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Wrecks N Effects

The season ended in a miserable way for the Boston Red Sox and now things are getting ugly. Craig Calcaterra links to a piece by Bob Hohler in the Globe.

Yikes. If it is as bad as all this, why would Theo Epstein stay?

Categories:  1: Featured  Baseball  Bronx Banter  Games We Play

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1 rbj   ~  Oct 12, 2011 8:54 am

"There was acrimony and resentment on the part of the players surrounding the scheduling of a double header against the A’s in August due to Hurricane Irene;"

What a bunch of selfish whiners. Say hello to third, or fourth, or dare I dream, last place, Boston. Yankees had to play a doubleheader late when they didn't want to, but I didn't hear any real complaints.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:26 am

Chicken and biscuits, eh? Why only the pitchers? And didn't Boggs used to eat basically nothing but chicken during his playing days? Suited him, I guess. Who says Fat Papi doesn't eat chicken and biscuits?

Some of the criticism of Theo is fair, though. Obviously when he was building championship teams, character took a back seat to talent on the free agent market. Maybe there aren't enough character guys in baseball to make that a priority, though the Yanks claim to make it an important part of their decision making (whenever and now that Big George is out of the picture). You would think that with the "rich history" of finger-pointing and throwing people under the bus that with the change of ownership (what exactly did John Henry learn from Steinbrenner when he was a minority partner outside of feeling inferior) and subsequent change in attitude that it would not revert to that under any circumstances, but if it has then Boston has far more problems than ill decisions by a GM who helped design two championship-winning teams after the organization whiffed for over eighty years. Isht rolls downhill.

3 ms october   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:30 am

i can't say i'm surprised.
although i have yankee bias, after taking a hit off the objective pipe it still seems that team has some assholes on it.
when things are going well assholes become less relevant. but when things aren't going well the presence of too many assholes becomes an obstacle.

it was probably time for francona to go too.
i do think after a certain point you begin to tune your boss out and it is time to change things up.

also i think the boston media is worse than the ny media which just feeds this bullshit.

4 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:31 am

Theo Epstein should have grown a set and taken care of these issues early on. I expect in his new position in Chi he will. New slate, second job swagger, etc.

We can presume that Lackey and Burnett will not partner and open a motivation consultancy firm this off season.

Cashman to the Red Sox?

5 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:41 am

And let's be honest, blaming certain players for being who they are (self-centered jerks) as opposed to what they are (fat) is rather disingenuous. To which, I wish Theo all the success in the world in winning a lot of national league pennants in the NL. He seems to know that things aren't going to turn around in that dugout for a while (though I wonder if he knows that about the Cubs).

I fully expect Larry Lucchino to host his next press conference dressed as Captain Renault...

6 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:50 am

From the comments of the above article:

"Imagine that in your job, a critical and usually negative evaluation of every level of your organization was published by multiple outlets every single day, even when you were winning, and the venom in those evaluations did nothing but escalate at even a hint of adversity or decline in performance.

In that environment, without very strong leadership and open communication, and often even with it, everyone at all levels will always have a list of who to blame at the ready.

How much fun would it be to work there? How long before you found another place to work? How much more likely would that environment bring out negative qualities of character that may not manifest otherwise?

Sorry Boston (the city, fans, and media, not the team), but I think you are getting exactly what you asked for….seasons over, better winterize those torches and pitchforks so they are ready for 2012."

The papers/blogs/radio follow the fans psyche and regional character. It must be the raw weather, the fat and sugar in the doughnuts, the demographic separation and inherent racism, and the bleakness of the region. Take the universities out of Boston, and you are left with another declining mill town.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:52 am

6) OUCH!

8 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:53 am

[4] After the Nutsey Fagan act he put on last winter? That would be a bit of a reach, even if he doesn't stay with the Yanks.

[3] It seems to me that in New York, the media lives to instigate fights, disagreements and scandals without any sense of accountability or hubris. Still, the homer mentality that drives the Boston media is obviously not a wiser direction.

