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I read the article unaware of any of the issues with the sox’s. As a Yankee fan I say, “its there problem.” But as a fan of baseball who lives in an area where the population is mostly transplants from the NE with many Red Sox fans. I feel for the fans. They don’t make 15 million dollars and root for their team with all their might. But to read that three pitchers are drinking beer and choking down fried chicken during a game. This has got to hurt.

    Now, I know what the influence of Derek Jeter is to this team to baseball. The captain leads by example and it is followed within the clubhouse by the other informal leaders such as Posada and Mariano. Now, we can all appreciate the Yankee teams of recent past for their resolve to win. They all played to win whether making 400k or 30 million.

    • David Ortiz’s Dealer

      to heck with sux fans.. I work with a bunch of these so called fans… what a perfect match of team, management and fans.

      I found redsux nation on the map right between Iran and Iraq in the 3rd world.

  • Hardy

    Everything in the article is only a problem because of the Rays’ September. If they play .500 ball, the Red Sox make the playoffs, maybe eke out a series win over the Rangers (with a Burnett-like performance by Lackey) and are now tied with Detroit in the ALCS. In this case, there would be a Globe article swooning about
    a) how their starting pitchers remained relaxed through their september struggles,
    b) how Ellsbury and Gonzalez led the team by putting up numbers without being a “classic leader”,
    c) how Theo Epstein is a genius for signing Crawford who did not have a good regular season but a huge steal in Game 2 of the ALCS,
    d, e, f, g) etc.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      right on…BUT September did happen so this is the reality for the Sox.

      I’m very interested to see how the fan base and media treat Beckett in the future. I think they give everyone else a pass or they already hate them (Lackey) but I can’t see the Sox fans supporting Beckett. He always seemed like a big jagoff but now its been proven that he is.

      • Hardy

        I think it will all depend on his performance. If he performs like in 2011, everybody will love him in May at the latest.

  • mt

    Funny thing about all of this – none of this comes out if they win. Ortiz even said it himself about the drinking, etc. – no one complained in 2004 and 2007 (weren’t there stories of Millar doing shots in the dugout in 2004?).

    Trying to rise above the drama and pettiness, one thing I can see that is negative for Yanks – there is NO way Beckett, Lackey, and Lester show up next year at spring training in less than tip-top shape (fitness may then slide after that during the year depending on the manager but I can see them starting off very much in shape and actually staying that way since this is now more a MSM focus)

    Just like next year there will be more open conversations about CC’s weight – by the eye test, he was expanding rapidly in second half and there was not a huge focus from media until the last two weeks.

    The names I have heard Suxf considering for manager all impress me as younger types without a champiosnhip resume – who is going to have the credibility to tell Josh Beckett STFU?

    Yanks do not want Ortiz. I also hope we do not entertain these Beltran ideas.

    Also I am surprised that there have not been more stories about other teams – whether Yanks do or do not allow drinking in clubhouse; Mets, Rays, Brewers (etc.).

    Media is complicit in Boston = Ortiz should have been killed for that barging into that press conference to complain about RBI and also complaining about Aceves not starting – I do not think he was killed (because media agreed with Ortiz about Aceves probably).

    Just to see the difference: how many articles about ARod mention his prior steroid use, especially when he struggles or now that he has injury issues (I know he admitted) but there is very little mention ever that Ortiz was also connected to steroids (he did deny or not remember)

    • MannyGeee

      just stop it. Stop the Ortiz smear campaign…

      We all know Ortiz did it on Rice and Beans.

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      Beckett is just a bad influence. Now McKeon has come out and said he had to lock the Marlins clubhouse when Beckett was there because he was doing the same thing.

      As far as being in shape is concerned, I recall Beckett reporting to camp in much better shape and he had worked on his core to help with his back issues. I’m sure Lester was also in shape. Lackey?? I don’t think it matters what physical shape he is in.

      Beckett is just a first class a-hole. He’s had great success in a few post seasons. Career wise he isn’t much better than Burnett.

      • mt

        Just saw that along with AJ Pierzinski (spelling?) saying he drank during games when he needed to relax.

        I am dying to see question turned on Yanks: do Yankee players drink alcohol during games?

        For starting pitchers, they should be in dugout supporting team and watching the other team’s batters and maybe learning things from other pitchers. Even if they go in clubhouse, drinking and video games just seems to give such a bad attitude. As in any workplace, perception (“I can play today because I personally don’t have to work today”) sometimes trump the realityof whether team actually needed those non-pitching starters. If I am a position player and busting may ass in a tough game that day, I would be pissed that somebody is eating fried chicken and playing video games in clubhouse.

