Red Sox lose fourth straight, time to panic?

In what is the most pivotal road trip thus far in the 2012 Red Sox season, the team dropped the first game 9-1 in Texas to the Rangers Monday night. The loss drops them below .500 for the first time since June 16. The games don’t get any easier as they will face the Rangers the next two nights before a travel day on Thursday before taking on the Yankees this weekend in New York. Both teams lead their respective divisions. If the team doesn’t start winning now, the next few months of baseball could have very little meaning in these parts of the country.

Bad starting pitching was once again the issue Monday. Felix Doubront, who leads the team in wins with 10, struggled. He allowed six runs in 5+ innings of work. The offense wasn’t much better as they finished the game going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Their only move: Going backward- Nick Cafardo has things are not going well for the Red Sox at the worst possible time.

Cellar and sellers- Scott Lauber says this stretch for the team could turn them into sellers at the trade deadline.

Red Sox trying to hold together- Joe McDonald has the team needing to start winning games, but most players aren’t panicking yet.

One-and-done playoff might not be worth big trade for Red Sox- Brian MacPherson says the Red Sox might want to consider holding on to their top prospects and not make a big trade at the deadline.

Doubront can’t get Sox back on track- Sean McAdam looks at Doubront’s performance Monday night, one of his worst outings of the year.

On a more positive note, the Bruins signed head coach Claude Julien to a multi-year contract extension, and Patriots training camp kicks off Thursday.

Julien’s extension with Bruins well-deserved- Joe Haggerty says Julien getting the extension that he has certainly earned.

Two Brady favorites vie for jobs- Jeff Howe looks at Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney possibly competing for playing time.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    “Red Sox lose fourth straight, time to panic?”….was that headline a joke? I don’t think many people are in “panic mode” it’s pretty obvious this team is going NOWHERE. I think people are losing intrest

    • Bob Marley

      Where you goin’? Nowhere.

      • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

        actually, I’m GOING to put my sports intrest on Patriots training camp/NFL. Yeah, it’s just training camp but still more interesting than the, lose 4, win 3, lose 3, win 2 .500 Red Flops

        • Guest

          Relax dude, it’s a line from the movie Boondock Saints. Maine comedian Bob Marley plays Det. Greenley. Not an attack on your Red Sox beliefs. Just tryin to bring a little humor to the board this morning.

  • Winning_Again

    I think the RedSox are in similar waters as the Celtics as far as “what to do with their team.” Do they blow it up or make a push? The difference is the Celtics considered blowing it up due to the age of Core pieces while the Sox need to consider blowing it up due to bad personalities on their pitching staff.

    Realistically, I think the only person they need to rid themselves of is Josh Beckett. He clearly has negatively affected Lester and Lackey and has got to go. The thing I have noticed is that Lester and Beckett act they like have some big chip of their shoulder. They act like they’ve been treated like Ray Allen or Tim Thomas (thrown in trade talks season after season) or publicly criticized like Steinbrenner did to Jeter back in the day. If anything, these guys have been treated too fairly by management and their peers. They clearly don’t get it. Josh Beckett is MLB’s modern version of Michael Ray Richardson. Back in the day, Michael Ray would get traded from team to team, throw up 20ppg and get half the team addicted to coke. Beckett just introduces them to chicken, beer, and how to not give a Sh1t!

    • DrakeW

      Why isn’t Bob McClure taking any of the blame for the bad starting pitching? I don’t think he’s a very good pitching coach.

      • Winning_Again

        Curt Young was considered a top pitching coach in Oakland all those years and looked what happened last year. Between Niemman (spell-check anyone) and McClure, neither of them can figure it out either. I think it’s safe to say that pitching coaches are not the problem, when the players are the only constant.

        • DrakeW

          It’s their job to get through to these guys and get them to pitch up to their potential. If they aren’t doing that (and they aren’t), they’re not doing their job.

        • Winning_Again

          Isn’t it the pitchers job to pitch to their potential? If I have no work ethic or drive to do my job to the best of my ability, at what point does it become a statement of my character rather than those who employ or work with me?

