2012 a forgettable year for Red Sox fans
Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is seen in the dugout during a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Monday, July 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero) Purchase photo reprints »
The Boston Red Sox certainly made the 100th anniversary season at Fenway Park a forgettable one. From the close of 2011 through the current offseason, the beloved local team has been one drawn-out train wreck.
The beer and chicken fiasco of September 2011 was just the first inning of an extra-inning soap opera. It started when management told players they wouldn’t replace Terry Francona with Bobby Valentine, only to hire Bobby Valentine, the one-time Mets manager who, after being ejected from a game, returned to the dugout wearing a fake mustache and glasses.
Valentine hadn’t managed in the big leagues in a decade. And it showed. Just as the season started, he publicly ripped fan favorite Kevin Youkilis. Dustin Pedroia returned fire and a six-month firestorm was under way. Valentine didn’t talk with coaches, didn’t have the players’ confidence and didn’t like the media. Of course, the media loved Bobby V, who threatened to punch WEEI’s Glenn Ordway.
Through the first four injury-riddled months, the Red Sox hovered around .500. In May, we saw outfielder Darnell McDonald pitch and journeyman Scott Podsednik return to the majors for the first time since 2010. In June, Youk was traded, and in July Big Papi was lost for the year.
The performances on and off the field only got worse. On Aug. 13, legend Johnny Pesky passed, and while Red Sox Nation mourned, players felt their presence was needed more at Josh Beckett’s bowling party than Pesky’s services. About two weeks later, Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez were shipped to the L.A. Dodgers in the biggest contract exchange of all time.
The Red Sox finished August much the same way they finished September. A 9-20 month was just a warmup to the final weeks of the season, where the Sox finished 7-22 and in last place in the division.
Valentine was fired after the season, much to the surprise of no one. The Sox had their first losing season since 1997 and the most losses in 46 years.
When 2011 ended, 2012 was seen as a new year for the Red Sox. It only got worse. What will 2013 bring? Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12.