The Red Sox have succeeded beyond anyone's imagination this season - when it comes to reaching new lows. Their 2012 rock bottom is somewhere south of the earth's core.
But it's time to press forward. OBF has taken over the Red Sox - in theory at least. As a public service, we offer our 18-point program via this photo gallery showcasing the path to salvation - real and imagined - for the Red Sox in the wake of this lost season.
Meanwhile, hopes rose among Red Sox fans - and probably a few players - when John Henry and Ben Cherington showed up in Seattle that Bobby Valentine's tenure with the team might be coming to a merciful close. Sadly, those hopes were dashed - along with the hope that the Red Sox might actually score more than four runs in a game sometime before 2015. Henry was on "fact-finding mission." Just the facts: 4-1 loss to Seattle, seven straight losses (Boston's longest since losing streak since 2011, which ended at nine games 11 years ago today), 12 games under .500, only one lead this entire month.
While Monday's defeat was just another meaningless game in this lost season, there is some opportunity left this 2012. It's no longer a question of effort - see Jarrod Saltalamacchia's bunt single Saturday to break up A.J. Griffin's perfect game in the fifth, Dustin Pedroia's 14-game hitting streak, Clay Buchholz' outing Monday - now they just plain stink without the stench.
The Red Sox do not need to chase the elusive fifth, sixth or seventh wildcard. Rather, the team should take this opportunity to use the balance of September as an extended spring training. The trouble with that is that having manager of the team in 2013 would be a necessary part of that strategy. It's troubling to think that the Red Sox are keeping Valentine around just because they have to pay him for the remainder of this year and next. While Valentine has quit on the season, he won't quit on the Red Sox because he doesn't want to walk away from all that cash. Marco Scuatro and Adrian Gonzalez each had game-winning, walk-away hits over the holiday weekend. Scuatro's departure is still a head scratcher but Gonzalez still rates a "good-riddance to the rest of the that $154 million contract."
Across the pond - the one 3,000 miles east of Seattle - Henry wrote a letter to the disgruntled fans in Liverpool, who are having a London Bridge year of sorts. LFC failed to load up on a big-money striker in the transfer season. Good news, Henry vowed to "deliver what every long-term supporter of Liverpool Football Club aches for." Hope that includes quality starting pitching in Boston. Larry Lucchino made a similar promise to Red Sox fans in July, when he wrote: "We want to play October Baseball this year. Keep the Faith."
We all know what that got us. Our greatest hope is that the Great Salary Dump of 2012 was just a start. There's no reason for Valentine to manage another game this season because it's beyond comprehension he would be back in 2013. The same should hold true for Lucchino.
It's time to move on.
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