          If Jon Lester can’t locate his cutter (which he can’t right now) and is walking batters in the first inning, what more can the pitching coach do. My guess is make suggestions as to mechanics. If Lester doesn’t follow them, or does and still can’t locate, who is that a reflection of?

          I’m all for holding pitching coaches accountable when it’s justified. I just think we are past that point with this staff. Opinion, not fact!

      • latetodinner

        Because he has no authority. He will be gone at the end of the season because it is clear he and Valentine do not get along. Having said that, Winning’s point still stands…3 pitching coaches in 2 years and the only constant is a lousy work ethic. The lack of professionalism Beckett and Lester display is astounding and is one reason why Baseball needs to get out of guaranteed contracts.

    • Uncle Jerry

      Do you think that Lester and Beckett cared in 2007? Or did they only stop really trying after they started freebasing fried chicken?

      • Winning_Again

        You tell me? Shawn Kemp cared in 1996 when the Seattle Supersonics made the finals. Over the next ten years, he became the most dominant player the NBA has ever seen……….

        Back to reality, Shawn Kemp shot up over 300 pounds, had 7-12 kids with as many woman, and literally “ate” himself out of the NBA. Past achievements do not translate into the present. Like Rocky said, “We all can change” in this case, not for the better.

        • Uncle Jerry

          It is hard to take your posts seriously if you truly believe that for a decade Shawn Kemp was the most dominate player the NBA has ever seen.

        • Winning_Again

          Clearly you didn’t read the 2nd paragraph and pickup on the sarcasm

    • Kingkelly

      A most excellent connection to Richardson, and funny too — not just as a model for ‘rotten apple’ but for his stupifyin’ cluelessness. Who can forget his insightful comment to a reporter’s query as to why another one of his teams was in free fall? “I dunno, but the ship be sinkin”…” Is that sooo Josh, or what?
      That said, 2012 is down to no real chance for playoff success short of Mighty Thor descending from Valhalla and handing us an empty bottle and a lightening bolt. It isn’t all that crucial that Beckett goes now, as opposed to the off season. He has time left on his contract, and was fourth in AL ERA last year and absolute death plasm against the Rays and Yanks (6-0, ERA under 1, two ND’s which the Red Sox eventually won). So let’s hope Ben and Larry Lu don’t GIVE Beckett away this week, if other GMs hold out for a ‘Youkilis Discount’ because the believe the Sox are under the gun to dump him yesterday.

      • Lou from accounting

        That Richardson quote is great.
        Honestly, if the current pitching coach can’t get thru maybe it’s time to find on that can, even if it involves boots to keyster.

        • Lou from accounting

          one

        • Kingkelly

          Thanks Lou. You are so right on coaching upgrades, and making sure to includes some ‘glower power.’ I don’t know enough about who’s available this time of year to know if excellent guys could be nabbed now, or if we’d have to wait ’til fall not to get locked into lesser talent. We do have a sharp assistant pitching coach that BV likes and who covered for McClure during his long family illness sabatica. We’ll have to see,
          By the way, you didn’t happen to get a final score in that eighteen inning game between the ‘lemmings’ who are ‘the worst type of fans’ because they ‘don’t care’ and the and the ‘hypersensitive, overly dramatic teenagers who don’t get their way.’ (See above.) Impressive offense on both sides, for sure. I lost track shortly after the ghost of Buddy LaRue, and his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl, ran off with Ted Williams’ frozen head (or was it a bust of Ted’s head?) and… did everything pure about Baseball then turn into Papa Gino’s wrappers? I’m not sure (LOL). Well argued on both sides, though…

  • latetodinner

    Whether they cared in 2007 or not is irrelevant. The issue is do they care now? Clearly they don’t. Clearly the money, lifestyle and fame industry have made them immune to coaching, competitiveness and most importantly self respect. Neither of them seem to have any. They don’t care what anyone thinks about them because they live in a world where we, the little people, don’t matter/exist.

