In what is becoming an increasingly bizarre Red Sox season, it was reported by the New York Daily News that Kelly Shoppach, and not Adrian Gonzalez, sent a text message to upper management about discontentment with Bobby Valentine.
So Gonzalez is absolved from all responsibility in this text message matter, right?
Well, not really.
Gonzalez allowed Shoppach to use his phone to text upper management about Valentine. And why, exactly, did Shoppach use Gonzalez’s phone? Well, he’s just more popular (read: makes more money).
Phew, did you get all that? Anyone feel like they’re in seventh grade again?
Per the New York Daily News:
A small group of players that has been unhappy with Valentine this season — a group that included Shoppach, according to a source familiar with the circumstances — was complaining about the manager in late July and engaged Gonzalez in the conversation. A member of the group suggested that the only way to bring about action would be to voice their problems to ownership. Gonzalez was tired of hearing the constant grumbling and agreed with them that a message from him — the team’s highest-paid player — would get management’s attention.
Their reasoning was spot on, and the players did get management’s attention.
Attention to this text message saga all started with a report by Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan. In the now-infamous column Passan wrote:
Boston Red Sox players blasted manager Bobby Valentine to owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino during a heated meeting called after a text message was sent by a group of frustrated players to the team and ownership in late July, three sources familiar with the meeting told Yahoo! Sports.
Well, it now appears Shoppach was the ring leader behind the text message that led to the meeting in the first place. (h/t USA Today)
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) August 15, 2012
Shoppach really was not happy in Boston all season. In May, Valentine confirmed Shoppach was unhappy about his playing time. (h/t NESN)
The unhappiness with Valentine culminated with Shoppach's involvement with the text message to the front office.
The USA Today has referred to this situation as “textgate.” The New York Daily News has referred to the situation as “text mutiny.” Whatever one calls it, it is clear this is one of the sorriest chapters in recent Red Sox history.
This is what the Red Sox have been reduced to. A text message? Really?
While fans are wrapped up in the idea of "mutiny" (and rightly so), what really is shocking is the Red Sox players' immaturity and lack of professionalism in their attempt to make change. Valentine has been reduced to professional babysitter, and the kids are telling mom their babysitter isn't being nice.
Not surprisingly, Shoppach has denied everything. According to the Boston Herald, Shoppach stated:
I’m really disappointed that my name was even brought up in that.I wasn’t behind any texts. I actually didn’t even attend the meeting. It was on an off day in New York and I stayed back in Texas with my family.
Unfortunately, Shoppach has now been reduced to yet another sad footnote on the ongoing drama that is the Boston Red Sox.