Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
If you haven’t noticed, this team has a $175 million payroll. Granted, about $67 million of it is currently going to players on the disabled list, but this is a team that should be closer to .500 than six games below it as it finally gets a break with the schedule starting Monday night in Minneapolis.
It’s incredible to hear the booing of manager Bobby Valentine, the name-calling directed toward president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and the back-stabbing of owner John Henry, but does anyone blame the people who actually play the game?
Terry Francona was fired after the 7-20 September collapse, but the majority of the players kept their jobs.
Josh Beckett and Jon Lester pitched some true stinkers in September at a time they really needed to step up. Yet, they returned for the chance to do it all over again.
There are players who disappeared during September who have disappeared again in April.
There are still those “Youk’’ chants at Fenway, which sound like boos, but for the most part there’s no serious booing of the athletes who actually win or lose the games.
It’s become an interesting phenomenon.
Fans went through an entire off-season waiting for some sort of shake up in the clubhouse and all that happened was their elite closer was allowed to walk away without even being offered a contract. The one person that fans would've been A-OK with returning was given the Derek Lowe treatment. They had a damn good successor in line but decided to make him a starter. They replaced both of them with two question marks to go alongside a team that already gave fans a bad feeling heading into the season and that was BEFORE the new closer had a phantom injury that has him out until the All Star Break.
Then the big bad wolves in the AL huffed & puffed and have blown down the straw house bullpen. The new set up guy is in Pawtucket to find his control. Plan B hasn't worked either.
That bullpen has blown three games that would've been saved if they had Papelbon & Bard. 7-7 is a easier pill to swallow than 4-10. It's hard to keep the faith in a group of guys you know aren't going to work.
This leads to the people running the team who basically put their hands up and said "well we tried." The front office is on a bad streak when it comes to personnel & PR moves. Every move they have made has blown up in their faces. Everyone feels like they're in it for the money and it sure doesn't help that they have all this Fenway 100 crap coming out.
It's hard to fault those that are playing & giving effort when they do their job only to see the one area that the front office tore apart & failed to rebuild correctly.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Bard back in the bullpen...for now | Herald: Bard in pen again | Rain offers Sox reprieve | Byrd lands in outfield | CSNNE: Sox call up Anderson | Valentine critical of managerial performance | Skipping Bard not an easy decision for Valentine | WEEI: Debunking more myths | What Byrd brings|