Boston Red Sox: Both the Players and Front Office Are Getting What They Deserve

Erick FernandezCorrespondent IIAugust 16, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 15:  Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine reacts after being thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Mike Everitt during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

You wonder what Terry Francona has been thinking as he watches the whole Boston Red Sox implode from the top down. Francona is such a class act that he has not taken shots at the team who unjustifiably put him on the chopping block and burned him at the stake for the Red Sox's epic collapse last September.

Luckily for the Red Sox, Francona is not as petty as I am because I would have taken every single opportunity on ESPN to take stabs at his former team.

With the abundance of injuries, underachieving "superstars" and manager controversy, the Boston Red Sox have found themselves in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons throughout the season.

The recent allegations that Red Sox players, and specifically first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, contacted ownership to express their displeasure with Bobby Valentine as a manager has not helped in regards to public relations. Despite owner John Henry's attempt to take attention away from the issue, there is obviously a troubled relationship between the players and Bobby V.

Now the media, as they always do, is looking for scapegoats to this debacle of a season. Is it the player's fault for playing so poorly? Is Bobby V losing control of this team? Is the Red Sox front office responsible for putting this team together?

The simple answer to all those questions is yes.

Players such as Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford have not performed up to their potential and their contracts.

Beckett's struggles have been well documented this season. He is 5-10 with an abysmal 5.19 ERA. These are stats that are unacceptable from someone who is supposed to be one of their strongest pitchers.

Crawford, who is getting a fat $142 million over seven years, has battled injuries and inconsistencies in his first year and two-thirds with Boston. These two veterans have become the face of this struggling Red Sox team.

Bobby Valentine strained relations with his players when he questioned former Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis' heart and focus in April. This set a tense environment between the players and the managers from the start of the season.

Now the Red Sox players are unhappy with Bobby Valentine, and ownership is not pleased with the team's overall play and this PR nightmare. 

The players last year had an ultimate player's coach with Terry Francona, but they decided to take a page out of Ludacris' book with the "Chicken-N-Beer" fiasco. They lost all of their discipline and played without the heart that helped them become a team to beat in the American League for almost half a decade.

Consequently the Sox lost a nine-game lead in the wild card standings in the month of the September. Francona became the scapegoat as a result of his players' uninspired play.

John Henry had a manager who helped lead their team to two championships—the first title since 1918—and five playoff appearances. Boston's ownership decided that it was best to part ways with their manager and did not hold the players accountable for their horrendous play down the stretch in the 2011 season.

The Red Sox players have put themselves in the situation with an unpopular manager because if they won a few more games in September, Terry Francona would have probably been spared. Management produced a roster that consists of the same underachieving group that was responsible for the memorable September collapse.

So who is to blame for the state of the organization?

Everyone involved—because right now—the Boston Red Sox are a complete mess.


Erick Fernandez is the creator of I Want to Thank My Hood & My Psychiatrist