…well, I actually hate to use serious words for something sports related. Kind of like calling anyone in the sports world a “hero”. Sports figures are not heroes. Law enforcement personnel, doctors, soldiers…now, those are real heroes. I guess it’s how you personally choose to define the word yourself. But I am already digressing…
What we are talking about here involves the Boston Red Sox. Maybe a better word is “toxic”. I don’t know. Either way…though the Sox are in first place in the American League East, as well as having the second best record in the entire AL, something doesn’t seem right.
And it goes deeper than this whole David Price fiasco. Which David Price fiasco? Take your pick I suppose. There is the one that involves confronting Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley on the team plane roughly a month ago. But once the specific details came out this week in a Boston Globe piece, the story has taken on new life. You’ve all heard and read what apparently happened, so no need to rehash those details.
But combine that with Price yelling at reporters weeks before the Eck incident, his social media whining and everything else that has gone along with him…that’s kind of the tip of the iceberg. Heck, there was even a rumor being thrown out there yesterday that Price almost came to blows with manager John Farrell at some point in the spring…with General Manager Dave Dombrowski present. I think that one may be a little far-fetched, but with Price, who knows?
What I do know is that apparently 217 mil does not give you thicker skin. Price never should have come to Boston. Sure, he couldn’t turn down the cash…and the Players Association probably wouldn’t have let him (a la A-Rod when he was going to take discounted cash to come to Boston years ago). But he clearly can’t handle Boston. And it seems as if he is trying his hardest to be moved now…though the likelihood of him being traded is slim to none…and that’s closer to none. Our best bet to be rid of this tool is for him to pitch well over the next year-plus and opt out. I know, that means another year-plus of this clown. May be the only avenue though. How many playoff losses do you think he can accumulate before then?
Enough about Price himself. The most disturbing thing about the airplane incident with the Eck is that supposedly a great deal of players applauded Price being an A-hole. So people’s feelings were hurt because Eck made some critical comments? Grow the F up. Athletes today are worse than ever. Can’t say a bad thing about them or they lash out. Please. The funny thing about it was that Eck was just commenting on a poor Eduardo Rodriguez rehab start. Just saying “yuck” when that particular pitching line came on the screen. That’s all it allegedly took for Price to lose it? Amazing. How ’bout just recognizing that it was fact? That the start was indeed actually poor? Yeah, why would anyone do that?
Eck is no doubt more critical of players than pretty much any game analyst across the country…probably in any sport. But is he THAT critical? Maybe. I don’t hear every inning of every game he calls. Or all his studio work. But I doubt it. Players are just babies now. I don’t know if it’s because it evolves from the “everyone gets a trophy as a young athlete” mentality or not. But it’s a discouraging trend to say the least. Social media ain’t helping things either.
Moving on…I didn’t want this whole piece to be about Price. Just couldn’t help myself. But when I say “toxic” as well, there is more to consider. Hanley Ramirez, for one. He’s finally playing first base on a regular basis…glad he finally agreed to. But how long will it last? I’m not counting on it being long. D-O-G. I’d love for him to be out-of-town as well. At least he’s hitting some bombs again. Though they may be the quietest 17 dingers you’ve ever seen.
John Farrell? Ship him out too. Though that is old news for me. How many times can I say it? Managing is bad, clubhouse may be bad, every time he flaps his gums…yup…bad. But you know how I feel. Nothing more needs to be said. Although…have you noticed what Torey Lovullo is doing in Arizona with essentially the same roster the team had in 2016? Just sayin’…
You know who else I am down on? Dustin Pedroia. No, say it ain’t so you will say. But things are starting to add up. On the field, he is a gamer, absolutely no doubt. Battles every second, offensively and defensively. He seems to be the only guy hitting recently, to boot.
But Pedroia “behind the scenes”? Starting to lose some luster…to me anyway. The whole Manny Machado thing earlier this year where he seemed to throw his teammates under the bus. From all reports, he apparently supports Price’s antics. Bobby Valentine was an assclown for sure. But when Pedroia confronted him with the whole “we don’t do that here…” nonsense, what was that? He’s the player, Valentine was the manager. Deal with it. Leadership? Where was ol’ Dusty back in 2011 when the team was folding down the stretch and cost that manager (Terry Francona) his job? Where was Jason Varitek’s leadership that year as well…but that’s a story for a different day.
This last paragraph may rile some people up. Too bad. Again, completely and wholeheartedly appreciate Pedroia’s game on the field. His “off-field” stuff has bothered me for a while. And this year it has seemed to elevate to a new level. My opinion…
These are the players that stick out to me…plus the manager. For the clubhouse type stuff anyway. Maybe there’s more. And there probably is. But we may never hear any specifics on those players. These veterans are kind of the easy ones to point to of course.
I will say that all the crap above is not the only reason “something doesn’t seem right”, as noted earlier. The squad essentially only lost David Ortiz from last years’ lineup. And all of a sudden the rest of them can’t hit? Kind of inexplicable, no? As noted previously, Pedroia has been in line with his career numbers and has hit very well the last month or so. But everyone else has regressed. Yes, even Mookie Betts. I have no idea what the hell is up with Xander Bogaerts. I expected another step up from last years’ numbers. Nope. You can run through the rest of the lineup and see the same things.
The trading deadline is Monday. Despite my feelings above, the Sox are indeed in first place. What would I do? Glad you asked. But since I rambled on about Price and bad mojo in general, that will have to wait another day…