The manager, Bobby Valentine, is expected to be fired after Wednesday's season finale, probably by the end of the week. The owners have been ridiculed, the general manager maligned, the sellout streak mocked, the marquee players traded.
"It's been a long year for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons," Lester said. "Like I said, I'm glad it's over. Move on. It's over for me. I'm going into a much-needed offseason. Regroup, come back in spring training, be ready to kick some people's asses and go from there."
If only it was that simple. The Red Sox have now missed the playoffs three straight seasons, and the slide might just be accelerating. This team is beset with questions, not the least of which is how to improve its starting pitching. With one game left, the starters have a collective ERA of 5.15. Only the dreadful Indians, Twins and Rockies were worse.
Lester finishes his season with a 9-14 record and 4.82 ERA. The wins are his fewest since he began taking a regular turn in the rotation in 2008. The ERA is the highest. The rate of strikeouts per nine innings (7.27) is a low.
ESPNBoston | Jon Lester relieved to put grim season behind him
One of the most perplexing parts of this season was Lester's performance. Other things were predictable. We knew Valentine was a mess. We knew Salty only makes contact with the ball once a week. We knew Ellsbury is hurt all the time, and Youk's time here was expiring, and that we had a lot of bad contracts.
But the one stable part of the team was supposed to be Lester.
Instead, he couldn't even get to 10 wins? I know wins have more to do with the team at large than the pitcher's ability, but the rest of his stats don't look much better.
Once the season mercifully expires tonight, the Ted's Army crew will get hard at work on what we would do in the offseason, and we'll be rolling those plans out over the coming days. One thing we'll each have to address is what the deal is with Jon Lester. Was this season a fluke? Should our expectations be adjusted? Is it time to purge him from the roster, too? Or can he get back to the guy in the picture, who threw no-hitters and was inspirational?
It's worth pointing out that the advanced stats indicate Lester had a bit of bad luck. Lester's FIP was 4.12 -- up just 29 points from last year's 3.82. His ERA, however, advanced by 1.35. So it's probably fair to say the defense behind him wasn't that good, and that he went through some bad streaks rather than just being a consistently bad pitcher.
It all ends tonight. And by "it all" I don't just mean 2012. I mean the Bobby Valentine Era, the Daisuke Matsuzaka Era -- there's a lot we can put behind us. And then we can start to look forward.
On page 2, our old friends were eliminated.
The Dodgers were officially eliminated from postseason play Tuesday night.
"I wish we would've played the way we did the last 10 days a little bit earlier," Gonzalez said. "It's tough. If I had the answer, we would've played better earlier. But we played hard. We did everything we could. It's just those couple of weeks where we didn't get the job done offensively that really hurt."
Tough break, Adrian!
ESPNBoston | Bailey: 'I went out there and blew it' | Yankees top Red Sox in 12, maintain one-game lead in AL East | Dustin Pedroia back in lineup | Pedey, Papi want to work with Iglesias | Herald | Time for Bobby to go | Pedroia shows the way | Ells back in lineup | Lowest low nears end | Lester promises to overcome lost year | Globe | Red Sox drop ball, can't finish off the Yankees | Daisuke Matsuzaka gets one more game for Red Sox | CSNNE | Bailey's forgettable season continues with blown save | Ibanez does Sox in twice as Yanks win in extras, 4-3 | Pedroia: Many reasons why I'm playing with broken finger