OK I know I joked about it a few days ago, but it really isn’t funny anymore. The Red Sox got clobbered on Monday by Tampa. The Rays had scored 20 runs total all year and on Monday night, they hung 16 on Boston. Daisuke Matsuzaaka stunk. Plain and simple. Boston is now 2-8 and fading into an early sunset. We may still have hope, however. Here’s why.
PawSox hitting instructor, Chili Davis was a member of the 1991 Minnesota Twins. As I first mentioned on the air a few days ago, the Twins began that season at 2-9. As you might recall, they went on to win the World Series that year. All is not lost, but they better kick it into gear soon.
When I was in Fort Myers, the Red Sox were in the midst of a ten game losing streak. I mentioned on the air just how blah and lackadaisical they looked. Everyone told me not to worry. “It’s only Spring Training.” Or “Tito’s is only playing his starters 5 innings…No big deal.” Well, guess what? It is a big deal.
A couple of things bothered me while I watched them in Florida. There was no competition. NONE! Every man knew exactly what his spot on the roster was and other than a handful of relievers, no one had to battle for a place. Complacency. There are very few players who can suddenly flip the switch and turn it on. Obviously almost none in the “Nation.”
The other thing that got me, were the daily reports of “Player X” or “Pitcher Y” opting out of a bus trip to Sarasota or Port Charlotte. They’d rather stay back in Fort Myers and throw a simulated game. It’s the baseball players’ vesion of working out of the home. We’d all like to sit around, sip coffee and watch “The Price Is Right” while we do our job. That’s just not reality. Since when did Major League Baseball become less demanding that high school intramurals. These guys are ALL making great money to play a game. They are coddled and treated with “kid gloves” by everyone including the media. We don’t want to upset any of the delicate geniuses, because they might not grudgingly give us a quote or two for our stories.
Well, I for one, have had it. We all hear that Terry Francona is a “players manager”. Guess what? I’m pretty sure a lot of guys could have managed the ’04 and ’07 Sox to victory. You’re not there to make friends. Hold everyone to a higher standard of accountability. Stop the inmates from running the asylum, and just maybe, the Red Sox might be a little more respectable. Right now, they’re a joke.