Even when celebrating a win, there are precious few smiles for the Red Sox. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Long story short: this team is a complete disaster.
Players seem to be split into two camps over Bobby Valentine. One, upset with his lack of communication and antics both in the dugout and with the press, clearly want him gone. According to Jeff Passan, said group (led by Adrian Gonzalez) had a meeting with ownership in late July to voice their displeasure.
A few days later, and the front office gave Valentine a vote of confidence, which, however hollow, seems to have left those in the anti-Valentine camp "baffled".
Then there's the other camp, which believes that the anti-Valentine camp are just overpaid, underperforming stars using the manager as a scapegoat to help cover for their bad seasons.
There's plenty of other specifics in there, including this delightful tidbit:
Pedroia, notorious among teammates for his wit and humor, is in the foreground with a giddy smile, his tongue wagging and both thumbs up. Next to him is allegedly Valentine, face down on a table, apparently asleep. A caption accompanies the picture: "Our manager contemplating his lineup at 3:30 p.m."
Frankly, judging from the immediate reactions I'm seeing online right now, the players' actions may have had the unintended consequence of turning public opinion against them. Bobby V has suddenly taken on the appearance of the old guy being persecuted by the same bunch of malcontents that cost the Red Sox their 2011 season.
Just for some perspective, though, let's not forget that Bobby Valentine is a terrible manager, and based on this season, not just tactically either.
The good news is that the writing now seems to be on the wall for Valentine. While the front office's statements seem to suggest that any conclusion to this saga will have to wait for the offseason, once that time comes it's hard to imagine a scenario where he's not gone.
The only question is: will Valentine's departure be enough to get this bunch working on the same page again? Or is 2013 going to be just another mess?