Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Blame Game - II

Today's column has Shank in his element - casting blame for the performance of the 2012 Red Sox.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The blame pie is big and heavy.

There’s a giant slice for Bobby Valentine. We all know Bobby’s the reason everything went wrong with the 2012 Red Sox. Ownership gets three hefty slices. John, Tom, and Larry lost their way in the name of sellouts, bricks, and NESN ratings. Theo Epstein is a handy dartboard ornament. He gets a solid slice of blame pie. And we still love to blame Carl Crawford (“When he played against us, we hated him. When he played for us . . . we hated him”) and Adrian Gonzalez, a.k.a. “the Cooler.’’ Jon Lester and Josh Beckett are favorite punching bags. We still blame John Lackey even though he was on the disabled list all season.

Sometimes it seems that the only person who has escaped the blame is general manager Ben Cherington.

Truly amazing. Think back to the ridicule heaped on the genial and wonderful James Lou Gorman. Poor Lou was mocked from Nova Scotia to Block Island. Dan Duquette got the same treatment. We all loved it when Mo Vaughn referred to the Duke and John Harrington as “the joint chiefs of staff.’’
Anyone else out there think Shank was one of the people heaping ridicule on Gorman and Duquette?
Now we have gentle Ben, the Teflon GM. He has been with the Red Sox longer than just about anyone. He was working for the Red Sox before Theo. He was around for the world championships, and then he became GM when Theo left. His first move was overruled; Cherington tried to hire Dale Sveum as Sox manager after the 2011 collapse. Larry Lucchino insisted on Bobby Valentine, and the rest is hardball history. The Red Sox had their worst season since 1965.

And who never gets blamed?

Ben Cherington, that’s who.
I'm pretty sure that'll change, say a good four game losing streak and Shank will be all over Ben like white on rice.

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