Awkward reunion brewing in Chicago

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Awkward reunion brewing in Chicago

You may have noticed that this past offseason for the Red Sox was a little... we'll call it uncomfortable. In fact, it resembled a painful reality show or daytime soap opera - Young and the Gutless; Real Housewives of Fenway Park; Survivor - Boston... take your pick.

Fingers pointed. Names called. Jobs lost. Accusations made. Trust broken.

Kind of makes you wish you could've been a fly on the wall, huh?

Now imagine all the key players in that drama getting back together for one happy reunion. It's happening this weekend in Chicago.

Role call:

Terry Francona - "Resignedcontract-not-renewed" - Took the job of the man who replaced him. He'll be at Wrigley on Sunday for the nationally televised series finale.

Bobby Valentine - "The personality who can manage the player egos" - His team has spent the majority of the season looking up at .500 and has made his share of eyebrow raising actionscomments.

Theo Epstein - "GM wunderkind" - left the Red Sox to join the Cubs front office. His new team is now fully transitioned from "loveable losers" to "bad news bears."

Ben Cherington - "The guy after Theo" - Filling the shoes of the GM who constructed two World Series teams is no easy task. Earlier this week we profiled how he's done so far. It's too early to judge most of his transactions, but his first year at the helm has seen the Sox struggle.

Dale Svuem - "Almost the Red Sox manager, then he wasn't, then he ended up managing the Cubs" - In an offseason that saw a collection of former Red Sox become current Cubs, Sveum was the only one who looked like he was coming to Boston, only to end up with the rest of the former employees in Chicago.

Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner, John Henry - "The puppet-masters" - The ownership group that allowed Francona to walk out the door, that allowed Epstein to leave as well, that may or may not have muscled new GM Cherington into hiring the manager they wanted - Valentine, that ignored calls to trade the problem makers in the clubhouse...

Yes, the cast of this winter's best drama will all be back together this weekend in Chicago. What are the chances the weekend passes without a single backhanded compliment, verbal swipe, or dirty detail leaked from an "unnamed source"?

Did Matt Barnes deserve 4 games for throwing at Manny Machado?

Did Matt Barnes deserve 4 games for throwing at Manny Machado?

Bob Ryan and Lou Merloni react to Matt Barnes being handed a 4-game suspension for throwing at Manny Machado, and whether he deserved it.

Matt Barnes gets 4-game suspension for throwing at Manny Machado

Matt Barnes gets 4-game suspension for throwing at Manny Machado

MLB has suspended and fined Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes for throwing at the head of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Barnes' suspension will last four games. His fine is an undisclosed amount.

Barnes has elected to appeal, and so his suspension will be postponed until the appeal process has finished.

Barnes' throw at Machado appeared to be a response to the Orioles third baseman's decision to slide cleats up into Pedroia, who left the game and has missed the two games that followed. He's still day-to-day. However, Pedroia vocally disapproved of Barnes' decision.