A few more thoughts on the Collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox and where blame needs to be laid.
Their “playoffs” were a best of three at Camden Yards against the Woes. And when asked to rise to the challenge against the least of the east, the Sox couldn’t execute well enough.
I do believe that the Sox abysmal start directly resulted from a lackadaisical spring training where the team believed their talent level would allow them to “turn it on” when the bright lights came on. That diminishes the credit that teams deserve who beat the Sox. The early season wipeout in Texas foretold the problems the Sox would have later.
Although I was very happy when the 2–10 start gave way to a winning Summer, the writing was on the wall. Sure, the Rangers that beat up on the Sox early in the year ended strong and are in the playoffs, but that awful start is nothing if not telling about the kind of team that took the field this year.
The team that believes they don’t need to put in the work is the team that will disappoint the most. Ask Dustin Pedroia if it gets easier…
I would go so far as to float the idea that the incredibly-talented-in-Tampa Carl Crawford had a hard time getting comfortable this year due, at least in part, to the clubhouse problems that have come to light. I certainly doubt that the team that he and Adrian Gonzalez thought they were joining is the one they found when they got to Fenway on game day.
I certainly can’t wait for that late February morning when pitchers and catchers report and we get to revisit this epic collapse with the losers who polluted the final weeks of the baseball season.
We get to ask all the returning starting pitchers if they were drinking during games. We get to ask Adrian Gonzalez why he was complaining about playing so many Sunday night games and telling us that it was God’s will that the Sox not make the playoffs. We get to ask Jason Varitek (if he’s back) and Dustin Pedroia where the leadership was.
We get to ask Josh Beckett and Jon Lester if they are embarrassed that they were able to win only two games in September. We get to ask Beckett if it’s true he gained 20 pounds during the 2011 season.
Maybe some leaders will emerge from this chaotic clubhouse. Maybe a new manager will get these guys in line. Maybe. Perhaps the Collapse and the resultant shake-up is exactly what the players need to realize that they have to actually show up and play.