BALTIMORE Things are coming apart at the seams for the Boston Red Sox.
It couldnt be stated any more clearly as the baseball team limps to the finish line in its second straight underachieving season, and now the cracks are starting to show in the foundation. According to a Yahoo! Sports report by Jeff Passan, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez led a meeting between a large group of disgruntled players and Sox ownership in New York City.
The substance of the meeting: the players no longer wanted to play for manager Bobby Valentine and wanted him fired. The Sox were coming off losses in five of the last six games against the Blue Jays and the Rangers prior to the meeting with Sox ownership, and upset about a number of things. The teams uninspired, losing performance was one of the big issues, but the Sox were also upset about Valentine leaving Jon Lester out to get abused for 11 runs during the previous homestand.
Several Sox sources confirmed the meeting and one said: It was pretty heated going into those meetings. The whole organization was there to discuss the current situation, said the source. There was a lot talked about and things werent going well. Frankly, I was pretty surprised that nothing happened afterwards.
Adrian Gonzalez was approached about the meeting and confirmed that it was an organization meeting with coaches, players, management and ownership. "It was an organizational assessment of everything, in general," said Gonzalez. But when asked if he was actively trying to get Valentine fired, Gonzalez responded by saying I dont know what youre talking about.
His general manager Ben Cherington confirmed the New York City meeting Sox ownership in the article.
He also went on to bash the source of the report.
Ive never seen that guy in our clubhouse before, said Gonzalez, of Passan. He doesnt know whats going on with us.
Dustin Pedroia didnt want to talk about the report at all, and instead said he wanted to worry about playing against the Orioles on Tuesday night and essentially playing out the string.
I just want to play baseball, man, said Pedroia, who would neither confirm nor deny the Yahoo! Report.
Valentine himself admitted he did have a one-on-one meeting with Pedroia after an initial meeting with someone he wouldnt identify, but couldnt recall if it happened during the fateful month of July.
Im glad July is over because theyre still playing for me, said Valentine with a smile on his face. Im not going to comment on any story and I dont know what issues you might be referring to. What were Adrians issues?
Dustin and I had a talk about a meeting that I had. I dont know if that was July or not.
So there was plenty of scrambling, spin control and some Sox players that didnt even have a clue what was going on prior to a muggy Tuesday night divisional game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Many were looking at the next six games against the Orioles and Yankees as Bostons last stand with a chance to push themselves into the playoff race if they could win the majority of those half-dozen ballgames. But the fractures in the Sox foundation are undeniable with more cracks coming to daylight each and every day, and an ownership group that has done nothing about for two years running aside from firing Terry Francona.
When underperforming, malcontent players are forming a mutiny on the manager and Sox ownership has suddenly turned deaf, dumb and blind after a wonderful initial run from 2002-2008, the end isnt just near.
It seems that this Sox season was doomed before it even got started with the same group of players and the same apathy from the owners box.
It wont get better until somebody starts radically altering the DNA of this team and finally admitting there are some epic problems that need to be properly addressed once the season is over.