Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 10/13/11


If it were up to some people, none of these guys would be back.

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Now, inevitably, calls for that cultural change will lead to calls for personnel changes. A shift in the team’s veteran leadership -- a phrase that seems almost oxymoronic based on what transpired -- seem unavoidable.

Departures by some of the team’s veteran free agents seem inevitable. While returns cannot be ruled out completely, it would also not be a surprise if longtime organizational pillars such as Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield (both of whom will be free agents) have played their last games in Boston.

Likewise, the return of David Ortiz (a far more productive and central contributor on the field) may have become somewhat less likely due to the year-ending circumstances. Indeed, the DH himself is now publicly questioning whether he wants to return to the Sox.

But with the team becoming ever less likable with each new revelation of transgressions, the call for change will go further. In particular, with the starting pitchers wearing a bull’s-eye for their slothful indifference to their team’s collapse, the question will emerge as to whether the team needs to cut bait with players such as Josh Beckett and John Lackey who remain under contract for years to come. Calls to trade others will invariably come as well.

Yet in a sense, the extremity of the chorus is the product of a distorted view of reality. The emerging portrayal of factionalized clubhouse misery has become a fun-house mirror in which all the players look grotesque (more, even, than a diet of beer and fried chicken might suggest).

That is not just true of the individual players but also the team as a whole. Increasingly, the amazing collapse has severed the Sox from the incredible stretch of baseball (an 81-42 stretch from mid-April through the end of August) that preceded it.

The entire season is being evaluated through the prism of the season’s final 27 games. And the portrayal of the causes of the year-ending failure now are focusing so much on off-field causes that the on-field product -- in particular, issues related to individual health, performance and execution -- has become a footnote.

WEEI:No wrecking ball

Alex Speier knocks this one out of the park. He sidestepped all the chaos that yesterday's Globe article caused and is trying to look at what this team can do realistically. Despite what they in September, when this team was on it, they were the best in baseball and it wasn't even close.

We all want Lackey out of here and it makes sense since he has become a clubhouse cancer and just a god awful pitcher but it's (somehow) not a sure thing that he's out of town. Beckett has a massive target on him after the whole eating fried chicken and drinking beer fiasco but he also just signed a lucrative deal. If anything, Lester will be the most valuable to trade and it's normally not a good idea to trade a 27 year old lefty that can be leading the rotation in nearly every other team.

Same thing with the lineup. Carl Crawford has to improve next season. Adrian Gonzalez's shoulder will have an offseason to stregthen up. The top of the lineup is still among the best of the bigs. The most ideal situation is trading Youkilis for a third basemen that can field as Youk can't play that position anymore. But other than that, it looks like the core guys we've seen this year will be playing here next year. If you had told me this in July, I'd be estatic. Now? I'm frustrated. All that fans can hope for is that the these guys are embarrassed that all this crap is coming out now and that they come out and bust their asses for all 162 games.

Globe: Back to the bad old days|Epstein leaves Red Sox|Next Red Sox GM?|Herald:A Red Sox nation divided|Sox fatten up on your entertainment dough|Cherington serious GM candidate|Cleanup starts with Beckett|CSNNE:Ryan: Theo's legacy tarnished by free agency| Ortiz hints at Sox drama, joining Yankees|Pedroia speaks up for Tito, teammates|WEEI:No wrecking ball|Ortiz: "Don't want to be part of the drama"|Pedroia defends Tito: "I'm pretty upset"

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