    I think there is plenty of blame to go around. Ownership that enables, management that is afraid, coaches that are handcuffed and finally players without the internal drive or determination to be the best. I have not emotionally invested myself in this team and I won’t until these owners are gone. On the good news front today a caller was speculating with Mazz and Felger that the team might be up for sale in a year or two…that brought a smile to my face.

    • Uncle Jerry

      So many fans like you act like hyper sensitive overly dramatic teenagers who don’t get their way. You are right, Josh Beckett and John Lester probably don’t really care you exist. You are part of the blow-hard flip-flop mob of fans that one year love what they do then crap on them when they aren’t as good. Between fans like you and the crushing media presence no wonder guys don’t want to play here.

      You do know that the same guys who own the team today were the same as in 2004 and 2007, right? Were you emotionally invested in those teams? Were they good owners then and not now? I can understand giving up watching/rooting this years team because they stink. But, it drives me crazy how people in just the last year are saying”I hate this owners, they haven’t done a single good thing and have to go!”

      • latetodinner

        You know what I hate…lemming fans like you who pay good money to support a team whose owners are not emotionally involved in the team. These same fans who can’t figure out that the ownership that lucked into championships in 2004 and 2007, and who only received the team because their good buddy Bud Selig rigged the bidding process for them because he wanted small market minded owners in a large market to “control” costs, really does not care about winning championships when they can back into the 5th wild card spot. My feelings about this ownership group are well documented. I never liked them because their passion has never been the Sox.
        Everything they have done has been about turning Fenway into an event. In someways I am sure fans like you love all the extra attention, the upgraded concessions, the illegal seizing of public property to create a carnival atmosphere, Sweet Caroline, and most of all fun events like the 100th anniversary reunion. At no point since 2007 has the emphasis been on the team on the field. So enjoy your perch on the pole on top of the superfan high ground. You win. You have bought the steady line of Bull pucky Larry, his brother Daryl and his other brother Daryl feed you on a regular basis through their mouth piece, NESN. In the mean time the evil fans like me, who actually care about the product on the field and don’t care one iota about all the non essential marketing stuff that ruins the experience, will continue to be critical of ownership and management while it is destroying the actual baseball team.
        As for players and whether they want to play here because fans are critical. God forbid fans have expectations and expect the highly paid athletes that represent their city/team to comport themselves professionally on and off the field. Oh wait, in your world we would not want them to have their precious egos hurt by a little criticism because they are not performing. Its not your money so there should be no expectations. You are the worst type of fan, you don’t care. Some players can’t handle the pressure of Boston. Others thrive on it….maybe…just maybe…management should make it a priority to find the ones who do like it. But in your world that is not important…after all this management team, minus Theo and Tito, won two titles 5 and 9 years ago….let’s buy a brick.

        • Uncle Jerry

          I actually go and watch the games. Is that not caring?

          Were you really were not watching and caring in the 2004
          playoffs? Wasn’t that any fun at all for you as a Sox fan?

          How can you say that there was no emphasis with the team on
          the field In 2007.? They had the best record in the league. That was not luck
          that they won the whole thing.

          I am all for being how critical of the players for what they
          do on the field. Lester and Beckett have been terrible this year and is a big
          reason they are where they are. I just
          don’t pretend to be in their head and make cliché statements like “They
          Don’t they have the internal drive to win.” You claim to not watch or support the team
          yet have endless opinions on the personalities of the players on how they
          should be better.

          Yes, I do like the changes they made to the ball park. I
          started to go to games in the 80’s and it was a dump back then. The attitude of
          the people working there was that you were lucky that you got to enter such
          hallow ground. Sure some of the marketing of the team is over the top and
          cheese ball. Sweet Caroline is lame. I am actually most put off by them
          claiming Fenway is “The World’s Most Beloved BallPark.” The
          “Brick” idea is a little gross and the idea of buying a membership to
          RedSox nation is over the top money gouging. How I handle this stuff is just
          not to buy it. I just don’t take it as a
          personal attack to me that they are trying to sell me something.

