The Boston Red Sox are having a terrible season in every sense of the word. The team has had all sorts of problems both on and off the field all season long and now seem to be approaching some sort of (anti)climax. With last night's loss to the Seattle Mariners, the Sox have now lost seven straight and sit precariously close to last place in the AL East.
At their current rate, the Red Sox stand to "accomplish" two feats not seen in Boston since the '90s: amassing a losing record and finishing in last place. The Red Sox were last under .500 at the end of the year in 1997, and last finished a season in the AL East cellar in 1992. No one would have guessed it at the beginning of the year, but the 2012 season could be the worst in Boston in two decades.
So whom is to blame?
Right or wrong, much of the ire for the season's iniquities has fallen on the shoulders of new manager Bobby Valentine. From day one, there has been disparity between coach and players not seen since Brian Clough took over at Leeds United. Not a day goes by it seems where Valentine is not implicated in some sort of tabloid gossip regarding the team.
Lately, the gossip has centered on Valentine's job security, or lack thereof. This speculation elevated over the weekend when it was reported that general manager Ben Cherington and owner John Henry were flying in to Seattle to hold a private meeting. (As Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times astutely pointed out yesterday, John Henry has now seen more games at Safeco Field than Mariners owner Hiroshi Yamauchi.) While the initial verdict appears to be that Valentine's job is safe in the interim, someone invariably has to take the fall for the team's worst season in twenty years.