For years, the Boston Red Sox held the title of loveable losers. They frustrated you year after year, but you still loved the group of guys that was put on the field every summer. Then ’04 and ’07 happened. They were still loveable, yet no longer losers. Fast forward to tonight; The Sox are headed into the All-Star break at a perfectly mediocre 43-43, their worst record at the break since 1996, trailing the Yankees by 9.5 games in the AL East. Worse than their record is the negative energy surrounding the ball club. Reports of a “toxic” clubhouse and disgruntled players have leaked multiple times over the course of the season. The Red Sox have proven to us that they simply aren’t tough. That will to win we saw in 2004, 2007, and even 2008 to some extent, is not there. Here’s an example: Adrian Gonzalez is the Red Sox highest paid player in 2012, earning just under 22 million. Tonight, he left the game with a cold. Ryan Sweeney then proceeded to make Gonzo look absolutely foolish after slamming his face off of the triangle in center field chasing an Alex Rodriguez fly ball, and staying in the game. Sweeney has already served a 7-day DL stint with a concussion this year.
Josh Beckett missing media sessions and counting off days, David Ortiz complaining about his contract, it’s all getting old, and it’s making me sick. The Red Sox, outside of Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, are being carried by their Triple-A club essentially, with Daniel Nava, Ryan Kalish, Mauro Gomez, Will Middlebrooks (now an every day major leaguer) and now Pedro Ciriaco contributing to the club. In the meantime, Carl Crawford hasn’t played a game in the majors in 2012. In case you were wondering, he makes 19.5 million this year, nearly 12% of the Red Sox 2012 payroll. The attitude of this club, and all the negativity surrounding it, is quite frankly, annoying. If I wake up with a cold, I take some dayquil and go to school. For Gonzo to come out of a huge game against the Yankees with the sniffles is simply unacceptable to me. This team is becoming hard to root for. I can live with a mediocre record given the slew of injuries the team has been hit with. I understand that they play in a tough division. All of that is okay by me. What I hate about this team is the attitude, the whining, the complaining, the lifelessness of this ball club. IT DRIVES ME NUTS. Hell, the GM and ownership don’t even get along.
What bothers me even more is that I don’t see it changing in the near future. Not unless some serious moves are made between now and July 31st. I love the Red Sox, I have all my life. So don’t take this the wrong way. I’m simply assessing what has been a disappointing first half (to put it mildly). On the bright side, the Red Sox are just 2.5 out of the Wild Card, making a playoff appearance possible. However, It’s hard to get my hopes up until I see some fight from te big guns on this team. I’m not talking about Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco, who are fighting for a Major League career, I’m talking about Adrian Gonzalez, Jon Lester, and Josh Beckett. Those guys need to step up big time for the Red Sox to have any shot at a playoff spot.