SUMOskinny magazine is the ultimate guide to college life. Part local, part national, and all college.
The grumblings from the Boston clubhouse have been remarkably audible for some time now. Some key players from the Red Sox organization voiced their discontent with new skipper Bobby Valentine early on, but now tsuanmi-like waves are being made after a closed door meeting with ownership last month. The agenda? A lack of confidence in Valentine's ability to manage.
Dating back to Spring Training, Valentine's coaching methods have been met with raised brows. While most teams were getting players loose through hitting and fielding practices, the former Mets manager was making his team relearn the basic fundamentals of baseball. At first, it seemed like an unorthodox but constructive approach for a team plagued by a hauntingly memorable September collapse.
But as the season progressed, Valentine's behavior became increasingly questionable: public spats with players, outlandish boasts in post-game interviews, bizarre antics on and off the field. Most notably perhaps his dispute with former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, whom Valentine blamed for the rift. Now, everything has come to a head after players - including Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez - had a meeting with GM Ben Cherington and the owners back in July. The tipping point for them was a July 22nd game against the Toronto Blue Jays, where Valentine left starter Jon Lester in too long, allowing him to be rocked for 11 runs and seemingly embarassed.
What can be made from this meeting? As players and management were approached for quotes, everyone denied any malicious intent or ultimatums being made at the meeting. It was simply a place for people to "air out" their grievances. But there's more to take away from this report than that. There is a humongous rift in the Boston clubhouse between owners and players, coaches and players, and players and players. No one is happy and it's seeping on to the field, affecting their play.
Boston: this is your wake up call. The Red Sox used to be a cohesive team of "idiots" when they were underdogs, winning the hearts of many fans and reigniting the city's love for baseball. That was 2004. Eight years and two championships later, that team is but a distant memory, a far cry from who they are today. They're whining prima donnas who would rather blame a manager than take responsibility for their own lack of performance.
The owners have made it clear that they stand tall behind Valentine; he will manage for the rest of the season. It's 100% on the players to pull it together and start winning games. A manager can only do so much, it's the guys on the field who need to shut up and play ball. September is creeping up fast and won't wait for the Red Sox to catch up.
Everytime you socialize with SUMOskinny, you get points. Read a story? Points. Share a story? Points. Use points to get free stuff in our shop now.