Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Posts Tagged ‘John Lackey stats’

Red Sox make crucial mistake in parting ways with Francona

Posted by bdowd625 on October 1, 2011

We’re going to miss you, Tito.

I’ll start out by saying that I don’t think Terry Francona was always the best in-game manager. Some of his decisions on the field left me scratching my head, whether it be the insertion of a pinch runner for Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh inning or his extra-long leash when it came to leaving tiring starting pitchers in the game. But I think every fan feels that way about their manager at one point or another, and second-guessing is a part of the job that Francona has always understood.

With that in mind, I think the Boston Red Sox made a monumental mistake yesterday when they parted ways with Francona after eight very successful seasons. Francona’s greatest strength has always been his ability to protect his players in a rabid sports town, a quality I think many of the Red Sox took for granted after a while. Plain and simple, Boston took advantage of its manager this year, as high-priced prima donnas like Carl Crawford, John Lackey and, yes, even my boy Josh Beckett drove the team into the ground. Sure, Francona should share some of the blame for the team’s historic September collapse – no one gets a free pass in that regard – but it was evident that many of the Red Sox had given up on him and the season.

And so Francona became the fall guy yesterday after bringing Beantown not one, but two World Series titles in his tenure. He said his players were tuning him out and that he couldn’t get the team to move together in one direction. It’s a shame it had to come to this after all Francona has done here, but that’s how it works with these millionaire crybabies. You can’t fire 25 players, but you can fire the manager. Boston’s new leader certainly has his work cut out for himself – whomever it may be – and I find it hard to believe he’ll handle these players half as well as Francona did in his eight-year run. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, though, I want to thank Francona for all his hard work. He gave this fan base a reason to believe when we thought that elusive championship would never come. I can confidently say his place in Red Sox history is safe.

And now, with the Red Sox season over, I leave you with an excerpt from an essay by A. Bartlett Giamatti, former commissioner of Major League Baseball. If this doesn’t perfectly sum up the beauty of baseball then nothing does.

“The Green Fields of the Mind”

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the
spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer,
filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come,
it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to
buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive,
and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains
and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.


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Lackey + Bogar = Red Sox failure

Posted by Bill Koch on August 2, 2010

Tim Bogar

John Lackey

How do you lose to the Cleveland Indians?

Putting John Lackey on the mound and Tim Bogar in the third base coach’s box is a pretty good start. They both wore the goat horns again on Monday night as the Boston Red Sox suffered a bitterly disappointing 6-5 loss to a Cleveland team that just traded away most of its worthwhile players at the July 31 deadline.

Lackey and Bogar have been familiar targets of Ramble On’s criticism before. That doesn’t mean that we’re tired of hammering two people who steal money twice per month from the Boston organization and its fans. They need to be better before we even think about leaving them alone, and there’s no signs that either one of them is going to improve.

Lackey’s grisly pitching line on Monday looks like so many of his other starts this season: 5.1 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 5 BB, 7 K. His ERA is an unacceptable 4.48, his WHIP is a grotesque 1.53 and you can stop all the talk about the Red Sox going on a hot streak when Boston is giving this man the ball and sending him to the hill every fifth day. His 10-6 record couldn’t be any more fraudulent, and he’ll be further exposed when he makes his next start and at Yankee Stadium and takes his inevitable pounding. We’ve taken a strong stand against Lackey being considered a reliable starting pitcher on this team from the day he signed his ridiculous $82.5-million contract, and we’re not likely to change our opinion over the next four-plus years.

Bogar looks more and more like Wendell Kim and Dale Sveum as the season progresses. He struck again Monday night and did more than just hurt the Red Sox in the process, sending Ryan Kalish with one out and Boston rallying in the seventh inning against Fausto Carmona. Kalish was out by a mile at the plate, the product of a foolish decision by Bogar in a 6-2 game with the top of the order coming to bat, and in the process Kalish crushed the left knee of Indians catcher Carlos Santana. That injury is on Bogar’s head and so is part of this loss after Adrian Beltre hammered a three-run homer in the eighth that accounted for the 6-5 final. Bogar didn’t even give his offense a chance to put Carmona on the ropes in the eighth, doing the same thing that he did in earlier defeats against the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays. Those losses have added up to put the Red Sox even further behind the Rays and Yankees in what is quickly becoming a lost season.

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