Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Anatomy of a Collapse

The Boston Globe detailed some new allegations and more detailed accounts of old allegations as the Red Sox collapsed their way out of the postseason. The old allegations surrounding pitchers drinking beer were given more detail, including names. The new allegations are about Tito Francona and the claim that he was distracted by marital problems and an abuse of prescription drugs.

Francona disputes being distracted but doesn't dispute marital problems or the fact he is on a steady dose of pain medication.

Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia have all spoken and not one of them has denied the allegations brought up by team sources. They were all careful not to throw anyone under the bus but not one of them said that the allegations were false. That says a lot. So here is the article, it is a great read and is all the more intriguing because it seems to be factual.

The issue I have with the article is the characterization of Tito Francona. Tito took full responsiblity for the Red Sox collapse. He refused to point fingers or throw any of the players under the bus. He took the high road and handled it with class. Unfortunately, the team "sources" decided to throw in under the bus in this article. It is pretty clear the source for this information is the ownership, in particular Larry Lucchino.

Dustin Pedroia voiced his anger with how Francona was treated in this audio clip

Keith Olbermann defends both Francona and Epstein in his blog and goes off again against Red Sox ownership on his tv show in this clip

Eric Wilbur also takes the ownership to task in this article.

The big question though deals with the Red Sox rotation and in particular John Lackey, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. Lackey was horrible all season and Beckett and Lester were at their worst when the team needed them most.

When Jacoby Ellsbury homered to beat the Yankees on that Sunday night, I was convinced that the Red Sox would catch fire and make a very deep run in the postseason. This didn't happen. Instead, the aces of the staff would get hammered in their remaining starts taking away any momentum gained by the heroics of Ellsbury. It now appears that Beckett has always been this way. Peter Abraham is now reporting that Beckett had these issues dating back to his days with the Marlins. It got so bad that Jack McKeon had to lock the clubhouse during games so that Beckett and Brad Penny would not sneak back there and drink beer.

The Boston Herald's back page tomorrow will read that Beckett must go. I am starting to agree with them.

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