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Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham slams Red Sox players

Aug 15, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

Pete Abraham

While I’m not the biggest fan of Peter Abraham the writer — he’s a very good reporter, but I often disagree with his analysis — the man certainly has guts. He’s going to have to head right back into the Red Sox clubhouse this afternoon after writing a pretty scathing piece on Boston.com today.

Some choice cuts:

Terry Francona was good at covering up and often times looked ridiculous defending the indefensible. But clearly he had a good handle on how fragile the egos were in that clubhouse.

The Red Sox have become accustomed to losing. With a few exceptions, most of the players shrug their shoulders and go about their business. That business, with few exceptions, is not winning baseball games.

Somehow — and this is the crux of the matter — the Red Sox went from being a franchise of grind-it-out, hard-nosed players to being entitled, selfish and unlikable.

And then he brings in the closer to shut the door:

If Valentine gets fired, all it will be is more appeasement.

Then again, you might be doing him a favor. Then he can sit around for a season, collect on his contract and not worry about winning. In that sense, he would be just like the players he was given to manage.

Go read the whole piece now, and try to imagine how many dagger stares and cold shoulders he’ll be getting later this afternoon.

  1. Cyn - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Peter Abraham has spent the entire season slamming the players and the fans and defending Bobby Valentine. He works for the Globe…this is what they do.

    None of this is a surprise. And as far as it hurting Abraham, prior to this (in spite of his having a spot on NESN’s pregame shows) he really hadn’t exactly been getting exclusive interviews with the team. He sits there shoving a recorder in the players’ faces along with the rest of the reporters. If anything this will just solidify his place with the players and the fans as someone who does nothing more than carry Bobby V’s water.

    • bigharold - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      “Peter Abraham has spent the entire season slamming the players and the fans and defending Bobby Valentine. “

      Maybe so but there is a significant portion of the Nation that thinks the real problem is a bunch of lazy, over paid, underachieving crybaby players.

      As a Yankee fan, initially there was a certain amount of amusement at the RS chicken and beer scandal and it’s carryover into 2012. Alas, the amsment has turned ino tedium over the constant drama. Last season, I thought as a team they had flaws, (as in the RS, the Nation and the media have greatly overestimated the RS pitching for years), and that showed in September in cinjunction with their inability to correct the scandal took on a life of it’s own. The RS FO reaction, .. to cut Francona loose, (not to mention throw him under the bus in a petty and classless way), .. then hire a disciplinarian, (which I’m sure the players thought was unnecessary and unreasonable), then cut the knees out from him by not giving him control over his staff or his choice of players was the wrong direction in general compounded by it being completely mismanaged. Now, the FO has a mutiny on it’s hands and the RS are STILL doing damage control, .. as they have been since last fall.

      Valentine is pretty much dead in the water, .. I can’t see how he could be successful in Boston now. The RS need to rebuild and the corner stones of that rebuilding are Pedroia, Crawford and Gozalez, (mostly because of their contracts), Lester and perhaps Elsbury. Four of those five players clearly don’t like Valentine so he’s got to go.

      The RS are just a poorly run team, .. end of story. They have a lot of high priced underachieving players. and, some of these contracts are going to weigh on the organization for another 3-5 years. It’s becoming more and more clear that the reason the RS won the WS in 2004 was Dan Dugquette who assembled most of the team. Unfortunately for me, it’s no longer amusing, .. just sad.

      • Cyn - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        “Maybe so but there is a significant portion of the Nation that thinks the real problem is a bunch of lazy, over paid, underachieving crybaby players.”

        And I’m not arguing they aren’t. I’m just saying I don’t think anything Abraham says will come as a surprise to anyone who reads or listens to him on a regular basis and Abraham wouldn’t be the first member of the sports media I’d go to if I was looking for a fair and rational response to what is currently going on in Boston.

  2. pound30 - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    These Boston players are selfish crybabies. I thought someone needed to be cut after saying that Valentine didn’t know how things happen in Boston. He is the coach. He should dictate what happens in that clubhouse but these players are diva’s or something. They feel entitled I suppose that they should be able to do what they want to do. If I were the GM I’d have a hard time not trying to get rid of these under performing babies. I am so glad the Rangers have nothing like this going on. Red Sox did go from being a pretty great looking team to an arrogant bad team. Sounds like they just wanted a mutiny because Valentine was trying to do his job. Unacceptable in my eyes.

  3. bloodysock - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Did he write this piece before or after the Springsteen concert he attended at Fenway last night? I’m pretty sure he’s going again tonight and thus will not be not stepping in the clubhouse in Baltimore.

