Don’t Kill the Red Sox, Count on Them

Everyone needs to calm down and stop firing bullets.

This is on the players and now it’s time to move on. None of us really know all of the details. We have a couple of leaks and a whole bunch of speculation.

The ownership group and Theo Epstein are very smart and will reload for next year with new emphasis and direction. And before anyone starts, please don’t act like you weren’t ecstatic when they inked Carl Crawford. Who knew he would fail so badly?

Suddenly, Theo doesn’t know what he is doing and we are doomed.

Now Francona is gone and the manager who replaces Tito might be a bench coach somewhere right now but it was time for change. Tito couldn’t lead anymore — his fault or not — but he couldn’t lead anymore. Wish him well, move on and get ready for a roller coaster off-season because the media vultures are going to being out looking for the wounded. I am for one can’t wait to hear from all the attackers inside the city limits as well as all the passer-by’s who stop over to point and laugh.

The Red Sox organization handled Tito’s departure very well from history’s perspective. There is no blame on him and no shame on him. History will judge this well and no one will be talking blame over his departure 25 years from now. The blame you hear comes from guys like Felger who beat the same drum daily until it starts to settle into the psyche of the city. Why do you think guys like Dan Shaughnessy love to play games with the team and fanbase? It’s because they know people will take the bait and help add layers and layers of fear, doubt and blame onto the Red Sox.

To me, one of the best people we have in the Sox organization is Larry Lucchino. Like him or not, that guy is always ready to battle and pushes everything and everyone as hard as he can. People who are worried that the Sox are doomed need to remember that the team is still stacked and still has deep pockets. Don’t let anyone tell you they are going to be gun-shy with capital just because Year 1 of Crawford was a bust. John Lackey, he’s another story altogether. Do you/did you trust Francona? well, he defended Lackey on his way out so that needs to count for something.

So Tito took fell on the sword and by all accounts it seemed he did it with earnest. I think he wanted to get out and I salute him for his wonderful work here. Just don’t forget that this team is not going to suddenly stop being competitive because of a bad month. They will not be caught up in all of the drama that us fans, bloggers and media will take part in from now until the snow thaws.

Whether it ends up being Be it Lackey, Kevin Youkilis or Josh Beckett — someone is going to pay for that September. They say no scapegoats but I fully expect there will be some significant roster upheaval this winter.
Finally, don’t lose perspective that whatever info is leaked about the secrets of inside the Red Sox is going to be chewed up, spun around and fed to us everyday. Everyone in the media can gain and many of them will use this as their platform.

Stay out of it and just move on to next year because 2011 was a failure of statistical oddities (278,000,000 to 1) and the consequence of a rudderless ship. It was terrible circumstance, not a sign of the future.

This is from Nate Silver:

The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.

The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play.

The Red Sox had only about a 2 percent chance of losing their game against Baltimore, when the Orioles were down to their last strike.

The Rays had about a 2 percent chance of winning in the bottom of the 9th, with Johnson also down to his last strike.

Multiply those four probabilities together, and you get a combined probability of about one chance in 278 million of all these events coming together in quite this way.

You don’t have to revert to the John Harrington days and let the poison seep into the water. Remember that with sustained-success over years and years, also brings hard failures. They failed this year. But unlike your father’s Red Sox, these Red Sox will be back.


Count on it.

Categories: Boston Red Sox

40 Responses to “Don’t Kill the Red Sox, Count on Them” Subscribe

  1. Tim Daloisio October 2, 2011 at 7:34 AM #

    Darryl — I am with you most of the way here. This is a smart ownership group and as long as Theo is around a very smart baseball operations department. Theo won't be content to let this fix itself. He has shown himself to be proactive in addressing issues that he considers that "fatal flaw".

    Evan and I were discussing this on twitter — and we both fear what could happen however if Theo weren't 100% on this ship. The Cubs rumors not withstanding, there is enough smoke to the fire of discord between Theo and management dating back to the gorilla suit exit. The issue was always autonomy around baseball operations and you can't tell me that ownership wasn't steering the ship a little this past offseason. How much Theo agreed with that course is a real question. Maybe Crawford always was his guy? We know Gonzo was. But to think Theo didn't have strong input that he felt compelled to consider from Henry and Lucchino would be naive.

