As everyone in Baltimore knows, the Orioles finished their fourteenth straight losing season a few weeks ago and are searching for a new general manager after Andy MacPhail decided to leave at the end of his contract. Their young pitchers under performed and the O’s are in serious need of middle of the order help and a couple solid starters if they want to improve next season.
Despite all of their downfalls, the Orioles find themselves in a better position than the Boston Red Sox, who entered the 2011 season as the favorite to win the AL East and many people’s pick to win the World Series. Things in Boston spiraled out of control after the Orioles eliminated their playoff chances with a walkoff 4-3 win in game 162 in what was statistically the biggest collapse in MLB history.
Since that time the Sox decided to let their manager, Terry Francona, go after rumors circulated that he had lost control of the locker room of this $160,000,000 team. In case you need a quick recap of how bad things are in Boston, here are a few highlights.
- Beer, chicken and video games became the priority in the Sox clubhouse as Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester were reportedly drinking during games according to Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe.
- The collapse got an official music video as country music singer Kevin Fowler’s “Hell Yeah, I like Beer” featured all three of those accused of drinking during the game. Yes that’s a real song and no you can’t make this stuff up.
- This isn’t new behavior for Beckett. The Palm Beach Post reports that during his time with the Marlins in 2003, skipper Jack McKeon used to lock the clubhouse during games because Beckett and Brad Penny would sneak into the locker room for mid-game drinks. McKeon resorted to handing out bathroom passes to his own players.
- Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet New England wrote that Carl Crawford, once known as a leader in the Rays clubhouse, “kept more and more to himself” because of how bad the culture was in Boston. Apparently, Crawford gave a heart felt speech in the middle of the collapse, but was never taken seriously by his teammates.
- Players that Francona had protected during his tenure, an aging Jason Varitek, David Ortiz in the midst of steroid allegations and Jon Lester who once seemed like son to him never took his defense during the collapse according to Giardi.
- The guy that put all the pieces together for Boston during their curse snapping title in 2004, general manager Theo Epstein, is also on the outs as he decided that taking a job with the Cubs in Chicago was better for him than fixing Boston’s problems. It certainly promises to be a difficult task.
Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com. You can follow him on twitter @zamwi or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org