Of all MLB teams, perhaps the Boston Red Sox have made more mistakes than any other in 2012. It’s safe to say that of all the possible contenders Boston has probably made the most and the biggest errors. I’ve ranked the top five MLB mistakes made by the club this year. Here they are starting with number five and working our way to the top.
The first MLB mistake these guys made was in not addressing last season’s attitude problems. They got rid of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, but did they expect that to really solve the problem? Let’s see you jettison the only manager and GM to win two World Series in the first decade of the 21st century and that’s basically that?
True that starting pitchers were drinking beer in the clubhouse when they were not pitching and that’s certainly partly due to a lax attitude by Francona, but it was the players who had the bad attitude. So what do the Red Sox do, under manager Bobby Valentine they ban alcohol from the clubhouse.
I guess that’s a start but it never really addressed the real problem of which drinking was a symptom. What was that problem—a lack of respect for MLB and the Red Sox organization. Examples of that lack of respect from this season was Josh Beckett going golfing after being scratched from the lineup due to health reasons and all those guys who were no shows for the Johnny Pesky funeral. It’s the same basic problem as shown through different actions.
In firing Epstein and going internal with the new GM, I believe Boston made its fourth worst major faux pas. Let’s see, you decide that Epstein is part of the problem so in essence you hire his protégé Ben Cherington. Now that is a true MLB mistake. They should have brought in someone new to clean house.
Then they did not allow the new GM to run the show. In the search for a new manager, president Larry Lucchino usurped Cherington. So let me get this straight, the new GM of the Red Sox has his first MLB decision taken away from him? There’s a bad sign and the third worst mistake made by Boston in 2012.
The Bobby Valentine Show starring manager Valentine was a real comedy of errors. This fiasco was number two on the Red Sox mistake-ridden MLB hit parade. Whenever a virtual fire ensued, Valentine always seemed to be the one to toss a gallon or two of gasoline on it. No matter what problem the team was having—Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, Will Middlebrooks, Beckett, etc.—Valentine had to say something to make things worse.
The top mistake made by the Red Sox—no major changes between the All Star break and the trade deadline. In the Red Sox organizational meeting midway through the season at the All Star break, it was clear from statements made by Cherington that he was sticking with the horses he had. I think the Red Sox had to do something. Firing Valentine and bringing in someone who might inject some Morgan Magic, like former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan did in 1988, might have at least given the team a burst of energy or confidence. But the Red Sox brass did nothing and the band played on.
The result of that tune for the Red Sox is a terrible finish in the 2012 MLB AL East standings and the murmurings of “wait until next year” by fans everywhere. Yes, they will wait until next year when Valentine and others, including perhaps Jon Lester, will be gone.