|Connelly’s Top Ten: USA Women, Red Sox Bore Astros into Submission||Preparing for Another Year of Rebuilding for the Celtics||Red Sox Bullpen Sleeper: Matt Barnes||The Case For Trading Clay Buchholz|
At first I was angry. Then I gloated. Then I got sad. And now I’m just pissed. Let’s be honest, no one would have predicted this in March. No one would have thought the Red Sox would find themselves at a crossroad…again. In the press conference Thursday, a reporter asked about a roster overhaul. Didn’t we have this same conversation last year?
I’m honestly confused, and don’t know how to resist to writing a swear-laden tirade. I was delighted with the offseason moves, really. And realistically, what can the Red Sox do to fix this? There is something fundamentally wrong in the way this organization is operated. It’s the players, the ownership, the fans–something is not right and has not been right since Manny Ramirez left.
I admit that I think Theo Epstein is an arrogant fool who performs his job like a drunk. When you invest $180 million in the offseason, you invest as much as you have to after that. Deism doesn’t work in sports. You don’t create a team in the offseason and then leave it to its own devices. Erik Bedard…really?
But not all of this is on Boy Wonder. He obviously is limited to going in the direction that ownership wants. And I don’t have any problems with John Henry in particular. But something is off. Who are they? Sometimes they act like a small market team developing a strong farm system and cheap-ing out. Other times the Sox forget about that, trading away top prospects and dishing out ridiculous contracts. The Yankees have an identity. The Red Sox need one and badly.
Big contracts aside, the way this team spends money is troubling. The Red Sox refused to give Mark Teixeira the extra $10 million he wanted as a free agent. But they spent $10 million that offseason on John Smoltz and Brad Penny instead? As a result we had to give up valuable prospects AND hand out a huge contract for Adrian Gonzalez anyway. We refused to give Jason Bay $45 million and, as a result, had to sign Carl Crawford for over twice that amount? We complain when the Red Sox pass on a big free agent, yet our stomachs turn whenever they do. And not only do these moves cost money, they sacrifice years of being competitive. What gives?
This was supposed to be a team of all-stars. The Red Sox had five “aces.” Short of re-signing Victor Martinez, it was a dream team. The complaints about lacking a true star that rose after the Manny trade were finally put to rest. And yet it failed. The cheap stake Rays somehow managed to win (I’m sure FOX is thrilled at the prospect of a Tampa/Arizona World Series).
What does this say? Can dream teams work? Well, the Celtics did it. The Yankees have done it. There is no reason why this Red Sox team couldn’t have done it. It was selfishness, laziness, and greed that prevented them from winning.
I’ll give a few examples. Tim Wakefield. Wakefield alone cost this team about 10 or so wins in his “quest” for 200 wins. That’s selfish. I’m sick of him. He needs to retire because all he does is hurt the team for his own benefits…his old, creepy benefits. I guess I’m appreciative of everything he’s done for the Red Sox, although I don’t really know what he’s actually done. But he can throw a knuckleball! I don’t care if he throws a ball covered in zebra piss–I just want him to throw something that gets the batter out. What I really hate is this inexplicable obsession with him. Get Wake on the Redsox.com banner! Get Timmy W. an All Star appearance! When does it stop? The Hall of Fame? Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Tim Wakefield has never been an above average pitcher in his lifetime. He throws like a dog suffering from muscle atrophy. He needs to stop trying to go for the cumulative stats, move to Florida, and be shocked with a cattle prodder. Wakefield will sacrifice as many games as possible in his quest to look good on paper.
What about Adrian Gonzalez, the sweet swinging San Diego savior? Sure his numbers look good, but let’s face it, he was a quiet good. That may work for the Padres, but that won’t work in Boston. Stop crying God and worrying about your mustache. Put the team on your back. Say what you want about Manny, but he could single handedly lift his team to victory. Adrian Gonzalez has not shown that. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if Chubby lost some weight.
John Lackey and Carl Crawford. Where do I begin. They deserve to live in the streets. As a lazy, apathetic, liberal arts, college student, I contribute more to society than these two pieces of feces. They are a waste of human life. No one cares if they feel “pwesssssssured” or if the home life isn’t going to great. Tons of people experience tragedy and stress. But they are still expected to show up to work. Being a celebrity or an athlete isn’t an excuse.
A lot of criticism has been directed at the training staff. And they most likely will get fired (Hey, we need a scapegoat). But, a training staff can only do so much. They can’t force a player to lift weights, stretch, or jog. That’s up to the players. If the players on the Red Sox can’t stay healthy, doesn’t part of that fall on them?
And how many people on this team could make use in losing some pounds. Think of all the fatties on this team. Varitek, Gonzalez, Youkilis, Lackey, Big Albers. All of these guys and more could stand some weight loss. Youkilis knew he was moving to a more demanding position. Why wasn’t he prepared for it? For the amount of money they make, not being in peak condition is inexcusable.
A win is a win right? But could there be a difference in performing for the team and performing for oneself? Jacoby Ellsbury had a great season. But how much of that was for the taste of victory and how much was for landing a contract larger than Bobby Jenks’ waist? That has to have an effect on the team. It just has to. Think about Tom Brady. He would hand it off every play if it meant the Patriots would win. Ellsbury…bleh. Don’t be excited about Ellsbury. It’s a matter of time before he bolts for the Yankees or Angels.
And then there’s the fans. Don’t get me started. All the fair weather fans expected the Red Sox would win. We just want a parade! Because in Boston, we always win the championships every year because we’re God’s chosen people and we’re smarterandcoolerandmorepassionateandloyalthaneveryoneelseintheworld! On the bright side, they’ll now pretend to be Bruins fans again for a couple months and when they realize the B’s won’t repeat as champions, these bandwagoners will torment someone else.
We’ve gone soft. All of these problems can be solved without roster moves and drastic decisions. All this team needs is some discipline. I don’t think that means firing Francona (though he is reportedly on his way out) or Epstein. However, if that’s what it takes to make these fat pieces of sh*t play like men, so be it. Every time John Lackey grimaces, he should be kicked in the shins. Every time Carl Crawford strikes out, he should be shunned. Every time Youkilis declines to go to the gym, someone needs to poke his cookie dough belly.
The Red Sox have a history of being losers. Sports are all about the championships. Good players win championships, bad ones don’t. James Posey is better than LeBron James because he has more rings. That’s why Curt Schilling is better than Mike Mussina. And if you don’t have a ring, that makes you a loser. Jim Rice was a loser. Carl Yazstremski was a loser. Ted Williams was a loser. A majority of this team is made up of losers. And even the one’s with rings are losers. With the exception Dustin Pedroia, your morgue has corpses tougher than this joke of a baseball team.
This wouldn’t fly with the Patriots. If the Red Sox are going to act like dogs, treat them like dogs. If Ortiz rolls over, squirt him with a spray bottle. Put Daniel Bard on a leash, I don’t care. Breed Matt Albers with a bull dog. That loss was borderline comical. No one will ever hand you a championship…ever. Sports ain’t supposed to be easy.