    I get the feeling that the Lucchino/Theo issues haven't fully worked themselves out over the years and that for the culture change that needs to happen around the club to take root, one of them needs to go. And for all the positives Larry has bought to Boston, I think his time with this team has run it's course. I would take Theo's side and the importance of the product on the field over Larry's and the overall Red Sox brand and biz ops every time as the more important cog in the overall machine. (This is mentioned in detail in the latest Fireside Chats podcast – http://firebrandal.com/2011/10/01/episode-109-whe….

    It's time for ownership to double down on Theo as a part of this club's future. He is either in for the long haul or not. But lets not leave any cause for doubt. To make the hard decisions needed this offseason the Red Sox will need a unified GM/Manager combo that is ready to see this thing through for the next five years.

    • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 11:54 AM #

      I don't think rushing to double down on Theo Epstein is the best PR move right now. I think we need to play the Cubs charades for awhile until things settle down on Francona a bit. I fully expect Theo to come back. The games we saw last time with him and ownership where when he had leverage. Right now, that guy has no leverage and running away to Chicago woould make him look like a beaten puppy with his tail between his legs.

      This ownership group is not going to let their architect walk after letting him build an infrastructure. Unless there is a serious and unrepairable personal rift, everything else will be put aside. Basically, I give no credence to the Cubs threat. Maybe I'm wrong but it would be too much change for a fluky ending with a team that had no direction.

      My biggest issue with Epstein this year is the lack of pitching contributions from the minor league system. Casey Kelly may have been an arm who was ready this year, but aside from him being in San Diego now, he's still not a finished product. The Sox have some nice arms in the lower levels, but their inability to backfill the staff injuries and with John Lackey continuing his skills implosion, we had Theo scrambling desperately at the end of September trying scrape together a spot-starter. That's sad.

      I like Lucchino because he's a wild card and a firecracker and I think that levels out the astuteness of John Henry and the savviness of media guru Tom Werner. Lucchino is the guy that everyone gets pissed at, but he's also the right type of competitor in a front office to win. He will cause more problems than Henry or Werner, but without him, I think they are lame ducks.

  2. Guest October 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM #

    Tito didn't quit. He was fired.

    • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 11:40 AM #

      I guess it depends on how you want to look at it because not picking up an option (optional) is not really the same as fired.

      • LarryAtIIATMS October 2, 2011 at 12:55 PM #

        Darryl, excellent piece! Two things to say:

        I get your point about not picking up options. But most of us do not work under an employment contract with a term of years. Most of us work under an "employment at will" situation which at its most extreme (and ignoring the law of "wrongful termination") gives our employers the right not to "pick up our option" 24-7. If my employer cans me, they might refer to it in any number of possible ways, including not exercising the option to continue to employ me, but I'd figure I was fired.

        Nate Silver's odds of 278 million to one have been widely quoted, including by me at IIATMS. But I think he was kidding around. For the odds to be 278 million to one, the 4 events he cites would have to be independent of each other. Think of it this way: imagine that the chance are a hundred to one that someone who does not bowl regularly will throw a strike in the first frame, and a thousand to one that such a bowler will bowl a 300 game. Then let's say I go bowling this afternoon and bowl a 300. We can't multiply the odds of the first strike against the odds of the perfect game, because you can't bowl the perfect game without that first strike. More complicated is if we can measure the odds that I would go bowling this afternoon, as I have not bowled for at least 10 years. To an extent, the odds against my going bowling today are contained within the early assumption that I'm in the class of people who do not bowl regularly. Conclusion: we probably do not multiply the odds in this situation — the thousand to one odds of my bowling that 300 are probably about as high as we should go.

        Ditto the Nate Silver calculation. Silver notes that the Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back against the Yanks after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play, and they had about a 2 percent chance of winning once they were down to their last strike. But all that means is, the Rays' chances of winning were better in the ninth inning than they were after seven innings. The chances of the Rays' winning do not get smaller simply because we look at the odds every step of the way — or putting this another way, the events involved here (chance of winning in the seventh, chance of winning in the ninth) are not independent. Silver should not have included the "two outs in the ninth" odds in his calculation.

        The more difficult question is whether Silver should have multiplied the odds of the Red Sox failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3, against the odds that the Red Sox would lose the final game against Baltimore. These events are not completely independent either, as the Red Sox would have to lose single games in September in order to lose the lead they possessed on September 3. As Nate Silver is an expert statistician, and I am not, I assume that he knows this, that he wanted to have a bit of fun with the numbers, that he could have computed the true odds, and that the true odds would still have come out astronomically high.

        • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM #

          Ha thanks, Larry! The Nate Silver thing I didn't even question but your points are good ones. I am going to poke around and see what some other feedback is on this. I would have never looked at it that way but I had a feeling it might be fuzzy math. Thank you for the breakdown.

          I know what you are saying about fired vs. not fired but I just think some of these things have longer term ramifications in terms of how Red Sox history is told. Say the right things, use the right words. I'm glad he left 'on his own' after the team 'didn't pick up the option.' Really though, they told him he was done and he was probably glad to go after what happened last month.

          I'm just glad it wasn't a storyline to anchor the next chapter. A theatrical exit after this collapse would have only accelerated it. At least now, if Theo stays it can be smoothed out easier.

          • evanbrunell October 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM #

            I don't think Tito was fired. He pretty clearly was done in Boston and made that choice, and the Red Sox didn't put up a fight because it happened to work out in their favor. I don't understand why people keep disrespecting Tito by saying he was fired. It is abundantly clear to anyone who wants to look that he wanted to walk away.

          • Don October 2, 2011 at 3:14 PM #

            In fact, Francona made it clear that "it was my decision."

            While ownership might have fired Francona anyway … or if they didn't put up fight when he said I need to leave … he said he resigned. How can we not take him for his word on this? He's been a totally stand-up guy.

            So yeah, it was a resignation, not a firing.

          • LarryAtIIATMS October 2, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

            Evan, there's so much spin out there, we don't exactly know if Tito was fired.

            We can say for close to certain that Tito did not beg to keep his job, and that the Red Sox brass did not beg Tito to stay. Beyond that we are hearing nothing but buzz words, cliches and spin.

            It's not entirely clear, but these two statements strike me as containing the highest information content.

            1. Epstein asked Tito to "look yourself in the mirror and think if there's things you could do differently, if you could come back next Spring Training with a new voice and provide some of the leadership that's needed to improve the culture in our clubhouse and to meet those high standards that we have. He thought about it and he said that he thought it was time to move on."

            2. Francona said "To be honest with you, I’m not sure how much support there was from ownership. You’ve got to be all-in on this job. It’s got to be everybody together, and I was questioning that a little bit."

            If you're inclined to read the tea leaves, Francona felt that he didn't have the support of the team's upper management, and as a result veteran players like Ortiz and Youk felt free to tune him out. Red Sox management felt that the problem was Francona himself, and that they wanted to hear how Francona was going to do things differently in 2012 before going "all in" to support him. Francona realized that if he was going to effectively be on probation in 2012, his hand in the dugout would be weakened, not strengthened, and he essentially said the hell with it.

            I also think you'd have to take a hard look at the situation with Carl Crawford. If I'm John Henry and my $180 million team has just collapsed on the field, I'm going to wonder why my $140 million free agent batted 8th in the last two games of the season while Jed Lowrie hit cleanup in one game and Ryan Lavarnway batted 5th in the other. I'm going further out on a limb here, but I don't think Henry et. al. give a damn about the culture in the clubhouse (I think Tito does care about this). What they care about is that they have $20 million a year committed to Crawford for the next six years, and he put up replacement value numbers for 2011.

            I suspect that management blames Theo for Lackey, as it's clear that Lackey is just not all that good at baseball. But I think management blames Tito for Crawford – Crawford had an historically awful April, and as a result he never gained the confidence of his teammates or his manager. Proof being that once the Red Sox had lost their wild card lead and the team's back was to the proverbial wall, Tito reburied Crawford in the lineup, essentially saying that he trusted a 3rd string rookie catcher more than a guy who'd had a WAR over 7 in 2010. My guess is that this is really what caused the breach between Tito and his bosses.

            Wild guesses to be sure. But at least I'm making guesses about stuff that matters. Beer in the clubhouse? Please.

          • Don October 2, 2011 at 8:48 PM #

            Francona told his coaches on Thursday he wouldn't be back, according to Gordon Edes — the day before his meeting with the big brass.

            Why would Francona say "This is my decision"? To spare himself the embarrassment of being fired? Maybe. More likely is that he had made up his mind before the season ended that his bosses didn't have his back.

          • LarryAtIIATMS October 2, 2011 at 9:36 PM #

            Don, I can't read Tito's mind, so I'm making what I think are informed guesses (others might call them SWAG!).

            The decision was Tito's, in that I think that Henry et. al. would have continued discussions, and that it was Tito who decided that the situation was not workable. Also, Tito is a stand-up guy, and it's best for all concerned (including Tito's prospects for future employment) if the decision appears to be amicable and mutual.

