The Red Sox aren’t playing good baseball right now. They’re 3 for their last 7, in last place in the American League East and just got swept by the lowly Minnesota Twins in three games. To add insult to injury, Boston is collectively hitting .233 with a .294 on-base percentage this moth; both marks grade in the bottom of the league. To make matter’s worse, the Red Sox starting staff’s 4.70 ERA and a 4.45 FIP in the month of May seem like reasonable marks to Red Sox fans.
As the gaudy numbers indicate, the play on the field has resulted in a 21-25 record. So naturally, the Boston media has started to drum up the “clubhouse turmoil” rhetoric. 93.7 WEEI’s morning show Dennis and Callahan w/ Minihane were the first ones to propose a dysfunctional clubhouse during Thursday’s show. The trio of personalities went as far as to call out Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and David Ortiz for being “malcontent”.
With no solid evidence to back them up, it seems as though this jab at Boston’s middle of the order bats was speculation presented as fact. But the morning shows claim seems to overlook the fact that all three players named are doing just what their told. David Ortiz, the veteran most member of the lineup, was just scooted down to the five hole following his rough start to the season. Sandoval, a career long switch-hitter, is on the verge of abandoning his offensive dexterity after posting shoddy numbers from the right side. And Hanley Ramirez has battled through a shoulder injury to remain in the lineup, all while still getting acclimated to every day left field.
By definition, the word “malcontent” is used to describe a person who has a problems with authority. Thus, the actions of the afore mentioned trio don’t seem reflect a malcontent attitude. Instead, Ortiz’ .216 start to the season and Ramirez’ May power outage, were not discussed as an on-field issues, rather distorted to create a story.
Boston isn’t a stranger to the media blaming Boston’s shortcomings on clubhouse turmoil. During the 2011 collapse, Boston’s 7-20 September record ignored in favor of the “Chicken and Beer scandal” involving the starting pitching. Even in 2012, a season in which one could question the integrity of the clubhouse under Bobby Valentine, poor performance was cast aside and the media jumped on the opportunity to blow the clubhouse story out of proportion.
Just as good chemistry helps a team, bad chemistry hurts a team, but let’s not gloss over the more salient point here. The Red Sox are a mess on the field, which is something that both stat nerds an old fashioned “eye-test” people can agree on. There has been absolutely no indication of any inter-team or inter-management headbutting, instead Boston’s follies can be traced back to under performance and a lack of capitalizing on opportunities. If the media wants to claim that differing opinions are spilling over to on-field play, at least have some evidence to back it up.
- David Ortiz’ lack of production has been a big reason why the Red Sox are sitting at the bottom of the division in late May. Instead of playing through his struggles, the veteran DH will take a few games to work on his swing. (John Farrell: Ortiz to sit out a couple of days while he works on swing)
- Yoenis Cespedes’ knew that his Red Sox career was going to be a short one when he was dealt to Boston last July. The Cuban slugger’s inkling wasn’t due to his expiring contract, however, instead his habitual head butting with first base coach Arnie Beyeler. (Yoenis Cespedes: Red Sox coach “treated me like I was a rookie”)
- Top pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez takes the hill for the Red Sox tonight, and unless you’ve seen him pitch before you’ll need a little crash course on the southpaw. (Your guide to new Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez)
- The Red Sox made a minor acquisition following Thursday’s game, as the team obtained outfielder Carlos Peguero from the Texas Rangers. Peguero, who was recently designated for assignment by Texas, has offered intriguing power numbers through his minor league career. (Red Sox acquire Carlos Peguero)
- You can comb through the internet and find all sorts of opinions on why the Red Sox are where they are at this point in the season, but it doesn’t take deep thought to uncover the real problem with this team. (Why are Red Sox losing? It’s not that complicated)