  4. cur68 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Today on Hard Boston Talk we’ll endlessly debate what’s wrong with the Red Sox Attitude (Rattitude: like Nattitude but with baked beans), what a big baby everyone is in the clubhouse, how much the most talented players on the team need to be replaced, slather everything with innuendo, quote nameless sources, sew discord among a fanbase, post many pictures of Bobby Valentine looking smug, and jump up and down on the same tired arguments all day. Love it.

    I tell you, as a fan of the Most Injured Team In The AL Beast, all this BoSox strife gives me hope. If that team gets any more demoralized by their own fans & media they may really quit. Then, the scrappiest gamers in all baseball, my own Toronto Beaver Men, will pass them and, maybe, just perhaps, POSSIBLY, sink a buck-tooth into the rear end of the Rays and catch them, too. Likely? Nah. But a Beaver Lover can hope.

    • uyf1950 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      cur68, keep the faith. The issues the Red Sox have are systematic they have been going on for years now and it’s only over the past 2 or 3 seasons they have started to manifested themselves. I have watched a lot of baseball over the years and not only of the Yankees. Seen a lot of good teams and some very bad teams. But if this Red Sox team doesn’t rank up their with the very worst of them they are pretty darn close. And I’m not referring to wins and loses for finishing in the cellar. I’m referring to attitude, drive and desire this team these players look like they have none of what it takes to win. That’s just my opinion my friend.

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        I hope you’re planning on watching the Beaver Men have it out again with The CWS this evening. You’ll see My Boys field their 2 MLB guys (Davis & E5), their backup catcher (Mathis) and the group known as “The AAA Guys & Omar Vizquel” against a real MLB club. So far My Boys have kept it close, winning by a run and losing by a run. They play like they have been Dipped In The Sweat Of David Eckstien. Can Romero throw a pitch over the plate that won’t get tattooed? Dunno. Gotta watch and see.

      • TheBloozah - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        @uyf1950 as a Red Sox fan I couldn’t agree more: The Red Sox over the last decade have never once gone after the division, never sought a 100+ win season, never sought to dismantle & overrun the AL or NL. No swagger. Look at Yanks 2012, riddle w/injury to essential personnel. What, best in AL, MLB? Sox, three+ years hiding behind injury excuses. You can change the paint (Henry v. Yawkee) same tiresome culture. Media, too. Fans never demand better. We all are part of the problem. Would love for fans to not watch, follow, attend games. The Henry Group can recoup losses with Liverpool games and concerts at Fenway, fans can save our hard-earned money, precious time & energy to put towards our far more interesting lives than the lives & lies of Red Sox, Inc. and it’s overpayed, underplaying athlete employees.

    • djpostl - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      Ah, another pathetic tool playing the “Most Injured Team” card.

      Yeah, because losing Mo (greatest closer ever), Pineda (came into season as No. 2 starter), Gardner (best defensive LF in game by a mile, 5- steal guy) for entire seasons, Joba (sub-3.00 ERA last season) for 100+ games, Robertson (best 8th inning guy in game last year) for 45+, Arod (on pace for .280 35+ HRs 90+ RBIs) for 8 weeks, Pettitte (was pitching phenomenally) for 8 weeks, CC (Ace of staff & pitching well) two DL stints, Swisher (stating RF with some pop) did a DL stint and so on were just “little bumps in the road” for the Yankees.

      Who did the Red Sox lose?

      Pedroia missed a small amount of time but returned. Papi has missed time and that was big & of course Jacoby for the first half.

      But other than that who the hell was worth mentioning?

      Middlebrooks recently went down,. but the Red Sox were God-awful long before that had any impact.

      Crawford after last season? Rofl.

      Lackey’s 6+ ERA?

      Dice-K? Don’t make me laugh.

      Andrew Bailey? The guy has played more than 60% of a season once in the three years before this. And that was his rookie year. You don’t trade for a car with 3 wheels then complain that you can’t drive it.

      Bobby Jenks? Oh yeah, he was key!!

      Mark Melancon? Oh, so vital.

      Vicente Padilla?

      This team’s issue isn’t the injury bug. That’s just a convenient excuse.

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        er…YEAH! Those BoSox are crybabies! YOU ARE SOOOOO RIGHT!

        8)

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        PS, since you’re all list-happy, let me return the favour…
        Position Players currently on the DL:
        Jose Bautista
        Brett Lawrie
        Adam Lind
        Colby Rasmus
        JP Arencebia

        Starting Pitchers on the DL:

        Brandon Morrow
        Kyle Drabek
        Drew Hutchison
        Dustin McGowan

        BullPen Guys on the DL:
        Sergio Santos
        Louis Perez
        Joel Carreno
        Jason Frasor
        Jesse Litsch

        NB: “Toronto Beaver Men” = Blue Jays & cur68 = “Beaver Lover”.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        yea… dj he was obviously talking about the Jays NOT the BoSox. But glad to see you want to wave your injury card in everyones face as well.

