Why would anyone in New England watch soap operas when we have the Boston Red Sox? The Globe’s Bob Hohler gives us the first of what I expect to be many accounts of the collapse of the 2011 Red Sox in this front-page story. Among the highlights, or lowlights more accurately, Manager Terry Francona was distracted because (1) he split from his wife (2) he may have been abusing pain meds and (3) he was (justifiably) worried about the safety of his son and son-in-law, both Marine officers serving in Afghanistan. The owners were distracted by their outside interests, most notably the cable TV network NESN, their English soccer team, and their NASCAR race team.
The starting pitchers who were said to be drinking beer in the clubhouse during games rather than sitting on the bench supporting their teammates are identified as John Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey. They were also munching on take-out fried chicken and biscuits and playing video games. The three also neglected their conditioning as anyone who watched them pitch in September could attest. Wakefield? He was more concerned with his personal records than with the team’s well-being. Ellsbury? He always worked hard and had an MVP season, but lingering hard feelings from comments made by teammates during his injury-plagued 2010 season made him a clubhouse loner who rarely interacted with his teammates. And the list goes on and on.