Wednesday's Boston Globe has a searing account from a number of sources (both on and off the record) explaining how the Boston Red Sox blew a nine-game lead for the American League wild card with three weeks left in the season. As we all know, that spot went to the Tampa Bay Rays on the last night of the season, and now we know the other side of the story, even though the Globe probably could have made the same case without as many of the sordid details. Regardless, I hope it's real, because it's spec-TAC-ular!â†µ
Pitchers drinking beer and eating KFC and playing video games in the clubhouse during the game. The same pitchers giving up on their conditioning and getting out of shape during the playoff drive. Another pitcher caring more about setting a team record than what's best for that team (which would be for him not to pitch). Players complaining about the schedule and the way doubleheaders were made up, or the official scorer making a decision that didn't help his stat line. A manager who wasn't able to stem the tide of anger. Knee-jerk second-guessing of bad contracts, even though that's been going on all season. It's amazing to read, and it should set off a firestorm in New England as soon as everyone reads it.
If you're a Rays fan, you can only hope this leads to Red Sox ownership becoming more hands-on with their team. With Terry Francona looking for a new job, and Theo Epstein apparently kicking the tires on the Chicago Cubs' GM spot, there's a noticeable power vacuum in Boston. Here's my wish that ownership decides to fill that vacuum with themselves, because that almost never works out in baseball. Especially when there's a lot of money to be spent. I'm looking at you, Baltimore. And you, New York Mets. Put Sternberg, Friedman, and their group of scouts and wizards against three guys who only know how to sign checks, and the Rays might be able to extend their playoff streak at the continued expense of the Red Sox.