        My birds have lost Reimold, Roberts, Thome, and Hammel. We also lost Dino for a little while, Nicky in the begining of the year and Matusz, Arrieta, and Britton. Those last 3 weren’t injuries, just soul crushing to see even more high draft picks blowup in our faces in Baltimore.

        But I digress: here’s the difference. B-Rob was toast. What do we do? Pick up Omer freakin Quintanilla for cash from the Mets. What does he do? well yesterday he dropped a bomb on Beckett and had 2 nice diving catches at second. Hammel goes out. Up comes Miguel Gonzales who has pitched like he’s not coming off 2 injury plagued seasons, and has pitched lights out. Thome had a few good games, followed by a neck issue. Corresponding move? Davis slid into the DH spot. Has been on fire in the past 2 weeks at the plate. And then the platoon replacing Reimold. But the common factor here is the one and only: THE DUKE!! Good teams have the depth and front office to help make the moves. In the past the O’s have struggled behind penny pinching Angelos and poor decision making. Duke has been an absolute blessing in Baltimore, and a HUGE reason for this teams success.

        Here’s to not looking up at the entire division for the first time in a long time!

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Leave it to the Beavers.

      Don’t nobody get too hard on the Beavers.

      Go, Beavers, go.

  5. lazlosother - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    In other news, Jerry Springer has invited the entire Red Sox organiztion and the Boston MSM to his studio for a televised intervention. Hair pulling, eye gouging, crying and chair throwing are frowned upon, but encouraged.

  6. TheBloozah - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    It’s about god*amned time someone said SOMETHING!! Thank you Peter!!!

    ONE QUESTION: Why did this take 11 months to speak aloud? The day Terry Francona was stabbed in the back we all knew.

    The patients run the asylum in Red Sox culture. The fans misguidedly boo manager when they ought boo the reprehensible players. We never demand better and soohnday.

    The Yankees run away with the division. Yawkee Group? Nope. Henry Group. The only Curse is the classless culture that IS the Red Sox organization. Two recent rings don’t obviously alter this fact and we see why The Yankees own 28 WS titles. I want to sue for all the “Still I Believe” years, money & time wasted on a team I looked to to try & be better myself.

    I already was better.
    I’ll stick w/ Celtics & Patriots.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    I think my favorite part about this is his use of hash tags when posting the link on twitter:

    PeteAbe profile

    PeteAbe #RedSox #Dysfunction #Blame #Mess #Players #Valentine http://t.co/4hTltTXa

  8. joelaw43 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Remember when it was the Curse of the Bambino, and the Red Sox had guys like Schilling, Millar, Damon (pre- I want big money), Mueller, Bellhorn, Wakefield, Foulke, etc? The days of hard nosed baseball, small ball, and doing things the right way. The “we’re a bunch of idiots just playing baseball” era of the Sox? What does it take to get that culture back? They won the World Series the right way back then, and then decided to try and be the Yankees and go out and buy all their players. I think to right this ship, they should bring in a number of those guys in organizational roles and try to preach what an organization should run like when it doesn’t have the big egos.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      That team had a HUGE payroll. We outbid everyone for Damon and Foulke, traded for Schlling in part because we were able to give him an extension. Bought Millar after he had committed to a Japanese club.

      It’s always been about the money. Hell, I work for money, too. True story.

      Don’t blame the fact that they have a high payroll on the fact they’re underperforming.

      • joelaw43 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        Your missing the entire point of my post, chief…Mueller, Bellhorn, and Millar weren’t exactly superstar players when they brought them in, but they did play out of their minds. Schilling brought integral leadership, regardless of price. What I am saying is that you cant go run up the payroll and expect the same results as back then…You need guys with character and that will play for the good of the team, not just themselves, which is exactly what they have been doing. And yes, they did play some small ball, they got the hits where they needed them, they didn’t just try and overpower everyone, and if you tell me that was their game plan back in 03-04, I seriously wonder where your head is at…the funny thing with people like you is that I am a Sox fan and I wasn’t degrading them, but I can see differences in the team identity and thought that bringing in the guys who came together as a team to bring life and respectability to the club would help…however, you would rather fling s**t around in an effort to say “there’s nothing wrong with this team, leave them alone, your all wrong”. Maybe look at different perspectives once in awhile before you go attacking.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        All brilliant signings, and I loved Theo for them. I remember the Mueller one blowing me away because, despite the injury risk for Mueller, the Phillies had just given a pile of money to David Bell (I think) to play third for them. Theo worked wonders finding Ortiz and Bellhorn, among others

        That team won because of its roll players, yes, but its most important pieces were the most expensive ones — Manny and Pedro, to name two. And guys like Millar did not come cheaply. Nor, might I add, was that a team that was built from within. I haven’t done the work to see, but I’d guess the current roster is FAR more home-grown than the 2003-2009 teams, which were inarguably trying to buy a championship, just like the 1932-2002 teams were and the 2010-present teams are.

