Schilling takes aim at players for Sox' collapse

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Schilling takes aim at players for Sox' collapse

As speculation continues about Terry Francona's future with the Red Sox -- speculation pushed forward by Ken Rosenthal's overnight report that the Sox are expected to decline the final two options on Francona's contract, for 2012 and '13, at a Friday morning meeting -- Curt Schilling weighed in on Twitter this morning with a shot on the Red Sox players.

"At some point," Schilling said in a series of Tweets, "GROWN MEN have to take responsibility for their actions."

Schilling said the Red Sox organization "goes out of its way to provide best environment in MLB for players to succeed", but "Big couches, video games, buses, schedule etc., = excuses and lack of accountability".

The Red Sox, he continued, will "pay and provide everything a player and his family could want . . . Just win. That's the ONLY ask . . . and those organizations are few and far between."

Schilling also said the fact that Francona and general manager Theo Epstein went public with clubhouse issues at Thursday's press conference was "incredibly revealing".

Bogaerts hitting at a record-setting pace

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Bogaerts hitting at a record-setting pace

A change of scenery is a must for the Red Sox after the rough series in Texas, where they were lucky to walk away with one win.

The pitching staff's struggles were the most apparent, but Xander Bogaerts had arguably his worst series of the season -- 2-for-12 at the plate and two errors in the field.

Although Bogaerts now finds himself three points behind José Altuve (.347) for the American League batting lead, he still leads the major leagues with 108 hits. He has more hits than Daniel Murphy, who’s at .349 in the National League.

And despite his weekend struggles, the Boston shortstop is in position to make a run at history  -- the single-season hits record.

Bogaerts is already in a comfortable spot to break Wade Boggs’ Red Sox record of 240 hits, set in 1985. Through 74 games, Bogaerts has 10 more hits than the Hall-of-Famer had at that point in the season.

He's also ahead of the pace set in 2004 by Ichiro Suzuki, who established the MLB record for most hits in a season with 262 that year. Bogarts has five more hits than Ichiro had through 74 games.

There's no guarantee he'll reach 262, or anything close. Ichiro had a strong finishing kick in '04, batting .418 with 159 hits after his 74th game. In fact, in his final 74 games, he hit .433 with 141 hits. He's left challengers in the dust before: Altuve was equal to Ichiro's pace in 2014 -- both had 105 hits in their first 76 games -- but wound up with "only" 225 hits.

So, admittedly, Bogaerts is facing an uphill battle.

He does have a one advantage over Ichiro, though. In 2004, Suzuki -- still playing for the Mariners -- usually had Randy Winn hitting behind him. Although Winn was a respectable player, he doesn’t command the respect of the hitter who's usually behind Bogaerts: David Ortiz.

Opposing pitchers still don’t plan to attack Bogaerts, but it’d only be worse if pretty much anyone other than Ortiz was coming up next.

And there’s one last set of statistics to consider:

Suzuki finished 2004 with 80 games in which he had at least two hits. That’s 49.7 percent of the games he played in.

Bogaerts has done that 33 times -- 44.6 percent of his games. So he needs to string together some big games if he intends to make an improbable run at the 12-year-old record.

Improbable, yes.

But definitely not impossible.

McAdam: Red Sox have problems 'everywhere you look'

McAdam: Red Sox have problems 'everywhere you look'

Sean McAdam, Jared Carrabis, Bob Neumeier and Lou Merloni pull apart the Boston Red Sox roster to identify the key issues.