            If he told his coaches he wouldn't be back, I think it was because the Friday discussions were not his first with his bosses on this topic, and he knew how those discussions were likely to go. He also knew that he did not want to engage in a long "look yourself in the mirror" process, as opposed to being included in a team process to figure out what went wrong and how to do things better.

          • Don October 2, 2011 at 10:44 PM #

            I agree with you Larry. Suffice to say that it likely became untenable for both parties — Francona and upper management.

            Meanwhile. John Henry remains strangely silent … Tito said he never heard from the owner once during the final month. Since Francona's departure, neither have the fans.

  3. Don October 2, 2011 at 12:31 PM #

    Darryl, I agree with you. Just because the Red Sox collapsed in Sept doesn't mean that they won't be a viable World Series contender next season or over the next few years.

    Regardless of off-season personnel changes (obviously, Papelbon's salary demands may be more than they are willing to invest in), this team will continue to have a core of enviable talent by the time they break from spring training next year.

    Moreover, money is the key component to their success. Ownership has shown a willingness to invest not only in free agents, but in scouting and development. No doubt that their minor league system lacked pitchers this season who could step up and help at the major-league level. That might be true next year as well, but it won't always be that way. As long as the Red Sox continue to place an emphasis on quality coaches in the farm system and place a premium on scouting here in the U.S. and in Latin America, they'll be fine. Sure, Casey Kelly isn't part of the organization any longer, but having Kelly as a blue-chipper helped them make a trade for a MVP-caliber first baseman who'll be playing in Boston for most of the decade.

    As for Lucchino and Epstein, there's a good chance that one or both may leave for other challenges. Lucchino's name has been mentioned in regards to a new ownership/management team with the Dodgers, once that nightmare gets out of bankruptcy court.

    I don't think Epstein would lose sleep over leaving Boston for the Cubs just because of what happened this season. Teddy Roosevelt was president last time the Cubs won a World Series … sheez, Harry Truman was president the last time they even played in the World Series. It's hard to believe that any baseball exec with confidence in his abilities wouldn't love the challenge of bringing a championship to Wrigley Field. It would be an overwhelming temptation.

    Moreover, losing either Lucchino or Epstein would not be the end of the world. That's not to say it's time for them to move on or that their efforts in Boston were not hugely successful. But there are other talented baseball execs out there and in house (i.e., Ben Cherington). As long as Henry and Werner commit to accumulating talent in the front office, the Red Sox can survive the loss of Lucchino and Epstein. Yes, losing both in the span of months would hurt big-time. But the Red Sox would survive and continue to fare well over the long haul.

  4. darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 12:46 PM #

    It would be quite dramatic historically if boy wonder leaves his hometown after a collapse to tackle the Chicago Cubs. It would create a story that would overshadow the games when people look back. During those times, the Red Sox would be on long stretches of ineptitude. If Theo left after this, he would need to win for sure in Chicago or else his story would look like a boy who ran away after his first major failure and never won again. On the other hand, if he won with the Cubs and the Red Sox faltered over that time, he would be a revered genius and a nice black cloud will have settled back over the Red Sox. Sounds like a terrible outcome to me.

    I'm not saying that without Theo we go into the dumper, but I just can't imagine that the ownership wants to uproot him for this. Maybe they do and he's gone. But just 30 days ago they were a 100-win team. Now it's time to let him go? I just don't buy it. (Not that you are selling it) I would honestly be shocked if they didn't do what Tim Daloisio and get him locked up long-term before Thanksgiving. If he walks to Chicago, then 2012 will be really unsettled to me with or without an in-house replacement.

    I guess the other option I could feel SORT OF comfortable with is a change today. The earlier the better if that's the route. But if you want to pilfer coaches or front office from another team, when are you allowed to do that? After the playoffs? So that would mean we get these question marks until at least Halloween.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a Theo re-up before that. Maybe not next week, but within the next few weeks.

  5. Don October 2, 2011 at 1:03 PM #

    Theo Epstein is 37 years old. Regardless of where he grew up, I'm gonna take a wild guess and say he's not concerned with his legacy at this point. And even if stays for another decade or two and the Sox fail to win another World Series in his tenure, his legacy looks pretty damn good to me.

    In every industry there are successful executives who move on to other challenges. Sometimes they succeed; sometimes the fail. It's hard to believe fear of failure would prevent Epstein from taking the job in Chicago, if that's what he really wants.

