If you thought that after the Sox cleaned house, got a new GM and finally (FINALLY!) hired a new manager, that everyone would be optimistic and ready to start 2012 with a clean slate, you are very very wrong.
ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that some Sox players aren't too keen on their new manager. Let's dive right in:
As Valentine emerged as a managerial candidate, some Red Sox players have been upset; they've been grumbling to each other, through texts and phone calls.. And the fact is they had no power to do anything about it, because the September collapse completely undercut the credibility of the Red Sox players. If one of them had called the front office to register concerns about Valentine, they might've heard laughter on the other end of the line. The Boston players had complete control of the clubhouse in 2011, and we know what happened.
First off, boo-hoo-hoo for those Sox players that aren't happy with the hiring. They had the ideal manager, and they didn't just take advantage of him, they steam rolled him. Whether it was due to a few bad eggs, millionaire egos or any other reason, the team clearly couldn't thrive under that form of leadership. They left the Sox no choice but to get someone with a different style.
The fact that they're getting pissy over his hiring actually has me a bit giddy. It's like when you got assigned to the "mean" math teacher in high school. The one that asked you questions when you weren't paying attention, gave you detention if you didn't do your homework and just generally made your life hell for two semesters. School wasn't nearly as fun with that teacher, but you probably learned more algebraic equations than you would have otherwise.
There's a very good chance that this could blow up in the Sox faces, if players start acting out, and both the players and Bobby take their gripes public. That's the underlying timebomb with Bobby Valentine. Also, how sad is it that we have to treat this Sox team as if they're a group of unruly 13 year olds? They have no one to blame but themselves.
It's not all negative, though. Buster also has some encouraging words to the disgruntled Sox: