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.
The 2012 Red Sox finished dead-last in the American League East when it came to effort, passion, functionality and wins-and-losses - not to mention 11th in the American League in team ERA, 10th in opponents' batting average and dead-last (14th) in shutouts, It was the pitching, stupid, after all. Dice-K closed his career with the Red Sox facing 14 batters and giving up five runs and two runs in just 2.1 innings. His ERA this season, a John Lackey-esque 8.28. The final tally on Dice-K: $881,282 per game pitched or $2,062,200 per win. And the Red Sox spent a combined $184 million for both he and Lackey. Now, my head hurts.
Valentine's exit is just another necessary step in the slow, painful and lengthy - as in we've got two years to go at least - reclamation, renaissance and reconstruction of this franchise. It's been 370 days since the Great Collapse of 2011 ended in flames at Camden Yards. But the only real long-term progress the Red Sox have made since Robert Andino's low liner slipped under Carl Crawford's glove a year ago Sept. 29 took place with the quarter-billion dollar salary dump involving Adrian Gonzalez and Crawford, along with the carcass ofJosh Beckett and the bemused Nick Punto. Other than that, it's been status-woe.
Well it's over. The Sox end the season going 7-22 since September & October but for some reason people were expecting something else after the massive trade. As if Mauro Gomez & James Loney would combine their powers to carry this team to a .500 record.
The Red Sox looked more like the Paw Sox going against division rivals, with three of them fighting for a playoff spot. I'll ask again, what else were people expecting?! If anything it shows the impact of Adrian Gonzalez, who's impact in the lineup would have continued the maddening mediocrity that had Sox fans lining up Yawkey Way with pitchforks.
I know that winning a bunch of titles may have skewed fans perception of things but this past month is a brutal reminder of what bottoming out is truly like. You can't bitch about it because there was a block party celebrating the overpaid talent leaving this city to take another team out of the playoff picture. There was maybe a couple days of peace before the digust & anger returned. Most people, especially a good chunk of the media, should be ashamed of the way they have acted for they have made this season incredibly excruciating. We all got what we wanted in that trade yet it still wasn't enough.
Social media was the worst in all of this. Twitter became the courthouse for a digital Salem Witch Trial in which the few supporters who rooted for the young guys were burnt to the stake for being a Pink Hat or being excited to see the 2004 Red Sox team. Let me say that again: those that still rooted for the team we're being labeled Pink Hats.
And we wonder why people hate Boston sports fans.
Globe:Fitting Finale for Sox | Valentine felt some coaches weren't loyal | Herald: Bitter end for Bobby V, Sox | Cherington: Buck stops here | Season ends badly for Sox | Sad, final night for Dice K era | Sox fans to Owners: Fire Bobby V | CSNNE: Managed chaos | Yankees rout Sox 14-2 | Fitting end to Dice-K era | Ortiz on Sox: "Ain't on me" | WEEI: A year of chaos | Ortiz insists that last offseason won't repeat itself | Sox get 7th pick in draft | Pedroia played with ligament tear for two months