    Again, I'm not saying Epstein needs to go … or that he will leave for the Cubs. I'd prefer to see him stay put. I'm just saying that it won't be the end of world he does. Henry and Werner have shown a commitment to accumulating talent in the front office. I doubt they'll curl up in the fetal position if Epstein moves on. Much like the Cubs situation, the Red Sox would not lack for talented suitors if the GM post opens up.

  6. Don October 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM #

    Who's to say that ownership would "fire" Epstein just because of what happened this season?

    Yes, he has a year left on his contract. But if he went to Henry and Werner and said, "Look, guys, the challenge in Chicago is something I'd really love to try" … I doubt they would say, "Sorry, Theo, you're under contract with us for another year. No can do."

    Even if they want him to stay, I bet they'd allow him to go to Chicago. Of course, they'd throw more money and maybe a fancier job title at Epstein to get him to stay, but if going to Chicago is that important to him, they will release him from his contract. Happens every day in business all over America.

    • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 1:29 PM #

      It should be interesting. Do you think he's going to Chicago? What does your gut say?

      • Don October 2, 2011 at 1:37 PM #

        HA! I have no idea, but all of this makes for fascinating theater!

        I live in Chicago … actually not too far from Wrigley Field. As a service to this website, I could go down there and be on the lookout for anyone entering the Cubs offices in a gorilla suit :-)

        • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 1:42 PM #

          This will be great! Actually, if the Theo to Chicago stuff does pick up, we might have to figure out how to leverage you as feet on the street. :)

          • Don October 2, 2011 at 1:51 PM #

            Well, you guys have my e-mail address

          • ChipBuck October 3, 2011 at 7:14 PM #

            Darryl – I'm going to go out on a limb and say Theo doesn't leave. That said, it'd be foolish for him not to explore the option of moving to the Cubs. One, there's a HUGE financial benefit toward going to the Cubs. Two, imagine his legacy if he managed to build championship clubs with both the Red Sox and Cubs! I don't think he's concerned with his legacy at this point, but he's a driven individual with great ambition who loves a challenge. That might be enough. Still, I think he sticks around to finish the job and bring a third championship to Boston.

        • guest October 2, 2011 at 1:48 PM #

          If the front office lets Epstein go, having let Tito go it will make for a longer rebuild in my opinion. There needs to be major changes on the field and in the rotation before the team can be confident it's a contender. Add to that wholesale changes in terms of the manager and the GM and it puts too much pressure on the organization which can only have unfortunate repercussions. An overly-fast retool could hurt rather than help the club.

          • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM #

            This is not me posting as GUEST, but it's exactly my opinion. Feel free to create an account, Guest.

          • Guest October 2, 2011 at 2:13 PM #

            This is why I'm uncomfortable with all the 'we'll get 'em next year' stuff. Not with all the information that's been leaking out of the clubhouse over the past while. It's not just Lackey and Beckett. 'Tek's been called out, Wakefield's been called out, Ortiz has been called out, Youk's been called out. These are our guys. What the hell happened to turn that team as toxic as it evidently was. Honest to God I just don't get it. Was it just the hype going into the season?

  7. darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 3:01 PM #

    I think the hype probably played a role. Looking back, Beckett himself was caught up in and predicting 100 wins. I think I (sort of) jokingly and exaggeratedly picked them to win 105 at one point. I'm definitely not sure where the poison comes from though. I bet the team knows though and will either remove it or neutralize it behind closed doors.

    People often look down on the Bill Belichick way of handling the media, but in Boston, I think it's the way to go. The Red Sox talk too much for my tastes and it fans the flames for more of this under-the-belly media leaks.

    I do kind of wonder where Jason Varitek is on all of this. I would like to hear his comments on the end of 2011 being that he wears the 'C'.

    • guest October 2, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

      Tek's been missing in action for a long time. I don't expect him to stick his head out of the trench now.

      • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 3:17 PM #

        He played last Sunday and was ruled out on the 27th so he was around enough from late August until the end that he can comment as the team captain. I don't think that is unreasonable to expect.

        • guest October 2, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

          I don't think it's unreasonable to expect. But I don't think you're going to get anything out of him. Right now I don't think anyone should wear the 'c'. I've never heard so many 'it wasn't my fault' excuses in my life. This year's version of the Sox was like the Titanic. Big, loud, unwieldy and heading straight for an iceberg. Instead of bopping out and spending too much money I think I'd like to see a little prudence and imagination for a change. Some creativity. Ownership was concerned with the brand. Look where that got us. Maybe we should just be concerned with the baseball.