        If the 2004 team was so inherently gritty, what happened in 2006?

    • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      I’m fascinated by the idea that the 2003-2004 Red Sox were playing small ball. I believe the 2003 Red Sox had the highest team OPS in baseball history. Billy Mueller hit two grand slams in one inning that year.

      Yeah, small ball.

      • umrguy42 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        Actually, it was just two in a game, as far as I can see (read: find on Wikipedia and a fast google search). But he was the first (and so far only) one to do it from different sides of the plate. As far as two in the same inning, I’ve only been able to find Fernando Tatis for the Cardinals in 1999 as having accomplished that.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Anyone giving a thumbs up to JoeLaw43’s comment has not idea what the hell they’re talking about.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1778397

        Oh, what a scrappy bunch that 2004 team was! They played for the love of the game, I tells ya!

      • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        The 2004 team had two of the five highest paid players in the AL. Revisionist garbage.

        The Red Sox tried to buy a World Series every year from 1932 through the present. It was only in 2004 and 2007 that it worked.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        On July 23, 2004, the team had a less than 40 percent chance of making the playoffs. They, too, were considered underperforming. Around July 4th, I remember hating that team so much that I didn’t open the sports page for a week.

        Yes, in retrospect, I love every damn one of them. But I was ready to kill Derek Lowe back then. We all were. We ate bark from a tree and we liked it. We loved it. And anyone who says we just need to be more like 2004 is ignoring the collapse of 2006 or how lousy the fielding and bullpen were in 2003.

        Good lord, I hate the pink hats.

  9. TheBloozah - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    “We never demand better *and should.* ” :(
    Damn predictive typos. I BLAME BOBBY V.!!!

  10. If the Shoe Fits - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Well, I have to give it to Pete Abraham. He was this brutal on the Yankees when he covered them, and always thought it was because he was a Red Sox fan. Either that or maybe he was just not a happy man.

    Turns out he just likes ruffling feathers and burning bridges. Makes you famous in media circles, and is good for your career, but also makes your day to day really tough.

    Not a fan of PeteAbe, but have to give him points for chutzpah. Don’t count on any good player interviews from that clubhouse anytime soon.

  11. patsandsox - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I totally agree with Pete. Pedrioa was always my favorite player, not any more. If he spent half as much time trying win game as he has spent trying to get Bobby fired the Sox players might have followed his lead in the clubhouse.

    Beckett is an a-hole and garbage on the mound now. He should be cut, they are going to have to eat some contracts anyhow, his is one of them Becket is the ring leader of the a-holes that dont care about winnning.

    Good job for writing it like you see it Pete

  12. sdelmonte - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Boy, I feel so much better about being a Mets fan today. Sure, we have no bullpen and no outfield and no money. But at least it’s not like Boston.

  13. bklynbaseball - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Help me out here. What did he say that doesn’t ring true.

  14. paperlions - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    It is always fun to jump on the public face of things, but this looks like the end result of poor leadership…from ownership on down. When there is disfunction, distrust, and poor communication at ever level of an organization, the end result is always frustrated workers that are not as motivated to work hard as they would be if they felt like their company had their backs. Just because it is baseball, doesn’t mean the same hierarchical social interactions don’t have the same end result.

    Nothing happens in the Red Sox front office that isn’t leaked to the media, and the content of the leaks is always designed to make particular people look bad….hard to enjoy working somewhere when you always wonder if you are the next one to be thrown under the bus.

  15. randygnyc - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Im pretty sure I heard during the Yankee telecast last night, Michael Kay say that the red sox players weren’t going to speak with the media, outside of league mandated obligations, for the rest of the year. Perhaps this article was a preemptive/retaliatory strike? If nothing else, it’s entertaining this Yankee fan. There’s not one sympathetic figure in that entire organization, IMO.

  16. jayquintana - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    As annoying as Red Sox Nation is, I feel for their fans — they care about winning way, way, way more than the players do.

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