9 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:56 am

[6] Wowzers... at least they have whale watching >;)

10 ms october   ~  Oct 12, 2011 9:58 am

[6] [8] i think there is something to kenboyer's point about the regional character of boston that exacerbates this.

on another note, i'm glad detroit won last night but i'm still upset that they yankees are not in the god damn alcs. i really believe they would have jumped all over the rangers this year.

11 rbj   ~  Oct 12, 2011 10:20 am

For all the crap A.J. (deservedly) gets, on days when he's blessedly not pitching, dugout shots will show him on the bench. Same with CC, et al. In Little League, if you're not playing, you are in the dugout. Same in high school and college etc. So when you're making millions suddenly you get to not support your team mates? This isn't some sort of rule a manager has to enforce, it should be an ingrained habit you learned growing up.

Same with keeping yourself in shape. You're an adult, making a ton of money, it's not the manager's job to babysit you.

12 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 10:26 am

[10] Yes, kenboyer hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned.

If nothing else, this year really exposed some problem areas going forward that the Yanks can easily address. I'm having second thoughts on trading Swish based on the analysis of his regular seasons here and the unlikelihood that the Yanks would trade him for a productive need besides pitching. If he's a stud in the regular season and a dud in the playoffs, Girardi should get over his fears and either move him down the lineup or bench him for a more productive player during the playoffs.

It can't be so hard to see a guy struggling and say that you have to move him out of the middle of the lineup for a couple of games, no matter how high the ego. That is to say, you can't let your stars dictate how you're going to make your play for fear of losing their interest. I wonder what, with all things being equal and Alex taken out of the equation, did Girardi do differently in 2009 than what he did or didn't do this year? Because if Alex was the major or deciding factor, next few years could very well be an exercise in futility.

13 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 12, 2011 10:55 am

[12] Not new news, but Arod had a mid season hip operation this year. He was and is not right. He might never be again (steroid breakdown?), but hopefully he will return to form by Spring. Girardi had reason and was entitled, and Arod could have accepted without losing face, a drop in the batting order or a day on the bench in the ALDS. This inaction was actually a disservice to Arod, and he was left twisting in the wind.

I think the ghosts of the the last Tigers/Yankees ALDS action by Torre prevented Girardi from proceeding on the reasoned path. Leadership is allowance for making your own mistakes, not paralyzed by ones made before you.

14 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 12, 2011 10:59 am

[13] I meant to say KNEE operation. I know the difference, and the chronologic order of Arod's surgeries.

15 Dimelo   ~  Oct 12, 2011 11:01 am

Theo and the Red Sox never won anything w/o Manny. They can rip Manny all they want, but Manny delivered.

16 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 12, 2011 11:05 am

[15] The "pharmacy" had free delivery too.

17 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 12, 2011 12:13 pm

Knowing what we do now about the 2011 Red Sox it's a lot more aggravating that those clowns mopped the floor with us this year. I don't like losing to losers.

18 Dimelo   ~  Oct 12, 2011 12:19 pm

[16] I'm sure ARod's courier, err cousin, was offering free delivery too.

19 Simone   ~  Oct 12, 2011 12:35 pm

It is the organizational culture of the Red Sox culture to personally destroy players/managers/GMs on their way out. I fully expect Theo to be ripped after he leavs.

20 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 12, 2011 12:38 pm

[18] Manny is now irrelevant to baseball, dude, and the game is better for it.

21 thelarmis   ~  Oct 12, 2011 12:56 pm

if [god forbid] this kind of stuff happened with the yankees, derek jeter - the captain - would be getting killed for lack of "vocal leadership qualities," et al.

how come no one is calling for vagitek's head on this? why does captain facemask get a free pass? "C" is the captain of the "best team evah" and should be able to control *his* clubhouse/team.