  8. Don October 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM #

    For what it's worth …

    Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times gives 12-1 odds on Terry Francona becoming the next manager of the White Sox. He rates two others as being more likely to get the job: Tampa bench coach Dave Martinez (3-1 odds) and new Cleveland bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. (5-1).

    • darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

      Wow maybe Tito takes a year off?

  9. Harrison October 2, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

    Dear Nate Silver,

    Can you please stop multiplying probabilities of non-independent events?

    • LarryAtIIATMS October 2, 2011 at 10:27 PM #

      Nate's messing with our minds, Harrison. And I'm sure he knows it.

  10. darryljohnston October 2, 2011 at 9:11 PM #

    Harrison can you calculate the correct probability? I'd love to know if any readers want to break it down.

  11. Andrew October 2, 2011 at 9:17 PM #

    There are a couple things being conflated here that really shouldn't be (and nit just in Nate Silver's post). People seem to be asserting that just because it took such an improbable and historic collapse for the Sox not to make the playoffs that this means there wasn't something fundamentally flawed about the team. But honestly, watching the team that emerged here, how many people think they could have lasted long in the playoffs? This was a team with abysmal pitching. We can blame that on any number of factors including luck and injuries, but the simple fact is that this club could not pitch their way out of a paper bag. When the offense was booming over the summer you could ignore that fact, but when the bats cooled a bit, especially in September, this did not look like a championship baseball team.

    Honestly, for the long term health of the club, I think it maybe is a good moment… not to blow it up, necessarily, but to take a step back from all-out win at all costs strategizing and accept that the team might need to reboot for a couple years. Let some talent walk – Papi, Tek, Wake, Drew, Papelbon – and use that money to sign Ellsbury long-term. Look into a trade for Youkilis while his value might remain high; with his injuries and apparently his attitude, I doubt he would be retained after his contract is up next year anyway. Trade Lackey even if it's necessary to eat a large amount of the contract. Fill the vacancies with role players. Any team with a rotation consisting of Beckett, Lester and Buchholz is (when healthy) capable of competing, and a lineup with Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Gonzalez will score some runs, so nobody would be punting the season. But give the team a fresh face, provide some flexibility for the future, and most importantly clear the clubhouse air of the contentious feeling that seems to have been bubbling under the surface, especially with some of the veteran players. Otherwise This team will look like the mid-2000 Yankees for another couple seasons: aged stars, terrible and overpriced pitching, and no sense of camaraderie. Oh, and also no playoff victories.

    • Don October 2, 2011 at 11:01 PM #

      Well-stated, Andrew. While there are problems with the roster, it's fixable. Nothing is broken yet. And yeah, the 2011 Red Sox had a strange resemblance to those Yankees teams, circa 2004-08 … as much as it makes me wanna puke to admit it.

    • Tim Daloisio October 3, 2011 at 7:04 AM #

      I think this has to the be overall approach this offseason. The only things I'll add are (1) It may be necessary to consider moving Josh Beckett if he was truly one of the causes of the culture issues and they don't think they can swing him around and (2) I just don't see Ellsbury signing here. If that's the reality, do you consider dealing him with his value at an all time high — especially considering it may be the only way to part with Lackey by linking them together in a deal.

  12. Matt October 3, 2011 at 9:51 AM #

    Most people seem to point to the clubhouse and the "makeup" of the team for reasons why they collapsed. But why did this only affect the pitching staff? The Red Sox scored runs at the same rate they did for most of the seaons (even in their losses). Why was the lineup able to put up 5.5 runs per game in September while the pitching staff struggled if the team didn't have the "will to win" or whatever?

  13. Andrew October 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    Because of three or so games where they popped off 15-18 runs, skewing the average, mostly.

    • darryljohnston October 3, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

      Right. Excluding the three games where they exploded offensively (9/3 vs. TEX 12-7 win, 9/6 @TOR 14-0 win, 9/13 vs TOR 18-6 win) they scored 77 runs in 22 games for an average of 3.5 runs scored per game.

      The 14-0 win in Toronto of course being the infamous "Terry called a team meeting game"

      • Matt October 4, 2011 at 9:14 AM #

        I did the math in just losses. The Red Sox scored slightly more in losses in September then they did for the entire season. Their run scoring was not effected while the pitching staff was terrible.