Lest you think differently, this is Daily Links. I didn't include it in the title because this really isn't about baseball writing from different corners of the internet. We'll get back to that in short order, but instead, there is a single issue worth discussing and it is as all-encompassing as the anger Red Sox fans feel over the outcome of the 2011 season.
Yesterday the Boston Globe printed an article by Bob Hohler which, as they say, named names. The article calls out Terry Francona, John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefied, and Adrian Gonzalez. To a lesser extent it mentions in Jacoby Ellsbury and his icy relationship with the team.
To sum up, according to the article the team's best player in Ellsbury hates them. Yay! Francona was a pill popping recluse. Beckett, Lester, Lackey and to a lesser extent Buchholz are worthless do-nothings who held up in the clubhouse drinking beer, eating ice cream, mainlining lard, and playing stupid video games while the city burned. Tim Wakefield only cares about reaching the team's all time win mark, nothing more, including eating and breathing air. The team took advantage of Francona's trust and John Henry's largess all the while the strength coach occasionally tapped one of the pitchers on the shoulder to say, "Um, excuse me, kind sir, but might I inquire if you've done your conditioning work today?" to which the pitchers replied, "Back off, Dork. Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here or I'll stuff you back into your locker again!"
The only player who cared whether the Red Sox won or lost was Dustin Pedroia whose tears and sweat after every loss did fill the Charles River to it's brim. Also Kevin Youkilis was a whiny poophead.
Yes, this article is chalk full of revelations, most of them kind of ridiculous. Did the team quit on Francona? The results on the field indicate so, but that's too easy. Blaming all the players and coaches for not caring and not working hard enough, which is essentially what this article does, smacks of so much Monday morning quarterbacking. The team folded, but even if that were the problem, there was more to it than simply not caring about the outcome of the games. The players certainly cared (read: won) enough in the first five months of the season. Because that's what this is really saying, isn't it? The team lost so they must not have cared enough. After therefore because of. Look, I'm certain the players could have worked harder, the front office could have made better decisions, and the pitchers could have had less beer and eaten fewer lard cubes. The team was a single game from a one game playoff and two wins from the playoffs after all.
The truth is that Bob Hohler's article is for the most part a bunch of hearsay. But even it it's all true, every last word of it, so what? Francona is gone and if reports are to be believed Epstein has a foot and a half out the door as well. John Lackey and Carl Crawford aren't going anywhere and neither is Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, or Clay Buchholz. The team you saw in 2011 is going to make up the vast majority of the team you see in 2012.
More links after the jump...
Because you weren't happy enough as it is, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave an interview in to something or someone called Sponichi. This person and/or entity and/or supreme deity asked a series of penetrating questions, like, 'I see you've taken up bike riding," and "Did your family help you through your tough times?" and "Is your objection to throwing strikes religious in foundation?" Yes, I made that last one up.
So Theo may have made this bed, but he's almost up and out the door anyway, headed down the hall to rip the covers off another mattress. The Cubs have reportedly offered Theo a magic lighthouse with an unlimited supply of unicorn meat, a generous salary, and a chance to meet and greet with Alfonso Soriano. How can you pass that up? Meanwhile back at the cat ranch, the Red Sox are trying to convince him to stay. Apparently both Carl Crawford and John Lackey have put in calls, Josh Beckett has sent a copy of Call of Doody, and Jon Lester has sent him a case of Buds. Tim Wakfeild is hiding in Epstein's bushes banging on the window every thirty seconds and shouting, "How 'bout now?"
Finally, the great Joe Posnanski lays out the ten worst contracts in baseball, and in doing so accidentally asks the question, "Maybe it isn't so bad if Theo goes to the Cubs after all.