When the Boston Red Sox failed to make the playoffs after seeming to have their ticket to the dance in hand before the last month of the regular season, the finger pointing grew to such heretofore unseen levels that protective eye wear became necessary for the entire population of New England. These fingers usually ended up pointing in the direction of intangibles.

According to many who have no idea what their talking about, manager Terry Francona had lost the club house. This was no more evidenced than by the fact that starting pitchers would hang out there when not required to pitch, drinking beer and eating fried chicken while their teammates struggled to maintain their position in the standings of the AL East.

Never mind that the team engaged in the exact same behaviour when they won their two World Series championships in 2004 and 2007, this obvious lack of discipline was considered to be the root of all the team’s problems.

Of course, what was forgotten in all of the misdirected outrage was that the Boston Red Sox were still a very good team that won 90 games last season. They didn’t make the playoffs because of not only a bad final month of the regular season, but also because the Tampa Bay Rays picked up their game and ended up finishing incredibly strong.

Nonetheless, Terry Francona’s contract with the club was not renewed and Bobby Valentine was hired as the team’s new skipper. One of his first managerial decisions was to ban beer from the club house, something that he claims has always been his policy no matter what team he’s managed. In addition to a dry club house, drinks will also be unavailable on the flights home from road trips.

Reaction to the news from Red Sox players has been mostly of the “easy come easy go” variety.

According to Josh Beckett, the supposed ringleader of mid game refreshments:

I don’t get paid to make those decisions. It doesn’t matter to me.

Similarly, Big Papi had this to say:

It doesn’t matter. We’re not here to drink; we’re here to play baseball. This ain’t no bar.

Despite all of the hullaballoo, it’s believed that the majority of teams, including the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, employ bans on alcohol in the club house. No word on fried chicken.

Update: Here’s what Francona has to say about the policy shift. [ESPN Boston]

Today In Typical Spring Training Fare

A veteran reliever speaks up during a team meeting. I’m not even joking. [ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth]

Today In Shocking And Appalling

Hollywood movie is claimed to be an unrealistic portrayal of actual events. [MLB.com]

And The Rest

The Washington Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman have agreed to a six year extension worth more than $100 million. [Getting Blanked]

The latest news from Baltimore OriLOLes camp suggests that their biggest off season acquisition is suffering from an elbow injury. Of course he is. [Baltimore Sun]

Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez will be out four to six weeks with a strained oblique. [Twitter]

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had a setback with his injury. Maybe. [Philly.com]

Former NY Mets pitcher Taylor Buchholz stares down his depression. [New York Daily News]

Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford went 11 for 15 with his Oscars picks. [Twitter]

What was the point again of the Matt Garza trade? [Chicago Tribune]

Manny Ramirez’s baggage is going to weigh the Oakland A’s down. Blah, blah, blah. [CBS Sports]

The Cincinnati Reds have quietly assembled a very good team for the NL Central, but will still be employing an unconventional left field platoon. [MLB.com]

Bengie Molina got a surprise retirement party. [Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area]

Joel Zumaya will no longer be able to provide his one awesome pitch each year. [Getting Blanked]

New York Mets starter Johan Santana threw 72 pitches from a mound. [ESPN New York]

Ned Colletti was at the Oscars last night. No comment. [Baseball Nation]

For links to all the posts at Getting Blanked, follow the blog on Twitter. [Twitter]

For even more Getting Blanked content, “like” our page on Facebook. [Facebook]

Finally, the St. Louis Cardinals will have a new patch next season. [Twitpic]