(above : Matt Sweeney associate, enemy of serious baseball fans)
Despite two World Championships and 5 postseason appearances in 8 seasons, Terry Francona found himself unemployed at some point Friday afternoon, a day and a half after the Red Sox manager saw his club complete a historic September tailspin. ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes quotes one anonymous source fingering Josh Beckett as the leader of the Fenway Clubhouse Beer Brigade, while Francona’s failure to keep his charges’ “gluttony” or “sense of entitlement” were cited as well. Continuing with a similar anti-Country Club sentiment, the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham — who saved one of his funnier, more pointed commentaries for a grim day in the franchise’s recent history – offers some constructive advice, along with asking (Theo Epstein, presumably), “how did the Red Sox get to a point where Francona had to start Tim Wakefeld four times and Kyle Weiland three times in September?”
The first rule the new manager of the Red Sox should have is run to first base no matter what. Don’t sort of move forward glacially like David Ortiz. Don’t half jog like Adrian Gonzalez. Don’t go half speed because you know you’re out anyway like Carl Crawford. Run. If Dustin Pedroia can run to first like what’s left of his hair is on fire, so can everybody else.
The second rule for the new manager of the Red Sox should be no beer in the clubhouse. Period. Plenty of teams do it now and the Red Sox should join the list. I don’t know about you, but my employer doesn’t have a bunch of frosty brews waiting when we’re done work.
It’s mystifying, it truly is, how vociferously Francona and Epstein defend John Lackey. But they always do and I never got the remote impression that the players were tired of his act, either. He must do magic tricks and hand out gold bars the second reporters leave the clubhouse.
Don’t know how this can be addressed, but Fenway Park has to change. It’s obscene that people were dancing and singing to “Sweet Caroline” when the season was going down the toilet. Fenway Park used to be a place where fans applauded when a batter hit a ground ball to the right side to move a runner to third. Now 75 percent of the people in the joint on a given night have no idea why that’s important.