We learnt Saturday night, part way through the Red Sox and Royals game that closer Alfredo Aceves had been suspended for three games by the club for behavior that was considered to be detrimental to the team. According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Aceves had a confrontation with manager Bobby Valentine and continued on by slamming the door to the office before storming out of the clubhouse.
The confrontation is said to be over Valentine’s decision to use Andrew Bailey in what turned out to be a 4-3 Red Sox win on Friday, a save that Aceves felt should have been his. Considering that Aceves threw 37 pitches on Thursday night’s loss to the Angels, one in which he was roughed up in, going to Bailey makes perfect sense.
Aceves was handed the closer role when Bailey was sidelined thanks to surgery on his thumb right out of Spring Training and he’s done fairly well at the job. But lately he’s struggled, giving up 11 runs on 13 hits over his last 9.2 innings which included the blown save on Thursday, his seventh of the season.
But there is more to this story than just the decision to go to Bailey. It’s how the Red Sox handled the childish behavior of one of their players. They disciplined him and rightfully so, showing him and the rest of the club that behavior like this won’t be tolerated.
For most of the season we’ve watched as the patients ran the asylum and it reflected by their poor play. Some fans blame Bobby Valentine for the current mess the Red Sox are in, most blame the players stating they need to be held accountable. Finally, management is standing up to the players and enforcing that playing this game at this level is a privilege and an honor, not a right.
Abraham goes on to say that Aceves was released from the Yankees after the 2010 season more for issues related to his behavior rather than his performance on the field. It’s starting to become clear as to why.
Aceves was unwilling to accept the loss on Thursday when the Angels and Red Sox had a shootout at Fenway in what ended in a 14-13 game, showing up his teammates.
“I missed a couple of pitches, yeah,” Aceves said. “It’s not about that [why] we lost the game. There were like 25 runs.”
Sounds like a real team guy. There was also the John Lackey type stare at outfielder Cody Ross when he misplayed a ball in the ninth that led to the tying run. Suddenly Aceves’ true character may be coming out and I’m not so sure it has a place on this team. After all, the club just shipped out the biggest clubhouse cancer in Josh Beckett after months of his shenanigans and antics that distracted the team and many players in a direct manner.
Maybe the Red Sox brass have finally had enough of the player’s little entourage and them trying to run the show. Maybe this is a new regime and the management is taking the reins back from the players by showing them first hand that they are going to be held accountable for their actions, both on and off the field. If they don’t like it, they can find somewhere else to play. All I can say is, it’s about time.