The 2011 Boston Red Sox won't be remembered for winning a ton of games. They won't be remembered for an ace pitching staff that rocked the AL. They won't be remembered for grinding out wins after a very rocky start to the season.
They will be remembered for "The Collapse."
As most sports fans know, the Sox were sitting pretty in the AL East up until August. The team slowly declined and lost the division lead to the Yankees. The skid continued well into September and the Sox found themselves clinging on to the Wild Card spot in the playoffs. However, as fate would have it, a surging Tampa Bay team played their guts out, won the Wild Card spot, while the Sox pointed fingers at each other and wondered, "What if?"
There were many things to point towards in terms of the reason for the demise of the 2011 Boston Red Sox. However, instead of speculating, the Boston Globe did a investigate reporting type article, detailing the postmortem.
Here are the highlights:
Sox ace starts, John Lackey, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester were playing video games, eating fried chicken and drinking beer during game-days off, while their teammates where playing on the field.
Manager Terry Francona lost his leadership role and seemed to be distracted by pain killers, a collapsing marriage and concerns over his two kids who are in theater for the US Military.
Players were too focused on themselves, including the beloved Tim Wakefield, who seems to be in it for him and him only.
Theo had his eyes on Chicago all along.
Free agents weren't taking on leadership roles and former leaders in the club house were worried about their own numbers.
Ownership had no clue as to what was going on because they were too busy trying to make money via their slew of other ventures.
The list goes on and on and I commend the Globe for such an inside look at the club (I'd hate to be going to work on Yawkey Way today).
So where do the Sox stand today?
Well, Tito was fired. Theo looks like he's definitely headed to Chicago. And sports talk radio is all fired up with calls from across the region from long-time Sox fans who seem to be reveling in the fact that their beloved team is acting more like a pre-2004 team, than a two World Series in seven years team.
As a die hard myself, I actually like the drama. I like that there are sweeping changes coming to the team. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of people like me out there to really make an impact on this team and get the owners to notice. Fenway Park is filled with Pink Hats and corporate yahoos that spend more time reading emails on their smartphones and Tweeting pictures than they do paying attention to the game.
Not that I'm speaking on behalf of Red Sox Nation, but "The Collapse" is more like "The Blessing."
Change is good. Can't wait for the 2012 season drama to unfold.