Runs, Hits and Errors: Peyton Place Off Field Meets Bad News Bears On Field

Feb 25, 2012; Fort Myers FL, USA; Boston Red Sox president chief executive officer Larry Lucchino (left), owner John W. Henry (center), and chairman Thomas Werner (right) hold a press conference prior to spring training at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Not having posted my usual weekly column in about three weeks due to vacation and a persistent lack of willpower due to RedSox-itis – the symptoms of which include repeated kicks to the solar plexus causing pain, loss of wind and a finger that just can’t stop pointing – I knew I had to man up today and face the music. If only the team could do the same.

And Now Back To Another Installment of “As My Gut Churns”…
We now know that nearly three weeks ago Adrian Gonzalez and other frustrated Red Sox players fired off a text message to Sox owners Larry Lucchino and John Henry, apparently incensed after Bobby Valentine left Jon Lester in a July 22, 11-run beat down. The usually quiet Gonzo was among the most vocal critics of Valentine along with Dustin Pedroia.

The meeting, attended by some but not all Red Sox players, underscored another issue with the club; those in the camp that are purportedly scapegoating Valentine to deflect attention away from their own sub-par performance and those that will have none of it.

The meeting was held, grievances were aired and as GM Ben Cherington later told the media, “The intent of the meeting was to provide a forum for people to express whatever frustration needed to be expressed at a time during the season when things were not going exactly the way we wanted to on the field in hopes that we could put whatever issues were there aside and focus on playing games the rest of the season.” (as reported by Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passen).

They had the meeting, Cherington and Boston brass hoped that getting this out in the open would ignite a fire and a late season streak would ensue. Three weeks later it’s apparent that the meeting did not have the desired effect.

Meanwhile Back On The Baseball Field…
Clay Buchholz continued to chug along, amassing a 10-3 record while lowering his ERA to a respectable 4.19. He achieved this over the past three weeks with one great complete game outing and one solid, gutsy performance in Baltimore on Thursday night.

Pedro Ciriaco continued to impress in the field and at bat (.316, .414, .609). He DH’d for a still injured David Ortiz (prediction, Papi is gone for the year), played second, short and third and was in the offensive mix. What’s not to like about this guy?

Jon Lester had one very good outing over the past three weeks. Josh Beckett had zero.

Scott Podsednik was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the Matt Albers deal, was released by the D Backs and picked back up off the waiver wire by the Sox. Tonight Scotty Pods is playing right field in Yankee Stadium. In 25 games for the Red Sox, Podsednik is batting .384 with a .410 OBP and .479 slugging percentage. Hint; hold on to this guy at least until the end of the year.

Will Middlebrooks suffered a broken wrist on August 11, went on the DL but reportedly will not need surgery and today was spotted performing fielding drills with a cast on.

Boston dropped two of three against the Orioles this week in Baltimore to kick off the stretch run to the end of the season. Oh how times have changed. Who would have thought that the perceived aberration at the end of the 2011 season would become a trend in 2012.

When World’s Collide…
What’s are the two common threads that bind these two worlds together?
1. The inmates are spending more energy running or at least attempting to run the asylum.
2. Front office management isn’t managing.

Players: Take care of business on the field and everything else takes care of itself. If you were in first place looking 12.5 games down on the Yankees right now your team spirit-crippling issues would be mere blips on the radar.
Owners: When you send a letter to Red Sox Nation stating that “We want to play October baseball”, mean it. Larry Lucchino published a July 13 letter shortly after the All-Star break stating just that. What happened? Zero, zilch, nada. Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik for Craig Breslow (the left-handed Matt Albers) was the move that was going to turn things around and put the team over the top?

Lack of will, lack of trust, lack of leadership and lack of respect distracted the team at a critical juncture in the season. NESN broadcasting duo  Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy said during game one of the Yankees series Friday night that they believed it had all blown over and that the team, owners and Valentine had more respect for one another. A 6-4 New York win Friday night contradicts that statement.

Didn’t you know 
I was waiting on you
Waiting on a dream 
That’ll never come true
Didn’t you know 
I was waiting on you
My face turnt to stone
When I heard the news
- Real Bad News, Kanye West 

Topics: Adrian Gon, Clay Buchholz, Craig Breslow, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Matt Albers, Pedro Ciriaco, Scott Podsednik, Will Middlebrooks

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