Sure, WE have all know it for months: “It’s the pitching, stupid!”
But the stupid part is that the Management Morons, “The Three Stewards,” John, Larry & Benny, have taken the entire summer to “get it.”
And, COMING SOON: National Harpoon’s Sox Summer Vacation!
In their recent history, the Red Sox have honed an image of an overwhelming offense with good enough pitching to win those classic 9-7 games. Even today, with all the injuries, the Red Sox offense ranks #3 in 32, behind the Yankees and the Rangers.
You might be surprised that, although it is definitely “the pitching,” despite the failure of Beckett and Lester, the rest of the staff held their own:
4.33 ERA #8; #7 ER 515; #13 Ws, 364 ; #19 Ks ; #14 WHIP 1.30; 2.34 K/W ratio.
The Sox might be still in the WC race, if the management had made a few smart moves:
- Not forcing Bard into starting rotation.
- Realized early on, when it was obvious to the rest of the baseball world, that Beckett had “lost it” and Lester was struggling and traded for an ace to anchor the staff.
- Let Valentine replace Francona’s Pitching coach, Bob McClure, who lost his job in Kansas City.
But management was not up to the task; they were on…
National Harpoon’s Sox Summer Vacation!
CEO Larry, empowered by owner John Henry, who was in the luxury trailer behind the SUV, took the wheel from GM Cherington, put Ben in the backseat, hired a guide [Valentine] and, ignoring the “BRIDGE OUT AHEAD - 162 miles,” confidently cranked it up to 85 MPH and put it on Cruise Control.
Every 10 miles they passed another “BRIDGE OUT AHEAD [ ] miles” warning and Larry, because he was told he was in charge by John Henry and was, after all, a lawyer, ignored the 16 signs, with the lettering that kept getting larger, and confidently increased his speed.
Along the way, Larry and Bobby played the radio, but, every time the media broadcast a warning that the Red Sox were headed over a cliff, they changed to the Oldies’ station. Ben had a vague sense that things were not going well, but was afraid to say anything; after all, if they did drive off a cliff, he could say it was not his fault; they took the wheel away from him.
After traveling 110 of the 162 miles to where the bridge was out, Bobby was leaning into the window with his cell phone, talking to the Producer of Sunday Night Baseball. He didn’t need to try to hide his conversation from Larry, because the man in charge was asleep at the wheel.
Meanwhile, John Henry was blissfully unaware of the situation; he was watching European soccer games and converting his Red Sox profits into gold bars and shipping them to an offshore tax-haven.
Ben heard the snoring and worried that they might crash, but, reassuring himself that it would not be his fault, he said nothing.
Just as Bobby sealed a deal to return to Sunday Night Baseball, Ben could see that the road ahead abruptly disappeared and he smiled, satisfied with the thought that they were definitely going off the cliff and he could say it was their fault.
Just then, the tires hit the strip of spikes on the road, the car jerked, and awakened Larry. Just as the front bumper approached the barricade, Larry remembered that he was empowered to be in charge and made a quick command decision: he ripped the steering wheel off its column and handed it to Ben in the back seat.
But, Ben wasn’t going to be fooled again by Larry; he refused to take the wheel; he said: “Not so fast, Larry, I’m not going to let you blame this on me!”
Just then, the most intelligent man in the SUV opened the passenger door and bailed out; he was still flashing that permanent smile when he hit the ground.
He could hear Larry yell: “Yes you will Cherington! I’m in charge…” as the SUV and the luxury trailer, as if driven by some amateur Evil Knieval, propelled at 85 MPH, managed a graceful slo-mo, but brief, arc, seemed to hang hopefully, in a frozen pose for a final photo, and then surrendered for 2,012 feet to the inexorable and unforgiving force of gravity.
Despite the fact that his pal Larry did not support him when the malcontent players, the rabid fans, and the media commentators began to heat up the tar, lift the rail, and opened the bags of feathers and that his boss, the GM, took the side of the players against him, Bobby was dismayed by the way things ended.
He immediately got on his cell phone and dialed the number for the Public Safety & Health for the city of Stamford, Connecticut to request an ambulance; as the former Director, he was confident he could get them to give the call a high priority.
Then, he called the Assistant Producer of Sunday Night Baseball and arranged for a helicopter to lift him out of this tragic accident scene and back in time to work tomorrow’s game with Tito.
Wistfully recalling his experiences as a manager in Japan, Bobby shakes his head and says to himself:
“I guess none of those guys in Red Sox management read that great book about Japanese baseball,
YOU GOTTA’ HAVE WA…”
He recalled that “wa” was a founding principle for baseball in Japan: it was the Japanese word that represented the concept of group harmony.
Topics: Baseball, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, Book, CEO, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Fear And Loathing, GM, Gonzo, Gonzo Journalism, HST, Hunter S. Thompson, Japan, Japanese, John Henry, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Larry Lucchino, Owner, Pitching, Wa, You Gotta Have Wa