Since September 1, 2011, the Boston Red Sox are 66-85, 19 games under .500.
That, my friends, is historically bad. A mere 151-game sample shows that this constitution of the Red Sox maintains a .437 winning percentage.
With the third-highest payroll in baseball, the Red Sox have managed to successfully play themselves out of contention for the American League East title. They sit 13.0 games out with 38 remaining to play.
As for the AL Wild Card, you can pretty much shut the door on that one, too. They sit 8.5 games out and would have to jump over five teams in the process even to sniff October baseball.
For those keeping score at home, that would bring Boston to its third consecutive season of no postseason baseball for the local nine.
So who, then, is to blame? Assuredly, there is plenty of blame to go around.
Bobby Valentine: 6 Percent
Say what you will about Bobby Valentine, but he's done a solid job managing this team.
When given the job as the Red Sox manager, he was never really given a chance. He's been handicapped by the front office and has found himself cut off at the knees whenever he's tried to be the "edgy" manager Boston thought it was getting.
When criticizing Kevin Youkilis early in the season, he had to quickly come back with an apology. Surely we all remember that. Shortly thereafter, Dustin Pedroia went on a rant, stating, "That's not the way we do things around here" (via Boston.com).
No, Pedey, that's not how things used to be done around here.
The players never gave Valentine a chance. They've never shown him proper respect, and because of that, his time as the manager of the Boston Red Sox will likely come to an end immediately after the season ends.
Red Sox Ownership/Front Office: 24 Percent
Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner and John Henry hold a large piece of the blame pie in their hands.
They, collectively, saw to a gigantic organizational overhaul after September 2011 that resulted in most of the coaching and training staff being removed.
Theo Epstein headed for higher ground, as well.
Rather than extract the problem pieces in the clubhouse, the front office allowed things to fester, brood and boil up to the surface all season long.
Surely, there is plenty more drama afoot.
Backup catcher Kelly Shoppach couldn't wait to address the New York media upon his trade to the Mets, hinting at serious organizational dysfunction.
Conveniently enough, Shoppach's name was immediately tied in with the whole "text message meeting drama" upon his ticket out of town.
Red Sox fans can read between the lines, but the front office runs with the assumption that the fanbase has never even picked up a book.
Poor decisions combined with disinterest (*cough* John Henry *cough*) have been the thorn in the side of Red Sox nation in terms of this front office.
The Players: 70 Percent
Why is the team awful on the field? It isn't Bobby V. It isn't ownership. It is the fault of the players.
This group of Red Sox is composed of whiny, disrespectful children who are seemingly pissed (still) because Terry Francona is no longer the manager.
They are pissed off that Bobby Valentine is running the show.
They're probably angry that beer and chicken are no longer in the clubhouse.
They lack respect, as evidenced by the fact that only four members of this Red Sox team—Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla and David Ortiz—took the time out of their schedules to attend the funeral service of Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky.
In contrast, as reported by the Boston Herald:
“The front office was not happy,” said Someone Who Knows.
Statistics aside, this group of players comes across as a pool of simply shameful individuals who don't appear to have any regard for the Red Sox as an organization or its fanbase.
Is it time for a nuclear winter in Boston?
You bet it is.
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