Blowin’ it Up in Beantown
September 3, 2012 by Greg Suttich • Print Story •
The Boston Red Sox opened the 2012 season with high hopes and plans of playing in October. So what happened? The season started out on a bad note with injuries to key players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz also suffered injuries early. A slow start to the season got everyone pointing fingers.
Bobby Valentine, first-year manager of the Red Sox, brought in his old-school style of managing, which did not sit well with many of Red Sox players. Valentine, never known for holding back his thoughts, expressed publicly how he thought Kevin Youkilis needed to work a little harder. This public announcement by Valentine caused irreversible damage in the relationship between he and Youkalis and some of the other players on the Red Sox squad. Now I do not know what goes on inside the clubhouse, but I would speculate to say that there were many words on a daily basis between Bobby Valentine and some of the Red Sox players that probably should not be mentioned in this article to keep it somewhat PG-rated.
The lingering effects of the injuries and the dissension in the Red Sox clubhouse has kept Boston at or near the bottom of the American League East all season. Even this reporter thought they would turn it around with all the talent on the roster. In an earlier article, I predicted they would be one of the two wild card teams. Okay, if all of my predictions would come true, then I would be selling my picks on Saturday and Sunday mornings, yelling through the TV screen to degenerate gamblers all over the country.
The Red Sox were able to deal Youkilis to the White Sox with the emergence of third baseman Will Middlebrooks. However, Youkilis was a huge fan favorite. Now the White Sox fans are screaming "Yoooooook!" every time he steps to the plate or gets a hit. At least there is no more drama between Valentine and Youkalis. But there is still plenty of drama in Beantown.
Boston was not done, as they recently unloaded over $260 million dollars in salary. A trade sending their longtime ace Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers for some minor league prospects turned heads. So what's next? Will Valentine be brought back next season? Depending upon who might be available, the Red Sox might be inclined to go in a different direction with a new manager next season. After all, Boston cannot afford to start out next season with drama, which seems to follow Valentine everywhere he goes.
Boston will have plenty of money to shop around for some big names in the off season. In order to keep up with their rival Yankees, the Red Sox will need to make a splash in the free agent market this off-season. Pitching, mainly starting pitching will be a huge priority. A couple of big bats will also be coveted to complement Ellsbury and Pedroia.
Red Sox fans still have some hope for the 2012 season. If you look at what has been happening lately in the standings, the New York Yankees have been sliding. The surprising Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays are right on the heels of New York. The Yankees are suffering some of what has plagued the Red Sox with a bunch of injuries to key players. So for Boston fans, the opportunity to see the Yankees fade and miss the playoffs gives them some joy and satisfaction during the month of September. After all, misery loves company!