          I am curious, who would you like to see buy the team? What
          kind of ownership group would make you feel comfortable enough to watch the games
          again?

        • latetodinner

          My first choice for an owner would be Bob Kraft. It will not happen for several reasons which I really do not need to go through. Back when the team was initially for sale I thought Paul Fireman made the most sense as an owner. He certainly had the cash, I think he had the political connections but like Bob Kraft he had a religious affiliation that I know would have eventually disqualify him. After those two I don’t have a name. I can give you a profile. I would like it to be someone local. Someone with deep pockets and the political clout to get a new Fenway Park. My biggest disappointment with snake oil salesmen who currently own the team is their lack of funding. The way they financed the team along with the debt it carries means they are always paper rich and cash poor. They finance through the direct revenues only. I understand it is a business but sports franchises are more like rich people toys then they are businesses…always have been…so I would like the steward of the Boston Red Sox to be able to play that game at the highest level and without fear. I would like someone who has an understanding of sports marketing, or at least someone smart enough to bring that person into the ownership group. And lastly, I would like someone who respects the fact that ownership of the Red Sox for all intents and purposes is a quasi public trust where the owners are the trustee for the public’s stake in the team. I want them to be able to make a lot of money…I just don’t want them to do it in spite of the team.
          My family had season tickets to the Red Sox for 35 years. We gave them up in 1997 for reasons beyond my control. I have been to plenty of games in my life. I am a baseball fan and a Red Sox fan…as is my father…as were both my grand fathers. I don’t worry about my “true” fan credentials. Nor do I question yours. In my case I can follow the team without being emotionally invested. I readily admit I was emotionally invested in 2004 even though I hated this ownership. I kicked myself for falling into the trap. In 2007 I was not nearly as invested. Between the success of the Pats, Sox and Celtics at that point I could watch more of how the business was being run and not need to get as invested (I was also older and had other interests). Over the past 5 years however I have been amazed that people have bought what these guys are selling. From the $150 tickets to the $60 parking to bricks to the over priced Papa Ginos the experience is so much more important than the team that I do not understand how baseball fans stomach it. Tom Warner and John Henry have done exactly what they promised…they bought a few championships, now they are milking every dollar out of the franchise they can from the lemmings who let them, and in the next 10 years they will sell realizing several Billion dollars of profit. Its not bad business…its just bad baseball.

        • Uncle Jerry

          I agree with you on your profile of the ideal owner. Life is way too short to wait around for that though. It will be a good 20-30 years before there is a new Fenway.
          You said that “I want them to be able to make a lot of money…I just don’t want them to do it in spite of the team”
          Don’t you think they do a good job of funneling the money they generate from the fants back into the team on the field? Sure they have made some horrible choices with that money, but at least they have shown to go to the limit of the luxury tax. Lots of teams can’t and or won’t do that. They have one of the largest payrolls in the game. I don’t care if they are emotionally invested as long as they are willing to spend the money in attempts to putting a good team on the field.

        • latetodinner

          A few things:

