There was a time, just a few short weeks ago, that the Boston Red Sox season was not a sad tale of excised contracts and dead managers walking. A time when a well-financed baseball club had not yet realized its fate as an also-ran ball club, just playing out the string like so many others. It was obvious but, for countless reasons, the Red Sox and their fans still considered the post-season a realistic goal for 2012.
Injuries and underperformance took the life out of the 2012 Red Sox. Injury to David Ortiz serving as one of the biggest blows, sending the Sox into a death spiral from which they may never recover. In the aftermath of Ortiz leaving the lineup, all sorts of lineup madness and general tomfoolery took place in Beantown. None crazier — nor more symptomatic of the deep rot within the Red Sox foundation — than the rise of Pedro Ciriaco.
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How will you remember the 2012 Boston Red Sox? Will it be the incessant rumours of in-house fighting, the regression of several stars, the trade with the Dodgers, a plethora of injuries to key players, or will it be something else altogether? Until this weekend’s series with the Oakland Athletics, regardless of the outcome of today’s finale, I was prepared to remember this campaign as the Bobby Valentine era. Barring the emergence of 1986 Rogers Clemens to take the hill this afternoon and the resurrection of Ted Williams, the Red Sox could very well be outscored by 30 or more runs in this three game series. This is how I will remember.
Although they were roughed up 20-2 on Friday, last night’s 7-1 loss may actually stand as a more accurate season defining game. There was a heated exchange between Dustin Pedroia and the team’s unofficial symbol of fallibility, Alfredo Aceves. Before anything else, though, there was sloppy play in the field.
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