22 thelarmis   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:09 pm

[20] he's trying to come back! he wanted to play in the dominican league, but was disallowed. he'd have to serve the 100 game suspension. he's trying to get reinstated, so he can do that. he'd also look around to see if any major league club would have him, for say, a september (/october) callup.

i doubt any of it will happen, but he'll still be in the baseball news every now and then, for a season or two...

23 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:17 pm

[13] Agreed. This is what I always said about Joe acting like he's looking over his shoulder. One of the things he was heralded for in 2009 was for coming out of his element and making an effort to loosen up the team, but he seems to have backtracked considerably, or maybe he's entrusted that too much to his vets (not to the extent of Tito I imagine, but still) and of course they let it backslide.

I don't trust any team that is counting on one player in particular to do significant things and it seems this year Joe and Co. expected Alex to be 2009 Alex right off of two surgeries; otherwise he wouldn't have left him in the four spot and in games for so long. I honestly don't know what he's afraid of, but if it's losing his job, he's certainly not going about the right way of justifying his tenure. And unfortunately, in New York you don't have the benefit of growing into or comfortable with the position.

[19] That's what they're doing, or setting up to do. I'd be surprised, with all the torrid speculation since Francona left, if Theo doesn't get to leave. There must be a lot of hard feelings among the players that are being called out against him and the front office, and if he were to return with that team mostly intact, they'd be a high rated soap opera until the day his contract runs out. Since this is primarily of their own doing (with all the media leaks), they have far more incentive to see it through than to back off now.

[20] Airbending slice!

24 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:22 pm

[18] yup

25 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:32 pm

[21] The team doesn't appear ready just yet to throw him under the bus, but resigning him might be an entirely different issue. And I wouldn't expect him to retire right away, lest he be overshadowed when/if Jorge retires. It's not even close with them two.

26 thelarmis   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:33 pm

the sox ownership feeling they had to buy each player $300 headphones so they would stop being resentful and start winning again, all because of a re-scheduled double header, is the most ridiculous bunch of bollocks i've ever heard in my life. that is just insane.

the professional headphones i use are amazing, and also pricey like that. it takes a long time to be able to save up and afford them. i need 2 pair for work. it would be awesome if my students and other musician friends can own a pair. but who the fuck can afford them?! not in this line of work.

these fucking rich-ass idiot baby fuckers get 'em as a consolation prize to play 2 fucking baseball games in a day? fuck all of them. every last one of 'em. i'd love to get back to the days of having a double dip, playing 2 gigs a day. i feel a sense of pride every time i put on my expensive headphones for work. i'll be wearing them all of today/tomorrow at the school!

27 thelarmis   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:36 pm

[25] i hate that they refer to him as "the captain" virtually the entire article. feh. he's a part-time player and nearly a ghost on that team. he's also a giant bag of douche.

yeah, i'm so glad those vagitek/jorgie articles aren't abound any longer. no comparison there. jorgie is a borderline hall-of-famer, vagitek is captain facemask. no contest.

28 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 12, 2011 1:53 pm

[26] I didn't even read that and that pisses me off. I have a set of Sony cans that were gifted to me by the film department when they were upgrading their equipment the year I graduated that I found to be quite common among sound recordists in the indie film world; great set until my housemate stepped on them this year. I was livid; those things cost near $500 on the market, and being where I am right now, there's no way. I can't even get a hoodie for free from a film production or TV network, much less a set of pro headphones that are only gonna be used to listen to an iPod.

29 thelarmis   ~  Oct 12, 2011 2:17 pm

[28] i hear ya, man. it's disgusting. and that really sucks about yours getting crushed. that's crushing... i *always* keep mine in the original box. might be slightly cumbersome, but it's worth it! one pair stay at my studio on a shelf, the other in my tote bag, with books, sticks, cd's...so they're easy to carry around.

i use crappy little sony's for my ipod. love 'em though!

30 a.O   ~  Oct 12, 2011 4:57 pm

[26] Word!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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