Most Obnoxious Story of 2012: The Red Sox (Continued) Collapse
For the Red Sox, the Great Fall of 2011 never stopped. The Red Sox’ 2012 season ended with their worst finish—69-93—since 1965. The year drained the team, the organization and its fan base. The fallout from Chicken and Beer never stopped. The dysfunction in the clubhouse was overmatched by the poor play on the field.
Meanwhile, the pitching never got on track, the lineup was riddled with injuries, the team's power and hitting wilted in the summer heat.
When things mercifully ended with a 14-2 loss to the Yankees on Oct. 3, there was no anger, no joy, no celebration, no relief, no anticipation, no rage after watching them play doormat in the Bronx, no pride, no silver lining, no satisfaction, no contentment knowing you were right all along about the manager, no more laughter, no more tears.
Ownership force-fed fans a mythical sellout streak, a Fenway 100 marketing blitz that only seemed more embarrassing as the team never moved higher than third place all season and, as Bane so eloquently put it, had their minds poisoned with "the promise of hope" thanks to endless propaganda via State Run Media and elsewhere pimping the second wild card. It eventually became the eighth wild card.
The Red Sox finished dead-last in the American League East when it came to effort, passion, functionality and wins-and-losses—not to mention 11th in the American League in team ERA, 10th in opponents' batting average and dead-last (14th) in shutouts.
It was the pitching, stupid, after all. Dice-K closed his career with the Red Sox facing 14 batters that night, giving up five runs and two home runs in just 2.1 innings. His ERA this season was a John Lackey-esque 8.28. The final tally on Dice-K: $881,282 per game pitched or $2,062,200 per win. And the Red Sox spent a combined $184 million for both he and Lackey.
To say ownership was out of touch along the way would be kind:
Jacoby and CarlOn the field together.Finally. Should be a great second half. twitter.com/John_W_Henry/s?— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 16, 2012
The Red Sox went 26-50 after this tweet, which was Henry's last as of posting time. The free-fall accelerated as the season progressed, as did the bus out of town. First, it was Kevin Youkilis, then Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, and eventually, Bobby Valentine and even, by year's end, the "cheerful" Cody Ross. All hell broke loose when the 2011 Red Sox went 7-20 in September. The 2012 Red Sox did a little better, going 7-19, before going 0-3 in October.
2013 Sox Pax anyone?
Meanwhile, the Red Sox went on a spending spree of overpriced mediocrity (to wit Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes) not seen since the acquisition of J.D. Drew. But the Red Sox did their best to match it by adding Stephen Drew for $9.5 million. Drew is set to begin the season on the 30-day DL with a pulled hangnail and, as John S. on Facebook noted, healthcare premiums in Massachusetts will go up five percent to compensate for his arrival.
To put this financial insanity in some perspective—Drew, Victorino (3 years, $39 million) and Napoli (pending at 3 years, $39 million)—will make more money next season than anyone on the Patriots did this season except for Welker—who made $9.515 million, just edging out Drew—and Brady, whose contract was re-structured and paid him on $955,000 in salary on top of a $10.8 million bonus.
Good luck, John Farrell, you're going to need it.