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Friday, July 13, 2012

Red Sox Must Acknowledge Problems Internally, Work to Fix Them

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 18:  Bobby Valentine #25 of...
Bobby Valentine has been at the center of media report's of "dissension" in the Red Sox organization since he began as manager of the team.  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
This morning, as has been the theme lately, more reports of "internal issue" with the Red Sox were publicized by ESPN's Gordon Edes. Much like his co-worker Buster Olney a while back, Edes painted a picture of severe communication issues in Boston's clubhouse, with many levels of the organization suffering from the problem.

Of course, Bobby Valentine and others entrenched in the problem deny that there is any real disconnect and as Edes points out, overblown is a commonly used word when referring to the situation. With each report though, and each writer that speaks of this, it becomes just a bit more clear to me that this really is a big deal for the team.

When the Olney story came out, I was one of the first to completely blast him for it. At the time, we knew there were struggles internally, but I know I wasn't ready to believe they were to blame for much of the on-field issues plaguing the Red Sox. It may be time to wake up and realize that this is a big deal and because of it, Boston will miss the postseason once again this year.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun a little here, but I don't think so. Is it crazy to think that these things could have a large impact on how grown men go about their business? Read the story from Edes and you will see what I'm talking about.

One of the things implied by the writer has to do with the pitching coach situation. Bob McClure and Valentine don't quite see eye to eye and rarely communicate. Any chance that has something to do with the horrid pitching put on display by the Red Sox this season? It probably doesn't help that Randy Niemann is in the picture as well. Think McClure would acknowledge that he needs an assistant?

It's obvious, at this point, that Boston has many issues on and off the field, but who takes the blame, if there is any? Is Bobby V doing something wrong, or was he just thrown into the fire?

The manager was brought on to help the situation, but wasn't he set up to fail with this team? If you look at the way Tito was treated last season, did anyone expect that Valentine was going to make these grown men act the part?

It's my belief that this season is for the most part a semi-bridge year. Bobby Valentine was brought in to take the attention off that. Wonder why Ben Cherington didn't open the wallet? It was partly the luxury tax threshold, like he said, but he also knew this team had too many issues to fix via free agency.

So instead of trying, he put together a team that should have been competitive, while not quite good enough, so the Red Sox could say they tried. Instead, this is what we got and that's fine. I've been in favor of a bridge year, but just come out and say so. It will go a long way with the fans, especially those with any common sense.

Instead of dragging every level of the organization through the mud, just end all of this internal issues talk and go public with it. Tell the fan-base there are problems that will be fixed by next season. It's my belief that such a statement would go a long way with the true fans of the Boston Red Sox.

This season is probably the source of massive ulcers in Ben Cherington's stomach, but he has to work past it. The way he treats this season will define his tenure as general manager, I've said it before. Let's see if Theo's successor can paint a better long-term outlook than he did before escaping the reigns of the three headed monster.

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