Dissension in the ranks, inner turmoil, players demanding trades, idiotic statements, and player wives reportedly getting into catfights.
Good grief, all of a sudden the Red Sox have gone 2001 on us. Cue Mike Gordon.
The '01 Sox will be forever remembered for the way they disgraced the franchise and this city with their selfish antics in the face of national disaster. While 9/11 brought most of our country together, the Red Sox were torn apart by greed, selfishness and Carl Everett. Four years later, with another world tragedy as the backdrop, we're starting to hear some of the bickering and sniping that defined those jokers.
By all accounts, skipper Terry Francona is handling the issues that have suddenly blown up much better than Joe Kerrigan, who one can easily imagine crouched in a corner sucking his thumb when the manager's office door was closed.
Two weeks ago, Johnny Damon decreed how he would play pied piper, possibly signing with another team in the offseason, and then sending for his minions to join him afterward. Now he's got a problem with Curt Schilling going to the bullpen, feeling that Mike Timlin and Bronson Arroyo have been overlooked. John Halama too, Johnny. Don't forget John Halama. Or Garp, whom you've apparently hijacked and left for dead on the road somewhere between here and Exeter, NH.
The Hartford Courant's David Heuschkel writes that David Ortiz and Bronson Arroyo seem to agree with Damon's assessment. Francona told Damon to shut his trap, lest the manager of the team get upset. Right now, Schilling appears to be merely perturbed.
According to ESPN's Peter Gammons, Kevin Millar requested to be traded, then after realizing that the Red Sox were the only team willing to take his grown-thin act, not to mention the worthless wood on his shoulder, denied that statement. (When asked about Millar's request this morning on WEEI, general manager Theo Epstein had no comment.) Jay Payton, angry with his role and that nobody was paying attention to him with free agency looming, whined his way into being traded to Oakland (though the deal isn't finalized yet), where nobody is likely to pay any attention to him or the rest of the A's.
Not to mention that you've got Timlin and Matt Clement throwing their hands up in the air, wondering what in the name of Joe Torre they had to do to be named All-Stars, prompting rumblings that some members of the clubhouse are peeved at Francona's failure not to bring them all to Detroit, a la Torre in his days as the AL manager. (Once again, they're all forgetting John Halama too, folks. No respect.) Not that Shea Hillenbrand isn't one of baseball's best and brightest or Kenny Rogers an astute ambassador of the game, but c'mon.
Where's Tom Jackson when you need him?
And speaking of Rogers, baseball's best version of Sean Penn, Red Sox pitcher David Wells, came out last night and said that he supported the Rangers pitcher's decision to toss a cameraman to the ground in Arlington, a la Rowdy Roddy Piper. Supported. What is going on here?
''The cameraman wasn't hurt," Doc Wells said. "He went to the hospital, pretending to be hurt. He's winking at another guy, saying, 'I'm going to get paid.' That guy's a [expletive] idiot."
Which, come to think of it, is exactly what some Sox fans have said about Wells.
Not that what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse. The Boston Herald's Inside Track today speculates as to where the turmoil between Schilling and Damon might stem from: a fight over scarves between Michelle Damon and Shonda Schilling last October. We kid you not. And you thought it might not get stranger.
According to the Inside Track:
"Michelle was the only Sox S.O. who refused to wear one. And after the Sox fell to the Yankees in epic fashion in Game 3, Michelle, who was then Damon's fiancée, griped, 'A lot of good those (bleeping) scarves have done.''
Well, that was the final straw for Shonda, who replied 'Well, if you were wearing one maybe your fiancé wouldn't be 0-for-16.'''
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Belichick-Bledsoe start much the same way?
The general consensus was that if you wrote last October's events as a movie, it would be too unbelievable for production. A year later, you might be able to get away with creating a soap opera around the Olde Towne Team. The Young and Idiotic.
Meanwhile, the Sox have lost six of 10, and have the Orioles, Yankees, and Blue jays breathing down their necks in the AL East. Damon blames the Red Sox front office for panicking, but when you've got Millar screaming that the Sox are going back to the World Series -- on their very first day in first place this season -- maybe fear of complacency is more of an issue.
In the shadow of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the final year of the Yawkey administration ended perhaps the way it should have: in disarray. Today, as the world deals with the latest bout with terror, we find the Princes of New England taking potshots at each other, their manager, the front office, and Texas cameramen. Never mind all that, they say. Look where we are.
"We're in first place!" Heuschkel quotes Ortiz as saying yesterday. "What the [expletive] is going on in this clubhouse? Damn!"