Two of those seasons were during Terry Franconaís tenure as manager. This one belongs to Bobby Valentine.
Can we finally say now that itís not the manager?
Can we finally say out loud and with some forcefulness that the problem is the roster?
What is the common denominator over the last three seasons? The roster hasnít changed all that much except for the fill-ins who come along when there are injuries. The Red Sox saddled themselves with poor free agent signings in John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Mike Cameron, Carl Crawford, and Bobby Jenks and the good ones Ė Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and Jason Bay -- left as free-agents.
The players this team has to depend on most Ė the top of the rotation starters like Josh Beckett and Jon Lester Ė have let them down.
The only constants among the regulars have been David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been effective in his short time here and is a guy who really cares.
Jacoby Ellsbury is an excellent player when heís on the field, but one who will likely not re-sign here when his free agency comes along after next season. Too much time being injured and rehabbing donít exactly make him a candidate for a huge deal.
So itís getting to that time to make tough decisions on that roster. The Sox ownership has already eaten the remainder of Kevin Youkilisís deal and now Sox ownership probably needs to follow the path of Chicago Cubs ownership in trying to trade off players who simply donít fit in what the franchise needs presently and in the future.
Itís been three years now. Itís been four years since the Red Sox won a playoff game.
What used to work in 2007 doesnít work in 2012. Beckett and Lackey and even Dice-K used to be good pitchers. Lester is still 28 and worth saving, as is Clay Buchholz, but you really donít see one untouchable player on this team with the exception of Pedroia.
There has to be a roster makeover. It may be expensive. It may require a lot of creativity in trying to move the unwanted parts.
But this roster simply doesnít work anymore.