Mike from Attleboro: For Pedroia, it's time to shape up or ship out

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Mike from Attleboro: For Pedroia, it's time to shape up or ship out

This Red Sox season is over. The trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers was the Major League Baseball equivalent of Dr. Kavorkian hooking the Mercitron onto the remainder of this seasons schedule. Even the sellout streak, on artificial life support since the season began, may finally be put to rest as well. When this type of news amounts to progress, you know you are close to rock bottom.

The 2012 Red Sox were a sinking ship. This was painfully obvious to rationally minded fans and could be seen coming for a nautical mile. After reading the Boston Globes Dan Shaughnessys most recent interview with Dustin Pedroia, it was clear the rats also knew the water levels were rising and were looking for dry land.

This whole charade that Pedroia and Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine get along swell is really laughable and I would have preferred if he just told the press to go do something anatomically impossible with themselves instead. But Dusty No Sack has now proven that in addition to not being able to ride a rollercoaster without an adult, he cant ever be considered a stand-up guy, let alone a team leader. Remember when Pedrioa was thought of as the next captain when Jason Varitek retired? Those were the days.

Dustin Pedroia, Tito Franconas cribbage partner and clubhouse teachers pet, has been at the forefront of Bobby Valentine bashing this season, and yet in not one but two exclusives with Shaughnessy, has tried to explain away the obvious rift with Bobby V.

The most blatant and early SNAFU in the Pedroia, Valentine relationship was Pedroias public response to Bobby V calling out the emotionally brittle Kevin Youkillis.

I dont really understand what Bobbys trying to do, but thats not the way we go about our stuff around here, he said back then.

I want to give Dustin some credit here. Unlike his rumored photo mocking a slumbering Bobby V, this shot publicly cut the legs out from the manager under the guise of being a good teammate and was at least on the record.

But now Dusty wants you to know that he and Bobby get along great!

In Chicago, Pedroia wasnt snubbing Valentine when Bobby V. went to the mound. He just swallowed his dip!

In the now famous New York insurrection Pedroia was reportedly one of the most vocal of the mutineers, but it wasnt about Bobby according to The Muddy Chicken (now simply The Chicken) . I wasnt vocal in any way toward Bobby. That was the part that bothered me.

If Dusty No Sack isnt in full PR retreat about his manager, its about why he wasnt at Sox Legend Johnny Peskys funeral. Only David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Clay Bucholz and Vincente Padilla were present, and I am pretty sure Padilla just went to pretend Mark Teixeira was in the casket. This attendance was a terrible reflection on almost the entire roster but a guy who should be a team leader, the Laser Show, had an excuse ready to go: His wife is nine months pregnant and ready to give birth at any time, and he made sure he spent his off day with her. Except for that night when he went to the Beckett Bowl...

All of the above is both aggravating and disappointing coming from a player that used to be unconditionally loved by the fans of this team. But it still isnt enough for me to want him gone in the next roster purge. However, when you couple it with the declining on-field performance and increasing fragility, its time to let the Pedro Ciriaco era begin!

Lets face facts. Dustin Pedroia will never again be the same player that won the AL MVP in 2008. The Laser Show is well on his way to becoming Flashlight Tag as struggles through a season that looks to be his worst since his rookie year. Its also the second of the last three seasons where hes missed significant time due to injury. Pedroia is the type of player that absolutely needs to play balls to the wall with one hundred percent effort all game, every game. Its part of what made him so beloved with fans. Its also what will increase his declining production as time goes on. As he ages, his already slight frame will succumb more and more frequently to this type of playabuse.

If this team is really one hundred percent committed to an organizational reboot then anyone with value who isnt part of the immediate or long term rebuilding plans needs to be used as capital to bring in building blocks for the future. Its clear to me that an entitled, disingenuous veteran declining in both performance and durability would be a perfect candidate for a For Sale sign.

And based on his recent damage control efforts with Shaughnessy, Pedroia himself may now know that even his job security is now in question. His attempts to remind fans that he was a big part of the good old days did not go unnoticed.

"Its been difficult. But our fans are smart. Im sure they understand. They know what kind of guy I am. They should."

Fans allowing marginally effective players with clubhouse crippling character flaws to hang around for nostalgias sake? Sorry Dustin, thats not the way we go about our stuff around here.

Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

Clay Buchholz hopes ot lead off the afternoon game better than his last start, where he game up a home run and double to leadoff the game against Chicago.

The righty has a career 4.10 ERA against Texas in 41.2 innings pitched against Texas with a 1-5 record.

Unfortunately for Boston, Buchholz is even worse at Globe Life Park. The righty is 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA in 21.2 at the Rangers home field.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Bryce Brentz DH
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Ryan LaMarre LF
---
Clay Buchholz RHP

RANGERS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Ian Desmond CF
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Prince Fielder DH
Roughned Odor 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Bryan Holaday C
---
Martin Perez LHP

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

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Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Rangers:

 

QUOTES

* “On a night when he didn’t have the consistency to the knuckleball that we’ve seen from many of his starts, he went to his fastball a little bit more. [Against] a good fastball hitting team . . . He’s typically made good adjustments staying over the rubber to get his release point out front -- that wasn’t the case [tonight].” John Farrell said about Steven Wright struggling with his knuckleball in his 4.2 inning outing.

* “The ball was spinning a lot out of my hand. It was a little bit hard to grip the ball because the humidity. But it was the opposite -- it was real sticky. That’s the first time I’ve had that ever. But I still felt like I should have figured that out. It was one of those things where I think I started trying to hard . . . I was trying to the throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t working.” Steven Wright said about struggling to find his knuckleball in the 10-3 loss.

* “It’s hard for me because you want to go out there and try and go as deep as you can to try to help the bullpen, but, you know, today was tough, a tough day for me.” Wright said on his disappointment with only going 4.2 innings.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Hanley Ramirez laced his fourth homerun in his last 11 games. In his nine career games at Texas, Ramirez has six homeruns.

* David Ortiz went hitless for the first time since June 12th. Boston’s designated hitter also hasn’t hit a home run since June 17th -- his third longest homerless spell of 2016.

* Xander Bogaerts scored his 57th run of the season, putting him one run behind Ian Kinsler -- the fourth highest total in the majors.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk -- scoring the team high three runs.

 

2) Ian Desmond

Desmond laced his 13th homer of the season in his second at-bat of the game, sparking Texas’ offense with its first run of the game.

 

3) Elvis Andrus

Andrus ended Steven Wright’s day quickly with a three-run triple in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.

First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 loss to Texas

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First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 loss to Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 10-3 loss to Texas:

 

Steven Wright can’t be stellar every night.

Although it’s seemed like it lately, it’s just not possible -- especially with a knuckleball.

He wasn’t even that bad Saturday night. He just didn’t get any help from his defense in the fifth frame.

But there’s no denying he didn’t have his best stuff. But whatever the reason, he couldn’t find consistent command or movement from his knuckler and he gave up some hard hits as a result.

Did he receive a fate worse than he pitched? Yes. But what Boston saw from Wright in his Saturday start is there will be times his go-to pitch is off -- and there’s really no way to work around that.

 

Hanley Ramirez’s “timing issue” seems to be coming around.

Although he hasn’t necessarily caught fire, Ramirez hit another home run -- once again to right field.

He’s shown more patience at the plate, and not trying to pull every ball out of the yard.

Ramirez doesn’t have everything completely figured out, but his homeruns have been plenty valuable at this point.

 

Ian Desmond is no joke.

The newly converted centerfielder is 5-for-10 against Boston pitching this series with a run and two RBI.

The ex-Nationals shortstop has good pop and good speed still. He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his new home after hitting .233 for Washington last year with 19 homeruns -- hitting his 13th Saturday night.

 

For all the criticisms Boston’s bullpen has received, the Rangers’ is definitely worse.

Although there wasn’t the same miraculous comeback witnessed Friday night -- and Boston’s pen wasn’t particularly stellar in the loss -- the Ranger relievers did not look good in the second game of the series.

They put themselves into deep counts right away -- and was lucky Boston’s offense was off.

Boston’s bullpen has its faults -- no question -- but it’s not nearly as bad as the one in Texas.

 

The Red Sox unfortunately have to rely on Clay Buchholz Sunday.

The bullpen is beaten down once again. The righty is still fighting for his job, so this would be the best time for him to pitch competitively into the sixth inning -- and maybe even longer.