          1) I am 45 years old and I do not believe there will be a new Fenway in my lifetime. I do not believe there is the political will or open land (other than maybe the old Gillette site) where they can build. That was a lie fed to us by these owners who were either too naive or flat out lying when they proclaimed that as a goal as they were trying to get the public’s support for their bid.
          2) I don’t believe they do a good job of funneling money back into the team. We see a number like $180 mill and we are wowed by it. But if their revenues are north of $300 mill when you include NESN as has been rumored in the past then I am unimpressed by $180 mill…regardless of how it was wasted. I expect the sox to be the second or third (behind only the Yankees and maybe Mets) spenders. For them to have to move a short stop to sign an outfielder is ridiculous. I understand that some fans are not sophisticated enough in their understanding of finance to understand how the team pays it bills. The FSG has leveraged its equity using a real estate model. They buy Rouch Racing and Liverpool soccer using the Sox as Collateral. The owners know their payout comes when they sell the asset not while they manage it. So their goal is to very similar to what Jeromy Jacobs was for 20 years while Harry Sinden was president. They want to be competitive. They are not going to do what it takes to win. Because the value of their assets is more important to them. you have heard the discussion on the Radio about whether they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline…they can’t sell because they have too much marketing tied up in not admitting they are retooling. All that buying Rouch and Liverpool did was spread the asset liability risk over new properties. They can borrow over a greater value pool to fund their enterprises but they will not make money. Bud Selig got his wish…the Sox are effectively a small market team with a $180 mill payroll. To me the owners of the Sox like the owners of the Yankees should never have to look at a price tag.
          3) I think the emotional investment or lack thereof of the Owners is the single most damning indictment of their stewardship. Businesses always take on the personality of the owner/boss. If the owner does not care then the employees do not care. If the owner is disinterested then the employees are disinterested. That tone is set from the top. John Henry enables the stars and has not shown an emotional investment towards winning. The fact that Larry Lucchino still has a job is more telling that anything. Tom Warner and the flotsam he serves up at NESN is no better. They laugh as they take the fans and our support for granted. That is why the players do it. They got paid and now they are in on the joke too. That is why there is so much anger with fans like me and until that changes…until you have an owner like Bob Kraft who puts the product on the field first…then this situation is not going to get any better.

        • latetodinner

          On other thing. I don’t believe Ownership is interested in spending into the luxury tax to put the best team on the field. I believe they are interesting in spending only to put the most entertaining/marketable team on the field. There is a difference.

        • Winning_Again

          Why is every argument you make shaped around 2004 & 2007? You make it seem like because of those years, we should be satisfied with losing, poor attitudes, and not caring. So we all agree Lester was a champ coming back from Leukemia in 2007 and Beckett was a stuff that year too. So does that mean that even though they don’t seem to care this year, and attitudes have dramatically changed, that we have to sit back and take it? Isn’t that all the more reason to be disgusted with what those two have done? Because we know what they are really capable of. You make no sense!

        • Uncle Jerry

          I use 2004 and 2007 to shape my argument that the owners of the team although are not perfect have delivered championship success. With recent ownership groups that controlled the Mets and the Dodgers, I think the glass is half full with these guys.
          You say, “They don’t seem to care” How do you know that? Because some yahoo on sports radio says so? Because Felger likes to rip on Beckett? It is this rampant speculation and off the field drama that is the worst part of following the Sox.
          My whole point is that you don’t know how motivated any of these players are. You have no clue and neither do I. It is so silly to pretend you know their intentions and then to base your rooting interests on this.

        • Winning_Again

          Doesn’t on the field effort/play largely show how invested a player will be on their respective team? Did you understand my Shawn Kemp comment from earlier, or did that go over your head like everything else. When a player exhibits superior play consistently, we as fans come to expect that as the norm. However when that same player becomes overweight, inattentive, starts turning up more & more in tabloids than on stat sheets, I think it’s a fair assessment to say they are no motivated as in years past.

  • King Kelly

    Good chuckle and good point, Uncle J. I’m thinking the turning point came in mid-August when they graduated from the pipe to giving each other ‘internal lavage’ with Popeye’s secret sauce! Or when towering, glowering John Farrell, their kick ass pitching coach through 2010, left to manage Toronto. About their working relationship, Lester famously said “Personally, I was terrified of the guy.” It wasn’t necessarily doom that Farrell was replaced by Curt Young, a soft spoken, soft edges “player’s coach.” But the Sox FO and Tito had a big blind spot, I think, in not recognizing the need to bring in some sort of Assistant Principal for Discipline and Detention type somewhere in the mix, possibly as a bench coach, or Nurse Rached on the medical staff (LOL) or even a Don Baylor or Willie McGinnis type enforcer on the roster. I remember when a strict teacher was replaced by a newbie substitute for a week, and even the most straight laced kids were pushing the envelope by Tuesday and drawing obscene stick figures on the blackboard when the sub was out of the room late in the week. It’s human nature, I’m afraid, even for immature adults making big money.