The Boston Red Sox under manager Bobby Valentine have clinched something—a losing season. The Red Sox lost to the Tampa Bay Rays last night 13-3 and that means Valentine and company are now 68-82. The team from Boston cannot have a winning season. The last time that happened was 1997 when Jimmy Williams managed the club to a 79-84 mark.
By the way there have been times when the Red Sox won far fewer games but that happened in strike-shortened seasons. In 1994, they played just 115 games and won only 54 and in 1981 in a season where only 108 games were played, Boston won 59, which gave them a winning record as they lost 49.
The good news is that Valentine and the Red Sox will not lose more games than the 1960 Red Sox. They were 65-89 (.422). But the guarantee of a losing record for 2012 is deflating in what has been a season of disappointments. Let’s face it having the worst winning percentage over the past 50 years is nothing of which to be proud. What sort of bragging rights do you have when your claim to fame is you’re not as bad as when Tom Yawkey owned the club!
The Red Sox seemed to have a lot going for them at the start of the season and it’s hard to pinpoint when everything went bad. I have said numerous times that I felt ownership should have taken control by the All-Star break, firing Valentine and trying to instill some Morgan Magic. Morgan Magic was the term that was used to describe manager Joe Morgan’s style of seeming to make the right decisions at the right time in 1988 as he guided the mid-season 43-42 Red Sox to a 12-game winning streak, a 19-20 mark and a playoff berth. It was magical. In order to get to that point, ownership fired manager John McNamara and replaced him with Morgan who was the team’s the third base coach.
Well John Henry and Tom Werner did not fire Valentine. Maybe it would not have done any good, but I doubt things would have been worse. There is good news in these times of uncertainty, as now there are three things you can be certain of—death, taxes and the Red Sox posting a losing mark in 2012. There really is nothing like certainty especially in something as unpredictable as sports.