After a September to forget in 2011, the Boston Red Sox were in need of some stability in the locker room. After reports emerged that players, namely pitchers not starting that day, drank alcohol in the locker room during games, the team was in disarray.
Players and coaches claim the drinking had nothing to do with the team going 7-21 in the final month of the season. The epic collapse led to the team making history. They were the first MLB team to hold a nine-game lead entering the month of September and miss the playoffs.
After the season, heads rolled. General manager and baseball prodigy Theo Epstein left to take over the Chicago Cubs. Manager Terry Francona was let go.
2012 was supposed to be a year of redemption for the Sox. So far, it has been anything but.
The team is 4-12 and dead last in the American League East, with just a single victory coming away from Fenway. In their weekend celebration of the legendary ballpark, they were hammered by the Yankees. One game included another epic collapse. They held a nine-run lead in the sixth inning, and lost the game 15-9, allowing back-to-back seven-run innings.
Boston went out and hired eccentric manager Bobby Valentine, who last managed in the major leagues a decade ago for the New York Mets. He's mostly remembered for sneaking back into the Mets' dugout—after being ejected for arguing—sporting a fake mustache and glasses.
Valentine, while a fairly successful manager, is known to be a loud-mouthed, volatile coach. He will call out his players publicly, and criticize through the media. Maybe it's his way of coaching.
Either way, it might not be what Boston needs this season. The poor record speaks for itself, but Valentine has already called out team veteran Kevin Youkilis, and I am sure more will eventually follow.
I would think of Valentine as a rebound relationship. The one you date for a short while after you get out of a long-term relationship. The one who is completely wrong for you. The one that allows you to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.
It's a long season, and Valentine might endure almost all of it, but unless something unforeseen happens, he will likely be out of Boston by 2013.