More and more reports are coming out fighting between players and upper management and bribes to win the players trust back. Pitchers partying in the clubhouse during games and not following through on training regimens. All of this was a direct cause of the Sox abominable September.
A source close to the team has reported that former manager Terry Francona has been distracted but the separation of his wife of 30 years, Jacque, and an apparent prescription drug problem. Francona has had almost 20 surgeries on his knee, most recently in October 2010, and had used them this past season after a procedure to drain blood from his knee. One of Francona's children expressed concern after finding a pill bottle in his hotel room during spring training. Francona has vehemently denied theses allegations.
While the Red Sox were struggling to win games in September, pitchers Josh Beckett, John Lackey, and Jon Lester were partying in the clubhouse. The three pitchers often drank beers, ate fried chicken, and played video games during their off days. They also cut back on training and coaches tried to get them back on track but to no avail. Beckett, Lackey, and Lester went 2-7 with a 6.45 ERA in September. The pitchers were not available for comment.
When Hurricane Irene was fast approaching the east coast, the Red Sox rescheduled a game against the Oakland A's to a day-night doubleheader. The reason for playing the doubleheader was so that the Red Sox didn't have to play a make up game against a team from the west coast. Players revolted at the idea and owner John Henry buttered them up by providing all players with $300 headphones and a night on his yacht.
Also, Red Sox clubhouse leaders Kevin Youkilis, captain Jason Varitek, and David Ortiz was not as active to promote leadership and boost morale.
With these allegations, one would wonder how the Red Sox played that well. The fact of the matter is that the Red Sox gave up with a month to go. Beckett, Lackey, and Lester NEEDED to step up and increase training and practice in September, but decided to party and hope for the best. Youk, Tek, and Ortiz NEEDED to step up and light a fire under this team, but no. Now Francona is gone and Theo Epstein most likely off to the North Side and we are witnessing the disintegration of the Boston Red Sox as we know it. Whoever the new manager is needs to be a disciplinarian and not allow players partying and whining about having to play a doubleheader. You are professional baseball players, you need to suck it up and act like a professional and stop whining.