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          i listened to AJ’s interview on the Dan Patrick show yesterday. he said he took sips of beer..but would not sit there and drink beers during a game.

          i’m sure it goes on a lot in every clubhouse. its a long season. but, as long as you are getting your work in and supporting your teammates – which also means not bringing them down with you – then its ok.

          but these guys stopped taking care of themselves and it showed. beckett looked like he gained 20 lbs during the year.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    Stay classy sawx!!

  • Dennis

    Does Epstein going to the Cubs mean now baseball America will ball wash the Cubs draft picks every year.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Inthe 50s or 60s you would never hear a manager or coach spill the goods on another member of the club. With the exception of Billy Martin fighting in a night club or some player playing the harmonica on the bus, that was it. Also a pitcher wrote a book for which he was banished for life. That was about it. This sounds more lie Republican vs. Democrat except that one of the two is not answeing.

  • David Ortiz’s Dealer

    This isnt a new John Henry thing … the sux crapped all over Mo Vaughn on the way out.. the list is large.

  • SevenAces

    So Ortiz was pissed and questioned Tito for not inserting Aceves. The coach can only do so much, everything else falls on the players. Why didn’t Ortiz fucking man up and confront his buddies Beckett, Lackey and Lester in the shower about their lazy asses?

    Funny how Manny was the “clubhouse cancer”…

    So many things to say about all this, but I don’t want to bog down everyone with stuff that will probably result in TL;DR.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella (formerly Nuke LaDoosh)

    I’m not a psychiatrist, and I don’t play one on T.V., but here is my take on Boston. This is a city that has spent the last 150 years with a chip on their shoulder due to the Long Wide shadow cast by the Empire State and it’s megaopolis a couple of hundred miles away. The chip is so big that they have to call their city The Hub (yeah, Hub of New England) to cover up their insecurities.

    As an original New Yorker who went to college in Boston, I always felt a bit like an outsider there, and my friends (75% were from New England) even reinforced that belief (you were from New England and “one of us” or not, and if you were from NY/NJ, then you were the enemy.)

    In NY, you could grow up a Yankee fan and have one of your parents be a Met fan, or a neighbor, or your cousin, or your best friend. We learn tolerance early and often (Jets/Giants, Rangers/Islanders/Devils, etc.) In New England it’s All For One and One For All.

    That attitude carries over to when you leave Boston. “You’ve Failed, You’ve Deserted Us, You were never really one of us to begin with, Good Riddance!” Ask Wade Boggs and Roger Clemenns about it.

    • Yank The Frank

      Stems from a lot of in-breeding.

  • CS Yankee

    Seems like, other than sucking, that Crawford stayed out of the nonsense…which really surprised me.

    He had a feature that aired during his last season in Tampa where he said how much harder he was pushing himself in workouts because it was going to be his one “big pay day”. When i watched that, I thought whoever ends up with this guy is going to overpay big time because his goal was income (needs/wants) based, not competitive or duty based.

    Enjoy that for the next six years, Saux.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

    People spend a lot of time poking fun at the Yanks’ “professional” approach to things, but I’d rather have that than billions of dollars thrown down the drain for what continues to be a bunch of “idiots” in every sense of the word.

    Ellsbury, wind a legal loophole out of that contract and we’ll petition a way for MLB to allow the Yanks to play four outfielders at the same time.

  • Yes That One

    Ah, good times. If only there were a word in another language, say German for example, that meant something like, “to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others.” Now that would really sum up what I’m feeling.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Interesting story we have here.

    I think the most damning part of the entire story is the three pitchers drinking and hanging out in the clubhouse during games. It sends a bad message to their fellow teammates. It reeks of selfishness.

    The Tito smear job is shameful, but not unexpected.

    You wonder how the nucleus of this team (MuddyPigeon, Youk, Gonzo, Crawford) deal with this clubhouse going forward. Ellsbury will be gone after next season. Part of me thinks there will be huge changes in the pitching staff, by way of trading a Beckett and building around Lester and Buchholz.

    Even for all this, if Papelbon gets the save in Baltimore and Russell Martin doesn’t hit into an around the horn triple play in Tamapa, we might never hear about this.

  • WWang3

    Sad, I guess. Not that the Yankees are any better.

  • toad

    Does anyone else wonder what we’d be reading about the Red Sox season if those last couple of innings in New York and Baltimore had gone just a bit differently?