Bobby Valentine’s Day Massacre

On April 20th, 2012 the Boston Red Sox celebrated Fenway Park’s 100th birthday. Over 200 former players, players, coaches, managers returned to Fenway Park to celebrate this special occasion; but after the game, no one except for the New York Yankees was smiling. After all, the Yankees just beat the Red Sox 6-2 on Fenway’s birthday. This was a much different outcome from what happened 100 years ago when the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders (renamed the Yankees). But that was 100 years ago; the Titanic sunk 100 years and things have changed a lot since then. Though in reality, most of the changes to the Red Sox happened within the past year.
A little more than a year ago, the Red Sox were predicted to win the A.L. East and the World Series after signing 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez (7-year, $154 million) and outfielder Carl Crawford (7-year, $142 million). But due to injuries, pitching woes, lack of hitting, and the fact that money can’t buy everything, the Red Sox failed to live up to the expectations. Everyone knows how the Red Sox were 9 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the beginning of September and failed to make it to the playoffs. Everyone knows how Red Sox manager Terry Francona was blamed for the loss and after being embarrassed by talks of family problems and pain medication addiction (leaked from someone within the Red Sox organization), he retired from coaching. And everyone knows that the Red Sox pitchers ate fried chicken and drank beer during games that they were not pitching. But no one knew what was going to happen to the Red Sox in 2012. Would they be able to rebuild Red Sox Nation or burn it even farther into the ground?
Well so far, Red Sox Nation is still not in business. The Red Sox started the season with a few injuries, including Crawford (recovering from left wrist surgery and inflammation in the left shoulder), and pitchers John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Then in the 2nd week of the season, Jacoby Ellsbury slid into Rays’ player Reid Brignac in an attempt to break up a double-play. He might be out with a shoulder injury until June. Besides the injuries, the Red Sox have not been off to a great start on the road. In the first series against the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox lost all the games, including a 10-0 lost and a 13-12 lost in extra innings. In Toronto, the Red Sox lost 2 games to the Blue Jays and in Texas, the Red Sox lost 18-3 against the Rangers. Thus, it was not surprising when the Red Sox returned home that some of the Red Sox were actually booed by their fans (new manager Bobby Valentine and pitcher Josh Beckett).
The home opener brought hope to the Red Sox after they beat the Rays 3 out of 4 games, only losing the game on Patriot’s Day. Their 3-game winning spree was overshadowed by Valentine’s comments about Kevin Youkilis. On Sunday, Valentine said that Youkilis was not as emotionally or physically into the game as he used to be. Youkilis confronted the new manager, who apologized, and fellow teammate Dustin Pedroia told the media that he and the team has Youkilis’ back. Already, Valentine was creating enemies with the fans and players.
On Fenway Park’s 100th birthday, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees 6-2. Though it was embarrassing for the Red Sox, it only got worse on Saturday. The day after the big celebration, the Red Sox were seeking revenge against the Yankees. After 5 innings of baseball, the Red Sox were winning 9-0. After a single homerun by Mark Teixeira in the 6th, the Red Sox were still winning 9-1 when the Yankees entered the 7th inning. Red Sox relief pitcher Vicente Padilla managed to load the bases and gave up a grand slam to Nick Swisher. The next relief pitcher Matt Albers gave up a 3-run homer to Teixeria. After the 7th inning, the Yankees had scored 7 runs and now the Red Sox only led 9-8. In the 8th inning, the Yankees managed to score 7 more runs. Somehow, the Red Sox bullpen managed to give up 14 runs in 2 innings!
So what is going to happened to the Boston Red Sox? Well since September of last year, they have lost 28 out of 39 games. They are currently in last place in the A.L. East and the only team worse than them in the A.L. is the Kansas City Royals. Youkilis left today’s game with some kind of soreness, further adding to the injury problems for Boston. The Red Sox starters currently have a 6.15 ERA, one of the worst in baseball. Let’s just say no one in Boston will be singing “Sweet Caroline” for a while.


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