Last year’s season ended on a really bad note for the Boston Red Sox but, this season is looking pretty good for the ex-drunken, chicken eating bullpen. Everyone knows or at least has heard of the chicken and beer story.
In a nutshell, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey gave up on their team and developed a habit of chugging beers, eating fried chicken, and playing video games in the clubhouse instead of supporting their teammates in the dugout. This scandal caused the September collapse of the Boston Red Sox. The Sox had a 9 game lead in the AL East. I mean, seriously, 9 games! This collapse might rank as high as the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers or the 2007 New York Mets. I’m telling you, it was the beer’s fault. Or, it was probably the players who were drinking the beer’s fault. At least it wasn’t as bad as the 1986 World Series with Bill Buckner. Now that was bad!
But, let’s stop dwelling on last season and focus on this year. Last week Boston played their known rival, the New York Yankees. In the bottom of the ninth, Valentine called for a sacrifice squeeze to tie the game. Jason Repko laid down the perfect bunt to the left side, which allowed Ryan Sweeney to score the tying run. But, unfortunately, the game did not go on to decide a winner because the Yankees manager Joe Girardi informed the umps that his team had a long late-night bus right back to Tampa. Really Joe? Using excuses? Did he really want to protect his team during a busy schedule? Or was it just a cheap move? I’m sure the fans weren’t pleased at all. What if it was a young boy’s first time at a MLB game? He will never forget the time Joe Girardi ended the game in a tie.
I absolutely give it to Valentine for speaking his mind after the game. “It was regretful that Mortensen warmed up, though, and then we were told they weren't going to play extra innings. I don't think that was very courteous," explained Valentine. “I don't care about not playing. It's just, why do I have to warm up my pitcher, who's trying to make a team, come in in a tie game against the Yankees and maybe help him make a team -- and instead, he has to walk off the mound and take a shower?” Clayton Mortensen was put on pause until his next chance.
Bobby Valentine has heart and isn’t afraid to tell it how it is. Which by the way, is what Bostonians love! He is nothing compared to Terry Francona who couldn’t keep his pitchers or marriage together. Ok, that might have been a little harsh, but come on now. Everything regarding Valentine has been impressive from getting on the field to help Daisuke Matsuzaka rehab to sticking up for his pitcher in the limelight. This guy is the real deal.
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