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Brian Sullivan Brian Sullivan
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Rotten tomatoes

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Historically, the beginning of October marks the start of great things to come. Think about it: Columbus Day weekend (a day off with zero responsibilities!), leaves starting to turn, Halloween, Thanksgiving fun things on the horizon.

In sports it's a time where you are overwhelmed with options. NFL and NCAA football go full tilt, the MLB regular season comes to an end and playoffs begin - but this year, for me the options are limited, and there is no one to blame but the Boston Red Sox. Playoffs? Not this year - not by a long shot.

What the Red Sox have done in 2012 is such an epic failure that it is actually comical. You have to look at it that way otherwise it will make you very, very angry. Trust me. The season begins; there is an added Wild Card this year giving another team a chance at post season play. Boston has a payroll just south of $200 million, breathing that rarified air only certain teams can afford to breathe. Optimism ran rampant through Red Sox Nation. What ensued was a sight so ugly it rivals the Too Hot for TV pictures of Roseanne my friend Slippery Pete e-mailed me last week!

It starts at the top. The Sox owners were focused on football, or as Americans know it, soccer. Soccer! You have to be kidding me! While they were asleep at the wheel they let Theo leave for Chicago and got nothing in return, hired his sidekick Ben Cherington and then forced a manager Cherington didn't want, Bobby Valentine, down his throat. It's like Bill Parcells once said: If you charge someone with the task of cooking a meal you should at least allow them to buy the groceries. And as the season would play out, there would end up being a few rotten tomatoes in the fridge.

Those rotten tomatoes weren't Bobby Valentine's fault. The Sox collapsed at the end of last season. That group was the same one that stunk it up all this year, before Cherington pushed the red button at the end of summer and blew the roster to smithereens. Had to happen. So, yes the jerks were already there, but Bobby V did himself no favors. First month he fires a shot across the bow at Kevin Youkilis saying he perhaps wasn't giving it his all. C'mon, man! His hijinks continue all season. A few months ago he goes on the radio and tells the host he would like to punch him in the face. Yikes! The season ends on Wednesday - you can expect sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning there will be a meeting between Bobby and Sox management that will be very similar to the end of 'Old Yeller.'

Here is the Red Sox starting lineup for Sunday against the Orioles.

  • Ellsbury CF
  • Pedroia 2B
  • Ross RF
  • Gomez 1B
  • Valencia 3B
  • Lavarnway C
  • Nava LF
  • Ciriaco DH
  • Iglesias SS

It's not easy to make chicken salad out of that collection of talent. It's like the Bad News Bears without any of the things that made them endearing - and there's also no chance they play a good game with the Yankees on the last day of the season.

What lies ahead? Hard to say. By dumping Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, Boston has a ton of money to spend this off-season. But spending for the sake of spending is what got them in a tough spot to start. John Lackey is still on the roster. The line up above will be nothing like the one that takes the field to start 2013. The off-season will no doubt be a busy one; I just wish it was the post season that we were talking about. Maybe next year.


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